Catching Killers (2021) s01e02 Episode Script

Manhunter: Aileen Wuornos

1 When I arrived, I noticed that there was a dirt road that runs into the forest.
And all I knew was that, somewhere down that road, there was a body.
The first indication of the body was the smell of decomposition in the air.
It was facedown.
There was a lot of blood.
- He was a white male - Uh-oh.
approximately 50 years of age.
When we turned the body over, we noticed that there was a company logo on one pocket and the name "Troy" sewn above the other.
- Nothing in that right front pocket, Tim? - No, empty, Brian.
This matched up with a report we had of a missing person just several days earlier, and that was the name of Troy Burress.
How did he get to this area? How did that body end up up there and why was it up there? Who did it? Looking back on the investigation, we didn't know how big or how bad this might get.
Fifty-year-old Troy Burress worked as a truck driver for a Florida sausage company.
He had planned on quitting his job because he hated life on the road.
Burress was found shot in the head.
I was a detective sergeant supervising the major crimes detectives.
And I would report to Captain Binegar, who was over the entire Criminal Investigation Division.
I'm Steve Binegar.
Watch your head.
I'm 63 years old.
Usually, I'm in sweats and Crocs.
That's my new uniform of the day since I retired.
- I like my Crocs too.
- Yeah.
I probably blew that.
You're gonna have to I need a teleprompter.
I had about 50 people at the time that were in my division.
I would say it was a big job, especially being 32 years old.
Somebody said I might've been the youngest captain in the sheriff's office history since 1845, but I don't know.
I can't say that for sure.
Hey, Jarvis.
How've you been? - I'm doing good.
- Great.
This is a picture of me in 1998 when I was appointed sheriff.
I was with the sheriff's office for eight and a half years, and I was in the FBI four years.
I always gravitated towards the jobs that I called "day on, stay on," so you're constantly on call.
It was, uh, after hours, I was getting ready to have dinner with my family.
My pager went off.
Another body had been discovered in Marion County.
It was possible homicide.
When I got there, you could see the body off to the side of the pavement, actually almost into the the weeds itself.
The victim looked like he had been shot from different angles.
Almost like he was spinning to try to get away as he was being shot.
Seems like a lot of rage.
There was a lot of anger in the way the crime was committed.
I'm gonna be honest, walking up to this crime scene after 30 years, uh, you know, the the sad part that somebody lost their life right here, a few feet from us, it kind of rushes over you.
You know, what struck me was there was no vehicle.
It looked like it was the same sort of scenario that we're dealing with with the other case.
You know, we had middle-aged men shot multiple times.
We start to see that as a pattern.
So, we sent Sergeant Jarvis to the autopsy.
Seven shots.
So, it was a very, very, uh, angry killing.
His name was Charles Richard Humphreys.
The medical examiner said he had been killed with a .
22 caliber weapon.
A .
22 is the same as the Troy Burress homicide.
The ammunition was all the same, and it was being fired out of a similar firearm each time.
We started to realize there was a good possibility that we were dealing with the same killer.
I worked straight through the night and through the next day.
Charles Humphreys was a 56-year-old former Alabama police chief.
A man who was considered anything but naive.
They took away someone who loved life.
And, of course, the big part of my life.
So, we had Troy Burress.
And we had Humphreys as well.
We followed leads as they came in, but there was very little to go on initially.
And, at one point, we decided to look at the bulletins of unsolved homicides in Central Florida.
We noticed there was a similar case in Citrus County, David Spears, and a similar case in Pasco County, John Doe.
The victims were all middle-aged white men, traveling alone on Central Florida highways.
In each case, .
22 caliber weapons were used.
Also, six months before the death of David Spears, there was another potential victim in Volusia County, a neighboring county.
His name being Richard Mallory.
He had property stolen from the vehicle.
A radar detector and a 35-millimeter camera.
The rest of the victims had items taken as well.
We noticed that the driver's side seat in the vehicles was pulled in the forward-most position.
But if you looked at our victims, they were anywhere from five-foot-ten to six-foot-five.
So, they wouldn't be driving a car with the seat pulled up that far.
I thought back to an incident that occurred on July the Fourth in Marion County.
We recovered a vehicle in the Orange Springs area that belonged to a missing man by the name of Peter Siems.
The vehicle had been damaged, and the seat was all the way forward in the driver's side.
Same as the other cases.
Even though we didn't find a body in that case, we identified some witnesses who had seen two females leaving the vehicle.
One was kind of short and really heavyset.
The other was kind of taller with blond A little shoulder-length blond hair.
They took off from the church in the woods.
