John Wayne Bobbitt (born March 23, 1967 in Buffalo, New York) and Lorena Bobbitt (née Gallo) (born October 31, 1970 in Bucay, Ecuador) were an American couple, married on June 18, 1989, whose difficult relationship gained worldwide notoriety for an incident in 1993 when Lorena severed John's penis with a knife. The penis was subsequently surgically re-attached.
During the night of June 23, 1993, John Wayne Bobbitt arrived at the couple's apartment in Manassas, Virginia, highly intoxicated after a night of partying. According to testimony given by Lorena Bobbitt in a 1994 court hearing, he then raped her. (Note: In 1994 he was tried for and acquitted of spousal rape, prosecuted by the same district attorney who prosecuted Lorena for attacking her husband.) Afterwards, Lorena Bobbitt got out of bed and went to the kitchen for a drink of water. According to an article in the National Women's Studies Association Journal, while in the kitchen she noticed a carving knife on the counter and "memories of past domestic abuses raced through her head." Grabbing the knife, Lorena Bobbitt entered the bedroom where John was sleeping and proceeded to cut off almost half of his penis.
After assaulting her husband, Lorena left the apartment with the severed penis, drove a short while, then rolled down the car window and threw the penis into a field. Realizing the severity of the incident, she stopped and called 911. After an exhaustive search, the penis was located, packed in ice, and brought to the hospital where John was being treated.
The penis was re-attached by Dr. James T Sehn and Dr. David Berman during a nine-and-a-half-hour operation.
Arrest and trial
Lorena was taken into custody. During the trial, the couple revealed details of their volatile relationship and the events leading up to the assault. Lorena stated that John sexually, physically, and emotionally abused her during their marriage. She also stated that John flaunted his infidelities, and forced her to have an abortion. Other claims by Lorena were that John, a retired US Marine, had employed torture techniques he learned in the Marine Corps on her. Several witnesses provided testimony supporting Lorena's claims. Lorena's defense attorneys maintained that John's constant abuse caused Lorena to eventually "snap" as she was suffering from clinical depression and a possible bout of post traumatic stress disorder due to the abuse. However, when Lorena was arrested the night of June 23rd, she told the police, "He always have orgasm [sic], and he doesn't wait for me to have orgasm. He's selfish.".
After seven hours of deliberation, the jury found Lorena "not guilty" due to insanity causing an irresistible impulse to sexually wound her husband. As a result, she could not be held liable for her actions. Under state law, the judge ordered Lorena to undergo a 45-day evaluation period at Central State mental hospital, located in Indianapolis, IN, after which she would be released.
In 1995, after six years of marriage, Lorena and John divorced.
Life after the incident
While the trial was ongoing, John has been a guest star on a 1993 New Years' Eve special by Howard Stern. Stern sold "Severed Parts" T-shirts to raise money to defray the cost of Bobbitt's medical expenses, netting $250,000. Bobbitt retired his medical debt with the proceeds from Stern and also purchased a $45,000 Corvette. After the incident, John Wayne Bobbitt attempted to generate money from his notoriety in a number of ways. He formed a band, The Severed Parts, to pay his mounting medical and legal bills, though the band was unsuccessful and failed to generate enough money. In 1994, John appeared in the adult film John Wayne Bobbitt: Uncut, in another attempt to make money. In 1996, he appeared in another adult film, Frankenpenis (also known as John Wayne Bobbitt's Frankenpenis).
In 1998 he appeared on the World Wrestling Federation's Monday Night Raw television program alongside the porn star character Val Venis who in the storyline had recently almost had his penis cut off.He also worked briefly as a greeter in a legal brothel in Lyon County, Nevada. Not long after, he moved to Las Vegas, Nevada where he worked as a bartender, limousine driver, mover, and tow truck operator. He also had a stint serving at a wedding chapel as a minister of a Universal Life Church in Las Vegas.
After the divorce, John continued to have run-ins with the law. He was reportedly arrested seven times for offenses ranging from assault to grand larceny. In 1994, he was convicted of misdemeanor domestic battery against his former fiancée, Kristina Elliott, and sentenced to 15 days in jail. In September 1999, he was sentenced to five years probation for his role in the theft of more than $140,000 in clothing from a store in Fallon, Nevada, and ordered to pay $5,000 restitution and serve 100 hours of community service.
After two trials for domestic abuse against Joanna Ferrell, his third wife, in 2004 — one ending in conviction for John Bobbitt and the other in acquittal — he was arrested for a third offense in September 2005. Days after the third incident, he filed for a divorce. On February 8, 2006, a municipal judge found John Bobbitt not guilty, due to insufficient evidence.
Lorena Gallo (Bobbitt)
After the trial, Gallo attempted to keep a low profile and reverted to use of her maiden name. In December 1997, Gallo made news when she was charged with assault for punching her mother, Elvia Gallo, as they watched television. She was eventually found not guilty of assaulting her mother. Her mother currently lives with her. In 2007, she was working at the beauty salon Classy-cuts in the Washington D.C. area.
In June 2008, Gallo appeared on the CBS News program The Early Show where she talked about her life since the incident. In the interview, she said she was in a long-term relationship with Dave Bellinger and had a two and a half year old daughter named Olivia. In a 2009 appearance on Oprah, Gallo said that if she could take anything back, she would never have married John Wayne Bobbitt. She founded the organization Lorena's Red Wagon which helps to prevent domestic violence through family oriented activities.
Joint public appearances
Although Lorena told Oprah Winfrey in April 2009 that she had no interest in talking to John, John and Lorena appeared together on the show The Insider in May 2009. It was their first meeting since their divorce. On the show, John apologized to Lorena for the way he treated her during their marriage, and Lorena claimed that John still loved her because he has continued to send her Valentine's Day cards and flowers.
In the US, the Bobbitt case brought public attention to the subjects of marital rape. and domestic violence. Within days of the incident, domestic violence and feminist groups rallied around Lorena, citing the continuous abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband that caused her to defend herself, albeit in an unusual and violent manner.
Media attention surrounding the case resulted in national debate and also sparked a flurry of jokes, limericks, T-shirt slogans, advertising gimmicks, and an urban legend that she was killed in a car accident because (note the double-entendre) "some prick cut her off". Shortly after the incident, episodes of "Bobbittmania", or copycat crimes, were reported. The name Lorena Bobbitt eventually became synonymous with penis removal. The term “Bobbittised punishment” gained social acceptance.
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- Joel Achenbach (1993-10-07). "A Stitch in Time:`My Wife Cut Me,' John Bobbitt Said. For Two Doctors, It Was a Night To Remember.". http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/washingtonpost/access/72192851.html?FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&date=Oct+7%2C+1993&author=Joel+Achenbach&pub=The+Washington+Post+(pre-1997+Fulltext)&edition=&startpage=C.01&desc=A+STITCH+IN+TIME%3B+%60My+Wife+Cut+Me%2C%27+John+Bobbitt+Said.+For+Two+Doctors%2C+It+Was+a+Night+To+Remember.. Retrieved 2009-12-14.
- Bell, Rachael. "Crimes Below the Belt: Penile Removal and Castration (Chapter 2)". http://www.crimelibrary.com/criminal_mind/sexual_assault/severed_penis/index.html. Retrieved 2007-10-14.
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- Virginia Vs. Lorena Bobbitt, Court TV.
- IMDb bio
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- "John Bobbitt still loves Lorena 16 yrs after she hacked off his penis". ANI. May 5, 2009. http://buzz7.com/world/john-bobbitt-still-loves-lorena-16-yrs-after-she-hacked-off-his-penis.html.
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