2009-09-25 / Top Stories

Mutilation Murderer:'I Did It For My Nieces'

By Howard Schwach

A 2007 photo of Harris taken from her Facebook page. A 2007 photo of Harris taken from her Facebook page. An Arverne woman, who handcuffed her stepfather to a chair, suffocated him with a plastic bag and then mutilated his dead body by cutting off his penis, told a jury in Queens Supreme Court on Monday that she did it to save her nieces from being molested by the man, just as she and her sister were for years.

Brigitte Harris took the stand to tell jurors that she researched the 1993 castration committed by Lorena Bobbit, who cut off her husband's penis, before she lured her stepfather from Staten Island to her apartment, located at 436 Beach 69 Street.

Harris, 27, said that she killed her stepfather, Eric Goodridge, 55, because she feared that he would molest her niece, her sister's daughter, because the two were living with the father in Staten Island.

She is charged with murder in the second degree and manslaughter in the first degree in connection with the death.

Police responding to the murder location at about 1:15 p.m. on July 28, 2007 for a call reporting that a man was bleeding at that location, made a gruesome discovery — the body of a man bound, hand and foot, with material wrapped around his head and his penis cut off.

The Arverne Murder House The Arverne Murder House Prosecutors say Harris handcuffed Goodridge to a chair and then surgically removed his penis with a scalpel she bought online. They say she then turned on the stove to destroy the body part because she had read that doctors reattached John Bobbit's severed penis and she did not want Goodridge to have the same benefit.

Under questioning by her defense counsel, Harris, who spent a year in a Staten Island mental institution after the murder, said that she only meant to dismember her stepfather, not kill him.

"I'm doing this because I know he is never going to change," she said in a videotape days before killing Goodridge.

Harris said that she warned her sister to keep the two girls away from Goodridge, to no avail.

"She had a daughter, and I was afraid he was going to molest her too," Harris said under her attorney's questioning. "Why would she allow him around her kids after knowing what he did to both of us."

Her attorney argued in his opening statement that Harris acted after finding out that Goodridge intended to take her nieces back to their native Liberia, where she and her sister were both repeatedly abused by the stepfather.

Her attorney argued that Harris was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after years of abuse in which her stepfather "committed almost every type of sexual abuse on her beginning when she was three years old and continuing until she was a young adult."

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