Lorena (2019) s01e03 Episode Script

An Irresistible Impulse

Woman: What happened June 23rd
in the pre-dawn hours
at this apartment building
in Manassas, Virginia,
is still the subject
of intense speculation.
Elizabeth Vargas:
A lot of people in America
think you must
have done something
to provoke an attack
this vicious.
What do you say
to those people?
Okay, here it is.
Here's what I did.
This is why she did it
I didn't rape her.
She just went crazy.
She struck out because she was
angry because I was leaving her.
She was extremely upset.
And she was mainly upset
because she couldn't
have an orgasm.
She felt the husband was selfish
because he had an orgasm
and she didn't.
So she grabbed
a handful and sliced.
I mean,
this was one angry woman.
- Whack it off.
- I think she did it
so he wouldn't have sex
with anyone else.
I think that was the real reason
why she did it.
Becki Rinker:
There was a lot more
than just a scorned wife
who really just wanted
to stick it to her husband.
I mean, there was a reason why
she got pushed to that point.
Thinking about all the abuse
that she's been through
and everythingin the middle
of the night? Hello!
And how long can you beat
on somebody before they flip?
I don't know. I don't know
what went through her mind,
but I think she did
I think she just went crazy.
She seemed pretty crazy.
Well, actually, she was angry.
She wasn't insane
right at that second.
Yes, she was,
he drove her crazy.
She wasn't loony.
She flipped out over him
beating her the last time
or however
the shit went down. I
I know now
why people flip out.
Every action has a reaction.
You know what I mean?
Like, anybody that endures
that kind of pain, man,
thethe noodle's gonna
slip off the plate.
They're gonna go.
- Do I look presentable?
- Man: You do.
- Is my hair combed?
- Man: Yeah.
Do I have spinach
in my teeth?
DAVID KAPLAN: The Bobbitt trial
was great TV.
We were gonna do it
as a cover story.
And that's what
it would've looked like.
It would've been "The Bobb
Bobbitt Obsession"
with a guest column
unsympathetic to Lorena Bobbitt.
Guest column by Rush Limbaugh.
Uh, but this never ran.
Later in that week,
Skate Gate broke.
Tonya Harding,
Nancy Kerrigan
My tabloid story
was out-"tabloided."
Man: Tabloid fans are certainly
getting their fill this week.
Nancy Kerrigan: Why? Why?
Reporter: The man who
had been videotaping Kerrigan,
hit her on the leg
with a club.
And in Los Angeles,
there is the continuing drama
of the Menendez brothers.
CNN has been following
this third day
of Lorena Bobbitt's
trial in Manassas, Virginia
It was a lot.
It was great fodder.
You know, this was
a wonderful time for tabloid TV.
Man: I think that the line
that used to be drawn
between news and entertainment
is now blurred.
And I don't think
that's a very good idea.
There's nothing wrong
with journalism
being entertaining.
Not everything
has to be spinach.
There's nothing wrong
with tabloid stories.
Carlos Sanchez:
And what better tabloid story
than the saga
of John and Lorena Bobbitt?
The whole country's
gone court crazy.
People have been talking
about this case for months
around the water cooler
at work.
This trial had it all.
That's why we covered it.
Russia has agreed to sell
500 metric tons
of weapons-grade uranium.
Kaplan: When CNN cut away
to coverage of arms talks,
they were deluged
with complaints
about how could they do so?
Reporter: It's the old
secret-thrill theory.
And despite people's denials,
it does seem to apply.
Disgusted as you may be,
you are watching this story,
aren't you?
- Oh, it was a madhouse.
- It wasmedia
- It was media
- Media frenzy.
I went out
to have a cigarette
and he pushed me
in front of a camera.
I didn't mean to.
Diana: He was supposed to,
you know, find me a safe place
to have my cigarette.
And apparently,
they followed me because
they knew I had
something to do with you.
You're with?
- Man 1: Nine.
- Man 2: ABC.
9 and ABC, okay.
[indistinct chatter]
Sanchez: The pressure
to get information
waswas enormous,
it was constant.
Woman: What's the status
of their divorce?
Man: How would you
characterize both of them?
Woman 1:
Did he come to you
- Woman 2: Did he talk
about his wife?
- Um
Sanchez: There is this notion
that people in a newsroom
are smart enough
to weigh the pressures
of competition against
ethical considerations.
But the pressures
of competition will always win.
Of course,
all the competition
waswas about
trying to get interviews
with John Wayne and Lorena.
Man: Well,
they're fighting over there.
Don't you guys
fight over there.
There was a hundred reporters
outside of my door.
And they were just following me
to the courthouse.
And then at the courthouse,
there was a hundred more.
Lorena, any comment?
[indistinct chatter]
Lorena, I love you!
How do you feel?
One of the people
who chased us relentlessly,
uh, was Geraldo.
And he was
the most obnoxious guy.
Just screaming over everybody
and pushing
his camera crew through
just crushing people
out of the way.
Man: Stand back.
Stand back. Get back.
He would send me
pictures of himself
with his autograph.
Alan Hauge: He was on the phone
all the time,
he's sending faxes
every place we were.
