This video shows Mary Winkler, who was battered and sexually abused by her pastor husband over many years, and whom I blogged about here after she confessed to shooting him, sitting at a local bar, apparently having a beer.
I mean, the very idea. How could she.
Some citizens are up-in-arms over these photos, which were taken by townsperson Luis Correa on his cell phone. They are angry because some of the townspeople actually feel supportive of Mary Winkler. Mr. Correa was shocked to see her sitting with her friends at the bar, having a brew, on, of all things, New Year’s Eve night. He sold the photos to a local news program who aired them, outraging some of the people who undoubtedly believe themselves to be McMinville, Tennessee’s finest. Said Correa, “They should know what they are supporting…We walked in there and there she was sitting down at the table…They [Winkler and her friends] were giggling, drinking, smoking…All this catastrophe has happened and now she’s just walking down, like nothing ever happened.” Correa finished, “A woman who is raised in the church, how can she turn around and shot her husband on the back, and she’s out on the streets.”
Following are some other responses culled from newspaper reports:
Well, I’m a pastor’s daughter and I can’t imagine my mother doing that–it’s shocking,” said Claire Plunk.
“I definitely don’t think she’s a poor, innocent victim,” said another lady.
“Because she confesses to be a Christian–so she ain’t got no business being in there whether she killed her husband or not,” said June Wood.
“I would be too upset about being separated from my children–that sort of thing–to be able to go out and celebrate in such a fashion,” said Libby St. John, who adds the encounter has given her second thoughts about the woman she once pitied.
However, one resident, Tom Howell, said, “I wouldn’t condemn her if she stayed drunk all the time–going through a psychological thing like shooting your husband.”
Mary Winkler is out on bail pending her trial, which is in the distant future. She works at a dry cleaners during the day. Her in-laws have custody of her three children. I guess according to Mr. Correa, she should be sitting at home in silence every single night, having donned sackcloth and ashes. She should be making sure she is miserable and devastated all of the time. She should go to bed early and cry herself to sleep and remind herself of all the negotiating underway about whether or not the state will seek the death penalty and how she is going to feel if she is found guilty and sentenced to death. By no means does she deserve a moment’s rest, or a beer, or to smile, despite the fact that for the first time since she married this man and all hell broke loose, she has a brief opportunity to be at peace.