South Knoxville Neighborhood Remembers Mary Winkler

By: Jim Freeman
By: Jim Freeman

Knoxville (WVLT) --Today would have been Mary and Matthew Winkler's 11th wedding anniversary.

Mary was born in Knoxville on December 10, 1973, grew up in the Arrowhead subdivision, and attended South Doyle High School...

The world now knows her as Mary Winkler, but many in the South Knoxville neighborhood where she grew-up refer to her as Carol or Mary Carol, and the maiden name of Freeman.

Diane Shular grew up just across the street from Mary, and painted a very different picture of her than people who have not met her are use to.

"Very, very sweet individual we always called her Carol," Shular said, "very shy, quiet. Her and her younger sister Patricia used to come over and play in the yard with us."

Eugene McCammon lives across the street from the Freeman home and followed the trial with neighborly interest. He says when Mary was on the stand she acted just like she always has.

"Her demeanor you know with her head down a lot and talks softly," McCammon said, "She didn't rant and rave or anything like that. Apparently that really had an impact on the jury."

Disbelief and sadness of the entire chain of events still echoes along Frontier Trail.

"I didn't really talk to her a whole lot while she's been married," Shular said. "I just know the character of Carol and what a sweet person she is and watching her grow up, it's just a very sad situation."

Eugene McCammon told us he thought that first degree murder was a little strong.

"I was a little bit surprised that it was manslaughter," he said, "but after I read something in the paper this morning about the definition of manslaughter where these violent acts can take place in just a moment of passion of some kind ,then i thought, well, I guess that fits what maybe the jury thought."

"My heart does go out to her and her family," Shular said, "it's a very sad situation."

Clark Freeman, Mary Winkler's father, took time to visit with Volunteer TV News this afternoon, however we have honored his request that we not film him or his home.

He told us that there is a long way to go in all this and that he will talk when the time is right.


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  • by knoxvillegirl Location: knoxville on Apr 16, 2008 at 05:33 PM
    The ones that are commenting, do not live in this state. I would be worried about what goes on in my neighborhood before coming on this site and posting harsh words.
  • by Devan Gage Location: Southern State on Apr 23, 2007 at 06:47 PM
    Mary Winkler got away with cold blooded murder. The State had her confession. They had the forensic evidence that showed she was a capable liar. They had her statements that she had lied to her children. They had the murder weapon and the shell. They had her leaving him knowing he was dying and yet what does she get? A mere slap on the wrist. Mary Winkler's defense was "take your pick". It was an accident uh no wait if you dont believe that then it was abuse. The defense team was as cold and calculating as Mary. She fit right in with them as they spun her tales of abuse without one iota of proof to back it up. She victimized Matthew Winkler twice not only by taking his life but by destroying him to save herself from full accountability.
  • by flo lilley Location: FL on Apr 20, 2007 at 08:52 PM
    I personally think she got away with cold blooded murder just like OJ did...have an accident you call 911! Tear telephone loose, I do not think so!!!!I believe she was a good liar, evil person.
  • by Joan Location: New Jersey on Apr 20, 2007 at 07:26 PM
    The Winklers appeared to have a troubled marriage and financial woes but I find it hard to believe Mary was a real victim of domestic violence. It appears more likely that she is an immature young woman who could not handle the many responsibilites of life and marriage. Her act of violence was not an "accidental". I have worked professionally with victims of domestic violence and have had specialized training over the past 15 years in that area of family court. Mary has simply succeeded in hiding behind her lawyers and the cross dangling from her neck. She murdered this man and ran away in the same cowardly fashion she has lived her life....hiding behind others and her "religion". Hopefully she will never regain custody of her daughters.

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