But this guy was showing up.
[camera clicking]
And I finally
told Geraldo on the phone,
I said, "I'm not giving you
an interview."
Lorena: I remember
driving with my attorney.
And this camera crew
of Geraldo Rivera
with the big mustache,
was right next to us.
And he had
a crew of ten people.
Andand a couple of vans
running red lights
and waving at me.
[tires screech]
So we just speed up
and drive to the house.
He will get off
with his camera crew,
and go through
the windows of the house,
trying to film.
Alan Hauge:
It was so overbearing on her,
people chasing her,
people showing up,
people banging
on the back door.
Lorena: I would go home
and I would just collapse.
I didn't want to eat,
I didn't want to see anybody.
I just wanted to get
into my room, close the door,
andand sleep all the time.
[bell dinging]
[train whistle blares]
The Manassas, Virginia,
manicurist is scheduled
to return to the witness stand
today to continue
telling her side
of the story.
Medical experts
are also scheduled to testify
to Lorena's
sanity or insanity
at the time
she mutilated her husband
the ultimate question,
after all,
in determining her guilt
or innocence.
Everybody agreed in that case
that she was an abused spouse.
We had found
multiple witnesses.
That was
of immeasurable assistance.
But the, uh, mental defense
II thought that that's
gonna be very difficult.
The defense
that we put on was
what is known in Virginia
as irresistible impulse.
Irresistible impulse
is maybe unique
to the Commonwealth
of Virginia.
It's sim-similar
to temporary insanity.
Blair Howard: And it means that
because of a mental disorder,
you are impacted
at the time of the act
to such a degree
that you cannot control
your impulse to act out.
Dr. Evan Nelson:
In my career,
I've actually
only had two cases
involving insanity
and jury trials
where there's been
an insanity outcome.
Juries, generally,
do not believe in insanity.
Blair Howard:
I knew that we were
gonna be in for a struggle.
Bailiff: All rise.
The Circuit Court
of Prince William County
is now in session.
The Honorable Herman A.
Whisenant Jr. presiding.
Be seated, come to order.
Counsel, you may proceed.
Lisa Kemler:
Dr. Susan Feister.
Susan J. Feister, MD.
I'm the medical director
at the Psychiatric Institute
of Washington, D.C.
I've treated hundreds
of patients who have had
a history of battering
or a history of being raped.
Lisa Kemler: Would you
describe for the jury
what Lorena Bobbitt told you
about spring of 1990?
Yes, she described being under
almost a constant barrage
of verbal violence and abuse.
She continued to state
that she loved her husband.
She continued to hope
that despite the abuse
she had endured, that
the marriage would work out.
But this is very common
in women who are experiencing
this kind of battering
and violence.
I was in love with him.
He was my first love.
I just wanted
to give him a chance.
The religious part of me
played a big part.
We were raised Catholic.
So we grew up
believing in God, obviously,
and the Virgin Mary,
and the saints.
I always wanted
to get married
and stay married,
because my parents
are married for a long time.
I was a virgin
when I married John.
I believed that I just give
my whole life to this man,
that I'm gonna
be with him forever.
And, um, you know, to me,
divorce was a failure.
When did you
first become aware
that you were pregnant?
When we used to live
in Lakewood Apartments on 1990.
James Lowe: How did it happen
that you got pregnant?
II stopped taking
the birth control
and, um, so I could
become pregnant.
James Lowe: Why did you want
to become pregnant?
Because I wanted to become
a mother and because I wanted
I wanted to
uh, to have his child.
Lorena: When I found out
that I was pregnant,
I just have hopes
that he was gonna change.
I thought to myself,
"This is it.
The family
that I always wanted."
It's the beginning
of a new life.
It could be
the end of sadness.
Well, I didn't know nothing
about the pregnancy at all
until she came home
from work one day
and she put a bib
around me and said,
you knowyou know,
she was pregnant.
I said You know,
I was kinda shocked
because I wasn't ready
for something like that.
And And I told her
we weren't ready for children.
I mean,
we were just getting settled
and we didn't have money,
we didn't have
financial security.
We were way over our heads.
WeWe And then
she wanted to get pregnant.
And then, like What?
Because she was
from South America and she
you know, she didn't have
what it took to, you know,
live within her means.
She wanted too much,
too fast.
Uh, she wanted it all.
Dr. Feister: He became
extremely enraged.
He told her that she would
make a terrible mother.
Uh, and that, um,
if she did have a child,
that he would refuse to, um,
help out or support the child.
And essentially, he told her
she had to make a choice,
either between him
or the baby.
She talked to Janet.
Janet told her
she had a couple abortions.
You know,
it wasn't that bad.
So we both agreed
about getting an abortion.
Lorena: He said, "Well,
you cannot have this child.
You're gonna go and do
whatwhat bad girls do."
He took me against my will.
The whole time,
he was joking
about how big the needles
was gonna be,
that I'm gonna
be put to sleep.
I was crying so much
and shaking that
the nurse came and took me
away from him.
They give me something
to calm me
and they start the procedure.
II really felt that
I felt guilty
after the whole thing.
I couldn't eat.
I wasI feel very weak.
