Family of Mary Winkler Speak Out … Claims Abuse caused Her to Snap and Murder Mathew Winkler


The family is coming out and talking about the abuse that existed in the Winkler marriage that caused Mary Winkler to murder her husband, Mathew Winkler. The family claims that Mary Winkler was abused, physically, emotionally and sexually.

Read the rest at Missing & Exploited.


Posted November 21, 2006 by
Crime, Mary Winkler, Murder | 28 comments

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  • Comments

    28 Responses to “Family of Mary Winkler Speak Out … Claims Abuse caused Her to Snap and Murder Mathew Winkler”

    1. molly on November 21st, 2006 3:27 pm

      I knew the pstor when he was a minister in Louisiana.
      This is BS. She killed him for no reason of his. She
      now will be another OJ Simpson. Murderer goes free.
      She should be burned at the stake. She had a lover on the side, trust me.

    2. John Staton on November 21st, 2006 3:58 pm

      OK, if the family knew of the abuse why did they not take her and the children out of the situation? Why did they not go the church board? Finally, why did they not kick the crap out of him?

    3. mac on November 21st, 2006 4:32 pm

      I also think she should be burned at the stake.

    4. Freebrid on November 21st, 2006 4:36 pm

      You never what is going on in someone else’s home. Most woman who are abused do not tell anyone.. A woman in Mary’s shoes being a preacher’s wife she did not tell. Would it matter you have already passed judgement on her! From what I have herd of her husband he was controling. Most man or woman who are usually abuse there spouse! I have seen this with to many of my friends. My husband calls me the gate keeper because I always seen to connect with people who need help.

    5. mamagee on November 21st, 2006 5:17 pm

      Never say you “know” someone just because you have witnessed their behavior in public. My grandfather was a pastor and my dad tells horrible stories of how they were abused then made to sit on the front pew and be the good little family. That is until my dad got old enough to put a stop to it and get his mother and siblings out of there. Maybe she was willing to take the abuse herself, but not willing to let her kids. We’ll just have to wait til we hear “the rest of the story” as Paul Harvey would say. I think I heard something about she did it because of an internet scam that she lost a lot of money in.

    6. Mortella on November 21st, 2006 8:37 pm

      I will wait for more information and evidence to come out at trial. I find it hard to believe that she would just shoot him like that for no reason. If it was planned, I think she would have had an alibi, better story, some kind of cover for doing it.

    7. Brenda T. on November 22nd, 2006 9:24 am

      She simply hated him.


    8. iskra on November 22nd, 2006 10:31 pm

      If she’d premeditated the killing, she would have some better plan than, “Kill him in my home, leave bloody corpse in plain sight, then drive around with kids for a while. Confess immediately when caught.” Obviously it must have been something done in the heat of the moment, either due to rage or fear. And what would drive a preacher’s wife and devoted mother to hotblooded murder? Either he was a monster and she couldn’t take it anymore, or she found out he was cheating.

    9. Jana on November 28th, 2006 11:47 pm

      I lived in Selmer at the time of the murder until I got married and move to Savannah, but during the time that I lived there, I was so sick of hearing it talked about on the news. Selmer is a relatively quiet community so for the town to be bombarded by the press and media was a bit nervracking and many people didn’t want to be on camera. I personally haven’t picked a side and do not intend to pick a side since I lived just down the street from the the church. I as a Christian believe that everyone should be forgiven no matter what their sin, and my parents attend that church and while I don’t agree with what she did, she does deserve to be forgiven as we are commanded to do by God.

    10. Kasey Conrad on December 3rd, 2006 9:50 pm

      No matter what the circumstances were, no matter how abused she may or may not have been, I think the bottom line is:
      MARY WINKLER, THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR MURDER. She could have handled her situation in many other ways, like professional help, or restraining order, or divorce. She should be punished for murder, period. It was not self defense.

