The Pastor's Wife
St Martins Press
St Martins True Crime Library
Non Fiction/biography/true crime
Reviewed by Cindy Loven
The title of this book is what caught my eye, The Pastor's Wife, because as a pastor's wife, I was first attracted to the book, I had loosely followed Mary Winkler's story when it first came out, so I was familar with the story.
This book was very informative, and presented the facts of the case very clearly, but I came away with the feeling that I didnt hear the whole story, and in fact I felt like Ms. Fanning felt the same way, after reading her Afterword at the end of the book. Mary's side of the story was told, but with Matthew dead it was hard to know his side of the story. We did get a sense of his personality and who he was from the testimony of his family, and also the testimony of others. I did walk away with the feeling that he probably was emotionally and mentally abrasive, and abusive, I had real doubts about physical abuse. But my doubts do not matter. The book clearly explained the case and although it left doubts for me, and for the author too, it truly showed the life and what led up to Mary killing Matthew.
My son who is nearly 16 was really interested in what I thought, was she innocent? Did she have a reason to kill him? There were several questions he asked and I will answer those questions here, No she was not innocent, she was guilty of killing her husband, she killed him, in what frame of mind she did it, I do not know, only she knows, the courts have ruled how they intrepreted the evidence. Did she have a reason to kill her husband? In her mind she obviously did, but in my mind there is never a reason to kill another, life is precious and you cant take back killing someone. Was there reason enough to be afraid for her children's safety? Possibly so, but it was not really shown evidentually, just via her testimony. So the wrap up of this review and actually the case of Mary Winkler is IF you believe she was truthful, then the right thing happened in the court system, If you do not believe her story, I personally had doubts, then justice was not served for Matthew.
Ms Fanning did a wonderful job of presenting all the facts, clearly and precisely and I give this book a 4 star rating.