I feel sick. I feel
like the life is over.
I felt
I felt like
I was falling apart.
He would taunt her
with repeated
degrading and demeaning
He told me that
that I was Spanish
and I don't deserve him.
He told her she was ugly,
that she had a bad figure,
that she couldn't
speak English.
A number of them were comments
that had racial overtones.
Lorena started to believe
a lot of the things
that John was telling her.
She began to feel worthless,
that she was unattractive,
that no one
would want her.
I think she thought
if they got a divorce
that she would
have to go back,
that she couldn't stay.
'Cause she was afraid
of being sent back.
- Deported to her homeland
- Deported.
Every time he fight with me,
he threatened to take away
all my paperwork
from Immigration.
I was scared.
I mean, all of this
things that John was saying,
"Oh, you're gonna be deported,
you're gonna be
sent out to South America.
You know, you're not gonna
get the green card.
And you're an alien,
you're a foreigner."
He told me that I don't deserve
to be in this country.
And he always threatened me
to tell Immigration
that they can kick me out.
During her testimony,
she said several times
that he would denigrate her
because she was Hispanic.
I think that fed into local
Hispanic radio.
And they began to lament about,
uh, this Hispanic woman
kind of being out there.
We believe every human
deserves respect.
We have wanted to present
in the most respectful way,
the story of this woman.
To begin with,
I didn't know her personally.
But after the news,
I heard so much
because it was almost every day
and every channel in everywhere
talking about Lorena Bobbitt.
I was afraid for her,
to be honest.
As a woman,
as a mother, as a sister.
I called the radio station
and I said,
whoever want to come
and support Lorena,
I will be
really appreciate it
because this young lady
who's in this country by herself
and being abused
she needs support.
I didn't believe
it will be so big a response
[crowd chattering]
[man speaking Spanish]
Lorena Latin America
is with you
Lorena Guatemala
supports you
Man: Yeah,
why is everyone here today?
We come to support to Lorena.
Sanchez: A lot of the
Hispanic community
living, particularly,
in Maryland and D.C.,
didn't have access to Manassas,
because Manassas was beyond
the reach of the Metro rail.
Gladys Oralla:
I was in Maryland,
but I took the train
all the way to Virginia.
And then I took a taxi.
And I didn't realize
that I have no money.
And I say to the drivers,
"Excuse me.
How much is gonna be?
'Cause I have only $5
in my wallet."
He say, "Oh, no. Don't worry.
I'll take you for free
because my mother
was abused as well."
Sanchez: People were calling in
the Spanish stations
and basically offering rides
to other Hispanics
to come show their support.
Crowd: [chanting]
Free Lorena Bobbitt!
Free Lorena Bobbitt!
Free Lorena Bobbitt!
Sanchez: It was
a bitterly cold January.
There was a lot
of snow that month.
There was a lot of
ice storms that month.
Crowd: [chanting]
Free Lorena!
Free Lorena!
Sanchez: But on a daily basis
during Lorena's trial,
there was easily 50 to 100
Hispanic supporters
from all over the region
who were there to cheer her on
for about 30 seconds
when she entered
the courthouse
and when she left
the courthouse.
And they stayed there all day.
[chanting and cheering]
It was incredible.
It make me feel
that I wasn't alone.
[chanting and cheering]
Lorena! Lorena!
We are with you, Lorena!
That meant so much to me.
I never forget that. Never.
Lowe: In early June,
was there an incident,
involving a tape recorder?
Yes, sir. It was.
Lowe: Why did you have
the tape recorder?
I wanted to have a divorce,
so II got myself
a tape recorder.
And I recorded the insults
and the put-downs
that he did to me so I can
show it to the divorce lawyer.
Lowe: What happened
the night of the tape,
that he found the tape recorder?
What did he do?
He hit me. He slapped me.
He pulled my hair.
And he beat me out there.
He also raped me there.
Lowe: When you'd resist sex,
what kind of sex would
would he threaten you with?
He will
he will have anal sex.
And he will
force me into sex.
Lowe: Were you afraid of him
at this time?
Yes, sir, I was.
Lowe: And he threatened to do
something to you when you left.
Yes, sir, he did.
Lowe: What did he threaten
to do to you if you left?
That he will follow me
because he will know
He will stay
outside of my work.
He know where I work
and he will follow me
no matter what.
And he can have any kind
of sex anywhere, anyhow,
no matter what.
That's what he told me.
Lorena: It was a nightmare.
I was ashamed,
I was scared.
I couldn't even
talk to anybody
because it was
just embarrassing
and painful.
I felt that
I'm living in hell.
I felt a sense of peace
when he wasn't at home.
I mean, II liked that
so at least for that part,
I wasn't abused.
And then everything
start all over again.
It's like,
he didn't let go of me.
I was suffering
from anxiety.
I couldn't eat anything.
Anything that I will eat,
I will just throw up.
I couldn't even sleep.
My health was deteriorating.
Woman: Lorena Bobbitt
is one of the more celebrated
battered women,
but we never
hear about the countless
other victims
and there are lots of them.
Studies show male partners
are responsible
for 4 million
assaults on women a year.