    11. bettyjstarr on December 11th, 2006 7:36 pm

      Having been in an abusive marriage, and also a preacher’s wife, I can understand what goes on in an abusive marriage, and the fact that one or the other may get hurt when things escalate. The wife tries to protect herself, and it just makes him more and more abusive. I got out in time, because it was certainly getting to the point where I could not help but think — why is he hurting me! I want to hurt him. Which is not right to feel that way, but when you are abused over and over again, you just get to that point. I suffered mental and physical abuse. And unless you have lived it – you really cannot understand it. You don’t tell anyone because he is the preacher. You don’t tell anyone because they would probably not believe you. I was in a marriage like this 30 years. I had no one to turn too, no where to go. So please think, before you judge and try this woman — we do not have the facts. Murder is wrong, but I am not the judge, that is up to God (thank heaven for that). Just something you might want to think about.

    12. Sheryl on December 27th, 2006 1:28 pm

      I am a member of the Church of Christ, I am a ministers wife, I am not a door mat! When you are loved by a man as Christ loves the church, submission is easy, when you know that a man is willing to answer to God on behalf of your family it makes it easy to be his partner. Christian husbands have a great responsibility, mine personally has made my life better and beautiful! I really wish that people would read all of Ephesians 5 not just the part that when taken out of context could appear to be a slam to women. God made us in His image, He did however place men in a position of authority when it comes to His Church. Please read your bibles! We will all be judged by the same Word of God.

    13. Carole on January 14th, 2007 4:25 pm

      I was married for 12 years, and was abused both physically and mentally by my husband. I only told one person (of one incident) during those 12 years, because everyone thought he was a great church-going man, and wouldn’t have believed me. But I finally had enough and walked out on the marriage, leaving him the house, several acres of land, 2 vehicles, 3 tractors, and a camper. After scheduling 2 vacation days from work, I took our child and enough money out of our checking account to get an apartment and enough for utility deposits and groceries, and I lef–while he was at work! Sure, I had to start over from scratch, but it was worth it, and it was LIBERATING! My parents were deceased, and I had noone to help me. IT CAN BE DONE. Most people still think my ex is a great person, and that I just “had to be seeing someone to simply walk out”. . . (humorous, but not true!) Murder is NOT an option. She should be forgiven, but she should also be punished.

    14. Ben Dover on April 9th, 2007 11:44 am

      She murdered him in cold blood. There was no abuse. He found out that she was using their checking account to launder money in a Nigerian 419 fraud. She killed him rather that deal with the situation. He did not physically or sexually abuse her. This is the argument her attorneys and father will use to disparage the deceased man’s character to save this worthless woman. It is game over.

    15. Lori on April 18th, 2007 2:12 pm

      I also was married to a deacon in the church of Christ. I understand this woman not telling anyone, neither did I. I never told a soul what was going on in my home, other people started noticing, he was controlling, verbally abusive, sexually abusive and a porn addict. He would blame the porn on our family computer on our daughter, the porn on the tv bill, our daughter, RIGHT….my daughter did not do this! I had enough of his sick sexual problems and the things he requested of me were disgusting! Keep in mind he was a DEACON and would stand up on Sunday and serve the Lords Supper and give prayer only after a night of watching porn…I left and of course I am being accused of being the one comminting adultry, “running in bars” ALL LIES to make him feel better about himself….keep in minf Andrea Yates went to the church of Christ too!!!

    16. Carbonara on April 24th, 2007 7:35 am

      Lori. I am sorry that you had to endure the abuse of this man and many times people are cruel and hide it well. The one thing I don’t understand about Matthew Winkler’s and his porn viewing is this….it has been proven that porn can become addicting…once a person begins to look at this they have a difficult time controling the urge to keep looking…and any person can become addicted to this is my understanding reguardless of the church preference…but the winkler pc had 200 some odd images on it with 2 different time frames (none on his work pc)…it is my opinion that if like Mary Winkler testified “he would exit out of different screens when she came in the room…wouldn’t there be more images and times. She said he wanted to turn her on…my question is if a man has a sexual problem why is there not more sites? Have you ever got on one of these sited by accident? I have…during work one day I accidently typed in a particular name and boom there it was…and was and was and was…I had to pull the plug to get it to stop. It is sad that a woman was innocent until proven guilty but the man was not given the same fate he was not proven guilty and has never been thought to be innocent. I never knew Matthew or Mary Winkler but the evidence was Mary began to lie and she told one to cover up the last one…she stold money from the bank. she lied to her children she failed to protect them…if she stayed and endured this abuse she should never have allowed Matthew to place his hand over any of her children’s mouth..she lied about one problem and then another and then she killed a man…but people are so ready to give her a free pass…just as your ex husband will be punished according to the deeds he did in this body so will both Mary and Matthew…and I am 99% sure Andrea Yates was not a member of the Lords Church but they had the funerals at the church.

