Whatever happened to Mary Winkler? - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Janice Broach

Whatever happened to Mary Winkler?

Mary Winkler during her appearance on "Oprah." Mary Winkler during her appearance on "Oprah."

The last time we saw Mary Winkler outside of court, she was talking to Oprah.

What's happened since the interview is a drastic departure from the new life Mary was trying to build with a new job and a new home in McMinnville.  The small Tennessee town is almost 200 miles away from the church parsonage where Mary shot and killed her husband Matthew in March 2006.

The owner of Cleaners Express, off the McMinnville town square, gave her a job, while a friend let her move in.
Now she's out of the job, and out of the house.  So what happened.

Paul Pillow, who works at Cleaner's Express, was one of Winkler's strongest supporters when she got out of jail.

"Everybody in town is so glad she is back," Pillow said back then. "We're just glad it's over.

Paul's brother Darrell was so glad he started dating Mary.  The couple called it off in August.  Now, Darrell is out of the picture, and Mary is out of a job.

"She used to work at the cleaners, but she doesn't work there anymore," Darrell Pillow said in a recent interview.  "I don't think she has a job right now."

A Cleaners Express, the owner- a close friend of Pillow's- said the media was part of the reason Mary was gone.

"It was people like you that we don't want around," he said.

Later, by phone the owner of Cleaners Express said Mary was "forced on him," and he never really had the extra money to spend on her job.

After working at the dry cleaner, Winkler moved on to a job at a nursery outside McMinnville.  Recently, however, she was laid off.  Her boss said her employment was merely seasonal.  Since then, we are told she has once again been hired.

Winkler moved into a house in Smithville.  Property records indicate the home is owned by Wayne Cantrell, a preacher at the Arlington Church of Christ in McMinnville.

Action News 5 has difficulty finding any of Mary's former vocal supporters willing to talk about her new house, church, job, or whether she is currently dating anyone.

Her old boyfriend, who once said he was hoping to get back together with her, recently said the relationship is over.

"It's just better for me and my children," he said. "I just don't want nothing to do with it anymore."

Still, Winkler's attorneys say she still has plenty of supporters, and are optimistic she will eventually regain custody of her children. We will be at the custody hearing here in Huntingdon Friday to let you know what happens.

Click here to send an email to Janice Broach.

Powered by WorldNow