Melissa Jeltsen: In 1993,
when this happened,
over 2,000 women were killed
by their intimate partners.
We didn't have
a national hotline
for domestic violence victims.
We didn't have federal funding
for shelters.
So, you know,
for desperate women
who were stuck
in these situations,
we see them, you know,
taking desperate measures.
In some cases,
the women fight back.
Some even kill their batterers.
And when the do,
what should happen?
[siren wailing]
Man: The standard
of the law is clear.
To claim self-defense, you have
to be in imminent danger,
under attack, literally
fighting for your life.
[woman cries out]
- Woman 1: Squeeze my hand.
- Woman 2: Squeeze Suzy's hand.
But a new legal standard
called the battered woman
is forcing Americans
to redefine self-defense.
Experts liken it to
post-traumatic stress disorder.
A heightened sense of fear,
a sense of isolation
from other people,
a feeling of powerlessness
and helplessness
that her own actions
do not have much
of an effect.
Um, lowered self-esteem.
Woman: Scared for my life.
I still am.
Even though they knew he had
detained me,
even though I told 'em
he threw me up against
a refrigerator,
even though I told 'em that
he had threatened to kill me,
they said there was nothing
they can do.
I don't have enough evidence
to make any charges
at this time.
If you smack your wife
the first time
and get away with it,
it's easier to punch her
the second time.
It's easier to stab her
the third time.
And it's easier to kill her
the fourth time.
Evan Nelson: In criminal cases,
self-defense is where you feel
like you are imminently
about to be attacked.
But with battered women
the idea is that we're
stretching this.
That the imminence may be,
"He might come back to abuse me
in a couple of days.
"Or a couple of weeks.
And that this is my time
when I can respond."
And during the 1990s,
there were a lot of cases
that tried to use
battered women syndrome
as a defense
in the courtroom.
Woman: In her mind, often,
she's also acting on
all the previous acts,
and so it raises
her level of fear
to the legal standard
of self-defense.
Alan Dershowitz: She didn't use
the simple option
get out.
Move. Do something.
You don't go to the kitchen,
pick up a knife,
and mutilate your husband.
That's the last recourse,
not the first recourse.
So many people think they know
what they would do
if something happened.
"If my husband ever
raised a hand to me,
I'd be out of there
immediately." Right?
I've heard so
countless women say that,
but the reality is
that you don't know
what you'd do
if somebody you loved
raised a hand to you.
Man: Some women stay
in abusive relationships
because they see no way out.
It is not at all uncommon
for batterers to threaten,
um, the battered woman,
that if she tries
to leave the relationship,
that they will come
and find her
and she will
suffer further harm.
Woman: Women are a lot more
vulnerable once they do leave.
He's more likely to kill her
after she leaves him.
Jeltsen: We know so much now
about what happens
in abusive relationships,
in the lead-up to a homicide.
We know that most women
are killed,
either in the process
of leaving their partner,
or in the six months at
directly afterward.
So that's a really volatile time
and the reason why we have
restraining orders, so that
women can be protected
while they're
trying to leave.
So, it makes complete sense
that that was something
Lorena Bobbitt was trying to do
at the time.
What time of the day
did you go in
to file
the Protective Order?
I think it was
in the morning, sir.
Did you ever get
the Order issued?
No, he told me to come back
three or four hours later
or Wednesday,
'cause his secretary
wasn't at lunchtime
or something.
And Wednesday
is after the incident,
isn't it?
The incident happened
Tuesday night,
Wednesday morning?
Yes. Yes.
Howard: They were staying
in the same household,
but she had announced
that she was moving out.
She'd moved some of her stuff
to a next-door-neighbor's house.
And she essentially said,
"I was sleeping there,
but that was it."
Diana Fletcher: She had brought
her stuff to my apartment.
[sighs] I don't remember
what we talked about.
I know we talked about him.
Lowe: As I understand it,
during this last week or so,
before this incident,
Lorena reported to you
that she intended
to leave John.
Diana: She told me
that Sunday night.
Lowe: She told you
that he'd been raping her?
Yeah, that he had raped her
and beat her.
Lowe: Did she also tell you,
uh, that she was tired
of the abuse?
- Yes.
- Lowe: Did she also tell you
that her husband would
track her down
orhad threatened
to track her down,
whatever she did?
He said he
he always came and found her
when she left him.
She did not appear to you
to be either vengeful
or mad, did she?
Diana: I feel I didn't
do enough to help her.
I really do.
But I don'tyou know, I don't
know what else I could've done.
You can't make somebody
leave their husband
if they don't want to leave.
I know sheyou get
to a breaking point.
Anybody's gonna break
to a point,
if they'reendure that much
aggression, or abuse,
or whatever it is.
Anybody. Her, you, him.
There's no question that this
guy tormented this lady.
I mean, just
the conversations, you know,
people kinda sharing stories
of what they saw with you
you know, there was a reason
it went down like that.
Diana: I told her, you know,
there are places you can go.
But she went back home.
And I think it was
the next night that she did it.
- It was a Wednesday.
- Was it?
- Yes, it was.
- I don't remember. [chuckles]
Tuesday night,
Wednesday morning
something like that.
