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According to the autopsy report, the single shot Mary Winkler fired sent 77 pellets into Matthew's back. He survived for several minutes, but without medical attention, he bled to death.

After shooting her husband and then leaving the house, Mary Winkler returned to find Matthew's body on the floor of their bedroom. She says she leaned over and wiped his mouth. "He was bleeding and I just think just instincts to wipe his mouth, but it just kept coming," she says. "I didn't know how he was hurt, I couldn't see anything wrong with him, but I mean, it's just something you just don't know unless you've actually seen somebody. It's just when you actually see somebody's that's just died, they just change appearances in a matter of seconds. It's just terrible."

Mary Winkler then grabbed her daughters and left. "I just took off, we just ran away. I grabbed Breanna and told the girls to get in the van," she says.

Mary Winkler says she wasn't sure where they would go. "We just drove. At some point I thought we were going to Memphis, and then the next thing I knew we were in Mississippi. I can remember that. I had no idea and then it was getting late and I just looked for an indoor swimming pool for the girls," she says. "I just wanted to be with them and have some good times and then take them to the Winkler's."

Two days after the shooting, Mary Winkler was apprehended nearly 400 hundred miles from her home in the parking lot of a Winn-Dixie grocery store after an Amber Alert had been issued for her three girls. Officers described her as "stoic" with a "blank look on her face."
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FROM: Exclusive: Mary Winkler— The Wife Who Killed Her Pastor Husband
Published on September 12, 2007

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