1-2 Journal: Topic Selection


In this assignment, you will review the final project, select a scenario, and categorize the type of crime in the scenario.

Begin this assignment by reviewing the Final Project Guidelines and Rubric. Next, select a case from the three scenarios provided:

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  1. White Collar Crime
  2. Serial Murderer
  3. Domestic Terror

In addition to the information provided in the scenarios, you are welcome to independently research these cases in order to gain additional information to support your work on this project. Describe why you selected the chosen scenario. What type of crime is represented in your chosen scenario? Based on the information read in the scenario, reflect on the individual’s potential motivation in committing the crime. Explain using specific examples.

To complete this assignment, review the following documents:

1-1 Discussion: What influences a person’s motivation to commit a crime? Think about developmental, biological, and situational factors that contribute to the person’s behavior.


Module One Assignment


Aileen Wuornos was born on February 29, 1956, in Rochester, Michigan. She got upbrought by the grandparents after her mother abandoned her and her father committed suicide in prison. Wuornos’s grandparents suffered from alcoholism and neglectful and violent behavior, which included occasionally forcing the Wuornos children out of the home to live in the woods (Aileen Wuornos, 2017). Wuornos also claimed that her grandfather had engaged in sexual contact with her and her older brother from a very early age. She got pregnant at 14 and delivered to a son had to be adopted.

In around mid-1970s, she barely subsisted as she often hitchhiked and engaged in numerous sexual activities to survive. She got shortly married to some financially abled man who was a yacht club president but all ended as she got arrested over engaging a brawl at the bar. Upon the death of her brother, show succeeded to be the beneficiary of life insurance policy but instead she spent the money on luxury car which unfortunately ended in a wreckage.

In 1984, she met Tyria Moore, 24-year-old man at a bar in Daytona, Florida. They intensely got engaged in a romantic affair for several years. Her life continued being pathetic as her work revolved around being a prostitute to commitment of various notable crimes such as theft, forgery and assault and armed robbery. By 1990, Wuornos had already murdered seven men along the Florida highways. Together with his boyfriend, Moore, they got tracked down by the securities and arrested. She however claimed that she had killed Mallory in self-defense but upon being coaxed, she retracted her assertion. She argued that killing of the six other men occurred due to self-defense. A jury found Wuornos guilty of first-degree murder for the Mallory case and she got the death penalty. She pleaded guilty to the murders of five other men, which resulted in a death sentence for each plea. Wuornos finally admitted that she killed Siems, whose body was never recovered. Despite repeated efforts to avoid execution, she got executed by lethal injection on October 9, 2002.

This is a case of a serial killer; which entails killing at least three people for a period of time. Usually, serial killers are motivated specific psychological needs including power wrangles and related desires, revenge or control (Miller, 2014). In this case, Wuornos had unclear intention or motivation for murders. She had contradicting arguments which later retracted upon being probed (Pearson, 2007). She claimed that she was acting on self-defense but was found guilty and granted death penalty for the seven counts of murders. For this matter, it is highly probable that she committed the murders due to revenge for having experienced great deal of abuse and trauma during the childhood. Moreover, the likely reason for committing the crime was due to the need of control as she was unable to control the past traumatic events.

  1. Crime Assessment

Data and evidence of similar crimes can be used to compare and draw conclusions the factors of motivations to the individual in the case. In this case, the evidence suggests there is a pattern of violent behavior, including murder, robbery, and assault. Wuornos exhibited that she had a history of engaging in prostitution, which may have been related to her acts of violence, as she may have been attempting to protect herself from potential assailants. Additionally, Wuornos’s childhood was marked by neglect and abuse, which could have led to her feeling of powerlessness and her need to take control.

The patterns found in similar crimes can be used to make inferences about Wuornos’s motivation. She targeted men with previous links and conviction of sexual assault which prompted her attempt to revenge against the purported abusers. She also engaged in robbery and theft likely due to lack of money or resources that she could not acquire legally. Her frequent engagement with aliases and relating with Moore shows that she tried to evade law enforcement and needed support and companionship.

Based on the patterns identified in similar cases, and the data and evidence in the Wuornos case, it is possible to infer that Wuornos’ motivations were likely related to her traumatic childhood and life experiences. Wuornos experienced profound psychosocial trauma as a child, including being raised by an alcoholic grandmother and a violent and neglectful grandfather. Wuornos also experienced poverty, was involved in prostitution, and had a tumultuous relationship with her romantic partner. All of these factors may have contributed to her motivations for committing the murders.




Aileen Wuornos. (2017, April 27). Biography. https://www.biography.com/crime-figure/aileen-wuornos.

Miller, L. (2014). Serial killers: I. Subtypes, patterns, and motives. Aggression and Violent Behavior19(1), 1-11.

Pearson, K. (2007). The trouble with Aileen Wuornos, feminism’s “first serial killer””. Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, 4(3): 256–275. doi:10.1080/14791420701472791.