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Mary Winkler is Set to Appear in Court Again for a Preliminary Hearing, at Which Time Her Attorney May Ask for Her to be Released on Bond

Aired March 29, 2006 - 20:00:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight, breaking developments in the Tennessee minister murder mystery. Why would a highly popular preacher`s wife shoot her own husband down in cold blood, take her three girls on vacation and then -- whoop! -- confess? Tonight, the seemingly quiet and demure preacher`s wife wants out of jail on bond, that hearing set 0900 tomorrow morning. And tonight: Was she allowed out of jail to visit her husband`s body?
Also tonight, good and evil, why those two worlds collide. Tonight, we`ve got an all-star panel of clergy, lawyers, shrinks and profilers trying to make sense of it, as we take a closer look at the Church of Christ. It has been called a cult. Also: Till death do us part. When did murder become an alternative to divorce?

Good evening, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us tonight. Tonight, spouses who are accused of killing. It`s an epidemic! You`ve got Scott Peterson, Clara Harris (ph), Lynn Turner (ph), Robert Blake, and what about Neil Entwistle and, of course, Orenthal James Simpson? Can`t leave him out! Why murder, yes, divorce, no?

But first tonight, we are live in Tennessee as a minister`s wife tries to get out of jail after charges she murdered her husband in cold blood. Why should she have bond? Is she headed straight back to the church parsonage? And tonight, the Church of Christ is under a microscope. Is it a cult? Also tonight, a special God`s army joins us heathen lawyers, shrinks, profilers, all to examine the preacher`s wife facing trial for murder, the line between good and evil. And tonight, all of us taking your calls.


STEVE FARESE, MARY WINKLER`S ATTORNEY: I`m not willing to discuss anything she discussed with me, of course.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mary Winkler has confessed to the murder of her husband, Matthew Winkler..

FARESE: We have yet to see an alleged confession.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I doubt that there`s anybody in the community that can fathom what happened.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She loved Matthew very much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Winkler had been shot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She said she had been well taken care of, that everybody had treated her better than, really, what she had deserved.


GRACE: Everyone, we are going straight out to a reporter with WREC radio, Liz Daulton. Liz, did Mary Winkler actually get a "get out of jail free" pass to go visit her husband`s body before the funeral?

LIZ DAULTON, WREC RADIO: That would have been the county sheriff`s decision, and it`s unconfirmed at this time whether she was able to go and say good-bye.

GRACE: Well, have you asked them?

DAULTON: We asked her attorney, and he said it was unconfirmed to him, as well.

GRACE: Well, did you ask the sheriff`s department?

DAULTON: No, we haven`t gotten in touch with them yet.

GRACE: So it`s my understanding -- our producers have been asking, as well -- they refuse to answer. Now, incidentally (ph) -- right, Ellie? Now, when somebody refuses to answer, that immediately raises the hair on the back of my neck. Just give me an answer.

Well, speaking of Mary Winkler`s lawyer, that young gentleman is with us tonight, Steve Farese. Welcome back, Mr. Farese. Did your client get a chance to visit her husband`s body before he was buried?

STEVE FARESE, MARY WINKLER`S ATTORNEY: I do not know the answer to that, Nancy.

GRACE: Was it -- were you trying to arrange it for her?

FARESE: Well, we had made a request for leaving Monday, but again, I don`t know the results of that request.

GRACE: Have you seen her since Monday?

FARESE: I have not.

GRACE: Question. Tomorrow morning, 0900 your time, you`re going to be back in court for a bond hearing or for a preliminary hearing?

FARESE: We will be in court for both, Nancy. It is set for a preliminary hearing, at which time we could request bond.

GRACE: And to Murray Janice (ph), defense attorney. Bond hearing, preliminary hearing -- let`s talk about it very quickly. A preliminary hearing, as opposed to a grand jury indictment. Why?

MURRAY JANICE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: When a person is arrested, the police and the prosecution often will proceed with a preliminary hearing because a grand jury may not be meeting for several weeks or even a month or more. A preliminary hearing is not the trial, it is just to determine probable cause, if the crime was committed, and of course it was, and if this defendant committed the crime.

GRACE: You know, Joe Lawless, Murray is correct. When you have a preliminary hearing, the problem with that, as opposed to a grand jury, is the state has to lay out all of its -- well, a majority of its cards on the table in court, and it subjects the state`s witnesses to cross-examination. With a grand jury, you don`t have that.

JOE LAWLESS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, yes, Nancy, but I think you`re going to find out with the preliminary hearing in this case, it`s going to be very short and sweet. There`s probably going to be a stipulation as to the cause of death, and then there`ll be a brief reading of the confession, which may be -- the whole hearing could take five minutes. It will be a very short proceeding tomorrow.

