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Wednesday, 9 October, 2002, 16:23 GMT 17:23 UK
'Damsel of Death' executed
Aileen Wuornos in 2001 and 1991 (pictures from AP)
Wuornos said she "seriously hates human life"
A woman serial killer convicted of the murder of six men has been executed in Florida's state prison.

Aileen Wuornos, 46, died at 0947 local time (1347GMT) in the prison at Starke, after being injected with a lethal cocktail of drugs, according to a spokeswoman for Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

Governor Jeb Bush
Governor Jeb Bush ordered the execution
Wuornos, nicknamed the Damsel of Death, spent 10 years on death row in Florida, after being convicted of killing six men when she worked as a prostitute on Florida's highways in 1989 and 1990.

Her killings began with Richard Mallory on 13 December 1989, and ended in January 1991 when she was arrested in Daytona Beach, Florida.

She is thought to have killed eight men in total.

Wuornos originally claimed she had killed in self-defence, after being raped.

Click here to see the map of the killings

Several years later, she admitted planning the murders with robbery as her motive.

At her 1992 trial, State Attorney John Tanner described her as "a homicidal predator".

"She was like a spider on the side of the road, waiting for her prey - men," he said.

Rejecting appeals

In April this year Wuornos refused to go along with another appeal.

"I would prefer to cut to the chase and get on with an execution," she wrote.

"Taxpayers' money has been squandered, and the families have suffered enough."

Wuornos became a celebrity, and books, a film and an opera were written about her case.

Last week, Governor Bush lifted a stay on her execution when a team of psychiatrists ruled that she was sane.

'Election ploy'

Wuornos was abandoned by her mother as an infant, and her father was a convicted child molester who committed suicide in jail.

She became pregnant at 14, but had to give up the child.

In April, she wrote to the authorities: "I have hate crawling through my system.

"I'm one who seriously hates human life and would kill again."

She is only the second woman to be executed in Florida after the re-introduction of the death penalty in 1976.

Opponents of the death penalty say her execution, and that of Rigoberto Sanchez-Velasco last week, are being used by Governor Bush to help his re-election prospects in next month's poll for the post of governor.



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See also:

06 Sep 02 | Americas
02 Oct 02 | Americas
25 Aug 01 | Americas
30 Mar 98 | Americas
15 Aug 01 | Americas
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