Lorena: June 22, 1993 was
I remember summer
I went to work.
I was working.
I was working fine.
[phone ringing]
He called me at work
asking what time
I was supposed to be home.
And I told him.
I said, "I'm working,
and I'm working
until late at night."
I was working until 8:00.
Lowe: Why did you stay
in the apartment that night?
Couldn't you have gone
and stayed with Janna,
or Mrs. Castro,
or something like that?
No, I didn't want
my friends to know
that he was
hitting me again.
Lorena: He has his
his friend living with us
Robert Johnston.
So I said, to Robbie,
you know,
"Well, let's go out
and hang
you know, go out
for a little while."
So, we went and hung out
andto a few clubs and
we had what
what's called a B-52.
It's a three-layered shot.
It's a candy drink.
There's not
not a lot of alcohol.
So we had two
two of those,
and two beers
all night long.
That's it.
We weren't drunk 'cause
we didn't wanna drive drunk.
Paul Ebert: In total,
how much would you say
you had to drink
on this occasion?
I had, uh, five beers
and that one, uh, the B-52.
Ebert: And how much did John
have to drink?
John had the same amount as me
except he had one more,
uh, B-52.
Ebert: Now, sir,
were you feeling, uh,
the influence
of what you had to drink?
Uh, sure.
Ebert: But nevertheless,
you drove, is that correct?
Ebert: What time was it
when you arrived home?
We arrived home
about 3:00, 3:15.
Lorena: II was awake by a
by, um, the strong closing
uh, the slammed door.
Lowe: Did you
go back to sleep?
Back to sleep.
Got into bed and then just
fell right to sleep.
- Ebert: You fell asleep?
- Fell asleep.
John: I woke up
about an hour later
and I saw Lorena
laying on her back.
And, uhand then I remember,
you know, it's
you know, touching her and
and then I remember,
like, you know,
rolling over on top of her.
And then I just went
fell backback off to sleep.
And, uh, I don't remember
anything el-else happening
after that until
I was just laying on my back.
Ebert: Did you or did you not
have sex with her that night?
Well, um,
II don't really know, sir,
if I did or not.
Lowe: What's the next thing
that you're aware of?
I felt like a pull down
to my underwears.
And then,
he was on top of me.
And And I wake up,
I was like, um
try to what wastry to
find out what was going on.
And, uh,
he grabbed my wrist
and press it down to my hips.
And, uhthen he, uh,
I felt like I couldn't breathe
andand he was
his chest and his right shoulder
was on my face
mymy mouth.
And then he, uh
I asked him,
"What are you doing?"
And he didn't say anything.
I saidI said,
"I don't want to have sex."
And then,
he wouldn't listen to me.
He wouldn't
let melet me go.
He pulled
mymy underwears down and
he, um
he forced himself into me.
I was just crying
trying to cry loud,
but I couldn't breathe.
I couldn't breathe.
Lowe: What happened next?
He was hurting me.
-[crying] He hurt me.
-Were you afraid of him then?
Yeah, I
He was hurting me.
I feel like
I don't know,
like my vagina
was ripping up or something.
I couldn't say this.
I can't describe
maybe you don't understand
because you're a man.
He didn't understand
because he's a man,
but it hurt me.
And I told him
why he do this to me
again and again and again?
And what did he say to you?
Nothing. He pushed me away
'cause he doesn't care.
He doesn't care
about my feelings.
That's what he said.
She was trying to talk to me
when I was sleeping.
"You hurt my feelings.
You did it again and again
and again.
Are you happy?"
She was trying
to talk to me.
So I didn't respond
to her sexually and verbally
because I was exhausted.
I don't know why she didn't know
that III was so
so dead tired, I couldn't
understand or react
to any of her advances.
Lorena: Then I was just
fall into this numbness
that I felt before.
Part of me wanted to,
you know, say,
"Justjust kill me here,
I'm just gonna die."
All I wanted to do
was just get away from him.
I don't quite remember how
I got out of my bed or nothing,
it was just like a zombie.
I just tried
to calm myself down.
I went to the kitchen
for a glass of water.
I was drinking the water, trying
to calm myself down and
The only light that was on
was the refrigerator
light, and
I saw the knife.
I remember many things
and I remember a lot of things.
And I remember
the first time he raped me,
I remember whenwhen
he told me about the syringes
that go through my bones
and I was gonna die.
And I remember the put-downs,
that he told me
there were just so many pictures
in my head.
I remember the insults
and the bad words he told me.
And I remember every time
that hehe had anal sex
anal sex with me
he hurt me.
I remember everything.
Do you remember cutting him?
No, I don't remember that.
No, I'm sorry,
Were you thinking
about right or wrong
when you did that?
Mary Grace O'Brien:
Judge, I would object
at this point.
He's leading the witness.
Judge: Sustained.
No leading questions.
The next thing I remember
was that I was in the car.
I just felt like it was,
like, in a very slow motion.
II would never
really quite understand
what was happening
whatever I did.
Obviously, it was me.
I was the one
that did cut him.
I try to drive.
In one hand I have the knife
and in the other hand I have
his organ.
And the first thing
I got scared.
