Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mary Winkler has Custody of the Children

Posted by Hannah at 9:43 PM

I have to admit I was surprised when I read this recently. Don't know how I could have missed it, since it happened at the beginning of the month of August. Mary Winkler picked up her daughters from their grandparents and took them to her home in McMinnville, according to a newspaper report.

The Jackson Sun article mentioned:

The Commercial Appeal reported on its Web site that Winkler, who was convicted last year of killing her preacher husband, reached an agreement with her in-laws that allows the children to live with their mother. The newspaper cited an unnamed source in the report.


The grandparents are the ones that frought even supervised visitation, and wanted her parental rights taken away. Now they are in agreement that the children will live with her? You have to seriously wonder what happened there.

Dan and Diane Winkler of Huntingdon, the girls' paternal grandparents, took custody of the children following Mary Winkler's arrest in the slaying of their son, Matthew Winkler, in March of 2006. They did not return phone calls Saturday night.

The newspaper reported that no court order had been entered for a change in custody, and Friday night's move stemmed from an agreement between the Winklers and their former daughter-in-law.


If you read the comments from this article some people think they learned the truth, and others feel they were threatened in some way. Of course you have others that feel the court system has totally lost their minds. I'm sure the grandparents have support just like Mary has, so I don't believe the threats theory. I mean what possibly could they be threatening them with?

Matthew Winkler was the minister at Selmer's Fourth Street Church of Christ when he was shot to death in the church parsonage.

Mary Winkler was charged with first-degree murder and was convicted of voluntary manslaughter after convincing a jury that she had suffered years of physical and emotional abuse from her husband.

She has been in a custody battle with her in-laws and had received supervised visits with her daughters since September 2007.

Attorneys Kay Turner and Rachael Putnam, who represented Mary Winkler in the custody case, could not be reached for comment Saturday.

Attorney Steve Farese Sr., who represented Mary Winkler in her criminal case, said he could not talk about the custody case or confirm whether Mary Winker had her children.

"Neither I or (attorney) Leslie (Ballin) can speak about it, even though we were not involved in the custody case," Farese said in a phone interview Saturday afternoon. "I wish I could tell you something, but I can't. I would if I could."

A Carroll County judge ruled in September that Mary Winkler could begin visits with her daughters, but the grandparents appealed that order.

The Court of Appeals temporarily blocked the visits while considering the grandparents' request last year.

The court has since allowed Mary Winkler to see her children periodically. Times and conditions of those meetings are under court seal.

After leaving the courtroom in May, Winkler told the media she was glad to have the time with the girls - Patricia, 10; Mary Alice (Allie), 8; and Brianna, 3.

"I'm just thankful that my girls are able to be with me and I'm able to be with them," Mary Winkler said. "We're just moving forward to get back together and make our family and just love each other and take care of each other."

The Winklers have previously expressed concerns for the children.

They said they feared Mary Winkler's post-traumatic stress disorder and the dissociative episode or break from reality that she experienced in her husband's shooting could happen again.

Mary Winkler spent about five months in jail and about two months receiving mental health treatment in a group home after her conviction. She is on probation for the next two years and now lives and works in Warren County.


I have to say this whole ordeal has been one surprise after another. I never in a million years would have thought she would have got so little jail time after convicted. Then so little time at the mental facility.

After seeing the interview on Oprah, and then consulting with some domestic violence employees it seems her behavior on the show is typical. They also said it shows she hasn't got much help yet. They mentioned that her presence was something they deal with each day, and they hope that she finally gets the help she needs.

Some of the comments were enlightening.

Has anyone really stopped to consider why the Winklers would so suddenly apparently willingly give the girls back to Mary after having done all they previously did to keep her away? I have a theory... I think they came to the real knowledge of who their son really was. I don't know whether it was a result of them finally accepting what they already knew or maybe the girls getting old enough and brave enough to tell it, but I believe they must of surely come to realize that Mary is not the cold-blooded killer some of painted her to be. Think rationally for a moment- if you were in their position do you think you would even for a moment consider willingly give up custody to the woman who killed your son UNLESS you realized there was a reason she did what she did? Because they are not speaking publicly about this, we don't yet know why they have chosen to do this, but I think surely they had to have reached some point where they know Mary is not a cold-blooded murderer. I assure you I would do whatever was necessary to keep a child I loved from being in the care of a murderer. I certainly would never willingly release a child to the custody of one. I think the Winklers have come to realize who their son was. If that is true, they need prayers. How devastating it must be to know your son was a monster!


