Sunday, June 27, 2004

Aileen Carol Wuornos: Childhood

Aileen Carol Wuornos was born to single mother Diane Pitman on February 29 1956. Her father Leo had left during Diane's pregnancy, and would later be diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and convicted of paedophilia. Diane had only been fifteen when she married Leo, and the divorce came less than two years later. Unable to cope, the young Diane abandoned Aileen and her older brother Keith, leaving them in the care of her own parents, Lauri and Britta, who legally adopted both children. Lauri was a heavy drinker, and had previously been in the army. He kept his house disciplined, and beat the children and his wife. Britta was a timid woman, too afraid to stand up to her husband, and never intervened when he degraded Aileen: he would frequently make her strip in what was possibly a sexually motivated humiliation of her. The two youngsters were not told that Lauri and Britta were actually their grandparents, and they were told that the oft-absent Diane was their sister. Upon discovery of the truth of her parentage, at age twelve, Aileen rebelled against Lauri's strict authoritarian rule over the household. By fourteen she was pregnant, giving birth in January 1971. The baby boy was immediately put up for adoption. Later that year Britta died, and Aileen left school to begin her life as a hitchhiker and prostitute.

Friday, June 25, 2004

A View From A Window

I feel like my eyeballs have steamed up. Twenty-one floors up, I am inside a cloud. The bay is a grey smudge on the horizon, the sky is dark and threatening. Looking down, the streets are shiny with Melbourne's drizzle. Pedestrians cower under meagre shelters, and towers lurk in the fog. It is June in Victoria's capital, and four million people wish they were somewhere else.