In 1993, Lorena Bobbitt retaliated for years of domestic abuse by her husband John by cutting off his penis with a knife while he slept.
Lorena stated in a court hearing that, after coming home that evening, her husband had raped her. After he then went to sleep, she got out of bed and went to the kitchen for a drink of water. She then grabbed an 8-inch carving knife on the kitchen counter, returned to their bedroom, pulled back the bed sheets and cut off his penis.
After this, Lorena left the apartment with the severed appendage and drove away in her car. After a length of time driving and struggling to steer with one hand, she threw the penis out a window into a roadside field. She eventually stopped and called 9-1-1, telling them what had happened and where the penis could be found.
John’s penis was found after an exhaustive search, and after being washed with antiseptic and packed in saline ice, it was reattached in the hospital where he was treated. The operation took nine and a half hours. John went on to star in two pornographic films in the 1990s, and stated in 2018 that his penis is "back to normal".
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 liable for her actions. Under state law, the judge ordered Lorena to undergo a 45-day evaluation period at Central State Hospital in Petersburg, after which she would be released. In 1995, after six years of marriage, John and Lorena finalized their divorce.