Original Article by Corky Siemaszko of The Daily News
It was the cut felt around the world.
Twenty years ago Sunday, a frustrated Virginia housewife grabbed a kitchen knife and turned the name Bobbitt into a verb by slicing off her drunken husband’s penis.
While John Wayne Bobbitt lay bleeding on his bed, wife Lorena roared off with the dismembered member and hurled it into a field for the buzzards to find.
And there the story might have ended had Lorena Bobbitt not come to her senses and called 911.
But call she did. And after an exhaustive search, the 26-year-old former Marine and his mutilated penis were reunited — and reattached.
Lorena Bobbitt, then 22, was arrested and in a taped interview with police gave a partial explanation for her moment of madness.
“He always have orgasm, and he doesn’t wait for me to have orgasm,” the Ecuadorian-born Lorena complained with a heavy accent. “He’s selfish.”
Of course, that wasn’t the entire story. But the bizarre brutality of the case struck a chord with the public, which lapped up every lurid detail.
Bobbitt became a punchline, a euphamism for emasculate, a word that produced nervous snickers in many a man — and raised eyebrows among some women.
At her trial, Lorena claimed her husband was a world class jerk who sexually abused her, flaunted his infidelities, and “forced” her to have an abortion.
The defense trotted out witness after witness who also testified that John was everything from a lout to a lousy lover.
In the process, Lorena became a symbol for abused wives everywhere — and focused national attention on the issue of marital rape.
John denied his wife’s claims. But he so turned off the jury they needed just seven hours to find Lorena not guilty in January 1994 of malicious wounding by reason of insanity.
Most men at that point would have crawled into a hole to hide. But John Wayne Bobbitt was not most men.
Ten months later, he bared it all in a porn movie “John Wayne Bobbitt Uncut” that was testimony to both his unshakeable chutzpah — and the handiwork of the surgeons who made him whole again.
Interviewed on the set, John said he was determined to “basically show everybody that I’m healed and fully functional.”
His operation was “recorded in medical journals,” he said. “It’s part of history, you know.”
The next year, the Bobbitts divorced and six years of marriage misery were over.
John went on to make another blue movie, the aptly-titled “Frankenpenis”, and tried to cash in on his notoriety — and pay his medical bills — by starting a band called The Severed Parts.
They went nowhere. And John landed in Las Vegas where he made ends meet working as a bartender, delivering pizzas, driving a tow truck — even serving briefly as a minister at the Universal Life Church in Las Vegas.
“I grew up as a Christian,” he said when asked to explain his sudden saintliness. “I just want to do what is right, to stay away from things my mom and dad frown on.”
But John continued to treat women like crap. He served two weeks in jail in 1994 for beating up then fiancée Kristina Elliott.
A decade later, John was convicted of abusing Joanna Ferrell, the third woman who was foolish enough to marry him. He would ultimately be busted a half-dozen times for everything from assault to grand larceny.
Lorena went back to using her maiden name Gallo and did the exact opposite of her ex — she tried to disappear.
But in December 1997, Lorena was herself busted for slugging her mother, Elva, as they watched television. She was found not guilty at trial and continued living with her mom.