The tall blond, she had a scar on her forehead.
And she had blood on her.
So, uh, we had an artist put the composites together for us on these females.
We didn't have any idea what their connection would be.
Could they have stolen the vehicle? We didn't know.
But what we did know is that, if we found them, we'd be able to get some answers.
At this point, we had five bodies, as well as a missing person, all in the space of about four months.
The realization that we might have a serial killer was overwhelming.
It's something we had never dealt with before.
We knew, at this point, we had to ramp up our investigations.
We reached out to dozens of law enforcement.
It became evident that we really needed to work together on this.
So, we knew that every victim was shot with a .
It was copper-jacketed, hollow point.
The striations in the barrel that make the bullet spin, uh, were all the same, always a right twist.
It's almost like a fingerprint for the bullet.
This is the same gun being used in all these homicides.
It's a smaller weapon, it gives less kickback, so it could be that somebody either smaller or weaker might be using a .
We all started leaning in that same direction, that, uh, this could very well be a female.
A female serial killer.
A few weeks later Mr.
Humphreys' car was found, and a receipt was located underneath the front driver's seat of the vehicle.
It had the name of the truck stop in Wildwood, Florida, at Interstate 75 and County Route 44.
We went in, we talked to the clerk.
We asked her about Charles Humphreys and showed her a photo of him.
She didn't recognize him or remember him being in there.
So, we showed the clerk the two composite drawings.
And she said, "I saw them in here.
" "They they purchased something and they left.
" "But these girls were acting kind of giddy, they got my attention.
" This lead was really phenomenal because, now, this was our first real connection to two women tied into a missing person case, possibly being involved in the death of Charles Richard Humphreys.
But we still didn't have any names, so we had to try and find out who these people were.
It was at this point that we had another homicide occur.
That of Walter Gino Antonio.
His vehicle was found.
The license plates had been removed, and the driver's side seat was in the forward-most position.
He was killed with the same type of weapon, same type of ammunition.
This brought the victim count to six, with the possibility of a seventh with Peter Siems.
The killer was making a circle around us and dropping bodies and victims' vehicles along the way.
But that's a very volatile situation.
You know, we just cannot let this go on.
We have to do more.
So, we made the decision to release the composites to the press.
If nothing else, from a public safety standpoint.
But I think we underestimated what kind of media interest this would generate.
It was like a feeding frenzy, like a bunch of piranhas.
The information that we've received, there were a variety of scenarios.
This was bigger than anything I had handled up to that point.
We don't know that at this point.
Right off the bat, they realized this was a story.
Police say, for the first time in criminal history, these killers may be murdering with a feminine touch.
The main suspects are two young women who play damsels in distress along the roadway and then become dames of doom.
We don't know how the suspects are getting close enough to our victims to, uh break down the natural tendency to be wary of strangers.
She may be offering, uh, a sexual favor or asking for some sort of assistance.
Florida drivers aren't stopping for anyone, especially female hitchhikers.
It's just scary, in a way, because, uh Knowing somebody's doing something like that.
I get all these white hairs carrying a gun hoping nobody catches me with it and put me in jail.
I'd rather have the sheriff here in this county catch me with it than two women catch me without it.
I'd say that the pressure kind of went through the roof.
It kind of blew the top off of it.
Once we went public, almost immediately, calls started coming in.
We had obtained over 400 leads on who these composites might be.
Of those 400 leads, four of them gave us good information and they all named the same people.
Tyria Moore and her girlfriend, Lee.
They described Tyria Moore as the short, heavyset individual, and her friend, Lee, as the taller blond.
It was just amazing that, finally, we have something concrete to work with.
The next day, we receive another lead from a detective in Port Orange.
The detective said he had gotten tips from a confidential source on who these girls might be.
And from what the source told him, their last known address was the Fairview Motel in Port Orange.
Investigators check on the Fairview, they talk to the clerk, and they show the clerk the composites.
The clerk looks at them and says, "Oh, yeah.
" "Those girls have been in here.
They stay here regularly.
" "They always want room number eight.
" The tall blond, who went by the name Lee, signed in under the name of Cammie Marsh Greene.
A name that we hadn't heard before.
We found that she lived in Holly Hill, Florida, which is just outside of Daytona Beach.
We checked and determined that she was not involved.
She had not stayed at the Fairview.
So, we knew someone else had used that name and had assumed her identity as well.
The next thing we do is we check the pawn shops.
We knew that the victims had property stolen, and we wanna find out if anyone using any of the names that we had pawned any items.
The detectives in Daytona Beach find a pawn ticket.