GRACE: I want to go straight back out to Steve Farese. This is Mary Winkler`s lawyer. Steve, what do you anticipate the state putting up tomorrow in the preliminary hearing?

FARESE: Well, right now, we`re scheduled for a preliminary hearing. Two things can happen. We could proceed with the preliminary hearing, or we could waive the preliminary hearing.

GRACE: Or you could go ahead and enter a not guilty plea and be done with it~!

FARESE: Yes, ma`am.

GRACE: Is that possible?

FARESE: Anything`s possible, Nancy. You know that.


GRACE: So you may waive the preliminary hearing and agree to be bound over, in a sense, to the correct court for trial, correct?

FARESE: Yes, ma`am.

GRACE: Do you anticipate that happening tomorrow?

FARESE: I don`t know what`s going to happen tomorrow. If I wake up tomorrow, I will determine that at that time.

GRACE: Oh! So it`s kind of a "fly by the seat of your pants" thing. You`re going to decide in the morning after your cup of coffee.

FARESE: That`s -- I don`t drink coffee, but that`s the way I always operate, Nancy, and that`s why I am where I am today is because I fly by the seat of my pants.

GRACE: Well, I heard that your mother agrees with me and not you.

FARESE: My mother loves you, Nancy, but I`ve had trouble with my mother all of my life.


GRACE: Back to Liz Daulton, reporter with WREC radio. Liz, regarding the bond -- let`s talk about the bond. Is it possible that Mary Winkler -- who many people believe shot her husband in the back, one shot with a shotgun, then took her kids on vacation to the panhandle -- could be back in the church parsonage tomorrow?

GRACE: That`s always a possibility. It`s unclear of whether that`s going to happen yet. We have heard little from the defense, we`ve heard little from the prosecution about either which way it could go.

GRACE: Let`s talk about, very quickly, before we go to our panel, what are the criteria for getting bond? Let`s talk about it. Joe Lawless, what will the court be looking at?

LAWLESS: The principal determination is whether or not the defendant`s a danger of a risk of flight. Is she going to appear at the next hearing? I don`t think that she`s a danger of a risk of flight...

GRACE: Whoa, ho, ho, ho, ho! Wait a minute! She was about 450 miles away from home with the kids in the back of the van! I think she`s a flight risk.

LAWLESS: I think what you`re going to find`s going to happen tomorrow, Nancy, is that members of her religious community are going to come forward, they`re going to offer to be supportive of her staying in the community, and that the court`s going to have to consider giving her bond.

GRACE: Let`s look at all of the criteria. The extent or nature of the crime, outstanding warrants -- well, she doesn`t have any of those -- flight risk -- definite flight risk -- risk to the community -- usually means, will she commit the offense against -- that`s doubtful, her history. Now, I don`t know anything about her history, only her client (SIC), Mr. Farese -- Mr. Farese, knows about that, and he`s staying mum on that.

But you mentioned something about her church, whether her church would support her getting bond. Do they, Mr. Farese? Does her church, the Church of Christ, support her getting bond?

FARESE: Well, we can`t talk about the church as an entity. We have to talk about the church as individuals in this context, and there are a number of church members who support her.

GRACE: I want to go to Steve Farese also. Are you a member of the Church of Christ?

FARESE: I don`t think religion has anything to do with this conversation, Nancy...

GRACE: I take that as a yes.

FARESE: ... however, the answer is no. You were wrong again, Nancy.


GRACE: You know, Steve, every time somebody tries to back away from a question, I just naturally assume the worst, because why would you hide anything? And which reminds me -- is it true that your client -- and I ask you this again -- according to law enforcement, confessed to shooting her husband?

FARESE: I don`t know the answer to that, again, Nancy.

GRACE: Didn`t you ask her?

FARESE: The answer is the same. Well, if I did ask her and she did answer, you well know that I cannot divulge that, even to you.

GRACE: OK. I want to go very quickly now to a very special guest, Bob Jones, chancellor of Bob Jones University. Welcome, Reverend. A couple of questions. This case has highlighted a very serious concern, and that is, when you look to your religious leader, in this case the pastor of their church, people look to them and their family for religious guidance. They are somewhat examples to the members of the flock.

How serious is this? How serious a blow is this to this church`s flock? And also, many people have suggested the Church of Christ is a cult. Now, they deny that. What do you think?

BOB JONES, CHANCELLOR, BOB JONES UNIVERSITY: Well, Nancy, it`s obvious that when your Christian leader, be it pastor or whatever he may call himself, falls into sin, it`s a terrible -- it`s a terrible blow. And in this case, the pastor`s wife has obviously disappointed her Lord and her congregation. And just like all over the world, there are very disillusioned Catholics whose priests were revealed as pedophiles, and when that all got revealed, it just shattered everybody`s confidence. And so yes, it is very disconcerting.

