Becker Sentenced to Life for Cutting off Penis

b-is-for-blood-photo-by-klm.jpg

Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 22:24 PM EDT, 27 June 2014

B is for Blood, Photo by KlmLOS ANGELES, California -- In August 2011, Catherine Kieu Becker, a Vietnam-born woman also known as Que Anh Tran, brutally attacked her husband severing his penis. At that time they resided in Grove Garden, California. Today, nearly three years later, Becker has been convicted and sentenced to life with the possibility of parole after seven years.

Now 50, the infamous ex-wife has supplanted Lorena Bobbitt as the new face of women who castrate their husbands. Unlike, Lorena, Catherine Kieu, had not been abused, but instead appears to have been driven to violence by jealousy.

Kieu and her then husband married in December 2009, but in May 2011 he filed for divorce, which was granted in August 2011, according to Orange County court records. Despite the fact that she and her ex-husband had no children, it seemed that Kieu was not ready to relinquish the relationship.

According to other reports, shortly before the incident, the couple argued over a friend staying with them. Apparently, her husband thought little about the incident, or at least he didn't fear for his safety because he and Kieu enjoyed a dinner together.

It was during this meal that according to prosecutors, "Kieu laced her husband's dinner with the sleep medication Ambien, and once he fell asleep, Kieu tied his legs and arms to the four corners of the bed. She waited until he awoke before pulling down his pants  and cutting off his penis with a knife."

Once again the similarities between Bobbitt and Kieu are striking, but in the case of Lorena, she drove off in her car and threw her husband's severed penis out the window. She later led the authorities to the general area where she had thrown out 'his member,' whereupon it was located and later surgically reattached.

In Kieu's case, she seemed intent on her husband never being able to perform as a man again, as she threw his severed penis into the garbage disposal, turned it on and mangled it. After this vicious assault, Kieu called 911 to say that her husband was bleeding and required attention. Upon the paramedic's arrival they saw the severity of his injuries and immediately took him to the hospital for emergency surgery.

The victim is a battered man, and if not for his physical castration people may have scoffed at his predicament. But, the abuse perpetrated against him by Kieu cannot be healed with psychotherapy. Her ex-husband, 60, according to the prosecutor's office, described the trauma in an impact statement during Friday's sentencing.

'The convicted (person) viciously deprived me of part of my life and identity," the ex-husband told the court. "Then, as is routine in cases of violence that involve something sexual, the victim must endure, at the hands of the defense, a second attack. This was a cruel and calculated violation of a person's body and mind. I now struggle with what is before me. She has torn off my identity as a man. She has caused doubt in my belief in good. She has betrayed my trust in people." Source: CNN

Kieu's defense team's strategy seemed to rely on the success of the outcome of Bobbitt's acquittal on the grounds of temporary insanity. However, despite their claim that Kieu suffered from mental health issues, including depression, it was a stretch to claim that she was a victim of the battered woman's syndrome or acted in defense of her life.

Her claims do an injustice to the many women in this country and around the world who are abused physically and mentally by their partners until they break and either harm themselves or their victimizer. Fortunately, for women's rights, the jury didn't buy into Kieu's defense and today, she was sentenced to life in accordance with the April 29th jury verdict of one felony count of torture, one felony count of aggravated mayhem, and a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a knife.

Follow Nahmias Cipher Report on Twitter Twitter: @nahmias_report Editor-in-Chief: @ayannanahmias

Come Play the Color Game

different-color-blank-faces-photo-by-frankenwah.jpg

Chrycka Harper, Poet & Literary CriticLast Modified: 23:13 p.m. DST, 11 February 2014

Silhouette of Man Against Wall, Photo by Bell YanzDear Jo,

We have known each other for quite some time. I think this is the perfect opportunity to tell you how I feel about you. However, I want to make this interesting. Instead of me revealing to you my physical identity, you must guess who I am based on the following description that I provide you.

The catch: you must correctly identify my ethnicity.

When Toni is done reading this letter, you must tell her your answer. If you guess correctly, she will tell you who I am. If you don't guess correctly, then you will wander the Earth for the rest of your life never knowing the identity of your secret crush (just kidding). I wish you the best of luck in this game of “Guess Who” and I hope your mind possesses the necessary skills, such as inductive and deductive reasoning, to choose the best answer.

I am 5'5'' with a chestnut-almond complexion. Fashion magazines would declare that my figure is pear shaped and my feet are actually on the small side. If you were to browse through my music library, you will discover Pitbull, Baby Bash, and Mellow Man.

In my free time, you usually see me playing fútbol on the yard or basketball on the court. Many students can identify me just through my thick Southern accent, since I was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama.

At this point, I trust that you already know the identity of this author. However, I will drop a couple of more clues on ya.

My fashion statement screams Harajuku style. I have an uncle that lives in Japan, so every summer; I visit him and buy my clothes from there. My favorite snack is sushi and my favorite meal is macaroni and cheese.

