See also: Who was the Virginia gunman & Victoria Lindsay in FLDecember 9th, 2012, update: Mary Winkler says some bad things on the late husband on TV
See also: news.google.com & blogs on Winkler
September 7th, 2012, update: Mary Winkler moves to McMinnville
May 20th, 2011, update: Mary Winkler is currently a free employee of dry cleansers, on a $750k bond, but the parents of Matthew filed a $2m lawsuit.
November 5th, 2011, update: The story was converted to a movie, "The Pastor's Wife". See also an interview with Rose McGowan (who stars as Mary Winkler).
August 4th, 2008: Mary Winkler regains custody of her three daughters!
December 19, 2007 update: Grandparents' appeal rejected, a jury (10 women + men) discusses voluntary manslaughter again, her state of mind is becoming the key.
September 12th, 2007 update: Mary Winkler may get her kids back
August 14th, 2007 update: Mary Winkler is free after 67 days in custody
June 8th, 2007 update: Mary Winkler asks for mercy and indeed, she will only serve 210 days in prison although she was sentenced for 3 years. The message: if your husband annoys you, just shoot him.
April 19th, 2007 update: Jury decides it was voluntary manslaughter (definition), 3-6 years. Mary Winkler showed no emotions when she was convicted.
April 18th, 2007 update: Mary Winkler doesn't really remember picking the gun. He criticized her hair and wanted her to watch porn and have "unnatural" sex afterwards, and kicked her into face, and she just wanted him not to be mean. She didn't pull the trigger but something suddenly went off - boom - and he was dead. Guns sometimes have "unnatural" spontaneous ejaculations, it seems.
April 14th, 2007 update: Experts say that the gun was working well. Mary Winkler was deeply in trouble with the Nigerian scam.
April 12th, 2007 update: Mary Winkler claims that she was abused and the death was an accident - she just wanted attention from Matthew. On Friday 13th, she admitted shooting, claiming it was done by her ugly.
April 9th, 2007 update: Jury selection started. Dan and Diane Winkler filed a \$2 million lawsuit against Mary Winkler, apparently to prevent her from profiteering via book or movie deals.
January 2007 update: Some interviews with family members.
November 2006 update: Mary Winkler argues that the murder was due to constant abuse.
Final news: Mary Winkler told police that she shot Matthew Winkler after a fight. She was fed up with her husband telling her how to eat, how to walk, etc. Especially, there was an argument about family finances that she managed. She deposited \$17,500 into family accounts because she apparently became a victim of scams - Canada and even Nigeria (a famous source of a certain kind of scam) appeared in the testimony. See a reconstruction. Bond was set to \$750,000: she will have to kill about minus 30 more husbands to be able to use it. Surprisingly, she did it.
The following entries are sorted anti-chronologically, and the main, original part of this article is at the bottom. I think that the resolution does not confirm all the details I predicted. It confirm, of course, the primary statement that in non-priest families, this would probably get solved by a divorce.
News: Mary Winkler might have been indicted on Monday 6/12 - indeed, she was indicted - and as predicted, she appeared in court on Wednesday 6/14, pleaded "not guilty" and asked for a bond. The children are happy with the grandparents. Around 6/19, Winkler's attorney has filed 25 motions (everything about this case is unusual), especially trying to hide Winkler's testimony for the police and the evidence from the court because it was obtained "illegally". Meanwhile, some people start to speculate about the death penalty.
Update: Mary Winkler celebrates Mother's Day in prison.
Disclaimer: chances are that you got here because of a search engine. This page does not contain the ultimate answer - although the Tennessee officials already know it and it is something very particular - but you may still learn something. Please don't be evil when you speculate about the motives.
Last Thursday, Mary Winkler who is held without bail was expected to plead not guilty and explain her motive but she has waived the public hearing to simplify the life of her daughters. It is conceivable that Steve Farese - who told us to "expect the unexpected" last Thursday even though nothing happened after all - has advised Winkler to shelve the original explanation and they will eventually claim that the murder occured because of post-birth depression.
The family's computers have been seized to find the answer that 2,000 people a day try to find on this page. And the attorney will even attempt to show that the shooting was an accident! In a newer development on Wednesday 04/05, the attorney has encouraged the speculations about Matthew Winkler's pedophilia when he said that "She may have been protecting someone".
Figure 1: Mary Winkler and defense attorney Steve Farese in Selmer court (AP Photo/Rogelio Solis). Can she get a fair trial?