And I tossed it
through the window.
I have no idea how I got to
II went to work.
I went to work
in the middle of the night.
I find myself
try to open the door.
But I just
couldn't open it
because I still
have the knife in my hand.
And I justso screaming
in the middle of the night
and then I said,
"Well, I didn't even"
I didn't understand
what happened.
So I throw the knife away.
I opened the door,
and I just felt peace.
All I wanted to do
was just be safe.
O'Brien: Mrs. Bobbitt, is it
your testimony this morning
that you don't remember cutting
your husband's penis off
on June the 23rd?
No, ma'am.
O'Brien: You say you remember
picking up the knife?
O'Brien: What were you thinking
when you picked up the knife?
Did you think
about cutting John?
Lorena: [crying] No.
No, I didn't.
I just think of the pictures.
You don't remember
leaving your apartment
that night?
O'Brien: You don't remember
picking up your purse
and Robbie's Game Boy?
That's what II assume so.
I had to answer to myself.
II have to answer
to myself what I did.
You don't remember it?
No, ma'am, II
No, I don't remember that. No.
Clay Cocalis: I remember
very vividly, she said,
"I went to the kitchen.
I opened the refrigerator.
The refrigerator light
illuminated a knife."
So that's pretty good recall.
And then to say
you have no memory of it,
that didn't seem
very credible
that she would
not remember that.
O'Brien: Then you went
to the hospital,
and you saw Detective Weintz.
Lorena: Yes, ma'am.
O'Brien: And then he turned on
the tape recorder.
And he asked you questions
and you answered the questions.
Lorena: Yes, ma'am.
Do you remember saying to him
I remember. Yes, ma'am.
O'Brien: And then you said,
"Then I took it
Do you remember saying that?
Yes, ma'am.
And that was the truth too?
Yes, ma'am,
it was the truth.
Cocalis: They passed that
knife and the pictures around
and for the benefit,
I will tell you that
she might've thought
about going to medical school
because that was
such an amazing cut.
There was no bump,
there was no nub.
It was surgical in nature.
Lisa Kemler: Do you have
an opinion, Dr. Feister,
as to whether or not
Lorena Bobbitt was suffering
from any severe
mental disease or disorder
at the time that
she cut off her husband's penis?
Yes. She suffered from
post-traumatic stress disorder,
major depressive disorder,
and anxiety disorder
that is panic disorder.
Kemler: And what, if anything,
in your opinion,
did those disorders
have to do
with her ability
to control her impulses?
I don't believe that she had
control over her, um, actions
at that point in time.
She was already experiencing
severe distress.
Her husband
psychologically closed off
every avenue of escape for her.
He said to her that it didn't
really matter if she left
because he would continue
to be violent toward her,
and rape her,
and abuse her.
This created,
for her, an impasse.
Uh, a situation
that made her crazy.
She became psychotic.
And at that point in time,
she attacked
the instrument of her torture
that is her husband's penis.
Kemler: Do you have an opinion
as to whether or not
that was consistent
with irresistible impulse
as defined in the
Virginia law.
I believe her behavior
was consistent
with the irresistible impulse.
To have an irresistible impulse
defense for insanity,
first, the person has to have
an identifiable mental illness
or disorder.
And because
of the mental disorder,
they are incapable
of stopping themselves.
Dr. Nelson: When she gets
to the emergency room,
she gives us a very
succinct explanation.
"I was angry."
Here she was,
getting more powerful
and preparing to leave.
And here he was trying
to make it more difficult.
When Mr. Bobbitt did
what she perceived as a rape,
that was a challenge
to her sense of control.
And I believe
that she got intensely angry.
Lorena Bobbitt
could have walked away.
She could've walked
right out of that apartment
and straight down
to the police department.
She could've called 9-1-1,
but she didn't.
She pauses to get a knife
and go back and cut him.
From my perspective, I couldn't
say that this was insanity.
This lady was terribly
emotionally aroused, excited,
angry or enraged,
but I see no evidence
of a psychotic episode.
As a psychiatrist
for the Commonwealth
of Virginia testified,
she doesn't have any type
of psychotic disorder
that causes
that kind of impulse.
How do you know that?
How do you know she doesn't?
What kind of psychotic disorder
does it take
when you're abused
over four years?
None of the traditional symptoms
of an impulse disorder
are here, Bob.
I think I basically feel
that she was lying.
I'm disconcerted
by the idea
that she so palpably
changed her story.
And she changed it to meet
the requirements of the law.
Charlie Rose:
When did she lie?
She lied when she testified
that she forgot
about everything
that had happened that night.
The devil
didn't make her do this.
Um, she did it herself,
and now she'll
have to pay the consequences.
- Howard Stern: Hey, John Wayne.
- John: Yeah.
Stern: I got the whole thing
figured out
after watching
your wife's testimony.
- John: Hmm.
- Stern: She just wanted
to hold on to you.
- John: Yeah. She did.
And she got mad.
I broke up with her.
She was hurting.
And she wanted me to hurt
and that's why she did that.
Stern: I don't even
buy this whole thing
that he was
raping her and stuff.
Like, she didn'tyou know,
she's not that great looking.
