After releasing the sketches of two women who were seen abandoning Peter Siems’ car, police were flooded with tips. Callers identified the dark-haired woman as Tyria or Ty Moore. Her blonde companion, on the other hand, was known to tipsters by a number of names, including Susan Blahovec, Lee Blahovec and Cammie Marsh Greene.
Detectives soon discovered that Cammie Marsh Greene had pawned items belonging to Richard Mallory. The thumbprint left at the pawnshop, as well as a palm print found in Siems’ car, matched yet another alias, that of Lori Grody. Working with various law enforcement agencies across the country, police soon discovered that Greene, Grody and both Blahovecs were in fact all one and the same woman…Aileen Wuornos.
Undercover detectives tracked Wuornos to the Last Resort, a biker bar in Port Orange, Florida. She was arrested on January 9, 1991, on an outstanding warrant under the Grody name. Tyria Moore, who was in Pennsylvania at the time, was approached by police the following day.
During questioning, Moore did admit to learning about the Richard Mallory murder after the fact, and to having her suspicions about where Wuornos had gotten some possessions, but professed innocence of any further wrongdoing. In order to obtain immunity from prosecution for the murders, Moore initiated a series of calls to Wuornos, who was being held in jail. Appealing to her girlfriend’s sympathies, Moore asked Wuornos to tell police that she was not guilty and had not participated in the killings.
On January 16, Wuornos did just that. During her confession, however, she repeatedly asserted that each murder was a case of self-defense. The men had each committed various crimes against her, ranging from threats of violence to rape, and she killed them out of fear for her own life. Her confession was the first of many times she would tell her story, with each recounting different from the last. Wuornos even came to believe she might make money from her tale, as various parties who were involved in her case began receiving book and movie offers even at that early stage of the case.
The media circus also attracted the attention of Arlene Pralle, a Florida woman nine years Wuornos’ senior. Citing divine guidance, Pralle began to correspond with Wuornos and arrange interviews for the accused as well as her. In November, in a move she again said was guided by God, Pralle and her husband legally adopted Wuornos.
After numerous delays, including changes of defense attorneys, Wuornos finally went to trial just over a year after her arrest. While the previous 12 months had been filled with odd occurrences, the strangest things were yet to come.