Missouri Amish man says he castrated himself

Jacob Schwartz won't tell deputies why

August 29, 2013|Lauren Pozen, KSPR News Reporter; Chris Bryant, KSPR News Photographer |

WEBSTER COUNTY, Mo. - A Missouri Amish man says he castrated himself, but deputies aren't sure why or if he's telling the truth.

Deputies in Webster County found Jacob Schwartz lying in his bed and covered in blood.

We want to warn you, some of the details of this story are graphic.

On the morning on July 23, Deputy Adam Hughes found himself at a farmhouse in Seymour.  Nothing could have prepared him for what he saw next.

"There was blood on the floor and blood on the sheets," Hughes says.

He says Jacob Schwartz told him he cut his testicles off with a knife and then found himself back in his bed, as if nothing had happened.

"He threw them over a hill on the property. He said that he remembered how he did it, but he didn't remember how he got outside to do it," says Hughes.

Schwartz started to have seizures and fell unconscious.

"I noticed the individual bleeding and held pressure until the medical team arrived, " he says.

Could someone else have been behind it? Hughes doesn't think so, despite not finding the knife or any other evidence.

"By the way the scene was and lack of any kind of evidence there, it seems pretty reasonable he did it," says Hughes.

The case has put a spotlight on the Amish community. Within the religion, there are 470 different types, 40 different sub-groups, and within those subgroups are various categories.

Professor Donald Kraybill — one of the nation's leading experts on Anabaptist religions — teaches at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania. He says for such a drastic outcome, something must have happened.

"It is the sort of thing I suspect would have been done as punishment for some type of deviant behavior," he says.

Many doctors classify self-castration as a mental health issue. Someone could be suffering from delusions. It could also be a gender identity issue. Dr. Salvador Ceniceors from Ozarks Community Hospital says self-castration happens quite a bit. The pain is manageable to a point.

"Initially, the pain is really strong. But, once you cut the nerves, it hurts, but it's not ungodly in any way," he says.

The sheriff is still looking into the case, but he says the Schwartzes are not cooperating. They also wouldn't talk to us today when we went by the house.

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