And it's in the name of Cammie Marsh Greene.
It's for a box of tools.
And this was an item that had been stolen from the vehicle that belonged to David Spears.
They find a second pawn ticket.
For a radar detector and a 35-millimeter camera.
We know those are the same items stolen from Richard Mallory.
At the time in Florida, the pawn dealers were supposed to get thumbprints of people pawning items.
On the first pawn ticket, with the radar detector and the camera, they failed to get that thumbprint.
But on the second one, there was a thumbprint.
We checked it out through the fingerprint system, it came up as what we call a "No Hit.
" There was no record on file for that thumbprint.
So, the only thing they could do would be do a manual fingerprint search.
And they came back in about 15 minutes with a match.
It was a girl by name of Lori Grody.
Yet another name that we hadn't heard before.
But you have that "aha" moment where something comes together.
It was one of the breakthroughs in the case.
I mean, fingerprints are great.
Next to DNA, they're the best thing you got identifying somebody.
When we checked, a person using the name of Lori Grody had been arrested in Florida for possession of a weapon and skipped out on bond, so we had an arrest warrant and booking photos.
And, as we ran the background on the the criminal history, we found that the actual name of the individual was not Lori Grody.
It was Aileen Wuornos.
We found that Aileen was actually a Michigan native.
She was born there.
She was listed as about five-foot-four-inches tall.
Five-foot-four would be a pretty good size for somebody driving closer to the steering wheel.
We contacted the Michigan State Police, and they did a comprehensive background on her that painted a picture.
It showed that she had a horrible family life.
She didn't have a mother or a father figure.
Her father was a career criminal.
She went out on her own.
By the age of 13, 14, she was now prostituting herself for cigarettes.
She lived in an old car in the woods for a while.
At one point, she bought a gun and was gonna rob a convenience store.
Got arrested for that.
So, at this point in the investigation, we were able to determine that the people we were looking for was definitely Aileen Wuornos, based on the fingerprints, and her girlfriend, Tyria Moore.
We're thinking, "Here are two cold-blooded murderers.
" We're concerned that somebody else could die.
The problem was we didn't know where they were.
All the information that we had developed up to that point indicated that they always seemed to gravitate back over to the Daytona Beach area.
That's when we got Mike Joyner involved in the case.
One of the best undercover guys I've ever met.
We had used him previously where we put him in jail with a possible suspect to try to see if the suspect starts talking about the case.
And he was good, he was really good.
I have worked undercover in contract killings, drug deals, extortion cases, homicide cases.
I've done it to get the baddest of the baddest off the streets if I could.
But this was the first time that I worked a case of this magnitude that women were the suspects.
Captain Binegar was a leader and demanded quality work.
He didn't want you to half-ass do nothing.
And they said, "Mike, what do we do?" "How do we catch them?" "What's your suggestion?" I said, "They're barflies.
" "Take us to Daytona, let us start working all the bars.
Eventually, we're gonna run into them.
" Daytona was wild.
Full of bikers.
You're looking for a barfly in a party town.
I think we were over there for like eight, nine, ten days.
I have no idea how many bars I went into.
If they served a beer, I went in it.
We went to a bar in, uh, Port Orange.
When I headed up to the bar and got me a beer, I looked over and I seen the lady.
The picture looked just like her, but the scar is what alerted me to her.
It was Aileen.
She wasn't with anybody.
Tyria wasn't with her.
I told my partner, "Go tell my captain.
" "Let him know I found her and I'm staying.
" "I'm not letting her out of my sight.
" I got the word that they had located her.
It's like a needle in a haystack.
It was like a miracle moment.
I'm like, "This can't be really happening.
" "This is unbelievable.
" And driving from Ocala to over there, you know, I just felt like I was on cloud nine.
I eased my way over there where she was, at the side of the bar, and I asked her, I said, "Can I buy you a beer?" I had a wad of money in my pocket.
Money can open up anybody's mouth.
And maybe get her confidence to maybe say something that nobody else would know about the homicides.
And that was our goal.
That woman, though, she can drink a beer now, I promise you.
She was very friendly.
Until she got enough to drink in her she turned.
I've been known to take a shot from a pool stick.
And she hit me across the back with hers.
I went to my knees.
I just got up and I said, "You effing idiot!" "Why did you hit me?" She reached out there, and hugged my neck and said, "Honey, I don't know.
" "It just comes over me.
" And I let it go.
But it makes you keep your guard up.
If she could've killed seven people why not eight? She come up with the idea we need to go to The Last Resort.
It is a unique place.
Very much a biker bar.
We had a surveillance team out front.
