Lorena (2019) s01e01 Episode Script

The Night Of

[birds singing]
[cheers and applause]
Steve Harvey: Folks,
there are some news makers
that we'll always remember,
but few tales have left
a bigger impact
than John
and Lorena Bobbitt's.
Their marriage came
to a gruesome conclusion
when, in a fit of rage,
Lorena committed the one act
every man fears the most.
Joining us now,
please welcome Lorena Bobbitt.
[cheers and applause]
I'm gonna ask you
this question
whatwhat made you
take it, though?
I mean, you cut it off.
Why you leave with it?
Now we got to go find it.
- Lorena: Yes.
You know,
here we are out here
We got grass on it.
I'm trying
Lorena: It did, it did.
Take me back to that time.
What happened?
[indistinct radio chatter]
John Tillman: It was
a quiet night, and, um
I heard a call go out
to the hospital.
[radio chatter continues]
Machelle Bailey: I was
answering the telephones,
and I received a call from
Manassas City Police Department.
They were requesting that
county officers respond there.
Tillman: Just came across
as a nonchalant call
that went to thefor an
officer to go to the hospital.
It was just
two officers responding.
It was not a big deal.
Dan Harris: I get
to Prince William Hospital,
where I meet a couple of the
Manassas city police officers
that had been previously
dispatched to the call.
One of the officers
who I know
came to me and he goes,
"Danny, you're
not gonna believe this."
And I was like,
"What? What's up?"
And he goes, um,
"This guy's wife
pulled his dick off."
Of course,
we didn't want to give
that information
over the radio.
The news media would
pick up on that quickly.
It's gonna take a lot
of other resources,
uh, to actuallyuh
deal with this particular
call for service.
Tillman: One of the officers
came across the radio
"I need an officer
to come by the hospital
"and, um, get a key
to go to the apartment
and look for the appendage."
And I was just like,
"An appendage?"
You know, what could
that have been?
Harris: We didn't have
cell phones then.
Everything that we
communicated amongst each other
was over the radio.
Thought in my mind,
I said,
"I can't say 'penis'
on the radio.
"There's seven words
you can't say on TV.
I'm sure 'penis' somehow
winds up in there."
I arrived at the hospital.
I was
directed to the room
where the victim was.
And when they pulled back
the sheet, I saw
a man's
testicles or scrotum
without the penis.
It was cut very clean.
[phone ringing]
David Berman: I get this call
I can't remember exactly,
something like 4:00 in the
morning, 3:30 in the morning.
My wife actually
was away with the kids,
so it was just me
by myself.
I said,
"Do you have the part?"
And they said, "We don't."
I said, "So, should I
bother coming down?"
I said, "If you can't find it,
I can't put it back on."
And at that point,
it hadn't been.
It hadn't been found,
it hadn't been heard from.
It was lost in action.
And so, when I got
to the E.R.,
I was confronted with John
on his back, bleeding profusely.
He'd lost about a third
of his blood volume,
and at that point,
the only option
was to do what we call
a perineal urethrostomy,
which is to expose
the mid-bulbous urethra
to the perineum so he could
sit to pee like a woman
for the rest of his life,
and that's where I thought
we were headed.
[man clears throat]
I have another cup
I canI can use,
a silver one.
I don't remember too much.
I just remember her
um, playing with me.
Playing around with me
while I was sleeping,
but I, you knowI think she was
trying to get me excited,
or something.
Then she put
her arms around me
at the same time I started
falling asleep again.
You know,
falling back asleep.
Well, she wasshe was
playing around with me,
you know, when I was sleeping,
'cause I remember her
herher, you know,
playing around, and then
It was a pull,
then a jerk.
It was horrifying.
It was very, uh
It was terrifying.
I was confused.
I thought I was dreaming.
I'm thinking okay,
Freddy Krueger's hand came
through the wall.
[laughs] You know?
Here I am,
bleeding to death,
bleedingblood everywhere,
and my penis is gone,
and, uh
All I can think of now is,
"I'd better not
go back to sleep."
So, I collected myself
and applied pressure,
and, uh, um
My friend Robbie
was staying with us.
I woke Robmy friend up.
I kicked him and, um,
he didn't realize
what was happening, uh,
because he'd just woke up
out of his sleep.
I kind of was, like, waiting
for my friend to get ready,
'cause hehe went
and brushed his teeth.
So, why do you think
she did this to you?
Well, I was divorcing her,
leavingleaving the marriage.
I told her that
our marriage didn't work out.
She wanted
to keep the marriage,
and try to make it work,
and, uh,
she felt real hurt
about me ending it.
But I didn't know
how shocked she was.
I thought she was just gonna
be as happy as I was,
calling it quits, but
us men
don't understand women,
so it didn't
work out that way.
Sindi Leo: So when I came in
the first thing in the morning,
I was told to respond
over to Maplewood Drive
in regards to, um,
a wife that had cut
her husband's penis off.
And, uh, the sergeant
at the time, Jerry Hawks,
advised that they thought
she had swallowed the penis.
So I had to go over there,
like, immediately,
as soon as I got in the door.
When I arrived
on the scene,
the first thing I noticed
was there was blood droplets
in the parking lot next to
where these cars would be.
[slide projector advances]
Going into the sidewalk,
and going up the stairs,
to apartment number 5,
and then went through
the living room,
and into a bedroom
on the left-hand side,
which would be probably
that balcony right up there.
