John Wayne and Lorena Bobbitt
n the years following their 1989 marriage, the relationship between John Wayne Bobbitt, 26, and his Ecuadorian wife, Lorena, 24, grew increasingly strained. Their marital problems allegedly stemmed from a combination of the couple's financial troubles, John's extramarital affairs and his intensifying emotional and physical abuse of his wife. Their troubles peaked on June 23, 1993 when John came home to their Manassas, Va., apartment intoxicated after a night of partying and allegedly forced his wife to have sex, Lorena later testified during a 1994 court hearing.
Lorena was traumatized by the experience. In a state of shock she got out of bed and went to the kitchen for a drink of water. While there she noticed an eight-inch carving knife on the counter and when she picked it up "memories of past abuse raced through her head," such as the first time he raped her, "the put-downs" and the abortion, Linda Pershing reported in a National Women's Studies Association Journal article. Lorena then went to the bedroom with the knife in hand, removed the sheets that covered her sleeping husband and cut off almost half of his penis, the report further suggested.
As John lay in shock losing vast amounts of blood, Lorena left the apartment, got in the car and drove off. In her panic she hadn't realized that she was still clutching John's penis. Horror-struck, she rolled down the window of the moving vehicle and threw it out into a field.
When she recovered her senses, she stopped and called 911. John was rushed to the hospital, where he was treated for his horrendous wound. He was informed that he would likely never be able to have sex again because his organ sustained such massive damage. Yet, hours later after an exhaustive search, the police located his penis. They packed it in ice and rushed it to the hospital.
Surgeons operated on John for more than 9 hours to reattach his penis. The procedure was an astounding success and doctors believed that he would regain full functioning after a yearlong recovery process. Even though they were optimistic about John's physical condition, they realized that the emotional damage would likely last much longer.
In the meantime, Lorena was taken into custody and charged with malicious wounding. Pershing said that during her arrest Lorena commented to police that "He always have [sic] [an] orgasm and he doesn't wait for me to have [an] orgasm. He's selfish." That was the reason she gave for severing his penis.
John Wayne Bobbitt's ordeal and Lorena's arrest prompted media attention from around the world. Even though John's 1993 acquittal of marital sexual abuse received little coverage, the January 1994 trial gained tremendous attention. Pershing quoted a Newsweek poll that revealed that an astounding 60% of the U.S. population followed the case.
During a week and half of testimony, America listened as John and Lorena revealed details of their volatile relationship and the events leading up to and including the severing of John's penis. While on the stand, Lorena said that John frequently abused her physically by kicking her, choking her and repeatedly raping her. She testified that she was also emotionally abused when John flaunted a list of women with whom he allegedly had affairs and forced her to abort their child.
Other witnesses provided supporting testimony, saying that they had seen the results of Lorena's abuse, such as bruises and cuts on her body. Even John's friends said that he often bragged "about how he liked to force Lorena to have sex and how he controlled and dominated her," Pershing reported. The defense suggested it was only a matter of time before Lorena snapped. At the time of the wounding, psychologists claimed that she was suffering from clinical depression and possibly posttraumatic stress disorder.
John flatly denied any form of abuse, either emotional or physical. However, when he was cross-examined, his story often conflicted with known facts. This severely weakened the prosecution's case.
The jury found Lorena to be more credible. After 7 hours of deliberation, the jury found Lorena "not guilty" due to temporary insanity. The judge ordered Lorena to undergo a 45-day evaluation period at a mental hospital after which she would be released.
Not surprisingly, the couple eventually divorced. John went on to star in two pornographic movies. He then moved to Nevada where he worked as a bartender, limo driver, mover and tow truck operator. He was even a minister of a Las Vegas Church.
John also managed to wrack up a considerable criminal record. Tanith Carey reported for The Mirror that, "he was arrested seven times for offenses ranging from assault to grand larceny." Some of the charges included domestic violence, such as when he allegedly beat his ex-fiancée, Kristina Elliott, and punched his third wife, Joanne Ferrell, on two occasions. To date, John continues to live in Nevada where he is trying to eke out a new life and stay out of trouble.
After the trial, Lorena was treated as a feminist
hero. She tried to keep a low profile and stay out of the limelight but in 1998 she was arrested for punching her mother, South Coast Today reported in a 1998 article. It is not known if she served any time but if she did, it was likely brief.
