Bobbit captured the national imagination when she used a kitchen knife to cut off her husband's penis while he slept. That one incident alone paid for at least three of Jay Leno's very expensive cars.
What happened in the typically sleepy San Francisco suburb of Fremont this week was a little different. Fremont police report they responded to a 911 call early Thursday morning to find a 20-year old man who had cut off his own penis with an X-Acto knife.
"Whether it's paper, wood, cloth or any other material, X-Acto knives let you cut through almost anything with precision and ease," X-Acto's website reads.
Detective Bill Veteran told the San Francisco Chronicle that the man, whose name is being withheld, was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. But he's (unsurprisingly) undergoing a psychological examination.
The man's motivation for removing his own genitalia is currently unknown. However, since drugs have been removed as a factor, bath salts--the synthetic substance known to trigger extreme and often violent hallucinations--can likely be ruled out.
Authorities located the severed organ in question and doctors are working to re-attach it.
Cutting off one's own penis, a practice called autopeotomy, is not quite as uncommon as one would think, although in certain cases it can prove fatal. An Indonesian mandid it in 2010 after discovering his girlfriend planned on dumping him and marrying someone else. A similar incident occurred in the Philippines the following year when a 39-year old man severed his penis after stabbing his wife.
However, the most striking event in recent memory occurred in London, when a Polish man dashed into a crowned restaurant on The Strand, grabbed a knife from the kitchen, jumped up on a table and sliced off his own penis in full view of all the customers.