[door creaking]
Tillman: When I first came
into the apartment,
two things I'm doing
I wanted to try to find, um,
the body part, the penis,
but also I didn't want
to disturb
the crime scene
as much as I could.
When I got to the bed,
I remember shining
my, um, mymy flashlight,
and even to this day
I have this vivid picture
of a, uma butt imprint.
And inside the butt imprint,
if I would've actually
stuck my fingers down
and measured,
probablyseemed like about
a good inch deep
that was filled
with blood.
And I could see where, if he
would've swung his legs over
to the side of the bed,
there was a V-shape
blood spatter that was
pulsed in waves that was
landed onto the carpet.
From what I was advised,
he was extremely intoxicated,
and that's why he laid
on the bed for a while
after thethe, um
the penis was cut off.
I don't think
he felt it right away.
[slide projector advances]
[slide projector advances]
Tillman: I finished
looking in the bedroom
as much as I could,
looking for the penis,
and I didn't see anything
in there.
But I did remember
that he said something
about a knife,
so I walked in the kitchen,
and I remember looking
around the kitchen.
Deane: Of course we searched
in the sink,
in the, um, garbage disposal,
the freezer.
Tillman: I remember
even in the kitchen
looking in the dishwasher.
[slide projector advances]
Harris: They located
some pamphlets regarding rape
and, uh, spousal protection.
And about that time,
I remember, uh,
a radio call coming out.
It was our lieutenant
at the time
that was in charge
of our squad.
He was actually
with Lorena.
What happened when
you got to the shop?
Nobody was there.
Nobody was there.
So I,
I, I just
keep on
crying and screaming and
I fell.
Where did you go from there?
I went to see my friend Janna.
What'd you do when
you got to her house?
Nobody was open the door.
So I,
I just stand up in
the front door and I just,
I was knocking at the door
and her husband came downstairs
and I was looking for
I said,
"Where's, where's Janna?"
"Where's Janna?"
I tried to calm her down
and she's crying,
and then she said,
"I cut his penis off."
And I said,
"You did what?"
Harris: Mrs. Bobbitt
eventually arrived
at our police station,
and she was there to report
the sexual abuse
that she had endured
from Mr. Bobbitt.
I commented to her that,
we did have a detective
on the way
and we were gonna get to that,
um, but I needed to ask her
what she had done
with Mr. Bobbitt's penis,
uh, that that was kind of
the urgent matter at hand.
I could see her face
had actually
she just gave me that
"Oh, my God."
It justbrought her back
to that moment.
Lorena Bobbitt: I said
"Just look around"
They said, "No, we look
around the apartment.
We cannot find it."
I said I remembered
tossing things
out of the car.
Harris: I asked her,
"Where were you
on the road
or what were you near?"
Lorena: Look around, on
the corner, there is 7-Eleven.
Then they went there
[car motor starting]
Deane: I think it was
Pope's Road or Poke Road.
"Polk's" Road,
at the intersection
of Old Centreville Road.
Apparently said that
when she arrived
at the stop sign,
she tossed it out
her left side,
driver's side window.
She was driving so she threw
ither left arm out,
would throw it
over the roof.
It went over the side
and landed in a grassy area,
tall grassy area,
and I remember it being
about knee-to-thigh-high
at that time.
I was here
for approximately an hour,
and then I was advised
that the knife was located
in another county where
Lorena Bobbitt worked.
And then I was advised
that she had thrown the knife
into the garbage can.
I had to get there before
the garbage service came
and collected the trash.
And it was garbage day,
so I had to get there fast.
When I got there,
there was a metal trash can.
It was very difficult
to get it out.
I had to reach down in there
practically on my hands
standinga handstand
to get the knife out.
When I came out with the knife,
some guy was standing there
and he was like, "Oh, my."
[sirens wailing]
When they found out that she
had not swallowed the penis,
and she had thrown it
in a corner field,
they all responded over there
to try to look for it.
Mike Perry got there.
He walked up
to the sergeant and asked him,
said, "Hey, where's it at?"
And the sergeant
just took his hand
and just pointed
straight down.
He wouldn't even
get close to it.
I mean, he would just
"It's right there."
Officer Hurley is religious
and he didn't
want to apparently
put his hands on it.
From what I've heard,
Sgt. Hurley stepped on it,
and indicated that here it is,
and then Officer Perry
retrieved it.
In fact, I had to take pictures
a couple days later
of him standing next to
where he found it,
pointing at the ground.
A firefighter was
the one who find it
and pick it up, I guess,
from a grassy area.
Oh, my gosh.
Oh, my gosh.
I'm not quite sure why nobody
wanted to handle this thing,
uh, but rescue squads
have gloves,
so that was always fortuitous
and with that,
it was carried ceremoniously
into the 7-Eleven,
where, uh, somebody knew
to put it on ice,
in a hot dog bag,
of all things.
So, I pushed John
up to the O.R.
and knew that I had
this item on its way.
Debra Parrish: The part
comes in and we're washing it up
at the sink
with some pHisoHex
and then just put it in ice
till it gets put back on.
I'd never done
one of these before.
I do microsurgery
at the time.
But I sort of
had a game plan,
which was essentially just
connecting the artery
and the major veins.
Parrish: Dr. Berman was
the one who had to do
most of the work
under the microscope,
but Dr. Sehn made sure
the plumbing worked okay.
