Friday, 15 July 2011

Hacked off

Getting a divorce can be a pretty nasty business. But not many wives tie their estranged husband to a bed, cut off his penis and put it in the garbage disposal.

When paramedics arrived at Catherine Kieu Becker's house in Garden Grove near Los Angeles, they found her husband still tied up and bleeding profusely from his groin.

They retrieved parts of his severed penis from the garbage disposal but it's not known if surgeons were able to reattach it.

Why Ms Becker resorted to such a horrific measure is anyone's guess (she is reported to have said only "he deserved it"). The couple were married in December 2009 and had recently sought a divorce.

Her husband has vigorously denied he was bedding other women but all sorts of rumours are flying.

I can't imagine how any woman could do something so drastic (and probably irreversible), something that presumably will ruin the man's life, however badly he had mistreated her or impugned her sexuality.

What can she possibly gain from it except his burning hatred and the sort of media notoriety most of us would run a mile from?

Was she for some reason trying to render him incapable of seducing or bedding another woman because of some appalling experience he had put her through (or supposedly put her through)?

Ironically, if she is found guilty of the six charges against her and jailed indefinitely, she also will never again have a normal sex life. Nor will she be able to hack off any more penises.

Penectomy note: She isn't the first of course. Lorena Bobbit sliced off her husband John's penis in 1993, and a Bangladeshi woman, Monju Begum, cut off a neighbour's penis because of persistent harassment in May this year.

Pic: an unflattering police mugshot of Catherine Kieu Becker


  1. Ouch ouch ouch

  2. Myra - What do you mean, ouch ouch ouch? Nobody's going to remove yours. Or is this just a surge of pro-male empathy?

  3. Maybe she loved him so much she didn't want to share him anymore....

    Retreats off to find her happy pills

  4. Crossing my legs just thinking about it and I'm a girl!

  5. Pieces of the penis were recovered and transported to the hospital, but Nightengale said he couldn't comment on whether or not doctors successfully reattached anything.

    Crikey Nick, I nearly choked on my tea.

  6. Macy - Blimey, that's a rather extreme way of refusing to share.

    Baino - What's with you girlies and this empathetic pain?

    Scarlet - I'm waiting with baited breath to see if successful reattachment is confirmed. Either that or he'll have to change sex.

  7. Maybe before they married he promised her an active love life then turned out to be permanently flaccid. Might aswell get rid of it then, make room for an artificial attachement

    It's the grinding sounds that garbage disposal's make that is so bad, I never used mine. Composting is the way forward...

  8. Whatever the motive, I salute the woman. More women should resort to this than say give him the silence treatment!

  9. Wendy - Artificial attachments have problems of their own, I gather. Perhaps she should be looking for the genuine item, but on a different man.

    I don't think body parts are suitable for composting....

    Ramana - You old tease, you. I think a lot of women are still scared to criticise their bloke's sexual skills, and still fake it rather than challenge him.

  10. I did choke on my tea over this, Nick! I agree with your last remark except I think men of a certain age and bravado often do not want to raise their sexual skills or awareness, which can leave an otherwise willing partner frustrated.

    A truly wise man thinks about pleasing his partner, as does a wise woman. If one or the other isn't fulfilled, then it is time for a serious conversation...

  11. I heard on our local news here in LA that the doctors are going to make him a new penis the same way they make ones for gender reassignment surgery. So, eventually, he may be able to have a sex life again.

    And my husband is very happy our garbage disposal is broken right now. ;)

  12. Call me an old sourpuss but I don't find any of this even remotely funny. The violence of the action makes me feel ill. And he could have bled to death. Nothing could ever justify any kind of amputation (with the exception of maybe,just maybe, paedophilia).
    If the victim were a woman with her vulva and clitoris in the shredder we would all be screaming, right?


  13. e - Absolutely, if both partners aren't satisfied, and one is going through the motions, some serious discussion is called for.

    Liz - I hadn't heard that. As I said, I think artificial ones are very problematic. They don't work very well and aren't very sexually sensitive.

    I suspect the garbage disposal may have been sabotaged....

  14. www - I think this particular case does have its amusing side, even though as you say it's an act of extreme violence and nothing can ever justify it. Not remotely amusing to her husband, I'm sure.

    I was very aware of clitoral mutilation as I wrote the post. Nothing at all amusing about that, it still happens on such a scale to so many innocent women it can only be horrific.

