Knoxville (WVLT) - After serving about two months in a mental health facility, Mary Winkler talks for the first time to Oprah.
Volunteer TV's Allison Hunt joins us now with more on Mary Winkler's first words publicly since her trail.
Mary Winkler talks very openly with Oprah saying she still loves her husband and thinks about him every day, but she says his verbal and sometimes physically abuse became too much to bare. To the outside world, they were the perfect couple, but inside she says the secret of their real life was one full of pain.
Mary Winkler tells Oprah she never thought of killing her husband. In fact, she says she doesn't remember much from march 22, 2006.
Winkler says "I can't tell you an actual memory or a thought, but today when I think back, I asked the same question myself, to myself, what in the world happened? How did this happen?"
Winkler says that morning, Matthew was furious about their youngest child crying and physically kicked her out of bed. Mary says she felt like her life was in danger and just wanted to talk to her husband. Oprah asks Mary what she wanted to do with the shotgun.
Mary says "all I can think is just being so afraid, and I don't know if it was to intimidate him or just to get his attention."
Mary says she doesn't remember getting the gun or pulling the trigger. She says she heard a boom and thought she hit the ceiling or window.
She says "I just thought oh my goodness he's going to think I meant to do that on purpose, and so I took out, I just took out of there and took off running, and then at some point I just realized he wasn't chasing me."
That's when Mary fled with the children. She says toward the end of their marriage she became "worn out" from trying to remember how to do things the way he liked them and tired of the sexual abuse she says she endured at the hands of Matthew.
She says "I will always grieve the fact where I failed Matthew and not bringing it to his attention how bad it was."
Mary says she hopes all this has not happened in vain, and hopes to help someone else. Oprah then asked her "at what price?" and she says she's still paying the price.
Mary goes on to tell Oprah she's different now. She says she communicates better and speaks up when she feels something is wrong and is now finding out who she really is.