    17. DBdowner on June 19th, 2007 3:33 pm

      There was no evidence of sexual abuse, and I believe this includes porn on the computer. Mary Winkler was a liar. She lied to the banks. She most certainly lied to Matthew about the scam. She then murdered Matthew. And now with the help of her attorneys and family, she had lied and avoided first degree murder. The jury is the real clincher here. Why the hell did they not require at least one piece of evidence to support her claims? The jury are the real filth in this situation. They represent the perversion of our justice system. They are like female college freshmen in a fraternity. Mary Winkler’s lawyers played them like the saps they are. I blame the jury for being so mentally weak.

    18. Lexie on July 9th, 2007 11:35 pm

      First, I would like to say that I am not 100% convinced by either side. Killing a person is always wrong, regardless of the circumstances. That does not mean, however, that I cannot sympathize with Mary, if her version of the story is indeed true. What we must understand is that the jury’s verdict does not mean that they believed Mary to be a VICTIM. It simply means that the prosecution could not prove without a shadow of a doubt that Mary did this with premeditation. If they had thought her to be innocent–or NOT GUILTY–they would have concluded as such. WHAT IF Matthew Winkler was indeed this horribly abusive man? Would it have been so far-fetched that Mary would lose it, especially if she sensed her daughters were at risk as well? Therein lies the doubt that a juror would not be able to ignore. The doubt in this case resulted in a verdict of MANSLAUGHTER, still a guilty verdict.

      Second, I just want to say that the worst part of this whole situation is that there are three beautiful girls out there who now have no father and whose mother is in jail. Having become a mother myself, I understand the responsibility one bears as a parent, and how important that job is. Yes, Mary has her version of events, but I must ask myself, what would I have done in that situation? My gut feeling is to say, GET OUT. Just leave. She could have been smart about it, especially for the welfare of her children. And for that I DO judge her. When you are a mother, your life is no longer yours, you are for your children, period. No ifs, ands, or buts. And if you’re not willing to take on that responsibility, then excuse me when i say you HAVE NO BUSINESS HAVING BABIES. Babies are God’s gift to us, and we must not take on that gift lightly. Poor girls, I just hope God blesses them and allows for them to have the best life has to offer–whether that be reuniting with their mother or staying with their grandparents, who I’m sure love them very much also.

    19. Philip on March 25th, 2008 10:36 pm

      Folks, those of you who do not know this family, please keep your theories about them to yourself. I knew Mary in college, and she was the sweetest human being on the planet. If things in your private life did indeed degrade to this level, you’d want a little grace, too.

    20. GAVIN on August 4th, 2008 2:03 pm


    21. Survivor of abuse on October 18th, 2008 9:32 pm

      Check out the book, Would the Real Church PLEASE Stand Up! Mary is not the only woman abused by a “minister” of a husband. She was trapped and lived in a warzone! We can’t judge unless we walked every moment in her shoes.

    22. Rose on April 25th, 2009 12:21 am

      She deserved the death penalty or at least WAY more jail time for what she did. But I see why she got away with it, even my family members make excuses for her without looking at the evidence. “Well if she SAYS she’s abused… Oh a poor woman, we women should stick together…” or ridiculous statements like “Well men can push women to do this you know” makes sense how she got away with it. The jurors had the same prejudiced, biased mentality.

      I hope her kids are safe, but it’s doubtful.