The Church of Christ is a legitimate national denomination. Their beliefs about salvation, in particular, would be one of the things I would have vast differences with them with personally because I think, you know, it`s very clear from the scripture that we`re redeemed to Christ through the blood of the cross, not by the baptismal waters. But I could not personally call it a cult in any way. It`s just a denomination who has doctrines that I personally don`t subscribe to because they aren`t biblical.

GRACE: To Dr. Deepak Chopra, author of "Peace Is the Way." Thank you, sir, for being with us tonight. A case like Mary Winkler`s has shocked our country on so many different levels, most significantly her own congregation. Sir, what is your concept in this particular case of good and evil?

DEEPAK CHOPRA, AUTHOR, "PEACE IS THE WAY": Well, every human being has two kinds of tendencies. One is the tendency for love, compassion, unity. The other is the tendency for fear, separation and delusion. And situations, circumstances, events in the past can influence us to go either way.

So if I really wanted to know more about this case, I would say -- I would like to know, that, you know, when somebody commits a crime like this, there`s either rage from the past or there`s intense suffering from the past or there is a sense of injustice from the past. I would like to know the details of that, the context of that, because anybody is capable...

GRACE: Well, Dr. Chopra, you may call it the details and the context of the past, I refer to that in my line of business as the motive. So when you say you`re looking for the details of rage and injustice in the past, do you mean as how it relates to the shooting, this alleged shooting?

CHOPRA: Either a person is insane or they have suffered enough in the past to commit a crime like this. And when you understand somebody`s suffering, then there`s room for compassion. And when there`s room for compassion, there`s room for love and forgiveness, and we have rehabilitation (ph) or treatment, as well as incarceration, so that the person doesn`t affect other people, is not dangerous to other people, et cetera, et cetera.

I think the crime itself is punishment in itself, you know, for a person who`s normal, because she`s going to obviously, you know, pay the -- reap the -- you know, the punishment anyway.

So I think it`s very easy to say this is evil, this is good. The line is not so sharp. Everything that happens in the world is because of contrasts. You know, there`s evil, there`s good, there`s light, there`s darkness, there`s hot, there`s cold, there`s joy, there`s sorrow, there`s suffering, there`s grief, there`s celebration. This is what makes the world go around.

GRACE: Here`s what a fellow minister`s wife had to say.


NANCY HARDING BURGESS, MINISTER`S WIFE, FOUNDER OF HEART AND SOUL CONNECTION: I think there`s a lot of stress in ministers` families. I`ve been a minister`s wife for 36 years. And there`s stressors in ministers` families that a lot of people, lay people, do not understand. And I think there`s something going on in this family, obviously, that a lot of people did not know about, and obviously, something in Mary`s life that went extremely wrong.


GRACE: To Dr. Robi Ludwig. In this particular case, what is your analysis?

ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: I think that there was suffering that was going on and untreated, depression, that this woman was a volcano just waiting to explode, and that there was no outlet for her. For some reason, I get this idea that she had no support system, either because she felt she needed to present this image of a preacher`s wife -- and I also think there`s the other side of the preacher that we just haven`t heard about yet, and there`s a lot more details...

GRACE: Are you starting to blame the victim already...

LUDWIG: I`m not...

GRACE: ... and we haven`t even had the preliminary hearing? There`s something about the preacher we don`t know about?

LUDWIG: Maybe, but...

GRACE: I`ll tell you what you need to know. He was shot once in the back and he`s dead.

LUDWIG: OK, but there`s more to this story that we don`t know about, and I think we need to know more details before we can make a complete analysis about why she did what she did.

GRACE: True. True. To Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, host of "Shalom in the Home" on TLC. Question to you, sir. Many people look at this pastor -- he was highly beloved. He was very popular in the community, as was his wife. Their family were put up on a pedestal. We`ve been getting floods of e- mails and questions about good and evil in our world -- this woman seemingly a devoted wife and mother. Do you believe that evil is real? This is unlike practically any other case we have covered.

RABBI SHMULEY BOTEACH, HOST, "SHALOM IN THE HOME," TLC: You know, Nancy, evil is not some dark cloud that suddenly appears in our kitchen and it invades our body and causes us to do an evil act. We become evil when we choose evil action. This woman was innocent up until a few days ago, and now she`s chosen the most evil of all actions. She didn`t just kill a man, she killed the father of her own children! She orphaned her kids, for goodness sake!

I don`t care what rage she experienced! I don`t care what depression she experienced! Don`t punish your children! And even if her husband was some monster, then leave! Divorce him! We dare not excuse this act! These children will suffer for the rest of their entire lives! And your first responsibility is a mother is to love the fruit of your womb!

