How To Create Mayhem.


Bertha Boronda.

History tells us that a husband was meant to be dominant to their wives if they cheated they cheated they were men, this lady above Bertha Boronda was one such woman who was not going to sit by and tolerate her husbands infidelity.

The year was 1907 when Boronda, then 31, sliced off her husband’s penis with a straight razor.

Her husband, Frank, was a captain with the San Jose Fire Department, and the couple lived in a house next door to the fire station. After she wielded the razor, Frank, bleeding profusely, ran screaming to the firehouse, and Boronda disappeared.

Police scoured the city, but Boronda eluded them for more than 24 hours. Finally, she was spotted – wearing men’s clothes and preparing to mount a bicycle to ride away from the city.

Police took her to jail and she confessed to Police Chief T. W. Carroll.

The Daily Mercury reported that she admitted to Carroll that ”she had inflicted the terrible wound on her husband in the dark. As an excuse, she stated that she had become enraged at Boronda and had quarreled with him over the reports that he intended deserting her and going to Mexico. After his two-day trip to San Francisco, their relations had been far from cordial, she said, and thinking that her husband intended leaving her forever, and so seeking revenge, she lost her senses for a time and committed this terrible deed.”

The newspaper never said exactly what she had done. It used descriptions like ”terrible wound” or ”frightfully maimed.”

Boronda’s booking record is more graphic, saying she ”cut her husband’s penis off with a razor while in bed.”

Her trial for mayhem began Jan. 13, 1908, with a long search for 12 men to act as jurors. Frank Boronda was the chief prosecution witness.

He testified that the only thing that happened the night of the crime that even approached a quarrel occurred when Bertha reprovingly asked him about a recent trip he made to Oakland, California.

His wife’s defense was simple. She claimed she didn’t remember that night; her mind was a blank.

It took the jury only two hours to return a guilty verdict. Bertha Boronda was sentenced to five years in state prison.


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