Mary Winkler, who served only 67 days for killing her minister husband, has regained custody of their three young children. Convicted of voluntary manslaughter, Winkler claimed her husband had abused her physically and emotionally, but there’s little evidence to support that, writes Glenn Sacks.
In describing her crime to Oprah, Mary Winkler says she was angry at her husband and â€œjust wanted to talk to him,” and then she â€œheard a boom.â€ A more complete description of the incident would have been that she wanted to talk to him, waited until he fell asleep, retrieved the shotgun, pumped it, aimed it at his back, pulled the trigger, and then â€œheard a boom.â€ Her description of the killing was so devoid of personal responsibility that even a sympathetic Oprah didnâ€™t accept it.
Perhaps the most absurd aspect of both the trial and Oprah was the way Mary highlighted the white platform shoes which she claimed Matthew â€œmade herâ€ wear, and which she said were deeply humiliating to her.
The three girls, now 11, 9 and 3 years old, have been raised by their father’s parents since the 2006 murder. The grandparents tried to get permanent custody, arguing that Mary Winkler poses a â€œsubstantial threat of harm to her children.â€ You’d think that would be an easy case, but no.
Britain is making it easier for women who murder their husbands to get away with it by claiming abuse, Sacks adds.