SAN DIEGO, CA — A doctor was ordered to stand trial for allegedly killing a patient who died after his healthy leg was amputated.

John Ronald Brown, 75, of San Ysidro was ordered held for trial on Friday. He will remain in prison without bail, Municipal Court Judge Leo Valentine Jr. ruled.

He suffered from apotemnophilia, a sexual desire to have a limb removed.

Brown is accused of killing Philip Bondy, 80, who died in May of gangrene from an illegal amputation performed in Tijuana. Bondy suffered from apotemnophilia, a sexual desire to have a limb removed, prosecutors said.

Brown, who pleaded innocent in May, also is charged with practicing medicine without a license. His California license was revoked in 1977 after three patients nearly died from sex change operations he performed in places such as a garage and a hotel.

Brown already served three years in prison for a 1989 conviction in San Francisco to shift the hairline of a man preparing for his transformation into a woman.

He faces up to life in prison if convicted on all counts.


If anyone can tell me why shifting a man's hairline carries a three-year prison sentence, I'm all ears. (And I'll be keeping them, thank you!)


On Oct. 5, 1999, Brown was found guilty of second-degree murder. He now faces possible life imprisonment for the crime.

Bondy was "delighted" after his operation, but "upset" because he had fallen down several times.

During a few tense days in September, the presiding judge entertained second thoughts about allowing prosecutors to present evidence of previous botched surgeries performed by Brown, and was considering a mistrial on the basis that the jury had already heard references to evidence that no longer would be allowed.

Some of the evidence that might have been thrown out included testimony by analyst Gregg Furth, a friend of Bondy who shared the same amputation fetish.

Furth said he paid Brown to amputate one of his healthy legs last year but backed out at the last moment. He testified that one thing which led him to reconsider was seeing a Mexican doctor, who was to help Brown during the surgery, walk into a Tijuana medical clinic carrying a large butcher knife.

Furth also testified that Bondy was "delighted" the night after his leg had been cut off, although he was upset because he had fallen down several times in the hotel room where Brown had taken him after the surgery.

[Thanks to high school chum John Greene for this update.]