Cringe! Florida Man pleads no contest to castration of willing victim

Wess Haubrich
Gary van RyswykHighlands County Sheriff's Office

[File under: "Stories that make your skin crawling…"]

A 76-year-old man plead no contest recently to two counts of some awful – and awfully strange – deeds: attempting to castrate a willing man in his Highlands County, FL home in 2019.

Amateur surgeon and presumed lover-of-“Operation” (not just the board game) Gary van Ryswyk met the willing participant – a hardware store manager who drove over 100 miles from his home in St. Petersburg – on a dark web website, according to court documents.

Deputies came calling after a 9-1-1 hang-up call was traced to van Ryswyk’s residence. When officers arrived, the genital-chopping grandpa informed the deputies he had just performed the procedure. His 1344 square foot, three-bedroom residence was hardly the room necessary for it and the opposite of an “operating theater” environment in every conceivable way.

The “patient”/victim was bleeding uncontrollably in a back bedroom and was rushed to a hospital.

Perhaps the most disturbing part of the scene was in the corner of the bedroom. Van Ryswyk had an entire, high-end Nikon digital camera rig catching every moment of the gory act. He said he later planned to “upload” the footage (presumably to somewhere on the Dark Web).

Van Ryswyk plead nolo contendre to one count of practicing medicine without a license resulting in bodily injury and the same to a lesser count of practicing medicine without an active license.

Considering the time he has already served in state custody, the charges add about three years to his stay in the Florida Department of Corrections.

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Former editor, now dogged-maverick journalist and researcher covering the crime beat. I examine the weird, absurd, and downright infamous in American crime both here and at Real Monsters podcast. Contact:


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