Now, good and evil are really the product of our actions, nothing more. We`re not born good and we`re not born evil. We are born utterly innocent. We are a blank slate upon which our own actions will write. And when we do something that is utterly unforgivable, like taking a human life -- because how could the person be forgiven when the injured party isn`t around to for give -- we dare not excuse it!

I must take issue with my dear friend, Deepak Chopra, and say, of course there`s a distinction between good and bad. When you give life, like having a child, that`s good. When you feed the hungry, when you invite a stranger into your home, that`s good. When you kill the innocent in cold blood, that is evil. It is light and dark. It could not be more distinct, period! We dare not create a world that functions on moral relativism!

GRACE: Rabbi, no offense to Dr. Chopra, but I did kind of lose the reasoning. We`re talking about a murder where someone`s shot in the back. And the joy and the paradise and excitement of life, I somehow lost that in the train of thought, trying to determine (INAUDIBLE) the state`s preliminary hearing.

I see Dr. Chopra wants in. Doctor?

CHOPRA: Oh, I just would like to know the facts. I`d like to know, is she a sociopath, a psychopath? Does she have bipolar depression? Is she borderline schizophrenic? Could she have a personality disorder? Has she been abused as a child? I think all that really gives a context to why people do evil things.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) community sometimes have a tendency to think these things happen elsewhere. And when it happens to you, it comes as a total shock.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They loved him and still do and always will, as long as he lived. And we want to be a part of this.


GRACE: Welcome back. Tomorrow morning, 0900, Mary Winkler in court, answering charges that she gunned down her husband in cold blood before taking her kids on a vacation to the panhandle. There are also reports that she has confessed and given police a motive, which they are keeping secret. Tomorrow, during this preliminary hearing and bond hearing, many of these questions may be answered, facts revealed.

To the Tennessee state medical examiner, whose office performed the Winkler autopsy. Bruce Levy is with us. I assume it`s Dr. Levy. Thank you for being with us.


GRACE: Question, Dr. Levy. How was Matthew Winkler killed?

LEVY: He was killed by a single shotgun wound to the back.

GRACE: In the back. Was it the upper back, lower back? Was it an angle from left to right?

LEVY: Middle of the back.

GRACE: Excuse me? Sir, was it the upper or lower back?

LEVY: It was the middle of the back.

GRACE: Middle of the back. And Dr. Levy, was there an angle from left to right or up to down?

LEVY: There wasn`t a discernible angle.

GRACE: I see. Was there an exit wound?

LEVY: No. You don`t have exit wounds with shotguns, typically.

GRACE: Yes, you`re right. Explain. Thank you.

LEVY: Well, when you have a shotgun wound, you`re not dealing with a single large pellet, but lots of small, little fragments, basically small pellets of bullets, and they scatter throughout the body and they typically do not exit.

GRACE: Dr. Levy, what type of weapon was used? A shotgun, correct?

LEVY: I don`t know the specific type of shotgun that was used.

GRACE: Do you believe, Dr. Levy, that he was shot at close range?

LEVY: It appears from the appearance of the wound that he was shot from several feet away.

GRACE: Several as in three, or several as in 20?

LEVY: We`re talking about two to three feet away, so a fairly close shot.

GRACE: Dr. Levy, do you believe Minister Winkler died instantly?

FARESE: I think that, as typical with shots that are not to the head, people will bleed to death, so it takes a number of minutes for a person to actually die.

GRACE: With us tonight a special guest, the Tennessee state medical examiner whose office performed this autopsy, Dr. Bruce Levy. We`ll all be right back, taking your calls.

Let`s quickly go to tonight`s "Case Alert." An anonymous donor pledges $30,000 reward for info on 12-year-old Dre Henning, 11-year-old Purvis Parker, the two Milwaukee boys who disappeared from a park a week ago. That reward now up to $62,000. Please help us. If you have info, call toll-free 877-628-3804.



FARESE: Once you get into a motive, you`re talking about some type of admission of guilt. I`m not willing to discuss anything she discussed with me. Of course, the state has given us no motive. We have yet to see an alleged confession.


GRACE: Tonight, we are getting a little preview of what the state will present tomorrow at a preliminary hearing. With us, a very special guest, Dr. Bruce Levy. He is the Tennessee state medical examiner. His office performed the autopsy on Minister Winkler.

Before we lose Mr. Levy -- Dr. Levy, what was the location of the body?

LEVY: The body was found in the master bedroom, in a prone position.

GRACE: Face up, face down?

LEVY: Face up.

GRACE: Face up. And Dr. Levy, do you have any information on motive?

LEVY: I do not. I`ve not heard, beside the rumors we have all heard about, what possible motive there could be for this death. I`m as much in the dark as everybody else.

