See the update on page 2 with our headline winner for this case.
ORIGINAL POST, JAN. 5, 3:48 P.M.: One of Orange County's most bizarre (and, for half of the population, painful) stories of 2011 concerned Catherine Kieu Becker, the Garden Grove woman accused of tying down her estranged husband as he slept in bed, pulling down his pants, slicing off his penis, tossing the member into the garbage disposal and flipping the switch on. Today, the county grand jury indicted the 48-year-old woman on one felony count of torture, one felony count of aggravated mayhem, and a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a knife.
If convicted of those charges, Kieu could get life in state prison without the possibility of parole. She is currently being held in lieu of $1 million bail as she awaits an arraignment hearing Monday in Santa Ana. She pleaded not guilty at a September hearing.
The defendant and her 60-year-old husband, who has not been identified as he is a perceived domestic violence victim, married on Dec. 29, 2009. He filed for divorce in May 2011, but they continued living together in the Flower Tree condominium complex at 14171 Flower St., Garden Grove.
On the night of July 11, 2011, they argued over the possibility of a friend staying at their residence at a later date. She later served her husband dinner, and there have been reports it was tofu laced with something that knocked him out. Feeling tired around 9 p.m., he retired for the evening.
As he slept, Kieu is accused of tying up his legs and arms to the four corners of his bed with nylon ropes. It was as he awoke that she allegedly pulled down his pants, grabbed his penis and severed it with a 10-inch kitchen knife. Kieu is accused of then taking the penis to the kitchen, throwing it into the garbage disposal, turning it on, and mutilating the organ.
Kieu was the one who made the 9-1-1 call that night and, despite her not guilty plea, authorities pinned something of a confession on her at the time, saying she told the dispatcher her husband “deserved it.”
A first responder fetched the penis out of the disposal and rushed it and to UCI Medical Center in Orange. After emergency surgery, hospital officials declined to confirm whether the penis was successfully re-attached, saying only the patient was expected to survive.
Reached there by the local media, Kieu's husband declined to identify himself, would not discuss the incident and called the attack a “private matter.” That has not stopped media around the country from comparing Kieu to Lorena Bobbitt, who famously sliced off the pecker of John Wayne Bobbitt while her then-husband slept in 1993.
UPDATE, JAN. 10, 12:21 P.M.: Methinks an OC Weekling is moonlighting at TalkRadio 790 KABC, based on this headline on the AM station's website about the continued arraignment of Catherine Kieu Becker, who is accused of slicing off her husband's schlong:
“Husband's Penis Makes Court Appearance.”
One prays the manhood was represented by competent counsel.
Seems like the basis for a joke, no? What did the lawyer say when the penis walked into court? “It's like looking into a mirror.”
Kieu is looking at life in state prison without the possibility of parole with a conviction on charges the grand jury handed down Thursday: felony torture and aggravated mayhem.
Monday's arraignment of the Garden Grove 48-year-old, who spoke to her lawyer through an interpreter, was postponed until February.
Hope we don't have a … wait for it … hung jury.
- Catherine Kieu Becker Pleads Not Guilty to Slicing Off Hubby's Pecker and Grinding It in Garbage Disposal
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.