On the night of June 23, 1993, 26-year-old John Wayne Bobbitt came home to his Manassas, Virginia apartment after a night out partying and drinking. According to his wife, Lorena Bobbitt, John then raped her.
The couple had already been married for four years and during that time, Lorena had allegedly suffered from years of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse by John. John also frequently boasted about his infidelities and had forced Lorena to have an abortion. All this built up to this particular night, when Lorena finally snapped.
While John was asleep, Lorena got out of bed and went into the kitchen for a drink of water. While in the kitchen, she saw an eight-inch carving knife sitting on the counter. Lorena grabbed the knife, then walked back to the bedroom where John was sleeping. She pulled back the covers and then sliced John Bobbitt's penis nearly in half.
In a daze, Lorena got into her car and started heading to her work, while still holding both the knife and the severed penis. After driving for a little while, she rolled down her car window and threw the severed penis out the window. It landed in an empty field.
Shortly thereafter, Lorena realized, at least partly, the severity of her actions and called 911. John was rushed to a hospital in the hopes of stopping the bleeding. After an extensive search by police, John's severed penis was found, packed in ice, and also rushed to the hospital. After nine hours of surgery, John Bobbitt's penis was reattached.
The Trial and Worldwide Publicity
The story of Lorena and John Bobbitt quickly became international news. The brutality of the Bobbitt incident seemed to have struck a chord with the public. Men feared that kind of brutal retaliation and many women cheered for the obvious revenge. It made many couples analyze their own interactions and relationships. It also brought public attention to spousal rape.
In 1994, Lorena Bobbitt went to trial for her actions. After many witnesses confirmed the long history of abuse, the jury found Lorena to be not guilty due to temporary insanity. She was sentenced to undergo a 45-day evaluation period in a mental hospital, after which she was released.
In 1995, Lorena and John Bobbitt divorced.
Life After the Brutal Attack
Because of the publicity from both the incident and the trial, Lorena and John Bobbitt had become public figures. However, while Lorena tried to hide from the spotlight, John seemed to delight in it. Since the incident, John has appeared in a number of celebrity shows and more notably, made two adult films.
Lorena, on the other hand, has worked as a real estate agent and a hair stylist and established Lorena's Red Wagon, an organization to help other women who have suffered from domestic abuse.