After all that has been said and done, the mere mention of Lorena's name continues to raise eyebrows, evoke chuckles and make men protectively cross their legs. It was a case that made many men think twice about inflicting abuse on their spouse. Unfortunately, not everyone got the message.
Criminal acts involving the forcible removal of one's penis or testicles are rare. However, when it does happen the media is quick to sensationalize it because it is such a cruel and gruesome action that few can fathom. Many violent castrations and penile removals are self-inflicted, usually by men who are mentally instable. Many more instances of forcible genitalia removal occur in times of war as a form of torture and humiliation. Very few cases involve acts of revenge on one's partner or are carried out in self-defense.
Many who have been lucky to survive such a horrific experience never regained the full use of their organ. Yet, with recent advances in penis replantation (reattachment) microsurgery, the sex lives of men who've suffered severe genital trauma and amputation are slowly being restored. The fact is, the better the condition of the amputated parts at the time of the operation, the higher the success rate. If too many hours elapse between the time the penis is severed and re-attachment, there is less of a chance that the operation will be successful because of tissue death. If the severed penis has been immediately packed in ice after the trauma, there is a reduced chance of this occurring.
Re-plantation of the testicles is an extremely rare procedure. In many cases the testicles can be reattached, yet the sperm production is often severely hampered. There is a greater success rate of a full recovery if the testicles are re-planted within a relatively short period of time following the initial trauma. If at least one of the testes remains after a criminal castration, the victim will likely be able to produce enough sperm to have children. Thus, there is less need for replantation of the other organ, except for esthetic purposes.
Cut and Flushed
In February 2005, Vietnamese immigrant Kim Tran, 35, of Anchorage, Alaska, snapped after her boyfriend, 44, threatened to break up with her. Allegedly, the man Tran was having a relationship with her while he was married to her aunt. In fact, the three lived together for a period of time until the man moved out earlier in the year after problems among the three worsened, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
Then late in the evening on February 19, an argument erupted between Tran and her unidentified partner. The couple quarreled because "Tran wanted the man to leave his wife, marry her and have children with her, according to the Anchorage Daily News. However, the man just wanted a sexual relationship with her, which made Tran feel "used and angry."
Following the fight, the couple engaged in sexual relations, during which Tran tied her partner's hands above his head and to the windowsill, Alaska's NBC-10 News reported. While the man was tied up, Tran went to the kitchen, got a knife then went back into the bedroom. In a fit of anger, she used the knife to sever her partner's penis, which she then flushed down the toilet, the article stated.
Tran then untied the seriously wounded man and drove him to Providence Alaska Medical Center's emergency room. Aurand said the man was still conscious and able to walk, although he was "shaking and in shock." While the man was being cared for, Tran left the hospital and returned home to clean the bloody crime scene at the man's home on Moose Run Circle.
The police arrived shortly and arrested Tran. When they learned that she had flushed her partner's penis down the toilet, the police employed the help of the Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility to try to retrieve the missing organ. A utility worker managed to dislodge the toilet from its base, which was then tipped over into the bathtub, Aurand reported. The penis, which was stuck in the toilet, fell out into the tub, was packed on ice and rushed to the hospital.
Amazingly, surgeons were able to successfully reattach the organ. However, it is unclear whether the man will regain full use of his penis. Doctors say that only time can tell if the operation was a complete success.
Tran has since been charged with three felony counts including, first-degree sexual assault, domestic violence and tampering with evidence. She remains incarcerated at the Anchorage jail awaiting trial.
Amanda Monti, 24, of Liverpool, England couldn't handle being spurned by her ex-boyfriend, Geoffrey Jones, 37. During a house party the two attended on May 30, 2004, a drunken argument ensued purportedly because Jones rejected Monti's sexual advances. An outraged Monti grabbed at Jones' face and the two began to struggle.
Consequently, "Jones threw petite Monti, who is little more than 5ft 2in tall, out of the house," Sun Online reported. Monti managed to lure Jones out of the house after she smashed a window. The two wrestled again, and Monti was knocked down.
While on the ground, she reached up and pulled Jones' shorts down, leaving him in his underpants. Even though Jones was already thoroughly embarrassed it wasn't enough for Monti, who was still fuming. She then grabbed at his groin area and pulled so hard that his underpants came off.