Lastly, my hair is naturally straight; it touches the middle of my back. My nose is narrow and my lips are medium-sized.

So.... who am I? Or rather, what is my ethnicity?

Sincerely,

Your “Not so Secret” Admirer ; )

*********************************************************************************************************************************************

"All human beings tend to judge people based upon a set of criteria, though the oft said and most abused aphorism is "to never judge a book by its cover."

In America, we often judge a person by his color, and with that ascribe an entire litany of characteristics and assumptions about the person without ever taking the time to know them.

This latest literary submission by Ms. Harper provides an excellent illustration of our tendency to assign ethnicity based upon characteristics and qualities that are universal, but have been neatly packaged by the media and force fed to the public so that if a person likes a particular kind of music, wears a certain type of clothing, speaks with a dialect or in colloquialisms, has a certain texture of hair, etc. - then they are this, or they are that, they are in fact anything other than just a human being.

I took the color test and failed. Not because I guessed the person's ethnicity correctly or incorrectly, but because I tried. Did you do the same? Be honest with yourself if not with others." ~ Ayanna Nahmias

Follow Chrycka Harper on Twitter
Twitter: @nahmias_report
Poet & Literary Critic: @chrycka_harper

Pop Quiz

man-and-question-mark-photo-by-an-untrained-eye.jpg

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

2. Name the last five World Cup champions.

3. Name fifteen famous historical figures.

4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer prize.

5. Name five Academy Award winners for Best Actor and Actress from the 1950's.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remembers the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They're the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Now here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. Name three teachers who aided your journey through school.

2. Name three friends who helped you through a difficult time.

3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.

5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Easier?

The lesson?

The people who make a difference in your life aren't the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They're the ones who care.

Editor-in-Chief: @AyannaNahmias
LinkedIn: Ayanna Nahmias

Advice on Caring for Aging Parents

old-man-looking-photo-by-artisram.jpg

Anonymous AuthorLast Modified: 23:08 PM EDT, 17 July 2012

Old Man Eating, Photo by Shusthan NToday, nearly nineteen million Americans are caring for aging parents over the age of 75.

Most of the caregivers who are between the ages of 45-64 years old are providing 75 to 80 percent of all long-term care for parents or a grandparent.

Women are twice as likely as men to be the primary caregiver, but often in economically challenged families, the parents are moved in with their adult children families.

The story which follows is humbling and thought-provoking. It is especially poignant in light of the fact that most of us live with but rarely think about aging. But denial of this inevitability does not invalidate the reality that the majority of us will one day be old.

A frail old man lived with his son, his daughter-in-law, and his four-year-old grandson. His eyes were blurry, his hands trembled, and his step faltered.

The family would eat together nightly at the dinner table. But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating rather difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon, drooping to the floor. When he grasped his glass of milk, it often spilled clumsily at the tablecloth.

With this happening almost every night, the son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess.

"We must do something about grandfather," said the son.

"I've had enough of his milk spilling, noisy eating and food on the floor," the daughter-in-law agreed.

So the couple set a small table at the corner.

There, grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed their dinner at the dinner table. Since grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in wooden bowls. Sometimes when the family glanced in grandfather's direction, he had a tear in his eye as he ate alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food. The four-year-old watched it all in silence.

One evening, before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly: "What are you making?" Just as sweetly, the boy replied, "Oh, I'm making a little bowl for you and mama to eat your food from when I grow up." The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

These words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears streamed down their cheeks. Though no words were spoken, both knew what must be done. That evening, the husband took grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family table.

For the remainder of his days, grandfather ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk was spilled or the table cloth was soiled.

Resources

Enlightenment and The Forgiven

fence-post-photo-by-ngaire-naran.jpg

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there."

The little boy then understood how powerful his words were. He looked up at his father and said "I hope you can forgive me father for the holes I put in you."

"Of course I can," said the father.

Editor-in-Chief: @AyannaNahmias
LinkedIn: Ayanna Nahmias

Queen’s Pawn

Queen’s Pawn

"Once the game is over, the King and the pawn go back in the same box." ~ Italian Proverb Obvious ways breed obvious opposition. Noisy preparation is the armament of the hubristic man. To defeat an opponent thus self-inflated, a wise combatant, sublimates all hint of power beneath the veneer of the demeaned.

Read More

The Practical Maxim

eye-of-the-beholder-photo-by-daniel-lofredo-rota.jpg

We each possess the power to positively or adversely impact our fellow human beings. So, "beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again." ~ Og Mandino

This video was produced by the NGO, Mercy Corps, and it has been featured on the website because of its thought provoking imagery. On the Nahmias Report we strive to present balanced reporting on human rights issues around the globe. In keeping with this mission, inspirational posts are published to challenge our readers to look inward as they look outward, to temper judgment with understanding, and to use every encounter as an opportunity to sow peace instead of dissension.

"One man cannot hold another man down in the ditch without remaining down in the ditch with him." ~ Booker T. Washington