Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer (2003) 1080p

Movie Poster
Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer (2003) 1080p - Movie Poster
Crime | Documentary
Frame Rate:
25 fps
English 2.0  
Run Time:
93 min
IMDB Rating:
7.1 / 10 
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Directors: Nick Broomfield [Director] ,

Movie Description:
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. —garykmcd


  • Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer (2003) 1080p - Movie Scene 1
  • Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer (2003) 1080p - Movie Scene 2
  • Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer (2003) 1080p - Movie Scene 1

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Thought provoking documentary about the first known female serial killer

Hitch-hiker and prostitute, Aileen Wuronos, was convincted for committing the murders of seven men between 1989-1990, and executed for her crimes in 2002. The documentary 'Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial' killer is the second of Broomfield's documentaries about Aileen (the first was released in 1992) and explores her story including her childhood, her experiences as an adult living on the streets and selling her body, and attempts to piece together her truth about her crimes.

As other reviewers have pointed out, Broomfield doesn't attempt to hide his biases throughout the documentary, so if you're looking for an unbiased telling of Aileen's crimes, you won't find that here. Broomfield is clearly sympathetic towards Aileen and the two seem to strike up a friendship of sorts from their many interactions, which perhaps inhibits his ability to be objective. However, it doesn't diminish the impact of the documentary and in journalism there's no such thing as true objectivity anyway. I personally respect Broomfield for making his own opinions clear without forcing them upon the viewers.

It's no surprise that as an English man Broomfield is opposed to the death penalty (being English myself, I don't know anybody here that's NOT opposed to it), and that clearly plays a part in his sympathies towards Aileen. He doesn't even have to make a convincing argument against the legal justice system (particularly surrounding the death penalty), because as a viewer I can clearly see how corrupt and inadequate it was in this case. Aileen DID NOT receive fair representation and although her mental state amplified her delusions in her final days, she wasn't completely wrong in her accusations against law enforcement who were making money off her story. There have been endless movies, books and documentaries produced about Aileen's crimes and even those that were closest to her (her girlfriend, family and friends) were more concerned with profiting off her case than her well-being.

Although Broomfield doesn't delve too deeply into the issues facing the American legal system and the death penalty, those questions are clearly echoing throughout. Broomfield asks if it's moral or just to send a mentally ill person to death, and it's a fair question. As the documentary progresses, Aileen's mental state deteriorates and in her final interview with Broomfield she's clearly suffering from mental illness which she claims she did not receive adequate medical treatment for. Essentially, Broomfield forces the viewers to ask themselves whether what happens to Aileen is fair. She has been found guilty of her crimes and has confessed to those crimes, but she is still a human being who has fundamental human rights and whom the American legal justice system has basic responsibilities for - e.g. providing fair representation and medical care - two things we know Aileen did not receive. It's impossible to ignore these injustices in the 'justice' system and to question how much the system aligns up to what it claims to be.

In addition to posing questions about the American legal system, the documentary also provides insight into the criminal mind, and shows that serial killers are not always what we expect them to be. They're not always psychopathic, intelligent, sadistic monsters who get a thrill from hurting and killing others, such as Ted Bundy. In Aileen's case an argument can adequately made for the nurture side of the nature vs. nurture debate. Her horrific experiences from a young age (being abandoned by her birth mother, being sexually abused, being impregnated by a local paedophile at 14 and being forced to give the child up, being made homeless at age 14 and living in the woods at the end of her street and her endless experiences of violent/sexual abuse from being a prostitute) deeply impacted her and twisted her mindset. She felt she had suffered at the hands of the world and that her suffering entitled her to inflict that suffering upon others and take what she felt she deserved and had always been robbed of - money and security.

Although Broomfield spends time interviewing the friends and family of Aileen to uncover more about her childhood, the interviews he conducts with Aileen herself are by far the highlight of the documentary. It's in those moments that Broomfield is face-to-face with Aileen that we truly get to see how unstable she is - jumping from a seemingly ordinary, reasonable and polite person to erratic, angry, paranoid and rude. The possiblity that Aileen suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder is referenced once, but generally, her mental state is completely neglected which is shocking to me since throughout filming she was clearly suffering from severe mental illness.

Regardless of Aileen's mental state, what happened to her throughout her life or what led her to commit her crimes, the fact remains that she took the lives of seven men and that is a point that Broomfield continues to emphasise throughout. He continually prods Aileen as to whether she acted in self-defence or committed cold-blooded murder and each time Aileen's response is different. In fact, her story changes so often that it's impossible to know the truth and by the end of the documentary it's safe to label Aileen a pathological liar.

Overall, 'Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer' is an intriguing insight into Aileen Wuronos' life and crimes. It gives Aileen herself a voice, allowing her to tell her 'truth' and counteract the claims or words of others - the media and those closest to her - that have crafted their own tales about her. Ultimately, it's a tragic story of a murderer, who although many would agree deserved to die, did not receive a fair trial and was transformed into a money-making machine for many of the law enforcement officers connected to her case and even her own loved ones.

Good Job it is...

An interesting topic because the narrator Nick is so monotone you would fall asleep otherwise!

Sad documentary

A sad documentary, but then again, you don't expect sunshine and rainbows when watching a film about a serial killer.It's a film about system failure. How a system hopelessly failed a child, an adolescent and then an adult and the devastating consequences of these failings.Can't help but think Aileen's life may have turned out slightly differently had better systems and support being in place from early life.Rest in peace to her seven victims and Aileen herself.
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