Berman: The only time
I remember being a bit tense
is, um, I secured
a tourniquet
at the base of the penis,
just for the blood supply.
The key point is when you
take the tourniquet off,
you gotta have flow,
so there was that sort of moment
of "God, it better work."
Sehn: That tourniquet
came off, and, uh,
the penis pinked up,
and it looked really terrific,
right from the start.
There were policemen
on the scene,
sitting with their
[laughs] legs crossed
in a protective stance
thinking about all this.
I mean when a woman cuts
off a man's penis,
it didn't happen every day.
You know, oh man.
I started thinking
about my wife, you know.
Being a woman, it wasn't
as big a deal for us.
You know, we're like,
"God, what did he do
to make her do
something like that?"
[sirens wailing]
Lorena: I had to go
to the hospital
for this rape kit.
I told them that
during the marriage,
John was
raping me a lot.
As much as I wanted
to fight him and say no,
it seems like,
the more he
just wanted to do it.
Ironically, I was in
one side of the hospital,
and then he was,
at the same time,
at the same hospital,
just on the other
side of the hospital.
What was your reaction
when you found out
what happened
to your brother?
If I'd have seen her,
I would've killed her.
You went looking for her,
didn't you?
- Yep.
- Where did you go
looking for her?
AnyI didn't even know where
to go looking, but I looked.
Brett Biro: If the cops didn't
meet us at the hospital,
we would have found her.
You think she tried
to kill him?
Think she tried to hurt him
in the worst way possible,
for any man.
She did worse
than kill him.
She took away the thing
that means most to a man,
you know?
[audience murmurs]
C. Everett Koop:
It took 100 years to create
the first shelter for
battered women in this country,
after the
United States Congress
passed its first law to
prevent cruelty to animals.
Battery is the single most
significant cause of injury
to women in this country.
It is an overwhelming moral,
and public health burden
that our society
can no longer bear.
There hasn't been
adequate resources
and recourse and redress
of the terrible violence
that women face.
Kim Gandy: For lots of women,
they thought,
"I won't be believed,"
or "I'll be called names,"
or "I'll be treated
as a horrible person."
My name is Anita F. Hill.
Woman: In the case of
Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill,
it will be their versions
of an alleged sexual advance
that will get
the national spotlight.
Kim Masters: In 1991,
Clarence Thomas gets nominated,
and the sexual harassment
thing arises,
Man: Nothing like
what happened today
has ever happened before.
A nominee
to the U.S. Supreme Court
went before 14
U.S. senators and the world
to deny he sexually harassed
a former woman assistant.
Telling the world
is the most difficult
experience of my life.
I felt that I had
to tell the truth.
I could not keep silent.
Masters: And all of
these white men [chuckles]
in the Senate basically
come to his defense,
and it was a very hard thing
for a lot of women
to realize that that is the way
it was gonna go down.
The nomination of
Clarence Thomas of Georgia
is hereby confirmed.
Masters: I think a lot of
people thought and still think
that Anita Hill
was telling the truth,
and she was treated
It scares me that when we're in
a he-said-she-said situation,
it is the man who has
the credibility,
it's the man
who has the authority.
Even women believe the man,
as many women
believed Clarence Thomas.
Live in West Palm Beach,
I'll have the story
of the Kennedy rape case
Ted Koppel:
William Kennedy Smith,
found not guilty of rape.
Newscaster: Today's verdict
can't possibly end
the fascination,
the obsession with this case.
It cannot stop those with
passionate feelings about rape
from thinking that it was just
another attack on a woman
who was defiled by both
her attacker and by the system.
Ted Koppel: For days now,
charges that naval aviators
sexually harassed
female colleagues.
Newscaster: 83 women
were sexually assaulted
at the Tailhook convention
at the Las Vegas Hilton.
One after another,
the most serious charges
have been dismissed
for lack of evidence.
No woman should be ashamed
to come forward and say,
"I've been wronged."
I don't think that there was
a lot of surprise
from most women
around Anita Hill,
William Kennedy Smith
or Tailhook.
Even those of us who have been
watching these issues,
we were just used to
nothing happening.
Carlos Sanchez: Every morning,
my practice was to make
an initial round of phone
calls to all the police agencies
in the Prince William County
The interest
in a case like this
for a newspaper like
"The Washington Post" was huge,
so I made plans
to immediately get to
the Manassas County Courthouse.
I had no idea
if the suspect was there,
and I didn't, at that time,
really know who she was.
When I walked
in the courthouse,
there was two Hispanics
myself and the woman
who I later learned
was Lorena Bobbitt.
And the only words
to me were
"He raped me. He raped me."
I went to get a bite to eat,
and then this lady,
she was, like,
reading the newspaper.
And she said something like,
"This is great.
Somebody finally did
what I always wanted to do."
People were like,
"Holy shit."
Like, this woman chopped off
this guy's dick.
Who in their right mind
doesn't think that's crazy?
Joseph Fletcher:
I laughed my ass off,
to be honest with you,
when I found out that happened.
Somebody from the apartment
just told me,
"Hey, she cut his thing off."
I said, "What?"
To see it on the news,
what happened to him,
very funny.
"Hey, Lorena, come on!
Where'd you throw it?"
[cheers and applause]
She told him
where the dick was.
See, I would not
have told him!