  15. When I was in my teens and early working life, if mammy read or heard about a man raping a woman or sexually abusing a child, she would say "He should have his balls cut off!" This was a woman who raised four sons and two daughters. If push came to shove, I doubt that she would or could carry through with her suggestion.

  16. We don't know what drove her to it. Or maybe she is just insane.

    But the thought of cutting into another's flesh is - ooooh, shudder-making.

  17. Interesting that an individual tragedy can have its funny side as well as being tragic (if I was knocked over and killed by a runaway ice cream van) but a collective tragedy can only be tragic (civil war, mass rape, refugee camps, the Holocaust).

  18. Grannymar - Chopping off a man's genitals has been done often as a punishment, but it doesn't necessarily stop sexual desire or harassment.

    Welsh Liz - I'm sure the rumours will keep flying, but whether they're true is another matter. I agree, the idea of cutting into flesh is horrible.

  19. I am 'dating' a urologist who specialises in reconstructive surgery.

    When we next have a drink together, I'll ask for his thoughts on the subject and pass them on.

    You might have to wait awhile though, he's a busy man.

  20. Roses - That would be fascinating, I look forward to that! I think there's a limit to what you can "reconstruct" though.

  21. That's horrifyingly brutal. I can't understand what would drive a person to mutilate another - cheating even wouldn't justify that.

    (and per your comment to Scarlet about him changing sex if he can't get his penis reattached. Being a woman isn't about not having a penis. I don't consider myself to be the equivalent of a penis-less man. Pretty happy with the equipment I have, in fact. So assuming this guy's gender identity is male, that is still true for him even having been mutilated.)

  22. Secret Agent - No, obviously not having a penis doesn't make you a woman! I was just thinking in terms of what he might have to do to adjust to the situation. A (so-called) sex-change would be a pretty extreme option.

  23. anger
    hummm an emotion which as scary as it is ordinary...
    humm whatever that means....

  24. John - The level of anger needed to chop off a guy's penis is scary indeed. It must have been boiling up for quite a while.

  25. Right, I asked The Surgeon. Perhaps not the conversation to have with a man, I'd like to be intimate with? But he was happy to answer.

    He said the chances were good, if the penis were reattached, the penis itself would live.

    The chances for the penis being able to maintain a workable erection - minimal to nil. The scar tissue from where it was reattached would restrict the arteries and so prevent it from becoming engorged and properly erect. He said there were physical interventions which the man could do first: an injection, or a pill inserted into the urethra. But they are likely to be highly unsatisfactory.

    So there you go.

    The bit you've left out of all of that: she's nuts. If she was about to be raped, I'd understand. If she was cheated on, I don't. The options of packing a bag and walking out the door are so much better than spending your days in prison. Or knowing you mutilated someone you had feelings for.

  26. Roses - Thanks for that, very informative. I didn't know about the scarring problem. But as I thought, reconstruction is a poor substitute for the real thing.

    Yes, in a word, she's nuts. But there must have been something burning away inside that impelled her to such a violent act. We'll probably never know what it was.

  27. Jenny - That's the obvious conclusion. But as I said to Roses, there must have been something festering away in her mind that led her to do it. Some boiling sense of resentment or betrayal or humiliation.

  28. Anger is a very scary emotion, fear too, and jealousy (fear of loss) possibly the worst of all. I would say, if asked, that I'm not particularly prone to any of these, but who knows? We all have a trigger.

    Such violence can't, perhaps, be 'justified' in the usual sense of the word, but is capable of being logically justified, and is also capable of being legally justified. How many men walk free after killing their wives/girlfriends having proved provocation? I still clearly remember the case (from law school, some years ago now) of a man who bludgeoned his wife to death because she put the salt out of his reach on the dining table. He got off with a short sentence due to 'provocation.'

    You are right, Nick, to ask what happened to make her act this way. Just dismissing her as a nutter doesn't help anyone. Until we know what drives some people to commit such acts we'll never be able to find a way to prevent them.

  29. Eryl - Presumably the out-of-reach salt wasn't the single cause but just the final straw in a long process of feeling aggrieved. Maybe in this case there was a similar "final straw", or a trigger as you say. As for provocation, I think it's very difficult to decide exactly when something that's merely annoying becomes "provocation". Certainly provocation can be used as a handy excuse for letting rip.

  30. Top divorce tip: While divorcing, be sure to sleep in a separate room behind a locked door.

  31. Blackwater - Excellent advice. And always wear a very tight corset.