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Aileen: Life & Death of a Serial Killer (2003)

Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer (original title)
1:21 | Trailer
Nick Broomfield's second documentary about serial killer Aileen Wuornos, focusing on her mental state on death row.
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Aileen Wuornos ... Self
Nick Broomfield ... Self
Terry Humphreys-Slay Terry Humphreys-Slay ... Self - Her Father was Killed by Wuornos (archive footage)
Leitha Prather Leitha Prather ... Self - Victim's Sister (archive footage) (as Leitha Prater)
Shirley Humphreys Shirley Humphreys ... Self - Victim's Widow (archive footage)
Joe Hobson Joe Hobson ... Self - Wuornos' Attorney
Steve Glazer Steve Glazer ... Self - Wuornos' Former Attorney
Arlene Pralle Arlene Pralle ... Self - Wuornos' Adoptive Mother (archive footage)
Dawn Botkins ... Self - Wuornos' Best Friend
Tyria Moore ... Self - Wuornos' Former Lover (archive footage)
Uriel Blount Uriel Blount ... Self (archive footage) (as Judge Muriel Blount)
Danny Caldwell Danny Caldwell ... Self - Wuornos' Childhood Friend / Witness
Jerry Moss Jerry Moss ... Self - Wuornos' Childhood Friend / Witness
Michelle Chauvin Michelle Chauvin ... Self - Wuornos' Childhood Friend / Witness
Jeb Bush ... Self - Governor of Florida (archive footage)


This documentary looks at Aileen Wuornos convicted of killing 7 men while working as a prostitute in Florida. This is actually the second Wuornos documentary made by this group the first being Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer (1992). With her execution now on the horizon Nick Broomfield returns to Florida to complete the story. Her argument has always been that the killings were in self-defense but she eventually pleaded no contest or guilty to most of the murders. Broomfield was able to film several interviews which reveals her state of mind and puts into question her mental competence. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, including violent and sexual dialogue | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »


Aileen Wuornos: You have to kill Aileen Wuornos, because she'll kill again.
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References Star Trek: The Original Series (1966) See more »


Written by David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Richard Wright and Roger Waters
Performed by Pink Floyd
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User Reviews

Sympathy for the Devil
4 February 2012 | by rooprectSee all my reviews

Like the great Rolling Stones song in my title, this sobering film forces us to question what is evil, and what is humankind's role in creating it?

Like many of you, I'm assuming, I became interested in the story of Aileen Wurnos after seeing the powerful film "Monster" with Charlize Theron (who, by the way, did an EXCELLENT job in that film. After you see this, you'll agree she totally nailed the part of the real Aileen we see here).

From the opening lines, we realize that the director Nick Broomfield is biased in favour of Aileen, so if that's hard for you to swallow you might want to skip this documentary. But whether or not you think Aileen deserved to be executed, this is a great doc because it asks questions that we all should consider about the legal system, society's callousness and ultimately the death penalty.

From the Rolling Stones song: "I shouted out, who killed the Kennedys? When after all, It was you and me."

Similarly, this film asks the question, who killed the 7 victims? The answer, Nick Bloomfield implies, is "you and me" (human society). There is no Devil, and Aileen Wurnos isn't some supernatural spawn of Satan. She was a mentally damaged person who slipped through the cracks of society and in turn destroyed a lot of lives. Society, or rather the justice system, labeled her an abomination and exacted its revenge, washed its hands of her, and all the while made a pretty profit.

What's masterful about this documentary is, even though it is very sympathetic toward Aileen in her plight, it never attempts to excuse her for her crimes. In fact it shows some very chilling outbursts of hers where we realize exactly how explosive & mentally damaged she was. This is truly a documentary for people who can process the truth in conflicting packets, not for people who see things as black & white.

Other great films/documentaries that tackle controversial topics and force us to see the complexities beneath them include: "You Don't Know Jack" (2010) about Dr. Jack Kevorkian's suicide machine, "A Short Film About Killing" (1988) which is part of Kieslowsky's powerful "Decalogue" series, and an excellent doc called "The Bridge" (2006) that shows real footage of several troubled souls leaping to their deaths off the Golden Gate Bridge and analyzes what made them do it.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

21 November 2003 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Aileen: Life & Death of a Serial Killer See more »

Filming Locations:

Florida, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,158, 11 January 2004

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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