GRACE: Dr. Levy, will you be a witness tomorrow?

LEVY: No, I will not. The information that we have has been transmitted to the district attorney, and they will decide what they need to present.

GRACE: Thank you, Doctor.

LEVY: Thank you.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Church of Christ is a relatively new church. It was started about 150 years ago by Alexander Campbell, and it`s unfortunately a very legalistic sect, and they tend to use methods of intimidation and pressure tactics.

They claim that they are the only ones going to heaven and all other people are condemned to hell. It kind of is a borderline cult, unfortunately. I don`t want to make it out to be some kind of a Hare Krishna group, but it has cult-like characteristics.


GRACE: Is the Church of Christ a cult? Is it cult-like? Did that play into this murder in any way?

With us, Dr. Ruble Shelly, professor of philosophy and religion at Rochester College. He`s a Church of Christ minister. He knows the Winkler family. Let`s take a look.

Single leader, cult-like qualities, trying to isolate members, members happy and enthusiastic -- I don`t think that`s a bad thing -- experimental rather than logical, hide what they teach, say they`re the only true group.

Dr. Shelly, response?

DR. RUBLE SHELLY, CHURCH OF CHRIST, PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY: It certainly doesn`t fit the criteria you just gave. We certainly have never created those charismatic personalities. We`re a network of independent, local churches.

And your guests so far, I`m the only one who has to plead guilty to being a member of the Church of Christ. And Churches of Christ certainly are not cultic in any of that classic sense.

We`re a conservative, religious group in the Christian tradition. You`d ask one of our members, and we`d say we jump right off the pages of the New Testament. Historically, we come out of what`s called the American Restoration movement, but the cultic label -- I can`t imagine anyone sticking that label.

GRACE: Dr. Shelly, what is the role of women in the Church of Christ?

SHELLY: Well, we believe that God created the human race male and female in his image and that Paul said there is no male or female in Christ. There are some male leadership options, in terms of elders of churches, and most preaching ministries that are reserved to males, but that`s not a cultic fact.

GRACE: Why? Why?

SHELLY: Well, that`s because of a biblical interpretation issue that Southern Baptists and many other groups share in common with Churches of Christ about male leadership in local churches. Churches of Christ are a conservative religious group.

GRACE: OK, wait, wait, wait. Dr. Shelly, no offense, by why, why only male leadership? Does anybody remember Mary Magdalene, ding ding?

SHELLY: Well, Mary Magdalene was not an apostle. All of the apostles were, in fact...

GRACE: Well, Judas was, and that certainly isn`t saying very much.

SHELLY: Well, we don`t want to quarrel with gender issues, with regard to salvation. And probably, I`m more broad-minded and a bit more liberal in terms of things that I would affirm that women have a right to do in church leadership than some of the people in our churches, but generally...

GRACE: OK. Dr. Shelly, let me move on, because I agree with you.

SHELLY: No, you asked the question as to where it came from.

GRACE: Yes, and I`d love an answer.

SHELLY: First, Timothy 2:11 and 2:12 talks about male leadership in churches. And that text has a great deal hung on it by religious conservatives to say that fathers in homes and elders in churches as male leadership, protective leadership, not abusive leadership.

GRACE: Dr. Shelly, do members of the Church of Christ church believe that that is the only way to heaven?

SHELLY: No. Churches of Christ began in an historical movement whose slogan was, "Christians only, not the only Christians"...


GRACE: No, no, no, wait, wait, wait, wait, don`t need a history lesson, as much as I appreciate it. We`re only an hour long. Do you believe that Jews and Muslims...

SHELLY: Well, you asked the question. The answer is no, because our slogan is...

GRACE: ... will also go to heaven?

SHELLY: Christians only, not the only Christians. We don`t believe we`re the only Christians or the only ones going to heaven.

GRACE: OK, now, you know...

SHELLY: There may be individuals who do.

GRACE: You have got a great sense of career as a lawyer.

SHELLY: Churches of Christ are a loose network of independent churches. And I suspect you could find someone who believes most anything on your scale.

GRACE: Reverend, yes, no, do you believes that Jews or Muslims can go to heaven?

SHELLY: I believe that Jews and Muslims are to be shared the gospel of Christ. Now, that`s a much larger issue.

GRACE: Gotcha, OK. All right. I get it.

SHELLY: I do believe that Jesus is the only path to heaven, of course. Conservative Christians believe that.

GRACE: Deepak Chopra, response?

CHOPRA: You know, when I listen to these debates, I can`t help but think that religion has become divisive, quarrelsome, and sometimes even idiotic.

I think it`s based on very tribal views that go back to an ancient past. And perhaps we should see a future where religion has no relevance anymore, but a true universal spirituality, which is not based on dogma or...

