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On March 22, 2006, Matthew Winkler, a popular 31-year-old minister in the town of Selmer, Tennessee, was found dead next to his bed, shot in the back. His wife, Mary Winkler, a soft-spoken mother of three, had gone on the run. Almost overnight, the story of the preacher's wife turned killer became a headline sensation.

Every news story seemed to ask the same questions: Why would Mary Winkler take a shotgun and kill her husband? Was she a calculating murderer, as the prosecution had suggested? Or was she a battered wife who simply snapped one day?

Convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the death of her husband, Mary was sentenced to 210 days and spent almost 60 days in a mental health facility.

Just weeks after her release, Mary meets with Oprah in Mississippi for an exclusive interview. Why did Mary Winkler want to talk to Oprah? "I can't, up to my life at this point, I can't have done all this in vain," Mary says. "And I cannot sit back if there's anything I can do to help somebody else. That is my goal at this time."
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FROM: Exclusive: Mary Winkler— The Wife Who Killed Her Pastor Husband
Published on September 12, 2007

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