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The Pastor's Wife: The True Story of a Minister and the Shocking Death that Divided a Family (St. Martin's True Crime Library) Mass Market Paperback – November 4, 2008


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The Pastor's Wife: The True Story of a Minister and the Shocking Death that Divided a Family (St. Martin's True Crime Library) + Mommy's Little Girl: Casey Anthony and her Daughter Caylee's Tragic Fate + Sleep My Darlings: The true story of a mother who killed her children in cold blood
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Product Details

  • Series: St. Martin's True Crime Library
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's True Crime; 1st edition (November 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312949294
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312949297
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 0.9 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,440,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

A HOUSE OF WORSHIP

When Pastor Matthew Winkler was found dead at his Fourth Street Church of Christ parsonage in Selmer, Tennessee, both police investigators and parishioners were shaken and mystified: How could evil strike this cradle of faith? Meanwhile, Mrs. Winkler and her three daughters were still missing…

A FAMILY SHROUDED IN SIN

A frantic search for Mary Winkler and the girls ensued. Once they were found, on a beach in Alabama, Mary was charged with murdering her husband in cold blood. But why did Mary pull the trigger? What sexual and psychological abuses did she allege she had suffered?

 A CASE THAT SHOCKED THE NATION

 In the months that followed, the crime—and the Winkler’s marriage—would be exposed by the national media; Mary herself even appeared on Oprah. Set in a world of domineering men, obedient wives, and unshakable faith, this is the true story about what happened to Matthew Winkler and THE PASTOR’S WIFE

 

 

* With 8 pages of alarming photographs *

About the Author

Diane Fanning is the author of the Edgar Award finalist Written in Blood: A True Story of Murder and a Deadly 16-Year-Old Secret That Tore a Family Apart. Her other works of true crime include the best-selling Mommy’s Little Girl, A Poisoned Passion, Gone Forever and Through the Window. She has been featured on 48 Hours, 20/20, Court TV and the Discovery Channel, and has been interviewed on dozens of radio stations coast to coast. Before becoming a nonfiction writer, Fanning worked in advertising, and she earned more than 70 Addy Awards. She lives in New Braunfels, Texas.

Customer Reviews

Poor writing , no insight into case!
Teacher & Grandmother
The book is pretty much the same as the movie, I have always heard that the books are completely different even better by the the movies but the book was good though.
Erin Finney
He was not a "pastor" in the church of Christ.
Cleaning Out The Basement

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I felt myself wanting the sort of analysis and discussion that one finds in, for instance, Ann Rule. There was a lot of fact, but not a lot of journalism; in this sort of book, I expect the author to directly address the contentious parts of a case (abuse allegations, for instance) and provide insight into both sides of the case. I expect more about how the Church of Christ may have enabled or informed the defendant's experience, or how she might have used outside perceptions to her advantage... something, anything, that gave me more to go on that the opposing arguments and court documents. I don't need a clear "Yes, she was abused" but I do expect the difficult issues to be explored rather than glossed over. Clearly a lot of research went into this, but there's a difference between a survey of the facts and documents and a coherent narrative written for public entertainment.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Cleaning Out The Basement on July 14, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The author apparently did not do too much research on the topic. The title itself is inaccurate. Matthew Winkler was not a pastor, he was a preacher (or minister). The church of Christ goes by the Bible, which uses Pastor, elder, bishop and elder synonymously. He was not a "pastor" in the church of Christ. The author obviously does not understand the church of Christ faith at all. She makes the church out to be supportive of oppressing women, as if women don't have the right to work or have a job, have separate bank accounts, etc. The fact is, a woman killed her husband. If she had been a Catholic or a Baptist, religion would not have even been an issue in the case. Since the church of Christ is known for not budging on their stance that the Bible is their only authority, they do not do as many denominations do today and change things based on what the majority believes, or what is entertaining, or telling people what they want to hear to get more people (and money), many find the need to attack it. This case gave the media the chance to jump on it. However, if you're going to build a story around the victim and killer's faith, then the author/media should at least research that faith thoroughly before attacking it. I would say, if you want an objective, non-biased look at this case, do not read this book. There is an obvious feminist and anti-church of Christ slant in this telling. The author makes the murderer out to be a victim. She could have gotten a divorce. She didn't have to shoot her husband in the back. Anyone who claims that she felt she couldn't get a divorce because she was in the church of Christ is wrong. The author stated, "Divorced men are not preachers in the churches of Christ...period." That is inaccurate.Read more ›
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By E.P. Brookshire VINE VOICE on December 2, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I know Diane Fanning gets a lot of flack, especially since her book is to be the first released on the Casey Anthony story. I liked this one though. I felt it was interesting and moved at a fast pace. It is just so strange someone could be punished so little for taking a man's life (in the first degree--my opinion). As Laci Peterson's mother yelled in open court to Scott..."Divorce is always an option!" AMEN.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Pastor's Wife is an interesting real life murder story. Basically (without giving the story away) the wife shoots the husband. Diane Fanning looks at the hidden lives and double persona's that the husband and wife both possibly had. They certainly gave the perception to their community of a more stable and loving relationship within the realms and rules of the Church of Christ.

Unfortunately I'm still not "hooked" on Diane Fanning's writing style. This is the second book of hers that I've read and I've found the neither flowed very well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Teacher & Grandmother on April 2, 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Don't waste your money. No information other than what you could google in 5 minutes. Poor writing , no insight into case!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mary Murphy on September 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read the book but it didn't hold my attention completely. Kept waiting for more details of family life. Wanted more details of her life after she returned home.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Cindy Loven on March 12, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Pastor's Wife
Diane Fanning
St Martins Press
St Martins True Crime Library
2008
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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

I am the author of eleven true crime books published by St. Martin's Press including the Edgar Award nominated WRITTEN IN BLOOD and the best-selling MOMMY'S LITTLE GIRL. For the work I began with THROUGH THE WINDOW, I received the "Defender of Innocence" award from the Downstate Illinois Innocence Project. My latest true crime is HER DEADLY WEB. Additionally, I have written six mystery novels including five in the Lucinda Pierce series from Severn House. The latest is FALSE FRONT.

I have been featured on 48 Hours, 20/20, The Today Show, Biography, Forensic Files, Deadly Women,Behind Mansion Walls, Deadly Sins, On the Case with Paula Zahn, Justice with Judge Jeanine, MSNBC News, Court TV, Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell, the Discovery Channel and local TV channels and have been interviewed on dozens of radio stations coast to coast.

I am an experienced non-fiction, fiction and commercial writer. I earned more than seventy Addy Awards in the twenty years I wrote for radio, television and print. I worked as an Executive Director at non-profit organizations for more than a dozen years. In that capacity, I served three terms by appointment of the Governor of Texas on the State Advisory Committee and received the 2002 NACG Freedom Fighter Award.

I was born in Baltimore, Maryland, lived more than two decades in Virginia and now live in New Braunfels, Texas with my husband and a cat with an attitude.

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