On the early morning of June 23, 1993, Lorena Bobbitt cut off his penis, left the apartment, drove off with it and threw it in a field–and the rest is history. The story shocked the nation.
Eventually, Lorena testified in court that earlier in the night, her husband came home to their apartment in Manassas, Virginia, and drunkenly raped her. She claims that he then passed out, she got out of bed and went to the kitchen to get a drink, when she grabbed a kitchen knife, returned to his bedroom and cut off his penis with a single chop.
Lorena fled her house with the severed appendage and drove away in her car, before throwing it in a field. She eventually called 9-1-1 and told police what had happened, sending officers to hunt down the body part, which was eventually located after an exhaustive search. John Bobbitt’s penis was eventually reattached in the hospital where he was being treated.
After her arrest, Lorena told Detective Peter Wentz that she was upset with her husband’s love-making skills. She can be heard saying during a taped conversation: “He always have orgasm [sic], and he doesn’t wait for me ever to have orgasm. He’s selfish.” This conversation was read later in the trial by Mary Grace O’Brien, the Prince William County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney prosecuting Lorena.
During the high-profile trial, details emerged about their volatile relationship. Lorena stated that John sexually, physically, and emotionally abused her during their marriage. She also said that he flaunted his infidelities and forced her to have an abortion. Her defense attorneys, including lawyer Blair D. Howard, argued that the constant abuse she endured caused her to “snap”. During the trial, John denied the allegations of abuse, but when he was cross-examined by Howard, his statements often conflicted and he severely weakening the prosecution’s case.
The defense strategy argued temporary insanity constituting an “irresistible impulse” defense.
After seven hours of deliberation, the jury found Lorena not guilty due to insanity causing an irresistible impulse to sexually wound John. As a result, she could not be held responsible for her actions. The judge ordered her to undergo a 45-day evaluation period at Central State Hospital, located in Petersburg, Virginia. After the stint in the mental hospital, Lorena was released. In 1995, after six years of marriage, John and Lorena divorced.
John Wayne went on to do porn and was then in and out of jails and prison. Meanwhile, Lorena married, has a child and is domestic abuse advocate, founding the organization Loren’s Red Wagon.
Netflix debuted a four-part documentary called Lorena in the winter of 2019.