    23. Corby Holliday on November 6th, 2010 2:54 pm

      Abuse that is emotional is just as bad as physical. When you wake up every single day anticipating if and when your partner is going to totally lose it over something big, something small, or nothing at all. And it is ALWAYS your fault because “you made me get angry.” and if you respond quietly you are “cold and emotionless” and if you respond the way your partner does you “have two sides.” You can never, ever win with someone who can control his anger in a job, public, or social situation but chooses to release it on his family. and yes, you ARE afraid or ashamed to tell your family or friends. often they are stunned at the lengths the partner’s anger has gone to. sometimes they see little clues that he is that way. then, because you just try and stay out of range of his anger and not do or say anything to “make” him lose it, he feels that because he is a “prince” and is not being treated with the “love and respect” he “deserves”, he has his little Mexican amigos find him a girlfriend. that, too, is your fault.

    24. penelopeptstp on February 4th, 2012 9:27 pm

      It looks like 25% of the comments “get” what an abused person goes through, and experiences, especially in religious circles. It looks to me like ignorance still reigns. There are numerous books and personal accounts of the abused. It literally infests like a virus, especially emotional and psychological abuse. When there are not many who are educated to confide in, in the mind of the abused they truly do not know where to turn. We as a society need to do a better job of assisting, reaching out and getting more involved on a deeper level with each other.

    25. Emma on May 20th, 2012 10:57 pm

      I believe her. Women don’t just go around killing their husbands unless they are being victimized in some way. He was a powerful man, he was physically stronger than her, and it sounds like he was incredibly violent and had borderline personality disorder traits. His image was important to him. Of course she was terrorized if he was kicking her, beating her and threatening hers and her children’s lives. Why else would she have killed him? Because she was having a bad hair day? Stop blaming the victim, people. Women don’t just pick up a gun one day while they are delightfully living in a happy home life and kill their husbands. Come on.

    26. Bobbi on February 12th, 2013 11:36 am

      I can personally attest that most people don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. I was married to an abusive man for eight long, horrible years and I was abused in every way you can imagine. I was manipulated and forced into acting out his perverted sexual fantasies and if I resisted, it wasn’t pretty. He convinced me that if I left him, I would be homeless and penniless and he would make sure of it. Abusers are very good at pyschological warfare and unless you have been at the receiving end of it, you have no business commenting here or judging. It only took four restraining orders (which, by the way are joke and never work) to escape. Leaving left me financially ruined and I left our home to take up residence in a tiny studio apartment which I have to share with my son. Yes, we are safe but the emotional and financial toll has been enormous. On top of everything, my friends, family and our neighbors all knew I was being mistreated but not much help was offered. Oh,I got the usual “You should leave him” but no real offers of any kind of assistance. You people who think that us women are enjoying being treated this way, are sorely mistaken. Oh and lastly, we do reach our breaking point and when that happens, you will do ANYTHING to make the abuse stop and find some relief. In conclusion, if you know of anyone in this situation, do something about it because by not, you are just enabling the abuser and allowing these guys to continue the cycle.

    27. Michelle on June 2nd, 2013 2:10 pm

      I was engaged to an abuser. He charmed people who didn’t know him well as he charmed me for 6 months before he hit me, but before the physical abuse started his control over me mentally and emotionally was subtle and insidious. It was so gradual that I did not recognize was what going on. We actually started attending a Church of Christ in Denver and even though I informed several people, even an elder, of the abuse I was told that we needed to get married because we were living in sin by staying under the same roof. It was as if my requests for help fell on deaf ears and all that mattered was image. Ironically, it was another Church of Christ who helped me financially by purchasing a plane ticket for me to leave him and go back home to my family. Since then I continued attending the Church of Christ both and Florida and now in NC where I live with my new husband. Both of these churches have been great. With Churches of Christ being autonomous, there are some that will turn a blind eye to spousal abuse but there are also those who would not. This could be the case in any church for that matter. I don’t condone what Mary Winkler did and I’m glad I got out when I did, but I completely understand losing your mind in a situation where abuse is present. I’ve heard many people say, ‘just leave’ but once the brainwashing by an abuser starts, it is very hard especially if kids are involved. They don’t understand how abuse works.
      SM: Of course one could just walk away.


    28. Michelle on June 2nd, 2013 2:32 pm

      Just an FYI…Andrea Yates was raised in a Catholic household and at the time of her drowning her children she was not a member of the Church of Christ.

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