Woman Who Severed Husband's Penis: Why Did She Do It?

catherine beckerBy now you've probably heard the horrific tale of Catherine Becker, a 48-year-old California woman who drugged her husband, cut his penis off, then threw it in the garbage disposal. You may have also heard that she's been slapped with a slew of charges including aggravated mayhem, false imprisonment, assault with a deadly weapon, administering a drug with intent to commit a felony, poisoning, and spousal abuse. Ooh-fah!!! If she's convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole.

But only just today have we learned a little bit about her motive. It seems, according to an anonymous source that spoke with The L.A. Times and a statement by prosecutors, that Becker and her husband had argued earlier in the day over "friends staying at the residence" and that she was angry over an "inappropriate relationship." Police say that when they confronted Becker about the incident, she said her husband "deserved it."


Granted, the crime(s) she committed are pretty much inexcusable. But that doesn't change the fact that we need all the details before she can be sentenced. Personally, I'd like to know what she thinks her husband did to deserve it!

Just speculating here, but an inappropriate relationship could mean a few different things ... did the husband rape or molest someone? Was he abusive? Or is Catherine Becker making it all up? Any of the above are possibilities, but the authorities and a court of law need answers to these questions before deciding how Becker should be punished. In other words, whatever -- if anything -- her husband did to "deserve it" must be factored into the equation.

Similarly, Catherine Becker's mental state should be taken into consideration. If she really is 2011's answer to Lorena Bobbitt, as she's been called, it's possible she's suffering from clinical depression and/or other psychological issues or was mentally tortured (like Lorena). And if so, her punishment shouldn't be the same as a woman who was in her right state of mind. 

Clearly, there are some extra, but crucial details to this crime that need to be explored and put on the table. It's easy to hear what happened and jump to the conclusion that Becker is guilty on all accounts, given the severity of her actions, but that's not how we ought to approach a crime like this under our constitution.

Do you think we need more background on Becker's motive?

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