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Dear Dawn: Aileen Wuornos in Her Own Words [Kindle Edition]

Aileen Wuornos , Lisa Kester , Daphne Gottlieb , Phyllis Chesler

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Between 1989 and 1990, Aileen Wuornos, a hitchhiking prostitute, shot, killed, and robbed seven men in remote Florida locations. Arrested in 1991, Wuornos insisted she had acted in self-defense, but the jury had little sympathy. Condemned to death on six separate counts, she was executed by lethal injection in 2002.

An abused runaway who turned to prostitution to survive, Wuornos has become iconic of vengeful women who lash out at the nearest target. She has also become a touchstone for women’s, prostitutes’, and prisoners’ rights advocates. Her story has inspired myriad books and articles, as well as the 2003 movie Monster, for which Charlize Theron won an Academy Award. But until now, Wuornos’s uncensored voice has never been heard.

Dear Dawn is Wuornos’s autobiography culled from her ten-year death row correspondence with beloved childhood friend Dawn Botkins. Authorized for publication by Wuornos and edited under the guidance of Botkins, the letters not only offer Wuornos’s riveting reflections on the murders, legal battles, and media coverage, but go further, revealing her fears and obsessions, her rich humor and empathy, and her gradual disintegration as her execution approached. A candid life story told to a trusted friend, Dear Dawn is a compelling narrative, unwaveringly true to its source.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Lisa Kester has worked as a book designer, both freelance and for small presses, for over ten years and is a personal friend of Dawn Botkins. She lives in Oakland. Daphne Gottlieb has published four poetry collections (Pelt, Why Things Burn, Final Girl, and Kissing Dead Girls) and edited two anthologies (Homewrecker and Fucking Daphne). She lives in San Francisco. Aileen Wuornos was born in Michigan in 1956. Abandoned early by her parents and expelled from her abusive grandfather's home when she was fourteen and pregnant, she lived in the woods before hitchhiking her way to Florida. In 1986, Wuornos began a relationship with Tyria Moore and supported them both through prostitution and theft. In 1986 she served a thirteen-month sentence for armed robbery. In 1989 she first shot and killed a john who picked her up hitchhiking. She later stated that she acted in self-defense, but the john's history as a violent sex offender was not allowed into evidence at her trial. Wuornos went on to shoot and kill at least six men between 1989 and 1990 and was arrested in 1991, then tried, convicted and sentenced to death. On the advice of a lawyer, she pled "no contest" for five other murders, receiving a total of six death sentences by February 1993. She was famously if inaccurately dubbed "America's first female serial killer." While on death row, Wuornos was legally adopted by Arlene Pralle, a born-again Christian, in 1991, and was championed by many who believed her claims of self-defense. A documentary by Nick Broomfield, Aileen: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1992), portrayed Wuornos as a victim of both sexual abuse and media manipulation. As her execution neared, an increasingly unstable Wuornos retracted her self-defense claims, claiming she needed to go to her death with a clean conscience. Florida Governor Jeb Bush ordered a psychiatric exam, after which Wuornos was deemed mentally competent and executed by lethal injection on October 9, 2002. Thanks to the feature film Monster (2003), and the second Nick Broomfield documentary, Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer (2004), she has become even more famous after her death. Phyllis Chesler, Ph.D is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies at City University of New York. An author, psychotherapist, and expert courtroom witness, her thirteen books include Women and Madness; Woman's Inhumanity to Woman; The Death of Feminism; and The New Anti-Semitism. She is the co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology and the National Women's Health Network and is a charter member of the Women's Forum. She has lectured and organized political, legal, religious and human rights campaigns worldwide and has appeared on The Today Show, The O'Reilly Factor, Oprah, Nightline, CSPAN, NPR, MSNBC, and many others. She has been published and interviewed in The Washington Post, The International Herald Tribune, The Times of London, Il Foglio, Ha'aretz, The New York Times, The Globe and Mail, The London Guardian, Muslim World Today, and many more. Her full biography can be found on her website, She lives in New York City.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 1549 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 370 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 1593762909
  • Verlag: Soft Skull Press (1. Juni 2011)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B008BG9CHM
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Nicht aktiviert
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #246.657 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.5 von 5 Sternen  33 Rezensionen
16 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen From her hand to our eyes! 21. Juni 2012
Von The X-Files - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
I have followed everything about Aillen Wuornos' cases, or as much as the media would allow.I became obsessed with her life and lifestyle. I have watched Broomfield's productions many times. I am so glad to finally read her words, and fill in some blanks about her time in prison, what she endured (by her accounts), and what she was like on the inside. Her letters give a great insite into her mind. For me anyway, I love this book! Great buy and well worth it!
15 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting read 27. August 2012
Von Lynda - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
The letters within this book gives valuable information on what made Aileen tick. Her personality and intelligence is shown here as well as her deep-rooted faults. She seemed brighter than what has been portrayed. For example, I had no idea she did art drawings. She liked reading about UFOs, ancient societies, etc. I think we get a clearer picture of who she was mainly because she was in prison away from booze or as she calls "suds". She didn't have to wonder where her next cigarette/can of beer came from plus her relationship w/ Tyria was totally kaput so she was able to reflect on her past and think beyond the next few hours.