She's got a lot of pimples,
your ex-wife.
- John: Yeah.
- Stern: I thought so.
Her skin didn't
look that good.
- John: Uh-huh.
- Stern: I think she needs
a little vitamin Bobbitt.
Robin Quivers: Oh, jeez.
[indistinct chatter]
Judge: You may have a seat
if you would, please,
ladies and gentlemen.
Call your next witness, sir.
Howard: Yes, Your Honor.
Regina Keegan, Your Honor.
My name is Regina E. Keegan,
and I live
in Centreville, Virginia.
Howard: Directing your attention
to the month of June, 1993,
did you have an occasion
to visit the Nail Sculpture
here in, uh, the Centreville?
- Yes, sir, I did.
I was going to get my nails
manicured and my eyebrows waxed.
Howard: Do you know the person
that did that work?
Yes, she's sitting
at the table there, sir.
Howard: Was there anything
about what she did to your nails
that you felt was incorrect?
Um, the manicure
was very bad.
And, um
my eyebrows
were uneven.
That testimony was extremely
important, I thought,
to show that Lorena suffered
from post-traumatic
stress disorder.
- Howard: identify.
- Yes, sir.
Howard: She saw Lorena
just days before the incident.
Keegan: When I made
the appointment,
the lady said,
"Okay, you'll meet with"
I thought she said "Lena."
And I think I wrote down "Lena"
on my little day planner.
And I'm fairly sure
that I probably called her Lena
and she did not correct me.
She's too polite.
So we sat down and, um,
she pulled up her sleeves.
And she was black and blue
from here to here.
Like bruises.
And itand it wasn't like
just a hit.
They went around.
And I went
And she very quickly
did this thing.
And she just looked up
my heart broke.
I just knew something
was wrong with this girl.
Howard: During the course of her
doing any work on you,
did you notice some change
in her demeanor or behavior?
Keegan: Yes, sir.
Her breathing changed.
Like she was short of breath.
And her hands
were trembling,
and she had tears
in her eyes.
I said, "How did you get
those bruises on your arms?"
And she looked at me and she
said, "My husband hurt me."
That's how he liked
to grab her
was by her wrists.
And she said to me,
"In our apartment,
"he was going to drop me
over the railing.
"And he said to me,
If I drop you, I'm just gonna
tell everybody you jumped."
I told her she needed to leave
the situation that she was in.
I told her about
places she could go,
people that could help her.
And as I said that, she became
more and more frightened
inin appearance.
She was trembling
and shaking.
Um, to me,
she appeared terrified.
And I said to her,
"You can't go home to this guy.
I will take you to my house."
And she said, "No.
My husband says if I leave him,
"he will kill me,
and he'll kill you.
He'll come after you
and he'll kill you."
And I gave her a hug.
It was like hugging my daughter.
I mean,
that's how small she was.
And I didn't
want to leave her
because I was
really afraid for her.
I remember my girlfriend,
soon thereafter,
talking about "the crazy lady
with the knife."
The Bobbitt thing was big news
and it was everywhere.
I was a busy mom.
I didn't read the newspapers.
I didn't watch television.
The summer went.
Kind of avoided it.
Man: Washington, D.C.
This is the news.
Woman: John Bobbitt
takes the witness stand
Keegan: I was sitting there
one day.
Kids were out of the house.
I was folding socks,
looking at the television.
And they're showing footage
from the Manassas courthouse.
The testimony is over
and the evidence is in tonight
in the marital sexual assault
trial of John Bobbitt.
On day two of the trial
Keegan: They were talking
about his trial.
And I see "Lena"
walk across the screen.
And I went,
"Oh, my God.
"Oh, my God.
"That's the girl.
And what do I do?"
Prosecutor Paul Ebert
argued that something
sexual happened
that drove her over the edge.
She struck out
[audio fades]
Keegan: I called
the Prince William courthouse.
So I got on the phone
with the first lady.
And then, there was
a man's voice on the phone.
- Paul Ebert: Hello.
- Keegan: And he said,
"Good afternoon, Mrs. Keegan.
My name is Paul Ebert."
So I told him the story.
And he said, "Son of a bitch.
If I had had this,
I could've nailed that bastard."
I said, "Excuse me?"
He said, "Oh, I'mI'm sorry.
I'm sorry, Mrs. Keegan.
"I can't use you.
I wish I had you for this trial,
"but it's gone to the jury.
"And I'm gonna
give you a phone number.
"And I want you
to call this phone number.
It belongs
to Mr. Blair Howard."
[phone ringing]
And the number he gave me
was the back line.
The woman that answered
the phone said,
"How did you get this number?"
"Paul Ebert gave it to me."
She just said,
"Would you please hold on?"
He could've buried me.
He could've just said,
"Goodbye, Mrs. Keegan.
Thank you for calling."
He was the one that said,
"You can't help me,
"but you can help Lorena.
And you call Mr. Howard."
That's all I have, ma'am.
Keegan: When I had
finished testifying,
Mr. Ebert and I
looked at each other,
and we kinda locked eyes.
Mr. Ebert?
And in that moment,
he decided,
"I'm not even gonna touch her."