I just think the woman did what she had to do, and the grandparents realize their son was the monster he was, so to not portray themselves in that same light, they gave that woman back her children, where they rightfully belong, and this rhetoric about their safety needs to rest too because Mary will not ever hurt her children, she was just doing what she had to do for the safety of them and herself when she shot this abusive and cruel man pretending to be a man of God but was indeed the seed of satan. If God seen fit to allow her to kill this man, and allow this woman to have her kids back seems like to me the woman was vindicated for all the pain she endured. If the man was giving her no money, i would have bounced checks too to get what i needed to make my house run. I just dont believe this woman killed this man , wrote bad checks, and sheltered her children for no reason, there was a definite reason and a very strong motive to make a person create such a crime. The law found her guilty, and felt like the time she got was appropriate, and so do I, because if i was Judge, she wouldnt have done a day.


One that I have to admit I was a bit upset over was:

I am tired of women using abuse as a viable excuse to murder their husbands. It is a load of horse hockey 99% of the time. As a pastor's wife for 30 years, I have seen a LOT when it comes to domestic abuse. One of the most under-reported cases of abuse is when the wife is the abuser. Women are horrendous verbal and mental abusers - I used to live next door to a woman who was a horrendous abuser. She eventually lost her children to her husband because of her abuse.

Mary Winkler had every opportunity to leave and seek help. Don't give me the excuse that as a pastor's wife she didn't want to hurt the church or the ministry. If he was being abusive, YOU LEAVE. That's that. It's not just for her protection but also the children. As mothers, we have a responsibility to our children, and that means getting them OUT of a dangerous situation, not leaving them there to be exposed to it day after day. I have had my fair share of hard times in the ministry as well. Sure I've disagreed with my husband. Many women can't cut it or endure the financial pressures or living in a fishbowl. It is a hard life - but it can be rewarding and a blessing, too!

Unfortunately, I have seen my fair share of women who come to me and my husband claiming abuse, but it is a fabrication. Many women use it as an excuse to leave a marriage they don't want to be in anymore. One woman claimed abuse because her husband cut up her credit card because she had no self-control when it came to overspending on herself and their children.

I know that abuse does exist. But I also know that woman can be just as abusive or use it as an excuse. It is a terrible web to be caught in. I certainly hope these poor children have received good counseling. They will need it if they are going to live full-time with a woman who killed their father. God help them all.


The case aside for a moment - what an ignorant comment from a pastor's wife!

I hope Mary Winkler and her children get help. They are surely going to need it. I will be praying for them all, and that includes the grandparents. I'm not going to justify Mary Winkler's actions, but I do believe something happened in that house. Even Emotional Abuse within a marriage can tear a person down to do things that are extreme. Silence is how this case began, and look at how it ended. Now silence again - you have to wonder if Matthew Winkler's parents did indeed get some realization. WHY would they give up custody if they didn't?

I have to say I have really mixed feelings over this entire case.

The church at times tells you to go to christian counselors. MOST of them are not versed in abuse, and most of them have an agenda. MARRIAGE until death do you part!

Go to your PASTOR...well I have heard mutterings of the STUPIDEST remarks coming from pastors! I mean get this one: Maybe buy a new cookbook, and try some new meals to change his mood!

DV Shelters? They are the devil's palace! The feminist's haven! They talk you into divorce, and make it sound all Rosy!

Then you have the manipulation of scripture! LET ME TELL YOU... I could go on and ON!

Most people don't believe domestic violence happens within the church. They don't buy it. If someone mentions it - they are looking for the easy way out, and don't want to do the work.

There is a huge movement on the forefront right now to wake up and smell the coffee! You get into the deep south - and I lived there - it gets really nasty. Brainwashing? LOL I think so!

Do I feel she did it premeditated? Nope. I do believe she grabbed the gun out of anger - due to his past actions threatening HER with it! Pointing at him, and YES I do believe it went off without her truly thinking, "I will kill the bastard!" She said he knew about the check deal, and you know how abusers handle stress of that type! If she didn't tell him the bank DID - because that is how they do things down there! I don't honestly believe in my heart she did this on purpose. I just can't do it. LOL and I tried! I'm NOT saying she shouldn't do the time tho!

We read about the lies people believe when abusers tell them stuff. We realize how badly they can crush out spirits. I'm NOT going to sit here and justify what she did. I do think most of these types of crimes will happen within the church - due the atmosphere at times. They use spiritual pixie dust to fix things, because they don't know how to deal with it. Secular is the 'world', and they feel they are not of the 'world' so they can't take their help.

