Last week, a hospital in southeastern Oklahoma admitted a severely bleeding patient with a horrifying tale. Two men, the 28-year-old victim told hospital staffers, had surgically removed his testicles as he lay on a wooden table in their remote cabin in the woods. And one of those men said he was a “cannibal” who kept body parts in a refrigerator.
The next day, sheriff’s deputies searched the cabin and found medical equipment, bloody refuse, drugs — and what appeared to be testicles frozen in a bag, according to an affidavit uploaded by the Oklahoman newspaper.
Now, the two men named by the victim — Bob Lee Allen, 53, and Thomas Evans Gates, 42 — face felony charges of conspiracy to commit and performing unlicensed surgery in a crime that has stunned the rural county that borders Arkansas.
“It is something that we have never in my career run across in this part of the country,” Le Flore County Sheriff Rodney Derryberry told reporters.
The victim, a Virginia man who isn’t named in police documents, told investigators that he volunteered for the surgery after meeting Allen on a website that advertised castrations. They talked on Skype, the victim said, and Allen told him that he had 15 years experience doing similar surgeries and would remove his testicles free of charge.
The victim flew to Dallas on Oct. 11, where Allen picked him up and drove him to his cabin outside the small town of Wister, Okla. The next day, he told police, Allen removed his scrotum and testicles after injecting him with localized painkillers; Gates helped by handing over surgical equipment, he said.
After the two-hour procedure, Allen “laughed and said that he was a cannibal,” the victim told investigators, adding that he had a freezer full of body parts. He also claimed to have once killed a man while doing a similar surgery, and said that he had six other men lined up for future operations.
The victim said he fell asleep, and awoke on Oct. 13 with heavy bleeding that led him to pass out. Allen told him, “No ER, no morgue,” the man claimed, but later relented and drove him to a hospital in McAlester, Okla. — though Allen allegedly warned that if he died en route he would “dump him in the woods.”
The hospital called police the next day, and the victim gave investigators the address of the cabin. On Oct. 15, sheriff’s deputies searched the residence and found bloody medical tools, a variety of drugs and computer flash drives. While they were searching, Allen and Gates showed up at the hospital in McAlester to try to visit the man and were arrested.
In addition to the illegal surgery charges, the men also face felony counts of battery with a dangerous weapon and maiming and assault, the Oklahoman reported, and misdemeanor charges of failing to bury the removed body parts.
The case isn’t the first botched illegal castration to lead to criminal charges. Last year, a 74-year-old Florida man was arrested after performing a similar surgery on another man who had to be rushed to a hospital for treatment.
Derryberry, the sheriff, said investigators were still piecing together the details of the alleged crime in Wister and had asked for help from the FBI as they try to determine whether other victims might be involved.
“We know there’s a lot of rumors out there,” he said, “but at this time there’s no danger to the public.”