Yeah, I definitely
have to get
a good comedy script
written up.
Do some standup.
Jeffrey Dahmer called
Lorena up and said,
"You going to eat that?"
Good thing they found it.
Look real funny
on a milk carton.
Gregg Murphy:
TV journalists were looking
for people
to put on the air,
but I had never experienced
so many people
wanting to be interviewed.
So, you're a celebrity
these days, I understand.
Yeah, we've gotten a lot of
publicity with the case,
as you can imagine.
Dr. Berman,
Mike, our stage manager
just said you're too young
to know anything
about penises,
but are you a microsurgeon?
Yeah, I do
microvascular surgery.
This is the first time
I've put a penis back on.
It's a really
uncommon injury.
I've never done one,
never seen one.
Will he ever, ever have
a normal sex life again?
I'm optimistic
that he'll regain
virtually all
of his normal function,
but we absolutely
don't know,
and we really won't know
for two entire years.
It's possible he could
still be a sexual cripple.
Eventually, obviously,
he was
on international news.
It was huge.
I needed help, so I asked
Janna what to do.
Janna Bisutti
was my first boss.
I saw that
how well she did.
She was driving
the latest cars,
and, you know, convertibles.
She had this beautiful home
in a desirable neighborhood.
She was busy all the time,
and I wanted
to be like that.
She owned three salons
at that time,
and I worked for her new salon
in Centreville.
She hired me an attorney,
James Lowe,
and she hired me
an agent/manager
from Hollywood.
Alan Hauge:
I got a call one night,
uh, probably about
10:30 at night,
from a good friend of mine
in the Washington, D.C. area.
He was a good friend
of Janna.
"I've got somebody I think is
really gonna need protection
from the media, and I think
you can do it."
So once I agreed to be
her media rep,
I printed probably
1,000 business cards.
And I said, "When somebody
wants to interview you,
"or they want you
to make a one-line comment,
"say, 'I really don't have
anything to say.
Contact my
media representative.'"
So, I'm working
for the Manassas, uh,
paper, the "Journal Messenger."
I was the police
and court reporter.
At the time,
we could not say "penis."
We did not say that
in family newspapers.
So how do you refer
to this body part?
Murphy: Well, it's interesting
about the word "penis,"
because my father
was an OB-GYN,
and my father didn't even use
the anatomical words
for what he did,
both for men or women.
It was just their generation.
They didn't call it
what it was.
Of course, I'm
was using "penis" a lot,
had to in this case,
you know.
I'm not gonna say,
"You cut off your ding-a-ling."
I mean, it's ridiculous.
I think this was the first time
that that word
came out of the closet
in American culture
in "The New York Times."
I think the v-word
had already been out,
to some degree, but it was
a cultural moment
for the p-word
to get some airing.
Sanchez: Most newspapers
had a practice
that if you were the victim
of a sex crime,
you were never identified.
And then I learned one day
that Lorena had hired
a public relations firm,
and I called my editors
and let them know
of this development,
and the editor said,
"Okay, well, if she's
hired a publicist,
"then she knows that we're
gonna use her name.
She wants her name used."
Lorena: When they learned
about my name,
it was a nightmare.
Everybody wanted
a piece of me.
They wanted to hunt me,
you know,
down the streets, um
looking for
you know, it was
I couldn't get out
of the house.
Sanchez: Her attorney
never forgave
"The Washington Post"
for that,
so much so that, uh,
the first print interview
extensively, that she gave,
she gave to "Vanity Fair."
"Vanity Fair" seemed to be,
in my pre-interviews
with them,
that they didn't want to spin
or manipulate the story.
And I thought, "We have
an opportunity right now,
"before the trials,
to get the truth
of the story out."
Masters: I had just
made a deal with "Vanity Fair,"
and I got a call from
my new "Vanity Fair" editor,
and he said, "We want you
to do Lorena Bobbitt."
I think she's giving
one interview at this point,
one print interview.
Nobody had seen her,
and this is pre-Internet.
She was this myst
figure cloaked in mystique.
The lawyer decided
that he would invite me
and Lorena and Janna
to his place,
where the shoot for
"Vanity Fair" would take place,
and the photographer
was Mary Ellen Mark,
who was very well-known.
It was very clear
from my "Vanity Fair" editor
that, had Lorena and John
not been an attractive couple,
it would've been
much less of a thing.
There was a whole deal about
what was Lorena gonna wear?
She came with a Mickey Mouse
shirt, I think.
One of the things that Janna
said at the outset was,
"There is no way Lorena
is gonna get into her
be shot in her bathing suit
in the pool."
It took Mary Ellen
about five minutes to get her
in the bathing suit,
in the pool.
And I said,
"You know, if you don't stop
taking pictures,
there will be no words
to go around the pictures."
And Lorena, I have to
I do remember this little thing
where she sort of patted my arm
and said, "Don't worry.
I'll do the interview.
Don't worry."
The thing about that interview,
I have to say,
is she didn't come across
as articulate, you know.
You could tell, like,
she wasn't really in a place
to present her case
to the world.
Newscaster: Lorena Bobbitt
appeared on the verge of tears
this morning
as she appeared
in Prince William County
Domestic Relations Court.
She is charged with the crime
of malicious wounding.
Judge: Do you understand
that charge?
- Yes.
- Are you ready to proceed?
Newscaster: At a preliminary
hearing this morning,
a Prince William County
police detective
read from a statement
Lorena Bobbitt made.
