Michael H. Kenyon

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Michael Hubert Kenyon, (born c. 1944[1] in Elgin, Illinois) also known as the "Illinois Enema Bandit", is an American criminal. He pleaded guilty to a decade-long series of armed robberies of female victims, some of which involved sexual assaults in which he would give them enemas. He is also known as the "Champaign Enema Bandit", the "Ski Masked Bandit", and/or simply the "Enema Bandit".[2]

Attacks and convictions[edit]

The earliest attacks Kenyon was accused of having committed were on two teenage sisters in March 1966 in Champaign, Illinois.[3] Kenyon graduated from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1967 and subsequently left the state. The attacks thus ended in Champaign but started anew in Manhattan, Kansas; Norman, Oklahoma; and Los Angeles, California.[2]

Kenyon returned to Champaign, and the attacks resumed, in 1972.[4] In May 1975, Kenyon took a job as an auditor for the Illinois Department of Revenue in Lincolnwood, Illinois.[5] He then committed additional attacks, including on three Cook County flight attendants.[6] He also attacked four women in an Urbana sorority house, one of whom was administered an enema.[1][7][8] He was involved in a minor traffic accident later that night, but was not arrested.

Kenyon was eventually apprehended in suburban Chicago a few weeks later in connection with a number of robberies there.[9] During questioning he began to talk about the enema bandit. After his arrest he was judged to be legally sane; in December 1975, he pleaded guilty to six counts of armed robbery[10] and was sentenced to six to twelve years in prison for each count, but was never charged for the enema assaults.[11] He was paroled in 1981 after serving six years.[12]

In popular culture[edit]

  • In the 1974 novel The Odd Woman written by Gail Godwin, the protagonist, Jane Clifford, a professor in a Midwestern university town, fears the Enema Bandit, who represents her fears of losing control of her life.[7]
  • The crimes of which Kenyon was accused were the inspiration for the 1976 adult film Water Power, starring Jamie Gillis, which was later reissued under the title Enema Bandit.[13] The term "enema bandit" came into wider use following the incidents.[14]
  • Kenyon became the subject of Frank Zappa's song "The Illinois Enema Bandit", that he and his group played live from January 1976, recorded live in December 1976 and first released on Zappa in New York (1978).[15]
  • Jazz composer Henry Threadgill recorded "Salute to the Enema Bandit" on the 1986 album Air Show No. 1.[16]


  1. ^ a b Baumann, Edward (June 5, 1975). Bond set for enema suspect. Chicago Tribune
  2. ^ a b Kacich, Tom (2002). The Enema Bandit. Hot Type: 150 Years of the Best Local Stories from the News-Gazette. Sports Publishing LLC ISBN 978-1-58261-482-3
  3. ^ Champaign-Urbana Courier, April 30, 1966
  4. ^ Staff report (April 20, 1972). Enema Bandit Assaults Two More U. I. Coeds. Chicago Tribune
  5. ^ Staff report (September 10, 1975). Bandit trial moved. Chicago Tribune
  6. ^ Staff report (December 2, 1975). 'Enema bandit' is guilty. Chicago Tribune
  7. ^ a b Judith Gardiner (1975). Gail Godwin and feminist fiction. The North American Review
  8. ^ Elaine Showalter (1981). Rethinking the seventies: Women writers and violence. The Antioch Review
  9. ^ Staff report (June 5, 1975). 'Enema bandit' suspect to face trial in Champaign. Chicago Tribune
  10. ^ Champaign-Urbana Courier, December 23, 1975
  11. ^ Staff report (Dec 24, 1975). Bandit sentenced/ Chicago Tribune
  12. ^ Fortean Times (1996) Strange days #1: the year in weirdness, p. 29. Cader Books, ISBN 978-0-8362-1499-4
  13. ^ Hunter, Jack (2002). The bad mirror. Creation cinema collection, Vol. 10. ISBN 978-1-84068-072-0
  14. ^ Murray, Thomas Edward, and Thomas R. Murrell (2002). The language of sadomasochism: a glossary and linguistic analysis. Greenwood Press, ISBN 978-0-313-26481-8
  15. ^ Staff report (December 11, 1993). Absolutely free: Frank Zappa [obituary]. The Economist
  16. ^ Chinen, Nate (September 24, 2010). Whether Jazz, Rock Or War Anthems, A Vintage Harvest. The New York Times