GRACE: OK. I can`t decide whether to agree with you or clobber you...

CHOPRA: So don`t.

GRACE: ... so let me just think about that just for a few moments, as we go to the phones.

CHOPRA: It`s tribal. It`s tribal.


GRACE: To Jan in Arizona. Welcome, Jan.

CALLER: Hi, Nancy.

GRACE: Hi, dear.

CALLER: I`m your number-one fan.

GRACE: Thank you.

CALLER: Why is the minister`s wife getting all the hand-wringing and, "Oh, my goodness, why did she do it?" Women all over the country are sitting in prison for life for killing their husbands. They go to jail; they`re guilty. She`s confessed. She`s guilty. I don`t get all the hand- wringing and special attention on the religious community.

GRACE: You know what? That is an excellent question, Jan in Arizona.

Let me say good-bye to Dr. Chopra. Thank you, sir. He`s on his way to Bahrain for world peace. Good luck.

I`m going to go to Pat Brown, criminal profiler. Pat, she`s absolutely right. Why are we doing contortions and backbends trying to figure out the motive? Was she beaten? Were the girls molested? Was there financial problems? Was she have a mental defect? Why? Why are we bending over backwards for this particular woman? And we are.

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: We are. I guess, Nancy, I think the reason would be her demeanor when we first came in contact with the case. If the woman was a tough, nasty-looking woman, we wouldn`t care one bit. If she was a loose woman, we wouldn`t care one bit.

But you remember what happened with Jennifer Wilbanks, Ms. Jennifer Wilbanks, when she first got caught?


GRACE: How could I ever forget Ms. Thing?

BROWN: How could we forget that, right. She looked like a little teddy bear. Why? Because our first image was the sweet little girl who was about to get married. Oh, my goodness, she was so nice. Well, she wasn`t so nice! But we saw that image.


GRACE: Oh, listen, you know, Pat Brown...

BROWN: You have the same image here.

GRACE: ... I remember having Jennifer Wilbanks` father on our show, and we broke down in tears in a commercial break. Where is Jennifer? Yes.

And, you know, Steve Farese is with us tonight, Mary Winkler`s attorney, and I know that you wanted to respond to something the medical examiner had to say, but I also wanted to comment on your client`s demeanor, Mr. Farese. It is very sympathetic.

FARESE: Well, it is what it is, Nancy. It`s nothing that`s been choreographed. It is what it is. This is the way she feels. May I say one more thing, Nancy?

GRACE: Please, but unless you`re going to accuse me of being a snake in the grass waiting to pounce, like you did the other night, although I took that as a compliment. OK, go ahead.

FARESE: No, I didn`t accuse you of being a snake, Nancy, because...

GRACE: Don`t make me play it back.

FARESE: No, no, you can play it back. And if you play it back, I`ll be correct again. I did not accuse you of being a snake, because I`m afraid of snakes, so I know I didn`t say that.


Number two is, I can see you coming back from the dark side now, because I heard you use the word -- and I almost fell out of my chair -- in fact, Liz almost fell out of hers, too -- you used the words "alleged confession." You need to play the tape back; you said it. OK, so I appreciate that.

GRACE: I did that for you.

FARESE: Well, and you know what?

GRACE: I didn`t want to.

FARESE: I`m going to do something for you.

GRACE: Oh, God help me.

FARESE: I`m going to answer the woman in Arizona. We have something called the Constitution -- wait a minute. This is not "Alice in Wonderland" where we have first the punishment, then the trial. This is America. We have -- wait a minute.

You swore an oath, too, Nancy. Now, I don`t know what happened when they take you to prosecutors` kiddie school. Evidently, they have some type of machine that removes all of your compassion and they send you out to...

GRACE: Actually, Mr. Farese, my compassion is for the victim. Now, if you`d like to respond, go ahead.

FARESE: I do want to respond.

GRACE: Please do.

FARESE: My compassion is for the victim, too, and I mean this seriously. This is not in jest, Nancy. My compassion is for Matthew Winkler`s family. These people are victims. A very terrible tragedy has occurred.

What I`m trying to do is see that my client gets a fair trial, nothing else. We don`t want the field tilted one way or the other. All we want to do is to have this done according to law. That`s all.

GRACE: Let`s go to Marcia in New York. Marcia, question?

CALLER: Hi, Nancy. The two questions -- I have two short questions.


CALLER: OK. I wanted to know if the children -- all three children are going to be examined for sexual abuse.

GRACE: Good question.

CALLER: And the second one, I want to know if the two older children will have to testify in criminal court when the time comes.

GRACE: Interesting question. To Liz Dauton with WREC Radio, do you believe, Liz, from what you have heard, there will be such examinations of the children? They are currently with their paternal grandparents, the minister`s grandparents, the minister`s parents.