Lorena: When I was
at the hospital,
I needed to talk
to a detective,
and, uh, that was
Detective Weintz.
I should've just
got an attorney.
I didn't know any better.
And then
I was angry already.
And I turned my back and I
The first thing I saw was
the knife.
Then I said, I ask him,
if he was satisfied
with what he did.
and he just half asleep,
or something.
He always have orgasm
and he doesn't wait for me
to have an orgasm.
He's selfish.
I don't think it's fair.
So I pulled back the shirt,
or the sheets.
Then I did it.
"Because he have orgasm
and not wait for me."
And that frustrated her,
so she went into the kitchen,
got the knife, came in,
and cut it off.
That is not really,
in my opinion,
what was being said there.
You have the problem
of the second language.
You have the problem
of the woman who is hysterical
at the time
that the comments were made.
I was in shock still,
from what happened.
I didn't know,
I didn't understand,
I didn't comprehend
what was going on.
I just knew
I was in trouble.
Newscaster: John Bobbitt
surrendered to authorities here
while the media's attention
was focused
on his wife's hearing.
He was released
on $5,000 bond,
and he'll return
to this same courthouse
tomorrow morning
for his arraignment
on the charge
of marital sexual abuse.
John: It hurt to walk,
so, I mean,
I was just recovering still,
and I got hit with a charge
of rape that I didn't do.
Ummarital rape
or abuse,
and, umwhy?
[phone ringing]
Yeah, well, we're getting ready
togetting ready
to take my picture
for a Bobbitt case,
like they did yours.
I didn't charge John initially.
And the women's groups were
very upset that he
had not been charged.
Man: Paul Ebert,
the prosecutor in the case,
is called "Butch" Ebert
by his friends.
He is a man
spends a great deal of time
hunting and fishing.
He's an outdoorsman.
He's a man who, uh,
was appointed
to be the commonwealth attorney
at the age of 30.
That was the youngest
of anyone
to become
a commonwealth attorney
in the history
of the state of Virginia.
William Hennessy: Paul Ebert
is a pretty amazing guy.
He'suh, he's been
doing it a long time.
Before the sniper case
came along I said,
"I'm known as
the penis prosecutor."
Quite a claim to fame.
And, you know,
he's a sharp guy.
He comes across as sort of this,
you know,
"I'm just a country lawyer"
kind of attitude
Yeah, take a picture
of whatever you want.
Okay, thank you so much.
Take a picture of everything
in here except my penis.
Murphy: When they came to me
about the case,
I told my
the attorney in my office,
I probably wasn't interested,
because what I had heard
was that John was being accused
of having raped his wife,
and had been a batterer.
After meeting with John,
that's when my decision
as to whether I would
take on the representation
When I met him,
John had scrape marks,
nail marks,
straight down his face
that had occurred
two weeks before that.
And John, not earning
much of a living,
he's the dependent one
in this relationship.
We had a psychological test
done on John,
and John is not capable
of really telling a lie,
because he doesn't handle
he can't do the complexity
that's required to make a
to sell a lie,
if you will.
One of the facts
that impressed me the most
was that the police
had been called
three or four times
in their relationship.
Three of those times,
John had called them,
and the fourth time,
Lorena's mother
was actually there.
It was over Thanksgiving,
and, uh, Lorena called
the police at that time.
Police came and the mother said
that her daughter
was the cause of it all
and not John.
John was the one
who was being battered.
Newscaster: Tests done
on Lorena Bobbitt indicate
she had sexual intercourse
before the cutting incident.
In statements to police
John Bobbitt has denied
having sex with his wife
that morning.
Mr. Bobbitt's made several
different statements,
uh, in his account,
and all these statements
differ greatly
from Mrs. Bobbitt's
If they did have sex,
there's nothing wrong
with the two of them
having sex.
The question is whether
there was a sexual assault
upon her,
and that's the issue.
Sanchez: In order
to successfully convict
on a spousal rape charge,
which carried
a life sentence,
you need to fulfill
two conditions
under the law
at that time.
One was you had to be
separated from your spouse
at the time of the crime,
and secondarily,
you had to, um,
cause permanent damage
or significant damage,
physical, bodily damage.
That's the problem with
the idea of marital rape.
It'sthat is truly,
behind closed doors,
and it's not
an easy thing to prove
in any setting, I assume,
and that would be true
in this case as well.
We are still in a situation
where people believe
that a man's wife
is his property,
and that a woman must
have sex with her husband
when he wants to
regardless of her desires.
And the states are
all spread out across the map
in terms of which ones
that a husband can
forcibly rape his wife,
and which ones say,
if they're married,
it's sex, it's not rape.
What John was eventually
charged with
was malicious sexual assault,
which carried
a lesser penalty.
He faces 20 years in prison
as opposed to life in prison,
had he been
convicted of rape.
Murphy: It was shortly
after that that "20/20"
came to us and want
said they were
going to do a story on this
the Friday night before
of the week before the trial.
And I saidI asked them,
"Please don't," you know.
"We'll give you
first access to John
and an interview if you'll
hold off on the story
until after the trial."
They refused.
[theme music plays]
Announcer: From ABC News,
around the world
and into your home,
this is "20/20."
Well, in an exclusive
interview with Tom Jarriel,
Lorena Bobbitt, the woman
who did the unthinkable,
gives some answers.