I told her I was going to gas up my truck.
So, when I did, I met some of the guys, and they put a wire on me.
Let me know you hear me.
- You hear me? - Yep.
Okay, bud.
I was actually just down the street listening to the conversations on the body mic.
But there's a lot that's out of your control.
She might have been carrying a gun.
A .
22 revolver.
It's It's risky.
Grab me a beer.
We started drinking again.
She kept saying she had nowhere to live, no money.
That's why I kept pulling out my money and buying stuff.
Yeah, I'd definitely like to stay in contact with you and all.
You're my type.
It wasn't a flirting, it was a baiting for the next victim.
It's just that, you know, I am so fucked up, - and so hurt that - Why you hurting so bad? What's wrong? I lost somebody I was in love for five years with.
Run off and left you or something? Yep.
And then she started telling me about Tyria.
She was very upset that Tyria had left.
How long y'all been broke up? - Two weeks.
You want it? - That's hard.
But the thing about it, you come into this world, you had nothing but a naked ass and not a dime, and you made it, didn't you? - Huh? - Yes.
All right.
By God, you can do it again, then.
She loved Tyria so much.
She just was devastated.
She said, "Let's go out tonight.
" "I'll show you a big time.
" "Bring all your money, and I know some places we can go.
" Well I kind of figured what that was.
So, I excuse myself to the bathroom, and I told my backup team, I said, "Guys, this is This is it, okay?" If we leave, I'm gonna be your next victim.
And I said, "Piss on the fire and call in the dogs.
" "This hunt's over with.
" I walk outside Hey, if you hear me, she wants to walk.
Blow the horn if you hear me.
She wants to walk now.
Okay, buddy.
We're gonna try to get her outside first, right? All right, is everybody ready? Even though we didn't have enough to charge her with a homicide at that point Come here, baby! I said we gotta arrest her on the outstanding warrant under the name of Lori Grody for carrying a concealed firearm.
Gotta take her down.
Sheriff's department, Volusia County.
Step over there a minute.
What's your name, pal? Hey.
My name's Jones, man.
What's wrong? My name is investigator Horzepa with the sheriff's office.
- Volusia County Warrants Division.
- Yeah? - Can I see some ID? - I ain't got none, man.
I don't want her to know I'm an undercover cop.
I want her to try to talk to me some more.
- Let me see some ID.
- I ain't got no identification.
Let me see some I ain't got no fucking identification! I ain't got none! I ain't got no fucking felony, man! You can see Mike getting combative with the officers.
He was really playing the part.
I wanna know what the hell is going on here.
- I'll tell you, you're under arrest.
- For what? - For a warrant! - For what warrant? A warrant! Four years ago, you didn't show up to court.
And then they just put us in the back of the patrol car.
They left us there for me to try to get some more out of her if I could.
- What's going on, girl? - I don't know! What do they mean by a warrant? I have no idea.
Honey, you're probably one of these little undercover suckers that Doing some kind of shit that I don't know what's going on and - Who you talking about? - You ain't - Who the fuck you talking about? - I don't know what's going on! I don't know what the fuck's going on either! Neither do I! We got no confession, no mention of the homicide.
No gun.
We didn't have anything.
- You don't even remember me, do you? - Yeah, I do.
Did we have enough evidence to convict her? No.
When I heard the news, I was in the sheriff's office.
There was really no time to sit back and relax, because getting a confession under these circumstances is gonna be very difficult.
We had to decide how to approach Aileen, and Mike was a key part of this investigation because now we know she felt so strongly about Tyria.
Mike was very adamant that she would do anything for her, so we knew we had to locate her.
We received a lead that had named Tyria Moore and given a phone number for her.
The detectives brought her back down to Florida, and they interviewed her.
If Tyria decided to not cooperate, then we'd kind of be back to square one.
She was key to this case.
Okay, first of all, how do you know Aileen? Um, I met her in a gay bar in South Daytona in June of 1986.
We lived together for four years, and started out as lovers, and later we were just like sisters more.
I think think she was very nervous.
But it was a relief that she was so cooperative.
She came home one morning with a two-door Cadillac.
Now, this would have been when? In December of '89.
We were sitting on the living room floor, and she openly confessed that she had shot and killed a man that day.
She's talking about the Mallory homicide in Volusia County.
That Aileen told her that she had shot a guy that day.
And, at first, I didn't believe her.
'Cause she lies about a lot of things.
But I saw it about a week later on the news.
- I heard.
- You heard It's like taking a big exhale.
If there was ever any doubt in anybody's mind that we were after the right person, you know, the pieces were all starting to fit together.
