Author questions facts in Winkler preacher murder case - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Janice Broach

Author questions facts in Winkler preacher murder case

Mary Winkler during an appearance on "Oprah" in 2007. Mary Winkler during an appearance on "Oprah" in 2007.

Mary Winkler was convicted last year of shooting to death her preacher husband, Matthew Winkler.

Friday, she heads back to court to fight for the custody of her three daughters.  Meanwhile, a best selling author says Winkler's murder trial, and Mary's story about the day of the murder, may be just smoke and mirrors.

Ann Rule, a former Seattle police officer and best selling New York author, has a new book out about the Winkler case.

"I do believe she shot him knowing full well what she was doing," Rule said in a recent interview with Action News 5.

Rule believes Mary did it because she knew Matthew was about to find out she had fallen for a scam that caused major financial problems.

In her book, Rule does not believe Mary Winkler should get her children back just yet.

"As a mother myself, you hate to think she's been deprived of her children, but it's kind of like Britney Spears...you feel sorry for her, but there's something not quite right with her mentally," Rule said. "I don't think Mary is really emotionally stable yet."

Rule said in her 30 years of writing about crime, this is the most unusual case she has come across.

"Usually by the time I start writing about a case, I have very strong feelings one way or the other," she said. "In this one, I still don't."

Rule said she's still not sure who was the victim...Matthew, or Mary.

"With Mary she looked so sweet, and she seemed so lost, and when you read her statements the temptation was to think, 'Oh, the poor thing.'"

Ann Rule worries what Mary Winkler might do if she is under stress again, like she was the day she shot her preacher husband, Matthew Winkler.


Click here to send an email to Janice Broach.
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