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Since her arrest, Mary Winkler's three daughters have been living with Matthew's parents, Dan and Diane Winkler. The Winklers have since filed a suit to terminate Mary Winkler's parental rights so that they can adopt their granddaughters. In addition, Dan and Diane have filed a $2 million wrongful death civil suit on behalf of all three girls against Mary Winkler for mental pain and suffering. Dan and Diane did not respond to a request through their attorney to participate in this Oprah interview.

Mary Winkler hopes to get custody of her children back because "I'm their mother," she says. "I think they need me. I've been through—I myself have been through counseling. I'm healthier, and those three girls, they lost their father. They shouldn't lose their mother."

After a marriage in which Mary Winkler says she would rarely speak up for herself, she now says she is a changed woman. "I communicate better," she says. "I just speak up when there's something that I don't like or I disagree with and encourage—I'm just finding who I am. Just realizing … the visor thing on my car broke one time and it absolutely terrified me. But I could calm myself and remind myself that I broke it, it was my car, and it's okay. Just simple things like that."
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FROM: Exclusive: Mary Winkler— The Wife Who Killed Her Pastor Husband
Published on September 12, 2007

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