Little Bits of History

Lorena and John

Posted in History by patriciahysell on June 23, 2011

The unhappy couple

June 23, 1993: Lorena and John Bobbitt’s marital troubles become known to the world. John had been out partying and came home drunk. Lorena states that when he returned to their apartment, he raped her. After the rape, she got out of bed, went to the kitchen to get a glass of water, and it was then she saw a carving knife. She remembered not only this night’s assault, but the history of violence in their marriage. She picked up the knife, went back to the bedroom, and cut off nearly half of her passed-out husband’s penis.

She left the house with the severed penis and drove away from their apartment. Eventually, she rolled down the window and tossed the penis out of the car where it landed in a field. She then called 9-1-1. John’s penis was eventually located, packed in ice, and taken to a hospital where he was being treated for his injury. The severed penis was reattached during a 9.5-hour procedure. During this time, Lorena was taken into custody.

During the trial of Lorena Bobbitt, both parties spoke of their tumultuous relationship. Lorena said she was physically, sexually, and emotionally abused during their marriage. John flaunted his infidelities and forced her to have an abortion. There was much corroborative testimony supporting Lorena’s claims of abuse. Her lawyer claimed that after years of abuse, she finally “snapped” and the result was the assault on this day. While John denied the allegations of abuse, his own testimony was often contradictory to known facts and it weakened his veracity. Lorena was found not guilty by reason of insanity. She underwent a 45 day evaluation period and was released afterwards. The couple divorced.

John Wayne Bobbitt attempted to cash in on his ordeal. He formed a band called The Severed Parts but it was generally unsuccessful and did not help to generate enough funds to pay for his increasing medical and legal bills. He also appeared in an adult film, John Wayne Bobbitt, Uncut and then made a second such film. John continued to have scrapes with the law as well. He was convicted of domestic battery against other women and was found guilty of grand theft. Lorena has kept a low profile since this incident. She has founded an organization to help battered women.

“Long term domestic violence: Being abused in this manner is like being kidnapped and tortured for ransom but you will never have enough to pay off the kidnapper.” – Rebecca J. Burns

“The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.” – Mark Caine

“Domestic violence causes far more pain than the visible marks of bruises and scars. It is devastating to be abused by someone that you love and think loves you in return. It is estimated that approximately 3 million incidents of domestic violence are reported each year in the United States.” – Dianne Feinstein

“If the numbers we see in domestic violence were applied to terrorism or gang violence, the entire country would be up in arms, and it would be the lead story on the news every night.” – Mark Green

Also on this day:
Mutiny on the Discovery – In 1611, Henry Hudson’s crew mutinies.
Clackity clack – In 1868, an improved typewriter was patented.