No questions.
Judge: Do we excuse
this witness?
- Ebert: Yes, Your Honor.
- Judge: Thank you.
Thanks for your time
and your testimony.
Thank you.
Judge: Next witness.
I think Paul Ebert would have
liked to convict him,
but I don't think
he really wanted
to convict Lorena.
I agree.
You wanna talk about that?
Well, that'sI agree with you,
but Mr. Ebert's better suited
toto address that
than I am.
Just like any other case,
just go for it
and see what happens.
And that's what we did.
Ebert: Dr. Ryans.
Her case,
the state's doctor that
we were relying on,
changed his testimony
in the middle of the trial.
And, uh
For one reason
or another.
Ebert: You, personally,
you changed your opinion
after this trial started.
Keegan: He told that
psychiatrist to call me.
I know he did because
the psychiatrist said,
"Mr. Ebert
told me to call you
"and speak with you.
I have a few questions
and you would be
the best one to answer them."
Mrs. Keegan, uh, asked her,
"Why don't you leave?"
She says,
"I'm his wife, he'll kill me."
She said, uh,
she was crumbling.
At one time,
she was happy and cheerful,
but then she seemed sad
and overwhelmed,
hopeless, shaking,
crying, trembling."
Uh, she gave symptoms which were
compatible with the diagnosis
of post-traumatic
stress disorder.
Curt Gergely: Initially,
all the state psychiatrists
were in agreement.
They thought
that she was of sound mind
and had her full faculties
when this had happened,
and that it was
a matter of spite, anger.
The pivotal point for me
was when the state's
forensic psychiatrist
changed his testimony
Yes, sir.
Gergely: and said
that she was not in control
of her faculties.
Judge: Doctor, thank you for
your time and your testimony.
You are excused,
you may go.
Dr. Ryans: Thank you.
Cocalis: I think they
did a really good job
of portraying her
as the victim.
You felt sorry
for the woman.
But, was she, by the definition
of the Commonwealth of Virginia,
was she criminally insane
at the moment?
I thinkI think she
she unequivocally knew
exactly what she was doing.
Lorena: During the trial,
I was thinking,
my life is gonna be over.
My American dream
was gonna be shattered.
Jail, you know.
It's gonna be jail.
I'm gonna bethat's all
that's the only thing
that I would thought.
I was just praying to God
that all the evidence were,
you know, in place.
John Holliman: The trial has
now gone into recess.
When it resumes on Tuesday,
the prosecution and defense
will begin their
closing arguments.
That'll be their last chance
to convince this jury
of seven women and five men
that Lorena Bobbitt
is either guilty or innocent.
John Holliman, CNN,
Manassas, Virginia.
Lorena: My attorneys
I just had to basically
depend onon what
they were gonna say,
and hopefully, save my life.
Alright, Ms. O'Brien.
O'Brien: Ladies and gentlemen,
this is a case about anger.
It's a case about revenge.
And it's a case
about retribution.
It is the commonwealth's
contention that what it is
is a calculated and malicious
act of revenge.
Is this a deadly weapon?
You bet.
This is a deadly weapon.
This is what she used.
Howard: I heard a lady say
one time,
that a woman's body
is her home.
That her body is
the most intimate contact
that she has with her soul.
To rape a woman
is not only
a violation of the body,
but it's also a ravishment
of her soul.
It is in a direct attack
on the emotional structure
that holds a woman together.
If you believe that that's
what that woman felt,
when she went into that room
and did that act,
the verdict is "not guilty."
You heard a lot of talk
about psychotic behavior,
stress disorder,
battered women,
other psychological jargon,
but if there's
no irresistible impulse,
there's no insanity.
Her husband came home,
he was drunk,
he wanted to have sex,
she didn't
that's her right.
He forced her to have sex.
She was angry.
And she retaliated
against him.
Physical abuse, sexual abuse,
forced abuse, anal abuse
this girl was crumbling,
she was falling apart.
She snapped.
She did not have
the wherewithal
at that moment.
I You know, to me,
this is so obvious.
It's got to be
obvious to you.
When you're in this
unhealthy state of mind,
can there be any question?
She could not control
her impulsive act.
O'Brien: Ladies and gentlemen,
what she did cannot be excused,
it cannot be condoned,
and it cannot be justified.
I ask you to find her guilty
of malicious wounding.
This lady is ill.
And every doctor
has told you that.
This lady has been stripped
of all dignity,
of all self-confidence.
She needs a lot of help.
She needs your help.
By your verdict,
you can restore
a little bit of self-respect
so she can walk
out of this courtroom
with her head up.
I know you're gonna
do the right thing.
And that's because justice,
ladies and gentlemen,
is for all.
For the weak
as well as the strong.
Thank you.
Judge: Ladies and gentlemen
of the jury
you have heard the evidence
in this matter.
At this time,
you may go with the bailiff.
You'll be brought
all the exhibits
that were
placed into evidence.
Then you can start
with your deliberations.
[door slams]
Kim Masters,
based on what you've heard,
do you assume she may be
convicted of this?
I would not be taking out
any long-term leases
if I were Lorena Bobbitt
right now.
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