LIZ DAULTON, REPORTER, WREC: Because we`ve heard no specific motive, no specific motive of whether it might have been sexual abuse, things have been floated around. We can`t concur that that`s going to happen yet.

GRACE: To Joe Lawless, you want to jump in?

JOE LAWLESS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, Nancy. I think you`d have to take a look at that, because you have such a disconnect with this woman`s life and the incident. Something happened in there to trigger it, whether it`s a psychiatric psychological problem or some kind of horrible thing that happened between she and her husband or the husband and the children. There`s no other explanation for it.

GRACE: Well, it all goes back to what Jan in Arizona said. We`re doing backbends, contortions, to find a motive for murder for Mary Winkler.

To Murray Janus, do you think the older children will be called as witnesses, Murray?

MURRAY JANUS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I doubt it. And, first of all, Nancy, I`m not a member of the church. But, you know, what happened...

GRACE: I`m just a Methodist, OK? I`m just a Methodist. Go ahead.

JANUS: I think what Steve said is very meaningful. Whatever happened to the presumption of innocence in this country under our Constitution? Nobody has mentioned that other than Steve alluding to it. I think one of the first things he is going to do is...

GRACE: Whoa, whoa, before you trot out the Constitution, we`re not even at trial on the presumption of innocence. Let`s just hold on that. I`m asking if these children -- do you think, reports are they were in the home -- will be called as witnesses, yes, no?

JANUS: No, I do not think so. I think he will avoid that and the prosecutor will avoid that at all costs.

GRACE: OK. And I think you`re right, Murray.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We love these girls. They are just precious. They`re intelligent; they`re happy,; they`ve been well cared for. And now we want to focus 100 percent of our attention on helping these young ladies.

We want to let you know the fund that`s been established, 100 percent of the proceeds will go to help the girls immediately with counseling. They have faced some trauma. They`re having peaks and valleys, but by and large they`re incredibly happy. And we want to do all we can to help them.


GRACE: Welcome back.

Tomorrow morning, 0900, the preacher`s wife, Mary Winkler, in court asking for bond. She wants out, after allegedly gunning down her husband in cold blood, one shot to the back. Will she be back in the church parsonage by lunchtime tomorrow?

To Clark Goldband, our producer, what`s the likelihood of bond?

CLARK GOLDBAND, NANCY GRACE INTERNET BLOGGER: Well, Nancy, it can happen. There`s two scenarios here.

One, it`s a capital case. According to statutes inside the state of Tennessee, if it`s a capital case and they do present sufficient proof, she does not have to be let out on bond. But if it`s only murder -- and I`m sorry, not only murder, but if it is murder, then, in fact, she can be let out on bond.

But, Nancy, there is an established pattern of people accused with murder out on bond. And we have a few well-known examples for you.

First, let`s take a look at Michael Peterson. He was found guilty -- he killed his wife in 2003, said she fell down the stairs. Anyway, he was out before he was found guilty...

GRACE: You mean the novelist. His wife turned up at the bottom of the stairs, seven lacerations to the head. And then it turned up 14 years before, his female friend in Germany fell to the bottom of the stairs, seven lacerations to the head, that Michael Peterson?

GOLDBAND: Might have been a coincidence.

GRACE: Yes! Go ahead.

GOLDBAND: Might have been a coincidence. Well, anyway, he was roaming the streets on $850,000 bail. He was found guilty.

Next, Rabbi Fred Neulander -- you know what happened to him. He also found guilty, was out on $400,000 until it was changed to a capital case. And Robert Blake, who was not convicted, he was out on $1.5 million bail.

GRACE: And, of course, the Blake saga still going on. You know, take a look at this. "`Til Death do us Part," by Dr. Robi Ludwig.

Dr. Robi, question. This is Dr. Robi`s new book. You can get it on She apparently has told -- and for your sake, Steve Farese, "allegedly" has told people that she`s sorry she did it, OK? If she`s so sorry she did it, what about the motive as to why she did it to start with?

DR. ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Well, you have to remember, when somebody commits a murder in the moment, they sometimes feel victimized or they feel it`s the absolutely the only way that they can handle that situation. And then it`s only after the fact, when they don`t feel in danger and they have time to think about it, then they can process the situation in a very different way.

GRACE: You know, to Samantha Harris, E! News host, she has studied many spousal murders, why do we glamorize -- and, for instance, is it true, Samantha Harris, that Scott Peterson is getting love letters behind bars, even marriage proposals? Eek!

