Aileen Wuornos is one of the most famous female serial killers in history. She killed seven men while working as a prostitute, claiming that they tried to sexually assault her. Her girlfriend, Tyria Moore, convinced her to confess her crimes to the police. Here are ten facts about Tyria:
1. Tyria and Aileen met in a biker bar.
Tyria, or “Ty”, met Aileen Wuornos in a Florida biker bar in June 1986. At the time, Ty was 24 years old and worked as a hotel maid. She recalled the evening: “She was in there alone, I was in there alone…we started a conversation and she went home with me that night.” They spent the weekend together and became a couple.
2. Tyria was Aileen Wuornos’s longest relationship.
Aileen was 30 years old and working as a highway prostitute when she met Ty. She'd been through a serious of short relationships with men and had even been married for nine weeks to Lewis Gratz Fell. But in Ty, Aileen found someone special. She was in love. Ty became the center of her universe and their relationship lasted for four years.
3. Tyria disapproved of Aileen’s prostitution.
Ty and Aileen lived in cheap motels and trailers, and even in the woods a couple of times. Aileen supported them through her prostitution on the Florida highways. However, Ty didn’t approve of her work. “Once I found out she was prostituting, I tried everything I could to have her stop doing that…for one, it’s not safe, and then I did care about her. But she…she never gave it up.”
Despite their disagreement, the two remained close. Aileen considered Ty to be her wife and enjoyed providing for her. When Aileen was home, they spent time together watching television or drinking in bars. Aileen, the more dominant one, frequently got into altercations. Between 1987–1988, she was questioned by police at least three times for hitting a man with a beer bottle, vandalizing her apartment (along with Ty), and making threatening phone calls to a supermarket.
4. Tyria knew about at least one of the murders.
On November 30, 1989, Aileen shot and killed Richard Mallory, a man who she said tried to rape her. She drove home in Mallory’s Cadillac and confessed the murder to Tyria. “We were sitting on the floor watching TV. She just come out and said, ‘I have something to tell you.’ And I asked her what. And she said she had shot and killed a man that day.”
Tyria later told police that she'd told Aileen that she didn’t want to know any more. The following year, Aileen Wuornos killed more men, shooting them and stealing their belongings. Ty’s suspicions grew as Aileen brought home more stolen items. She refused to listen when Aileen tried to tell her where she got them, fearing that she might be forced to call the police if she heard the truth.
To complicate matters, Aileen had grown increasingly angry and unstable. Although she’d promised Ty that she would never hurt her, Ty was afraid of what Aileen might do if she felt betrayed.
They fell into a lifestyle of pawning the stolen belongings of murdered men for cash and driving their cars. It was through these practices that the two were eventually caught.
5. Tyria’s involvement was discovered through a car accident.
On July 4th, 1990, Aileen and Ty ran off the road in a 1988 Pontiac Sunbird near Orange Springs, Florida. The car belonged to Peter Siems, a 65-year-old man who had disappeared the month before.
A witness said that she saw two women climb out of the car, cursing and throwing beer cans into the forest. The blonde one was bleeding. She provided the police with descriptions, and they sent out a nationwide bulletin.
Calls came in identifying the two women. Aileen’s bloody handprint on the car was matched to a thumbprint on a Daytona pawn shop card used for items belonging to Richard Mallory. As the police closed in, Aileen killed three more men. When Ty heard that she and Aileen were wanted, she moved to Pittston, Pennsylvania to live with her sister.
On January 9, 1991, police arrested Aileen at the Last Resort, a biker bar in Port Orange, Florida. The next day, Ty was located in Pittston. Two officers took her statement, but didn't charge her with anything.
6. Tyria agreed to help the police.
The police approached Ty with an offer she couldn’t refuse: get Aileen Wuornos to confess in exchange for immunity. Ty agreed, and returned to Florida where the police set her up in a motel room in Daytona.
7. Tyria convinced Aileen to confess.
The police provided Ty with a cover story: her mother had given her money to return to Florida and collect her things. They instructed Ty to tell Aileen that the police were questioning her family and that she believed she would be blamed for the murders.
Quick note: Aileen wrote an autobiography which I highly recommend to anyone interested in a more intimate window into her life. It's called Monster: My True Story and you can check it out here. Its a great read.
The first phone call took place on January 14, 1991. Aileen was cagey about giving any details and seemed to refer to events in code. Ty persisted with further phone calls, each growing more frantic. By the sixth call, Aileen assured Ty that she would not let her go to jail. On January 16, Aileen confessed to the murders of seven men and expressly stated that Ty was innocent.
8. Tyria testified against Aileen, who was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death.
Tyria described to the jury about how Aileen told her that she killed Richard Mallory, and that she did not seem upset or drunk at the time. Aileen cried as the telephone confession tapes were played. Afterwards, she was convicted of murder.
9. Tyria Was Not Depicted As Selby Wall in Monster
In the 2003 movie about Aileen Wuornos, Tyria moore was replaced by a fictitious character named Selby Wall, played by Christina Ricci. Tyria is reputed to be litigious and protective of her reputation, so the director created a new character in order to avoid any potential issues.
10. Tyria Moore: Where is she now?
According to recent public records, Ty lives in Pennsylvania with her wife and family. Serial killer Aileen Wuornos' girlfriend Tyria Moore has been the subject of much speculation. Tyria was said to be the love of Aileen’s tragic life; Aileen would do anything for her. But during the four-year relationship, Aileen killed seven men while working as a highway prostitute.
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Tyria claimed to be unaware of the murders, yet her suspicions grew when Aileen brought home stolen cars and goods that they later sold at pawn shops. When the police finally caught up with them, Tyria worked with them to draw a confession from Aileen, which ultimately resulted in a murder conviction and the death penalty. What kind of life did Aileen Wuornos and Tyria Moore share and why did Tyria help the police? Did she have a role in Aileen’s crimes or was she innocent?