The papers said the in laws were afraid of her PTSD. Its like HOW do you think she got PTSD in the first place? Did it just POP up unexpected with no happenings? I bet they knew she was sick, and told her that she needed more faith in God to heal her. LOL I would bet money on it!

Desperate people do desperate things! LOL Not everyone is going to shoot their husbands.....I will hand you that!

I do think this case will be a tool for the future. LOL as a poster child? Not in the realm I read here in the thread! To be perfectly honest - I don't think most church goers know that the church is telling the women after being beat that she needs to go home out of roles and DOESN"T approach the man at all. I highly doubt they know the whole realm of things. They are only handed the tasty nuggets that look good on Sunday. This is only the beginning, and this will be another dagger stabbing the church in the heart. You can't live in denial forever! I can see something bigger coming down the pike. Its just a matter of time. To me? The church helped kill that man. They kill their own wounded at times. LOL NOT all for goodness sakes, but there are enough of them! I'm pissed at the church because they lied to me and others! I'm NOT mad at God because his word is clear! The church follows the 'word' in some circumstances, and twists it in others. That's human fault, and the up rising is coming. The sexual abuse within the church that you hear about is JUST the beginning! LOL I feel it in my bones!

In some ways - I think the church was also behind that trigger when it went off. Its not that easy to reach out when you live in a brainwashing fishbowl of a life! I just HOPE she gets healed, and she tells the story over again in that state. THEN she might be a good person for this end of the cause. My own grandfather beat my mom and my grandmother, and was leadership within the church. They knew also. Just like the catholics knew about the priests.

I have wonder after all this, and some clarity that 'outies' speak of came to her. lol then reminded her in laws of some things, and they didn't want to do that 'media' thing again. Handing over the kids was better than their image being destroyed!

lol I have so many mixed feelings over this! My prayers are with Mary Winkler, her children, and the inlaws. They have all endured so much, and I think the media made it worse!


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4 comments:

Barbara on 5:03 AM said...

So happy to hear Mary got the kids. VERY happy.

Mary Winkler had every opportunity to leave and seek help.

Um hello.... STOCKHOLM SYNDROME?
How about no one would have believed Mary because her husband was "man of God"?

People are truly truly clueless.

My last P told me I "asked for" and "played his game" -- wtf?

Hannah on 9:16 AM said...

Alot of times people don't know what is happening to them - when they are having the panic attacks, etc. as well. I have read many sites that claim you need to get more spiritual, and those things won't take hold. Alot of people don't even recognize what they are dealing with is abuse - its just not good. They also have this wall of silence at times, because people don't want to discuss it.

YES - the 'what did you do to make him so mad' isn't going to help matters. At times getting blunt and telling them they need boundaries and you are enabling them if you don't stand up...isn't all that easy either.

People in general tend to think to simplistically when it comes to this, and don't look at the whole picture.

People have all kinds of excuses to push it away.

Danni on 2:08 PM said...

That pastor's wife is a perfect example of why people don't go to their pastor for help! And an example of why Mary might have felt she had no options - no one would believe her. I've been there and done that - and no one believed me (and I wasn't a pastor's wife. Mary would have been right if that's what she thought. People do believe the pastor if he spreads the word that his wife is "having problems, poor woman." And you can bet, he said as much to her, many times over the years.

She wasn't mistaken - that is what happens, as has been proven by the experience of other abused pastors' wives; as other pastors' wives are presently living, that I personally know of.

As for bouncing a check because he didn't give her any money and there was desperate need - oh yes, that is CLASSIC abuser behavior. And a mother whose children are in need may feel she has no choice. That scenario is absolutely realistic - another thing I have lived. What do you do in the dead of winter when he goes off to work every day where there is hot water and electricity and a nice gym to shower in and leaves you home with a baby and toddler and no electricity, heat or groceries? That's what mine did, more than once. You tell me?

And then the bank calls him and he loses "face," which is EVERYTHING to this kind of abuser -- you can bet he's coming home in a rage and gonna make her pay! And this is the one time that's too many but this time she's closer to the gun than he is and she reaches it before he does. There you have it.

It makes complete sense to me.

-- Danni

Anonymous said...

I agree with Danni...what a horrible cycle to live in. I'm happy she got her girls back. I hope things get better for all of them in the near future.

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