Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Mary Winkler is out.
Apparently she was treated for depression and PTSD, and released.
According to CNN:
Winkler never denied shooting her husband, Matthew, the popular new preacher at the Fourth Street Church of Christ in Selmer, a town of 4,500 people about 80 miles east of Memphis.
On March 22, 2006, church elders found his body -- with a shotgun wound to the back -- in the bedroom of the parsonage after he failed to show up for an evening service. His wife was arrested the next day with the couple's three young daughters in Orange Beach, Alabama, on the Gulf coast.
Mary Winkler was charged with murder, which could have sent her to prison for up to 60 years, but a jury found her guilty of voluntary manslaughter following an emotional trial in which she testified about suffering years of verbal and physical abuse.
In a statement to police after her arrest, Winkler said she didn't recall pulling the trigger .She said she apologized and wiped the blood that bubbled from her dying husband's lips as he asked, "Why?"
Prosecutors and Matthew Winkler's family members said he was a good husband and father.
But on the stand, Mary Winkler described a hellish 10-year marriage during which, she said, her husband struck her, screamed at her, criticized her and blamed her when things went wrong. She said he made her watch pornography and wear "slutty" costumes for sex, and that he forced her to submit to sex acts that made her uncomfortable.
She testified she pointed the shotgun at her husband during an argument to force him to talk through their problems, and "something went off."
A defense psychologist testified that she was depressed and showed classic symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Mary Winkler initially received a three-year sentence in June. But Circuit Court Judge J. Weber McCraw required that she serve only 210 days, and allowed her to serve the rest of the time on probation.
She also received credit for five months she spent behind bars awaiting trial, which left only about 60 days to her sentence. McCraw ruled she could serve the time in a mental health facility.
Hadn't been following or even heard of this, I confess. (my first confused thought was that Henry Winkler had a wife and she was making a break for Northampton or something). I think I can write the responses in several different quarters to this -already-, though.
speaking of, I just spent a longish session with the Blog War Bot. very therapeutic. I highly recommend.
you keep using that word, Blogwarbot. I do not think it means what you think it means...
Anal rape is not just "uncomfortable"--who ARE the assholes (word used deliberately in this context) who write these news stories, anyway?
Pardon me for invoking another southern expression: Of course she is guilty, but he just needed killin.
(among other stuff, obviously.)
now, I am far from thinking that the stuff her husband wanted to do was "dirty".
but I got a really screwed up view of what's acceptable and what's not, with-a-trusted-partner-ishly speaking.
and it's not really the "what" of what he was asking that makes it abusive, for me, once corrected for the moral-transgression factor. it's the "how", combined with the fact that the guy seemed to get a charge out of her genuine reluctance.
one can be pro-slutty-costumes and anti-jerkface at the same time.
If you didn't watch the testimony, I can see why you'd think so. But her demeanor on the witness stand, for several days, convinced me.
The problem is, the witness who could give us the other side of the story is "unavailable."
I'm curious: What ELSE do you think would drive a meek, mild-mannered fundamentalist with absolutely no history of violence to shoot her husband?
That subjugated, Talibanesque, eyes-down, calling everyone "sir" and "ma-am" stuff, is real common among the Bob-Jones women around here. I admit, I have a visceral reaction to it. It makes me want to scream and scream and scream.
AntiP: and it's not really the "what" of what he was asking that makes it abusive, for me, once corrected for the moral-transgression factor. it's the "how", combined with the fact that the guy seemed to get a charge out of her genuine reluctance.
There was a ton of porn on the good Reverend's computer, that was used against him. Thing is, meek little Mary knew all the names of his movies, and described which ones she was expected to act out for him. They were showed to her as INSTRUCTIONAL FILMS. I know we don't like to think anyone actually does that, but if ANYONE does, it will be guys like that.
The money shot of the trial: When Mary protested she didn't want to have anal sex, they argued. Mary was concerned there would be real damage done to her. (I guess the Reverend wasn't too GENTLE most of the time...)
