A Canadian woman discovered her abusive husband was actually a woman wearing a prosthetic penis after she fatally stabbed her and paramedics had to remove her pants.
Elizabeth Rudavsky and Angelo Heddington - who both feature in an upcoming episode of the Discovery Channel show Fatal Vows – married around nine years ago after dating for only four months.
Elizabeth told the Discovery Channel that she never saw Angelo naked because he insisted on keeping the lights off when they had sex, telling her a past girlfriend had burned her genitals.
"I never saw nothing, things were dark," she told the show, which is scheduled to be broadcast in the US on December 13.
Throughout their seven-month relationship, Angelo hit Elizabeth, threatened to kill her family, whipped her with a horse crop, threatened her with guns, violated her with a metal pipe and starved her.
Elizabeth, who was 27 at the time, suffered a collapsed lung and lost 32kg as a result of the abuse.
She stabbed Angelo in the abdomen after being cornered in a doorway during an attack in 2003.
It was then that she finally learnt the truth about her partner's gender – when paramedics had to remove Angelo's pants to treat her.
Elizabeth was charged with second-degree murder but this was dropped after authorities determined that she had acted in self-defence.
Police found Angelo, whose real name was Angela, started pretending to be a man when she was 14 and had faked being a man with three past lovers while also physically abusing them.
The court heard Angela had male lovers previously and once starved a man until he lost 45kg.
A police officer involved in the case, George Flikweert, said it was the worst cases of spousal abuse he had seen.
"We all come across terrible cases of abuse on children and on spouses but I've never in my career seen one as horrific in nature as this particular case," he said.