Her crimes it seemed had to do w/: being victimized repeatedly and the need for money due to keep her relationship with Tyria going. She had a terrible temper and led a dramatic life. Being a borderline with "all or nothing" thinking, she probably decided she wanted to die if she couldn't have Tyria back. She did seem aware it was her who drove her g/f away by the killings. I'm sure her ex could fill us in more if she wrote her own recollections - a day to day account of living with a powder keg like Aileen.

Unfortunately, Aileen's bro died early. If he were alive and could talk, we'd get another side of growing up with the grandparents. The controversy of what actually happened in Aileen's 0-16 years of life is still a partial mystery to me.

We also learn of her delusions in prison as far as "getting right w/ God" and the cops supposedly knowing she was a serial killer and allowing her to "clean the streets".

Back to her trial and legal counsel - Aileen clearly sabatoged herself. She may have been able to escape the death penalty. She was most likely heart-broken and tired and once she made up her mind, there was no going back. The trial was essentially a media circus which didn't help matters.

The friendship with Dawn feels heartfelt. It worked out well through letter-writing (one wonders how it would've been in a day-to-day living situation). Dawn really sacrificed a lot to be Aileen's friend. It's great she was willing to share the letters with everyone. A tragic story for sure.
13 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A knock down, drag out, thrill ride for your eyes and mind. 17. Juli 2012
Von Blythemobile - Veröffentlicht auf
I picked up "Dear Dawn: Aileen Wuornos In Her Own Words" Edited by Daphne Gottlieb and Lisa Kester at a poetry show I hosted with Daphne Gottlieb as the feature. I had no idea she was editing this book and it was a total surprise. I bought it on the spot and it has proven to be one of the most amazing reads I have taken on in years.

I cannot say enough good things about this book! I followed Aileen's case and have watched every piece of media I could get my hands on regarding it and this book is BLOWING MY MIND! It is truly an amazing exercise to read through this book and hear Aileen in her own written word writing to a friend from her childhood. I had seen the stacks and stacks of material Dawn had collected from correspondence with Aileen over the years in documentaries. I cannot stress enough how harrowing the task would have been to cull through the sheer vast amount of material to put this book together and Daphne and Lisa make these missives jump off the page in a larger than life way. The body of work remains cohesive and retains a narrative the reader can follow even with all the twists and turns in Aileen's case and her mental state through the years the book encompasses.

Even if you don't know anything about Aileen Wuornos and her case, this book is a treasure trove of information that reads quickly and is thoroughly fascinating! But don't take my word for it! Buy this book, read it, and then tell everyone you know about it!! Reading it is like chasing a cat whose tail is on fire down a paranoid rabbit hole. Superbly edited and well annotated! Trust me, you will not be able to put this book down once you crack the spine for the first time. Thank you Daphne and Lisa for giving Aileen a chance to tell her story through Dawn's collection of letters. Her voice is ringing loud and clear, the contents finally surfacing to gain some semblance of shape and form in the light.
7 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen heart-wrenching 31. Oktober 2013
Von Skye - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
I learned of Wuornos when I watched 'Monster,' coincidentally with a Floridian who lived through the 'scare.' I became fascinated with her. I am really glad that all involved with publishing this book made it come together. I highly recommend this as a first read for anyone interested in Ms. Wuornos. While I loved the movie, 'Monster,' Dear Dawn... casts shame on the movies and the books about her.

Aileen was very lucky to have the love, caring, and support of her friend Dawn. Not because she was a horrible person, undeserving of such love, but because not everybody has this, though it'd be a better world if everyone did.

I believe anyone who sits in harsh judgement of Wuornos is either afraid to look in the mirror, or has never suffered enduring abuse and disregard at the hands of people who should have protected and nurtured her.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Monster of a read 18. Januar 2014
Von ASE - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Aileen Wuornos is the saddest woman about whom I have had the dismay of reading. I've read several books about her. "Dear Dawn" clearly shows that Aileen was an intelligent woman who was capable of love. She just got mixed up in some bad stuff at an early age. She was betrayed by family and friends from Day One, it seems. That she was sold down the river by the prosecuting team and sentenced to death is no surprise. I've read that prostitutes are frequently abused by their johns. How can they protect themselves while engaged in illicit behavior? Aileen had the ability and will to defend herself. I do not think it was ever proven that Aileen did not kill in self- defense. Instead, everyone got excited about being associated with one of the first female serial killers and converged on her like vultures on a carcass.

This books provides great insight into Aileen's thought while in prison. I highly recommend this book if you find the Wuornos case, as I do, to be a most fascinating one. Sad, but fascinating.
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