mark winkler’s case

I am completely sympathetic with Mary Winkler. She was released after only 67 days in a treatment facility for post traumatic stress disorder. She shot and killed her husband. She endured an abusive marriage and came from a home with a domineering and probably abusive father. The woman was sheltered, socializing primarily in church activities and with fellow church members. Her husband was a rapist, involved in credit fraud and abusive to both Mary and their daughters, suffocating the young girls until they stopped crying at night. During the trial, Mary even fought to preserve the reputation of her husband for the sake of her daughters. Ultimately, her defense team persuaded her to divulge some truths (not all of it) about her husband so that she might improve her sentence. Now, she has been released. She does not have contact with her three daughters. I can’t imagine how she will start her life at this point. Her three daughters are currently in custody of their murdered father’s parents. These people are the girls’ grandparents. They are the same parents who produced a pastor son who committed malicious acts of violence and abuse against his wife and daughters. Surely the girls’ grandfather is suppressing his own abusive tendencies for the media scrutiny he is under. Surely the girls’ grandmother continues to keep her mouth shut.
I know that women tend to receive lighter sentences than men in the US justice system. But then again, men are not nearly as vulnerable to the silent, daily abuses that go on in marriages across the country. How many women are out there, like Mary Winkler, who have known no other life? They have no dialog, no escape, only a dark oppression, an inescapable life sentence. I’ve only felt fleeting moments of this, but I recognize the feeling. I can escape. I’ve never known such a marriage, such an eternity. This is how it appears to me. Just look at her mouth.


8 thoughts on “mark winkler’s case

  1. syllepsis

    1. This is why people should never never give in to a whirlwind romance and completely (as much as possible) get to know someone before marrying them.

    2. Perhaps it’s irrelevant, but Mary looks like a lesbian to me.

    1. depressedasfuck

      1. That’s like saying because someone got cut by a pair of your average scissors that people should only use safety sheers from now on… That you should never take a shower because of that scene in Psycho and it could happen to you…

      2. Lesbians have distinctive features?

  2. poebot

    have you read brian evenson? open curtain? he was one of the faculty at port townsend writer’s conference. your post made me think of open curtain. i have only read his stories, so i base this connection on evenson’s overview of the book. not as some kind of statement on mormons. rather as critique of violence and a System (fundamentalist/male dominated/etc) that seems to fuel said violence.


    i have a poem i recently wrote for brittany mcglone. it’s always an eye-opener too when you google one of these hundreds of girls that die in small towns of violent crime. almost nothing there. invisible. i know it will be an important story to write, because i have woken up freewriting in my head. apparently the morticians had seen nothing like it in their careers. i mean, for example, the concave indentations in her head.

    brittany’s poem is all over the page, if you want to read, i’ll email it to you (

  3. Anonymous

    This story warms my heart. It sends a message to all those abusive husbands out there: if you beat your wife, she’ll kill you. And she’ll get away with it. Where’s the motivation to not kill people? Especially someone who has it coming. Granted, one could hardly say she got off free, but come on, it’s progress!



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