Aileen Wuornos - The Selling of a Serial Killer

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Average Rating: 3.5/5

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Movie Info

Nick Broomfield directed this controversial documentary about Aileen Wuornos, a Florida prostitute who confessed to killing seven men between 1989 and 1990. Though Wuornos claimed to have acted in self-defense, she was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. While Wuornos was befriended by Arlene Pralle, an eccentric, born-again Christian determined to save Aileen's soul, her lawyer, Steve Glazer, was primarily concerned with whatever money could be gleaned from Wuornos' grisly notoriety. (At one point, he offered to give Broomfield an exclusive interview with Wuornos, and all her personal effects following her death, for 25,000 dollars.) Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer examines Wuornos' short, strange career as a media figure, and takes a closer look at her crimes as well as at irregularities in the police investigation of the murders. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Aileen Wuornos - The Selling of a Serial Killer

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (1)

  • Aileen Wuornos is raw, fascinating and less than ideally organized. But as a portrait of a world obsessed with cashing in on tragedy, it couldn't be more timely.

    Feb 14, 2018 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Top Critic
  • Broomfield ends up exploring a world that cares more about money and deals than about life and death.

    Jul 23, 2007 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • Though undermining and ignoring some facts about the serial killer, Broomfield's docu is entertaining and it certainly capture the media frenzy (boderline zoo) and bizarre participants in this perculiar case. Make sure to watch the follow-up.

    Aug 1, 2005 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • A damning portrait of cold-hearted greed.

    May 3, 2005 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Aileen Wuornos - The Selling of a Serial Killer


What makes this revealing documentary so disturbing and tragic is that it shows us that Aileen was clearly in need of psychological help instead of an electric chair and was surrounded by a bunch of self-seeking psychopaths who shamelessly exploited her situation for money.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer is a good documentary about Aileen Wuornos, the first female serial killer to be executed. Nick Bloomfield chronicles the case of Wournos, and her conviction of receiving seven death sentences. The film shows how the people around her tried to sell her story and how her case was not properly defended. Of course she was guilty, but what you see on film is how her lawyer was inept in defending Wournos. Bloomfield shows how people who knew Wuornos tried to cash in on her infamy. For what it is, it's a pretty well made documentary on the case and it also shows the cracks as to how the people tried to make money off of her crimes, which is wrong. This is an entertaining film for viewers interested in the case. However to others, they may want to pass it up as this is a hard watch in terms of it subject. Nick Bloomfield crafts a terrific documentary here, one that helps you understand the mind of a killer. The film follows the case clearly, and it is a film that is riveting for what it tries to accomplish. Aileen Wuornos is infamous for her crimes, and this documentary shows us exactly the gravity of what she did. Also, the fact that people tried to make money off her infamy is disgusting and it is yet another prime example of sensationalism for the wrong reasons. Bloomfield direction is very good, the interviews are chilling, and it's a film that tells one part of Wournos' case. Nick Bloomfield would later conclude the Aileen Wuornos story with a follow up film, called Life and Death of a Serial Killer. This part just focuses on her conviction and how the people around her tried to profit from it.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

Nice script exploiting the crimes of an allegedly first lady serial killer, and shading light on her impression of this evil world. Even her lawyer and adopted mother are greedy opportunists in her opinion. It's amazing how most people believe this as a reality than a scripted work. (Of course, she's a murderer, but the lawyer and mother's part are somewhat woven out.) Aileen's interview is pushed to the end of the FILM, thereby maintaining the ace in the hole.

familiar stranger
familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

Bad enough that Aileen Wuornos took eight lives, but to see the collection of buzzards, leeches and assorted slime that assembled to profit from her pending execution is sickening. The worst of the lot is her sleazebag attorney, auctioning off interviews at $20,000 a pop. There is a stink here that won't wash.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

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