SAMANTHA HARRIS, E! NEWS HOST: I know, Nancy. And, you know, when we talk to the sources there at San Quentin where Scott is sentenced on death row, they said that, even before he arrived there, there were bags of mail, love letters, marriage proposals, and the reason being that people out there -- some of them do believe that he`s innocent. He never absolutely said he did it, and people find him attractive. They think he`s good looking.

GRACE: Well, I`m anticipating the possibility of a, quote, "snap defense," in other words she just snapped like Clara Harris did.

HARRIS: Right, right. And there you go.

GRACE: And that got Clara Harris life behind bars.

What allegedly caused Clara Harris to snap?

HARRIS: Well, you know, Nancy, Clara was married to her husband. They tried forever to have kids. They finally had twins. And he ended up having an affair with his receptionist. He promised her repeatedly...

GRACE: Oh, please, not the secretary again.

HARRIS: I know. It`s the age-old story. Exactly. And he promised his wife again and again that he would break it off.

GRACE: And didn`t.

HARRIS: Well, the final time that he was supposed to go break it off, he said he was going to do it over dinner at a restaurant. Clara followed him -- or actually the P.I. that she hired followed him to a hotel. Clara ended up coming to the hotel. It was the same hotel...

GRACE: That was some dinner.

HARRIS: Well, yes, exactly. And it was the same hotel that Clara and he had had their wedding reception in.

GRACE: I want to go back to the chancellor of Bob Jones University, Bob Jones, and back to the allegations that the Church of Christ is somehow cultish. Now, that has been leveled at a lot of organizations -- they all deny them -- such as the Mormons, Scientologists, the Hare Krishnas, or Moonies, they`re all allegedly cults. They all deny it.

So is there anything about Church of Christ that makes it cultish?

JONES: Nancy, I think that`s really not germane to anything having to do with this woman and, if she did kill him, her evil deed. You know, what she did was the same thing you or I could have done under proper provocation, because...

GRACE: Right. My question was regarding cultish.

JONES: Yes, but what difference does it make, Nancy? I would not...


GRACE: You know what, Dr. Jones? You know what? We were trying to answer some of the questions from our viewers. And apparently, you`ll be making the same argument that will be made in court that has absolutely nothing to do with this trial.

Very quickly to break, but as we go to break, please stay with us as we pause to remember Army Staff Sergeant Lance M. Chase, just 32, Oklahoma City. A mine exploded while Chase on patrol, Baghdad.

He leaves behind a young widow and two boys, just 9 and 11. He talked to his wife via Internet just before his final patrol. Lance M. Chase, soldier, husband, father, American hero.


GRACE: Welcome back. Mary Winkler in court tomorrow morning answering charges that she murdered the husband, a highly popular minister there in Selmer, Tennessee.

To Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, host of "Shalom in the Home" on TLC, Rabbi, in this particular case, the concept of evil, as it relates to this young lady. Reconcile?

RABBI SHMULEY BOTEACH, HOST, "SHALOM IN THE HOME": Well, you know, I don`t know why we`re so surprised that a vulnerable and petite-looking woman can be guilty of such a horrific crime, if indeed she`s guilty.

The fact is, Nancy, evil people are people who choose to be evil. Pol Pot was a Sorbonne-educated intellectual who killed 2 million Cambodians.

And Adolf Eichmann, who killed 6 million Jews. The prosecutor in the trial in Jerusalem in 1961 was asked, "What was the scariest thing about Eichmann?" And he answered, Gideon Hausner, "He was the most normal human being I ever met."

You don`t have to be heinous to commit a heinous act. You have to just allow yourself to choose something which is truly evil.

Now, there is a double-standard here. I understand that women appear more precious and more fragile. But, you know, this woman killed someone. And she killed her children`s father. And she stamped her own kids with the Mark of Cain forever and forever.

Now, when Deepak Chopra, who I wish I could debate this with, he`s going to Bahrain...

GRACE: For that pesky world peace thing.

BOTEACH: Well, I mean, he says -- when he says that all religious people are idiotic, I mean, Deepak is here telling us that there`s no difference between good and evil, and people only do bad things if they`re really provoked into it. Come on! The history of the world has been...


GRACE: Rabbi, Rabbi, I`m totally on your side.

Very quickly, Clark Goldband, where is she tonight?

GOLDBAND: She`s at the McNary County Criminal Justice Center (ph). And, Nancy, we have a menu of what she`ll be dining on. There it is: chicken, string beans, corn, squash. And I guess for a side and some dessert as well, cornbread, nutritious and delicious.

GRACE: Nutritious and delicious.

Linda in Arizona, I couldn`t get to you. Please call us back again. Thank you.

Thank you to all of our guests tonight. But as always, you know our biggest thank you is to you for being with all of us, inviting us and our legal stories into your home.

I`m Nancy Grace, signing off again for tonight. Hope to see you right here tomorrow night, 8:00 Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.


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