US woman who severed husband's private part, is no 'black widow'

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LOS ANGELES : A US woman cut off her husband’s private part because she “wanted him to stop hurting her” with it, and was enraged that she thought he had another woman, her lawyer said Wednesday.

Catherine Kieu Becker planted audio devices to try to catch him having sex  with a lover, but they failed to find any evidence — although the bugs did  record the night she “took away his manhood,” tossing it into the garbage.   

Kieu, 50, is accused of drugging her estranged 60-year-old husband’s dinner  then tying him to a bed and cutting off his private part, at their home in Garden  Grove, southeast of Los Angeles, in 2011.   

“This is a case about a husband wanting to seek a divorce from his wife and  her unwillingness to accept it,” prosecutor John Christl said at the start of  her trial.

“By refusing to accept it, she committed a vicious act.   

“She took away his manhood,” he said, calling Kieu a “very controlling,  manipulative woman... who knew exactly what she was doing.”   

The prosecutor said audio bugs recorded the events of July 11, 2011, when  she mixed the insomnia drug Zolpidem into a bowl of tofu soup.   

“You can hear him saying, ’Oh, it’s good’,” Christl said. “You can also  hear him saying, ’It’s a little salty’,” before going to bed early, at about  8:10 pm.

When he was asleep she used ropes to tie him to the bed.   

When he woke, she told him “You deserve it” three times, and then “slices off his private part with one motion of the knife,” Christl said.

“She then walks into  the kitchen, takes the severed penis and puts it in the garbage disposal.”   

Her lawyer Frank Bittar said Kieu had suffered a “lifetime of trauma”  beginning with her childhood in civil war-torn Vietnam, and including being raped by an older brother repeatedly when she was six years old.   

After moving to California she got married for a first time in 1984, but  agreed to an “amicable” divorce in 1997.    

“She’s not jealous and she’s not wicked and she’s not a black widow,”  Bittar insisted.   

She married her second husband — whose identity has not been revealed —  in December 2009.

He was “hyper-sexual,” using erectile dysfunction drugs and  forcing her into “painful” sexual positions, the attorney said.   

“You’re going to learn that in Catherine’s mind, she severed his private part because she wanted him to stop hurting her with his private part,” he said in his  trial opening statement.   

If convicted, Kieu faces up to life in prison without the possibility of  parole.--AFP


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