The original Lorena Bobbitt: San Jose housewife chopped off her husband’s penis in 1907 with a razor because she was sick of him cheating and then fled from cops by dressing up as a man
- Bertha Boronda cut off her husband Frank’s penis with his flat razor in 1907
- He was chronically unfaithful and she discovered a trove of letters from other women
- Bertha then fled their San Jose home in a man’s suit to try to evade police
- She was arrested hours later and was charged with ‘mayhem’
- Bertha was sentenced to five years in San Quentin prison then was freed
- She remarried without incident then died without ever having children
Long before Lorena Bobbitt made global headlines by infamously castrating her husband, a San Jose housewife did the same thing to her cheating spouse.
For years, Lorena’s name has been synonymous with the theme. She attacked her husband John in 1993 while he slept after apparently snapping in a rage following years of rape and domestic abuse.
Eighty-six years earlier, 31-year-old Bertha Boronda attacked her husband in a similar way, albeit with less sophisticated technology.
She took her husband Frank’s straight razor to his penis after he returned home demanding sex having abandoned her for weeks on end with other women.
Bertha Boronda was jailed in 1908, the year after she sliced off her husband’s penis with his flat razor
Bertha then fled their home, wearing a suit that belonged to her brother. She managed to evade police for a few hours then was taken into custody.
Her story is being retold now in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of her death.
According to SF Gate, Bertha had no memory of the maiming when she was interviewed by the police.
She said she ‘blacked out’ after asking Frank whether or not he still loved her.
His response was to ask her for sex.
Bertha was his second wife. He had been embroiled in another scandal with his first spouse when she tried to kill herself by drinking chloroform.
That woman, when asked why she wanted to kill herself, said it was because of her husband’s abuse.
He has also been accused of voter fraud.
Two of Bertha’s other mugshots. She spent five years in San Quentin prison on a single charge of ‘mayhem’
Others who were interviewed as part of the police investigation said they had heard Bertha threaten her husband in the past.
A newspaper clipping from Bertha’s 1908 trial
She told him at least once before that if he cheated on her again she would ‘blow his head off’.
Her trial began in 1908 and was a scandal.
Officially, she was charged with ‘mayhem’ which was defined at the time by state law as any ‘person who unlawfully and maliciously deprives a human being of a member of his body or renders it useless, or cuts or disables the tongue, or puts out an eye, or slits the tongue, nose, ear or lip.’
Bertha was sentenced to five years in jail at San Quentin prison.
Lorena Bobbitt castrated her husband John in 1993 while he was sleeping. Her trial is shown above
Bobbitt’s severed penis is shown in a photograph held up by a doctor at her trial
She spent them quietly then remarried – without incident – upon release.
She died without ever having children.
Lorena Bobbitt, on the other hand, says she has to live with the public fascination of her crime every day.
She has repeatedly bemoaned the fact that she is blamed for castrating him but that he is not blamed for the years of alleged rape and domestic abuse which she says drove her to attack him.
Lorena (right) is shown in a recent image with Amanda Knox who she has bonded with over their respective public scandals