Jones said in a BBC News article that he found himself "completely naked and in excruciating pain." Jones then hobbled back into the house and into the kitchen to try and avoid further confrontation with Monti. While there, his friend who witnessed the event approached Jones and said, "That's yours," Will Batchelor reported in a Scotsman.com article. To Jones utter shock, he looked down into his friend's hand and saw his testicle in it, which Monti had ripped completely off during the struggle.
His friend had seized the testicle from Monti's hands moments earlier. BBC News reported that she tried to dispose of the evidence by stuffing Jones' severed organ in her mouth and trying to swallow it before choking it back up. Jones was immediately taken to the hospital where doctors tried to reattach his testicle. However, the operation proved unsuccessful.
Later in a Liverpool Crown Court, Monti pleaded guilty to assaulting her ex-boyfriend, although she had little memory of the event. According to the BBC, Monti wrote a letter to the court saying she was sorry for what she had done and that she had no intention of causing him harm. Monti was sentenced in February 2005 to two and a half years behind bars for the assault. The judgment did little to soothe Jones who claimed that the attack ruined his life, causing not only permanent physical disfigurement but also long-term emotional damage.
On February 22, 2001, after undergoing treatment at a drug rehabilitation center and serving time at a halfway house, James J. Felbaum, 40, returned home to his wife, Tammy L. Felbaum, 42. It was not exactly a happy homecoming. Tammy, a post-operational transgender woman previously known as Thomas, fought with her 6th husband that same day because he allegedly took highly addictive prescription pain killers, ThePittsburghChannel.com reported in a December 2001 article. Moreover, Tammy was upset because she believed James cheated on her, the article stated.
Following the argument, Tammy claimed she went to sleep only to awake the next day and find that James had partially castrated himself in their Butler County, Pa., trailer. According to the report, James handed her his testicles and said, "'Don't ever say I don't love you,' in an attempt to prove that he was not cheating on her." Apparently, he failed to complete the job. Tammy later said that the "surgery went awry" and she stepped in to help him after making James sign a consent form, Johnna Pro and Cindi Lash reported in a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article. Tammy assisted by completing the full castration and stitching her husband up on a makeshift operation table in their living room. After all, she was somewhat experienced with the procedure because she had performed the same operation on herself when she was 21, before her sex change operation, AP Worldstream reported.
Pro and Lash said that a friend of the couple arrived at their trailer on the evening of the 23rd and noticed that James was "lying in a blood-soaked bed" and that his scrotum was stitched up. It was further reported that James told his friend that he "ruptured himself" in a car accident and underwent surgery. When his friend tried to urge him to go to the hospital to seek treatment, James flatly refused.
There is no doubt that James suffered terribly from the castration. To reduce the pain, he took a staggering amount of painkillers. The following Sunday Tammy found James unconscious. She feared he might have overdosed and she immediately called the paramedics.
James was pronounced dead shortly upon his arrival at the hospital. To establish a cause of death, the assistant coroner performed an autopsy during which they discovered his castration and a lethal dosage of drugs in his system. His suspicious death led to Tammy's arrest.
Tammy was charged with third-degree murder, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and unauthorized practice of medicine. She was also charged with animal cruelty because during a search of their property, investigators found "numerous dead animals including turtles, a parakeet and a cat that had been strung up in a tree in the back yard," Pro and Lash reported. She was held at the Cambria County Jail until her trial in December 2001.
During the brief trial, it was discovered that James died not as a direct result from the castration but from choking on his own vomit, which was induced by the drug overdose. Tammy was found guilty anyway of several charges including, involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and the unauthorized practice of medicine. In February 2002, she was sentenced to up to 11 years in prison. She continues to maintain her innocence to this day.
Wayne DuMond, a decorated Vietnam veteran, handyman and father of six, was convicted in August 1985 of the rape of a 17-year-old cheerleader from Forrest City, Arkansas. The girl was the daughter of a prominent Arkansas mortician and a distant cousin of former president Bill Clinton.
On March 7, 1985, while free on bond awaiting trial, DuMond was savagely attacked. Matt Stearns of The Kansas City Star stated in a June 2001 article that two masked men broke into his Forrest City house, "armed with a handgun, a razor blade and fishing wire." They "hogtied him and forced him to perform oral sex on one of them" and then "castrated him with the fishing wire and the razor blade," it was further reported.
DuMond's two sons found him not long after. He had lost an enormous amount of blood and was barely alive when he was rushed to the hospital. However, he managed to survive the attack.