What kind of a woman
could strike out
in such
a shocking way?
What had driven her
to such abhorrent behavior?
Tom Jarriel: Mrs. Bobbitt claims
that throughout their marriage,
her husband had forced sex
on her again,
and again, and again.
II scream at him,
because I didn't want
to have sex,
and, um, because I felt
like it wasn't right.
Did you ever think
he might kill you?
Jarriel: Bobbitt's attorney,
Gregory Murphy,
said John will voice
his defense
only in testimony
at the trial,
and not to "20/20."
Did you ask him specifically,
"Mr. Bobbitt,
did you beat your wife?"
-Absolutely I asked him.
-And what did he say?
Absolutely did not.
And there was this portrait
being painted of John,
and I thought the longer
they did not hear from John,
the more interested I hoped
the jury would be
in finding out
his side of the story.
When I was growing up,
my nickname
was Johnny Barbell.
I always wanted to be
the strongest, the fastest.
I can deal
with a lot of pain.
I mean, my father
used to spank me,
and, you know, he'd try
to get me to cry.
I wouldn't cry.
Um, you know, uh,
I played sports
and I was on
the varsity swim team.
I was a triathlete,
and ran, cycled, swam,
so I was in great
physical condition.
Where am I heading? ♪
What is the plan? ♪
I've got to be all ♪
All that I can ♪
I joined the Marines
and it made me stronger.
Announcer: What I'm about
to suggest isn't for everyone.
- It's not easy.
- [grunts loudly]
No way.
John: Our whole battalion
of Marines,
I always finished first.
I strived to be the best,
and that was always
my attitude.
I was a 17,
18-year-old young punk.
John had access
to the Marine Corps base
which had some of
the best basketball courts.
Jonathan Whitaker: John Kaopua
was always at my house,
uh, or I was at his house.
He was my best friend.
John Bobbitt used to take us
to play basketball
and, uh, you know,
go fishing and stuff like that.
He was in shape, so,
17, 18, at that point
you're like,
"Man, you know,
this guy's cool."
We started out in the
on the weights
and stuff like that,
and it was like
he got on the treadmill
and it was like,
he started out slow
but then we was like
trying to run as fast
as he could on it,
and he was doing well,
you know what I mean?
Like, it was like,
"Damn, that's pretty good.
I'm not getting on there,
going that damn fast."
He fancied himself
like Jean-Claude Van Damme,
and he actually had
these natural good looks
and this
this strong body.
He even signed into his pool
as Van Damme.
Biggest misconception
about me,
ahthat I'm
a violent person.
Just because you're
in that field
uh, where you use,
uh, violence,
or, uh
uh, your contact sports
and stuff like that,
that you're, you know,
violent toward another person,
or in a relationship
with a woman.
When I met Lorena,
she was, uh,
she was beautiful.
Met her at
the Marine Corps ball,
was dressed up
in a really nice outfit,
dress blues.
She was really
wearing a pretty dress
and she had
a very sweet smile,
and she had
a cute accent.
And she could barely
speak English,
but, you know,
we exchanged numbers.
My parents told me
not to marry her,
let her go back
to her country,
and if she comes back,
then maybe it was meant to be,
but I didn't listen.
Settling down,
getting married too young,
too fast was
not a good thing for me
and it probably wasn't
a good thing for her, either.
[rain falling]
Hauge: Lorena's lawyers
called me up
and they said, "Look,
"the trial is being set
for John and Lorena,
"and if you want
Lorena's trial to go last,
"we have an opportunity
to move it on the docket,
"so we know what's happened
with John,
and then we know better
how to defend Lorena."
Fletcher: The media in town
that came in from that
came from all over the world,
as far away as Japan.
- You sure about that?
- Yes.
English newscaster:
Lorena Bobbitt sliced off
her husband
John Wayne Bobbitt's penis.
[newscaster speaks French]
Newscaster: You'd think
a famous movie star, politician,
or member of the Kennedy family
was on trial here.
Reporters from all over
the country and the world
have focused on the case
against John Wayne Bobbitt.
Manassas is basically
a bedroom community
to Washington, D.C.
We're a suburb.
We're the home to a lot
of government workers
and military people.
We're only 25 miles from D.C.
Woman: Why do you think
so much attention
is being paid to this case?
'Cause it's a simple story
ofof violence and denial,
and marriage gone amok.
You know, she said, he said,
back and forth.
A little bit of Anita Hill
or Clarence Thomas,
I think,
filters through to here.
Some people had asked me
before that
why we didn't move the trial
out of Manassas,
and I just said,
"Well, where am I gonna go?
I'm hearing from people
in Bangkok to Berlin."
Does she still love him?
I don't know that.
You'd have to ask her.
What a time to be
in Manassas!
I'm like,
"I gotta get a souvenir!"
Woman: 10 bucks apiece.
Murphy: All these local people
started making t-shirts
and underwear to sell,
and other paraphernalia,
capitalizing on the notoriety
Manassas was getting.
We're not doing anything
more than the media's doing
by being here.
We're just selling something
for them to take home.
I was in the shower
one morning, and I thought,
"Manassas, Virginia
A cut above the rest."
Oh, I also did boxer shorts
for his trial that said,
"Manassas, Virginia
Don't cut me short."
I wanted to be here to see
what was gonna happen,
'cause nothing like this has
ever been in Manassas before,
and I think
it's very exciting.