If you're looking at the letter of the law, she had a responsibility to report that, and she didn't.
Could you charge her? Yes.
But it was a prosecutor's decision to say, "We wanna use her as a witness, not as a co-defendant.
" I mean, she was scared to death that she was gonna have to go to prison also.
So, Tyria flipped and said she would help us get a confession out of Aileen.
So, we set her up in a motel room in Daytona and had her make contact with Aileen.
She wrote out a letter and sent it to her in the jail and said, "I'm at this motel, here's the number.
" "Call me, I'm scared.
" I iterated to Tyria, "Prove to her how scared you are and make Aileen believe it.
" We were hopeful Aileen would do what she needed to do as far as trying to keep Tyria as much out of this as possible.
Tyria was sitting on the bed.
It would be like church bells going off.
Everybody stood up and sprang up.
Tyria answered the phone.
It was Aileen.
- Hi.
- Hey.
What the hell's going on? They've called.
They've been up to my parents' again.
They've got my sister now asking her questions.
I don't know what's going on.
Why are they asking your sister questions? - I don't know.
- Hmm.
Lee, I think they're coming after me, I know they are.
No, they're not, you're innocent.
I'm not gonna let you go to jail you hear me? You evidently don't love me anymore, you don't trust me or anything.
You're gonna let me get in trouble for something I didn't do.
I said I'm not! Tyria was very emotional, and that was not put on.
- Why in the hell did you do this? - Huh? - Why did you do this? - I don't know.
- Listen, Ty.
- What? I'm probably never gonna see you again, you know that? Yes.
I love you.
I mean, you can't help but it pull at your heartstrings a little bit.
If I have to confess everything just to keep you from getting in trouble, I will.
- Okay.
- So, don't worry, okay? Okay.
I love you.
Well, do it now, get it over with.
- Right this very moment? - Yes, get it over with.
- All right.
- Okay.
- All right.
I love you.
- Okay, bye.
Aileen really cared about Tyria.
She really did.
Probably the most stable relationship she had in her entire life.
Within an hour of her getting off the phone with Tyria, she reached out to corrections officers at the jail.
She was ready to talk.
Okay, so then what you're telling us is you're voluntarily coming forward to talk to us now.
Yeah, to let you know that I'm the one that did the killing.
The truth comes out.
I know that I don't want my girlfriend involved.
She did not do anything, and I'm trying to make this clear, that's why I'm confessing.
Just, uh She was protecting Tyria, but she was also being truthful.
I just felt a You know, a great relief.
But what I did, I don't understand why I did it, I just don't.
I I just don't.
I should have never done it.
See, most of times, I was drunk as hell, and I was a professional hooker.
You know, she had a tough life.
But there's a lot of people out there that's had tough lives, and they don't go on a killing spree.
They were bad, 'cause they were gonna hurt me.
This person was either gonna physically beat me up, rape me or kill me.
And I don't know which one.
And I just turned around and did my fair play before I would get hurt.
I don't know that anybody, including her, knows exactly why she did it.
Some people, that's all they wanna concentrate on, but that, uh That really wasn't my job.
My job was to figure out who committed these murders and put that person where they needed to be, and that was, you know, behind bars.
There was never any evidence that indicated that Tyria Moore was responsible for any of these homicides.
She was critical to making, uh, the case against Wuornos.
- She loved you, didn't she? - Yes.
She said she'd do anything for you, didn't she? Yes, she did.
And in order for her to say what you wanted her to, you lied to her.
- Right? - Yes.
In Deland, Florida, tomorrow, a judge will sentence the first female serial killer ever brought to trial in this country.
Today, the jury in the case recommended that Aileen Wuornos get the electric chair.
Wuornos is a prostitute.
She was convicted of killing a man who picked her up for sex.
There was something that would flip her off, like a switch going off to where she went into this mode where she was that aggressor, that predator, and she would, uh, be out for the kill.
There's no sense in keeping keeping me alive, because I just would absolutely kill again.
I've got too much anger, too much hatred in me.
Thirty years after the deaths of these men, there's this fascination from people that they're looking at a real true crime story that could just as well be fiction, as wild as it is.
You see a picture of her, and they even got her victims up there.
I didn't know that.
I just retired last year, and, uh, we're still talking about it.
So, I guess it's gonna follow me to the grave.
I don't know.
So, Steve, just watch the mic for us.
I wouldn't have done anything any different.
I'm glad that no one had to suffer because of her hands anymore.
But I'm sad that she killed seven people.
And my part of it is over with.
I crawl back in my dirt hole, I hide from the public and wait for the next time.

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