Mary Winkler Appears on The Oprah Winfrey Show

By: Allison Hunt
By: Allison Hunt

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.


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  • by Cletus Location: Vonore on Jul 19, 2008 at 02:10 PM
    You wanna know why I stopped telling skunk stories? Cause they stink!!! Think about it.
  • by Kathy Location: Knoxville on Sep 16, 2007 at 06:40 AM
    I am like everyone else everyone should keep quite about this I was In 2 abusive Marrages I had to leave when they was gone One broke my arm In 4 places and collar bone and the other put 8 stitches In my head. I like to never got over them two I have a great one now, they are always two sides to a story though the kids Is the ones suffering they need to be with their MOM My sisters went to school with Mary she was okay, Just keep thep In your Prayers.
  • by Larry on Sep 15, 2007 at 07:56 PM
    Yeah Cathy some people should shut their mouths about what they dont know. Take you own advice hypocrite.
  • by Chris Location: Home on Sep 14, 2007 at 06:19 AM
    This is a tradgety for all concerned. Especially for the 3 little girls who lost their daddy. Hopefully they can rebuild a relationship with their mother. This puts an extra burden on the elder Winklers. I'm sure they want revenge and what better way than to take her children away. Hopefully the Christian values both side espouse will help them all to make wise decisions.
  • by Karen Location: Sevierville on Sep 13, 2007 at 04:28 PM
    As a person who was once in an abusive marriage I can understand the fear and depression involved. HOwever, I believe that this was murder plain and simple. There are shelters everwhere. There is help for abuse victims everywhere. When faced with this same situation, I waited until my husband was asleep and I took my children and left him. We were scared and alone. I had no job and no money but I didn't take anyones life. It just wasn't necessary.
  • by hoola girl Location: Knoxville on Sep 13, 2007 at 11:13 AM
    • Dolores: "Go on! All I ask is that you do it quick! And don't let Selena see the mess when its over! You wanna run me down? You go right ahead. You can be as mean and hurtful as you want, but this is the last time you will ever hit me! You do it again, one of us is going to the bone yard." Delores Claiborne-Stephen King
  • by Cathy Daugherty Location: Macon County on Sep 13, 2007 at 09:20 AM
    Everyone should keep their mouths shut about this especially some of the media. No one knows what goes on behind four walls in someone's house. Just because Matthew was a so-called preacher some people thinks he was a saint and wouldn't do nothing wrong, but I think he was using that to cover up his meanness. He was letting Mary do all the dirty work with her name on everything, so his would be clean. Mary's so-called in-laws they are no better than their son, the only reason they want them kids is the MONEY!

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