Casco's ice was the cause
of his penis being saved.
I haven't heard
from John Bobbitt.
I haven't had
a thank you from him.
I don't think
it had as much notoriety
since, uh, probably
the Civil War.
Newscaster: Up until now,
a town of 30,000,
has been known as the site
of several Civil War battles,
the Battle of Bull Run.
Now one newspaper dubbed this
"The Battle of the Bobbitts."
Sanchez: And this was
all set against the backdrop
of an evolving
media landscape.
Masters: In 1993,
there's so many cable channels.
That enables a kind of
conduit to the public
that didn't exist in an era
when there were,
like, three or four
big broadcast networks.
Sanchez: CNN was kind of
the dominant news broadcaster
at the time.
For the first time,
I think CNN was feeling
the pressure to compete
with these tabloid channels
and tabloid programs.
These were not
intricate matters
of foreign policy
or health care.
They were tabloid stories.
The public obviously
wants this crap, but in my view,
it's pornography.
It's about arousal.
Sanchez: At this time, it was
kind of the era of Court TV.
That was broadcasting
things all the time.
Announcer: Only Court TV
takes you inside
America's most dramatic trials.
There's nothing more dramatic
than something that's real.
Kaplan: Trials are great.
You have a protagonist.
You have an antagonist.
You have a referee.
It's the dramatist's dream.
This case, it,
it took on a life of its own
and it was hard for me
to understand.
It was a circus, um,
that II'll never forget.
It was out of control.
You know, going past
all these satellite trucks
and cameras and people
wanting to talk to you,
and this is crazy.
Newscaster: Is he a drunk,
a brute, a batterer,
who forced sex
on a young and fearful wife
so many times she finally
went over the edge?
Or is she a calculating,
jealous woman
enraged over
unsatisfying sex,
alleged infidelity
and threats of divorce,
who fabricated rape
to justify it?
Both sides agree,
guilt or innocence
for John Bobbitt
will simply come down
to whom the jurors believe.
Kenneth Hulse: I'd gotten
a notice to serve for jury duty
with Prince William County.
And it never dawned on me
that the jury for his trial
was starting the day
that I was supposed
to show up
for jury duty.
So, I said, you know,
"Put your big boy panties on,
and get in there
and just deal with life."
Becki Rinker: Someone said,
"Oh, it'd be really funny
if you ended up
on that jury."
I was like, "No, never."
Then sure enough, yep.
Murphy: John's trial
was obviously
a sexual crime, because he was
accused of rape and abuse.
So they had to have
our permission, and I said, "No.
We're not going to allow them
to put this on TV."
A courtroom artist is there
because the camera
can't be there.
It's not just about
drawing a picture.
It's to assist
in telling the story.
Murphy: It was clear
as part of our strategy,
I was definitely going to put
John on the stand,
and this first picture here
is of my direct examination
of John,
giving him the opportunity
to tell his story
as to what occurred
during that fateful night.
John: We hung out,
went to a few clubs,
and had a few, uh, beers,
and we had
what's called a B-52.
People think that's
a strong drink, but it's not.
It's a candy drink,
It's, uh,
Bailey's, Kahlua,
and Grand Marnier.
It's a three-layered shot.
It's a candy drink.
It's notnot a lot
of alcohol.
So we had twotwo of those.
And two beers all night long,
that's it.
I don't know
if anybody understands
being exhausted
uh, dead tired,
where, like, an earthquake
couldn't wake you up, you know?
I even folded up my clothes.
A drunk person
don't fold up their clothes.
My clothes were neatly folded.
You know?
Mr. John Wayne Bobbitt
seemed like a, um
a very likable
kind of guy.
He was kind of deceptive
the way he looked.
He looked straight
as a ramrod.
Very attractive,
poster-boy marine, I thought.
It's been a day of graphic
and dramatic testimony
in the trial of John Bobbitt.
Jurors had a chance
to hear Bobbitt
give his own version
of events
on the night his penis
was severed
by his estranged wife,
Newscaster: John Bobbitt's
attorney argued today,
Bobbitt's a nice guy but
not the most sensitive lover,
that he did not force
his wife to have sex,
and that she attacked him
because she was
unsatisfied sexually.
In court, Lorena Bobbitt
tearfully told her story
to a jury of nine women
and three men.
We could only consider, um,
the night in question,
I guess, about the rape.
We could not consider,
um, her actions after,
or all the things
that he had done before.
The judge ruled that
only incidents
within five days
of Lorena's acts
would be admissible.
If he was to be convicted,
it would have to be
on what he allegedly did
on June 23rd,
not for prior bad things
that he did.
Lorena: Because of laws
in Virginia,
I wasn't able to talk about
the whole history of abuse.
We only go from the date
that this happened
up until five days before.
Five days only.
In my mind,
I just remember
his voice saying that
"I will follow you,
no matter where you are,"
and he can have any
kind of sex he wanted with me.
Newscaster: Once Mrs. Bobbitt
took the witness stand,
she described the incident
in detail,
breaking into tears
at times
how her husband
pinned her down,
stifled her screams,
tore off her clothes.
Newscaster 2: Afterwards,
she said she pushed him away,
saying, "How could you
do this to me?"
again and again and again.
Hulse: When I first had
my initial vision of her,
she seemed very frail.
I got this dual, conflicting
personality thing from her.