The Winkler family is described by their neighbors as a perfect family: a precious mother and wife (and a teacher), a superb and charismatic father and husband (and a preacher), and loving, bright, happy children. In fact, it is completely useless to ask neighbors about these issues because unless the motives are obvious, the neighbors will always tell you the same thing, namely that the murderer and her family were perfect. It must be so. It is a physical law.
Why is it a physical law? It is because a murder is an extreme, infrequent act, and it must therefore have extreme reasons. Extreme reasons for a murder fall into two extreme categories: either the murderer and the victim have been involved in some extremely obvious controversial events such as sexual abuse or organized crime, or they have been hiding and suppressing some of their feelings in an extremely tight mental box.
The Church is, much like the Academia, an ideal place that encourages hypocricy - and that often prefers the form over the content. This is why this Hungarian pastor has been less popular than Matthew Winkler. In fact, the Church of Christ also likes to oppress women as the Median Sibling convincingly argues.
Figure 2: Matthew Winkler, a minister
Although many bloggers are ready to invent far-reaching theories about Matthew Winkler, I continue to assume that he was primarily a victim of a murder, and I find it highly inappropriate to accuse victims themselves of crimes without having a good reason. Of course, some people disagree with me and the radical feminists consider Mary Winkler to be their hero. Every husband should hire a personal injury solicitor or a bodyguard.
What was her motive?
That's a question that many people are obviously asking these days. It turns out that the Tennessee officials already know the answer but they can't yet disclose it. Of course, I don't know the answer but one can still speculate. There can be something very concrete behind the murder. For example, Matthew Winkler could have been involved in pedophilia - as Jennifer and many other women believe - or something effectively equivalent that his wife really hated. I find such an explanation rather unlikely. Instead, let me say a few general comments.
I have been exposed to the very same fundamentalist Christian environment for a year or so - because of my former girlfriend - and this experience has brought me, among other things, some striking insights. First of all, those Christians who believe the Bible literally - and the Winklers clearly fall into this category - find certain acts, including pre-marriage sex and divorce, unimaginable. Under these extreme circumstances, a murder can become easier than a divorce.
If you press CTRL/F and search for bcos on this page, you will find a theory that Mary's "bi-polar" psychological problems are behind the murder. The only problem with this theory is that "bi-polar" psychological problems are probably not what could be called "a particular motive" which is what the officials say led to the murder. But it's certainly true that the amount of expectations from pastors' wives and their loneliness is immense.
One thing seems clear to me right now: Mary Winkler did not love her husband in the usual, emotional sense. If she did, she could not have killed him. This fact could have had very ordinary biological reasons. According to the photographs, I wouldn't personally consider them to be a match because the physiques of the partners should be comparable.
- Update (4/29/2006): In March, I was apparently the only blogger in the world who has pointed out the different physical size as a factor to consider. At the end of April, Farese (the attorney) was mysteriously referring to the culture of "men being physically bigger than women" as a key point of the defense.
The reason behind their marriage could have been something very different from internal love, and I suspect it is the case in many Christian families. You can also speculate about the importance of the miscarriage that Mary Winkler had before their youngest baby was born.
You can also imagine that her husband wanted her to have a fourth child - by mathematical induction, the fourth daughter - but she disagreed but was not in charge of this decision.
Mary Winkler could have found someone else, too. But a divorce is unthinkable for a charismatic, fundamentalist preacher as you know. Such a thing would destroy his career and not only his career. According to the sixth commandment, a murder is unthinkable, too. But unlike the divorce, she at least did not need any permission from her husband.
Did she believe that no one would figure out that she has killed her husband? If she did, she must be a really stupid woman. Many people in Tennessee say that she was very nice. I don't like the word "nice" too much. If you statistically evaluate what the word is used for, it has a large amount of compassion in it. Moreover, the word "nice" also represents a quiet compliance with the values of the environment as well as some degree of confusion about what the person really thinks. If you think for a while, it is not exactly a compliment for someone to be called "nice".
At any rate, Matthew Winkler is gone and in a couple of hours or days, we will learn what is the official explanation of the murder. It seems that the daughters have not yet learned what happened to their father. I guess they can survive it pretty well. A new minister in Tennessee will be hired. They will show him his new parsonage: this is where the guy before you was killed by his "loving" wife. Good luck to everyone!
Rae Ann shares many things with Mary Winkler, yet she is so different. Some lyrics refreshes her meditation about this event. Or do you want to know what Mary Winkler would write if she had a blog? If you're looking for an even more extensive discussion than the discussion in the two comment sections under this article, see the Huff Crime Blog