DuMond claimed that the crime was committed out of revenge. Yet if it were, it was not clear if it was revenge for the rape of the teenage cheerleader or for something else. Steve Dunleavy suggested in a 1996 New York Post article that a local crooked sheriff, Coolidge Conlee, who ran an illegal car-theft ring and was later convicted of extortion, racketeering and drug dealing, might have been behind the castration because DuMond threatened to expose him.
Dunleavy said that the two men acted on Conlee's orders. However, the claims have remained unsubstantiated. Interestingly, neither of the men who crudely castrated DuMond was arrested, even though one later confessed to a state police officer, Dunleavy further claimed.
According to a Ward Harkavy article in The Village Voice, not long after the violent castration, Conlee went to DuMond's home, scooped up his testicles from the scene and put them in a fruit jar filled with formaldehyde to preserve them. It was further reported that Conlee then proudly displayed the jar with the testicles in them on his desk with the warning "that's what happens to people who fool around in my county." Conlee later flushed the testicles down the toilet.
DuMond later filed suit in a St. Francis County federal court against Conlee for humiliating him by displaying his testicles, Ward Harkavy reported in The Village Voice. DuMond won and was awarded $110,000. He wouldn't be so lucky at his next trial.
After DuMond physically recovered from his injuries he finally attended his rape trial. Even though DNA evidence recovered from the crime failed to link DuMond to the rape, the victim was able to positively identify him as her attacker. The victim's testimony was enough for the jury who later found him guilty of rape and sentenced him to life plus 20 years in prison.
In 1992, former Lieutenant Governor Jim Guy Tucker reduced DuMond's sentence to 39 years, which made him eligible for parole, David Lieb said in an AP Online article. In 1996, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee planned to release DuMond from prison based on a lack of sufficient DNA evidence related to the rape investigation. However, he "abandoned his plan" after a public outcry and denied DuMond clemency, Stearns said. In 1999, DuMond was released from prison on parole but his freedom was short-lived.
In January 2004, DuMond was sentenced again to life in prison for the 2000 murder of Carol Sue Shields, 39. Shields was found bound and suffocated "on the bed in the apartment of a man with whom she had been having an affair," Dana Fields said in an AP Online article. DNA evidence, which was found under the victim's nails, linked DuMond to the crime. Aside from the 1985 rape conviction, DuMond had also been previously arrested for sexual assaults in 1972, 1973 and in 1976.
AnchorageDaily News (February 22, 2005). "Mutilation suspect still jailed without bail."
AP Worldstream (December 15, 2001). "Transsexual woman guilty of manslaughter in husband's castration death."
Aurand, Anne (February 21, 2005). "Anchorage woman cut off boyfriend's penis, police say." Anchorage Daily News.
Batchelor, Will (January 11, 2005). "Woman tore off ex-lover's testicle, court told." Scotsman.com.
BBC News (January 2005). "Woman jailed for testicle attack."
Carey, Tanith January 24, 2004). "John Bobbitt uncutby second wife." The Mirror.
Dunleavy, Steve (June 1996). "A travesty of justice." New York Post.
Fields, Dana (November 13, 2003). "Paroled Ark. Rapist guilty of murder." AP Online.
Harkavy, Ward (March 2001). "The castration of Wayne Dumond." Village Voice.
NBC-News (February 21, 2005). "Woman flushes boyfriend's penis down toilet." NBC10.com
Pershing, Linda. "'His wife seized his prize and cut it to size:' Folk and popular commentary on Lorena Bobbitt." National Woman's Studies Association Journal; Vol. 8, No. 3.
Pro, Johnna & Lash, Cindi (March 2001). "Transsexual held in castration death; Police say Butler County man died after botched surgery in trailer." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
South Coast Today (1998). "It's trial time again for the former Lorena Bobbitt."
Stearns, Matt (June 30, 2001). "Murder Suspect's record shrouded in controversy." The Kansas City Star.
Sun Online (January 2005). "Ex rips off man's testicle."
ThePittsburghChannel.Com (March 14, 2001). "Woman charged in death of husband no. 6."
ThePittsburghChannel.Com (October 15, 2001). "Transsexual accused of murdering husband."
ThePittsburghChannel.Com (December 14, 2001). "Ruling handed down Friday afternoon."
The Telegraph (January 11, 2005). "Spurned woman tore off lover's testicles."