She wanted to be the victim,
but at the same time,
she wanted to be
a strong woman.
She would go from these very
simple little housewife dresses
and then there were other days
when she would come in
and she would have
hair and makeup
and everything else
going on.
It was crazy that she would
kind of flip-flop,
back and forth. If you're gonna
try to get your case won,
you should stick to a theme
and stay with it,
because this way,
everybody's confused about
what is she really
looking for here?
There's a lot of interest
in this particular case.
The courtroom is small
only 150 people allowed in.
Give us an idea of how
the testimony went today.
Give us some examples
of the testimony today.
Well, I think probably
the most damaging testimony
to the prosecution's side
was when the doctor
that examined Lorena Bobbitt
got on the stand
and said
that when he examined her,
he saw no outward
physical signs of rape,
and that her mental state
didn't fit that of a victim.
Another scientist
another forensics expert
got on the stand and said
the panties that she wore
in his opinion had been cut
and not torn,
as a prosecution witness
had said.
I just remember so vividly
the 12 of us just talking
about if someone was raped,
what should happen?
What would they find?
To show that you are, um
Well, that it's rape,
you have to show some force,
use of force.
I said, "I don't want
to have sex,"
and I was trying to push him,
but I couldn't.
And I, uh, kinda like, um,
slid her panties off
with my foot,
and, umum
And I remember
being on top of her.
He forced me into it
and I heard my, um,
underwear was ripping off,
and, uh,
I was just fighting it.
Murphy: I hired the former
head of forensics in the FBI,
and he reviewed
the forensic evidence for us.
Our expert said that
there's a discrete scissors cut
in the crotch
of those panties,
and then somebody tore it.
The testing came back
to show that they were
itmore likely cut
by a pair of scissors
than they were torn.
I didn't believe someone
would take scissors, because
with all the other details
of the abuse
I remember thinking,
"Why would she lie?"
I said to the jury,
"Where's the first place
she went
after she left the apartment?"
With her hands full
of everything.
She went directly to where
she worked, the nail cuttery.
What's the most prevalent
instrument there? Scissors.
So, you know,
we don't have scissors out,
you know,
in the middle of an assault
trying to cut garments,
so we
so [sighs]
Tom Brokaw: Today the end
of round one in a family feud
that has become the talk
of this country, the Bobbitts.
After two days
of emotional testimony,
it took a jury just a few hours
to reach its verdict.
Rinker: I do remember
just sitting at that table
and everybody is talking
about it around me,
and I remember just looking
at all of them
and they were all so very, um,
set on how they believed
on how it should be.
Hulse: One of the women
that was sitting next to me
kept saying in her heart,
"I just know in my heart
that, you know,
that he did it."
You know, you can't
make a vote from your heart.
You gotta vote with your head,
and you gotta vote
with what's on the table
in front of you.
We got pictures of where she
you know,
where she threw it,
what she used.
That was a big
sidetrack moment for us.
We weren't allowed
to discuss anything
before or after, really.
Um, and then you kinda get
hung up on the knife,
and the what
and the everything,
and I think that maybe
we lost sight of
what he truly
was on trial for.
[camera shutters clicking]
Everybody ready?
Newscaster: The jury
of nine women and only three men
did not buy
the prosecution's argument,
and they reached a verdict
after four hours
of deliberation.
When the words "not guilty"
were read in court,
Bobbitt leaped to his feet
and hugged his attorney.
The state did not
have any proof,
any substantial proof that
anything occurred that night.
As you know, the jury
has rendered their verdict.
The commonwealth, of course,
is not happy about that verdict.
Marital sexual abuse cases
are always difficult cases
to prosecute.
I think that became clear
in the evidence
as it was presented
to the jury.
John's testimony yesterday
was very persuasive.
Anybody who's met John,
spent time around John,
the one thing that everybody
has told me consistently
is that he's incapable of
telling the truth.
Even when it hurts him,
he's incapable
of telling the truth.
[audience murmurs]
- I mean, I mean,
telling a laah!
Strike that!
Thank God I didn't
say that upstairs.
I just want to say, um,
I'm relieved
that this is all over.
Uh, I'm thankful that
uh, I'm thankful for
the jury,
and they believed me and, uh,
now I just want
to get on with my life,
and, you know, 'cause
I got a lot of healing to do
and start my life
over again.
It was very difficult to send
a man to jail for 20 years
for having marital relations
with his wife.
I think that she is
crazy for cutting it off.
She, umshe did what
I would've done, probably.
She just obviously was
not able to prove her case
and so it was a good thing
that he was acquitted
for obviously
what he did not do to her.
[camera shutters clicking]
[cheers and applause]
Gandy: There really wasn't
any attention from the media
on the extraordinary amount
of abuse that occurred to her
before she did this.
The public really
only heard one side.
Sanchez: You know, my sense is
that in many respects,
John's trial was a dress
rehearsal for Lorena's trial.
His was like a little, you know,
little playoff game.
Hers was like the Super Bowl
of the whole thing.
Newscaster: This is not the last
we'll see of the Bobbitts.
They are scheduled to return
to court later this month
for her trial
on malicious wounding charges.
Newscaster 2: Television
cameras would be allowed
in the courtroom
for that trial.
And there's anticipation as
the world awaits her explanation
of why she took
a 7-inch knife
and cut off
her husband's penis.
Next Episode