And he said to her "It's okay, you can have surgery to correct it--all of the porn actresses get it."
It just sounded real to me, and probably to the jury too.
now, see, knowing what I know about anal (and what I know about anal - its name is legion ;) ), there's absolutely NO REASON to inflict ANY actual lasting serious damage, least of all the kind of damage that needs surgery to correct.
you can be as anal as you wanna be from now 'til the apocalypse, and not need any "corrective surgery" - provided your partner is not a savage who likes to make you suffer.
but if you don't wanna, you shouldn't hafta. not under any circumstances. forced anything is abusive.
And remember, as a well-known fundie preacher in a small town, he was not in a position to hire anyone or even cheat without probable repercussions.
It just rang true, and lots of the TV commentators kept repeating it over and over in amazement. I assume they also did that in the jury room.
yeah, I get you.
I don't know what really happened. Maybe everything she said is true. Even so, that does not necessarily justify murdering her husband. The proper way to terminate a bad marriage is divorce, not murder. Obviously in a situation of abuse, that can be problematic, at best. But we don't want to make it so people can just murder a spouse and then blame the spouse for it afterwards and get off just for being a good liar. Which maybe this defendant was - and there are a lot of people out there predisposed to believe abuse stories. So it makes for a difficult situation to deal with in the courts. All I can say is, I'm glad I was not on that jury.
I have been around so many of them (some are my own customers), I can spot em in a second. I guess you could say it is similar to gaydar.
Mary wasn't faking. She was one of those obedient wives, gone off the deep end. It scares holy hell out of the rest of them, as Andrea Yates did too.
Remember, it is the right-wing, lawn order fundies who are stirring up the whole "she got away with murder" hysteria. Consider the source, always.
It terrifies them that their 'Calvinist Stepford Wives' routine isn't working. They'll have to resort to making actual androids one of these days, these damn bitches just won't behave.
PS: As one Cheryl Lindsey Seelhoff, former Quiverfull mother of 11 babies, also does.
and there are a lot of people out there predisposed to believe abuse stories.
I'm one of them.
and I absolutely believe her.
which is not that I think she should skip off merrily into the sunset while the justice system bakes her a cake.
But I don't think she belongs in prison.
not that that says she wasn't abused, etc. call it the dark little avenging angel emerging though: well, again, Hothead would approve, I am sure. and, just, I don't think the Heart approach of "women are angels really, Innocence Abused" is terribly useful. fuck the Great Earth Mama Tit. Let's own our Kali for once.
anyway, I hope they are scared.
I don't believe I have ever heard this expression before.
:D you kill me, BD!
I gotta work until late, so I'll give my regards to any Quiverfull gals I see!
PS: I got your email, Belledame, but it when I click the link, it says I can't go there. (?)
One does have to be careful - again, people can be very good liars. That's what a good liar is - someone who can spin a lie and have you believing every last word of it as if it were absolute truth. They are the ones who can fly under the "gaydar" or whatever it is. Or you may jam your own "gaydar" or whatever if you are predisposed to believe. People who want to believe something is true will believe it. If people could generally see through lies, con artists and politicians would be out of business...
Now, I'm not saying that is her, I really could not say. But looking at it from the perspective of how to deal with this from a criminal justice perspective, it is very hard. Because really, if you kill someone and it wasn't a case of self-defense-your-life-is-in-danger-kill-or-die-this-instant, you are guilty of first degree murder and you go to jail for life (or are executed). Included in that is a duty to attempt to escape in most jurisdictions. That gets sticky with abuse, I know.
Sure, thoughts of revenge can be sweet, but revenge killing simply isn't part of our justice system, though I'm sure there are plenty of books and movies to be made about them.
Justified or not, it is clear that this woman killed her husband and got away with it. Maybe that is justice. Maybe it isn't. But it can't as a general rule be what is allowed under our justice system.