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A Crime Commited~This Day in History

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1 A Crime Commited~This Day in History on Sat Aug 15, 2009 6:59 pm


August 15,
Wife of slain minister released from jail

Mary Winkler, who confessed to fatally shooting her pastor husband Matthew
Winkler in his sleep at their church parsonage in Selmer, Tennessee, is
released from jail on $750,000 bail. Winkler was later convicted in his
killing, but served only a short time in prison.

On March 22, 2006, church members found 31-year-old Matthew Winkler
in his bedroom, dead from a shotgun wound in the back. The well-liked
minister had failed to show up for evening services. The following day,
Mary Winkler, then 32, was arrested in Alabama, driving her three young
daughters in the family’s minivan. Winkler told police she shot her
husband following an argument. She remained in prison until August 15,
2006, when she was released on bail.

During trial, Winkler claimed her husband had abused her physically
and sexually. She also maintained the gun had gone off accidentally.
The prosecution argued Winkler had become involved in a financial scam
and was trying to hide it from her husband. On April 19, 2007, after
deliberating for eight hours, a jury found Winkler guilty of voluntary
manslaughter. She was sentenced to three years in prison, but the judge
ruled she only had to serve 210 days. Winkler received credit for the
five months she’d already spent in jail and the judge allowed her to
serve the final 60 days in a mental health facility in Tennessee. She
was released on August 14, 2007.

Matthew Winkler

"I may be going to hell in a bucket, babe But at least I'm enjoying the ride"~Grateful Dead

2 Re: A Crime Commited~This Day in History on Sat Aug 15, 2009 7:19 pm


Ann Rule covered this case in one of her multiple-story books. According to Mary, Matthew had been forcing her to have "deviant" sex for some time (I imagine most pastors' wives look askance on say, being forced to dress up like a little girl and endure anal sex). I remember thinking after I finished reading it, "Had I been in her shoes, I might've shot my husband, too."


August 16,1984
Auto exec DeLorean cleared in drug-trafficking case

John DeLorean, the founder of the DeLorean Motor Company, is found not
guilty due to entrapment after being charged with smuggling drugs in an
effort to raise money for his struggling company.
John Zachary DeLorean was born January 6, 1925, in Detroit,
Michigan, and grew up in a working-class Detroit neighborhood. As a
young engineer, he worked for the Packard Motor Company and then moved
to General Motors, where he was credited with developing the Pontiac
GTO, the first “muscle car.” DeLorean quickly moved up the ranks at
GM, becoming the youngest general manager of the Pontiac division and
then several years later, the youngest head of Chevrolet. He became
known as an innovative corporate maverick who lived a flashy, jet-set
lifestyle. In 1973, he resigned from GM and eventually formed his own
company. With a significant investment from the British government, as
well as celebrity investors such as Johnny Carson and Sammy Davis, Jr.,
DeLorean opened a factory in Dunmurry, Ireland, that in 1981 began
making his dream sports car. Known as the DMC-12, the car had gull-wing
doors that opened upward and carried a then-expensive price tag of
$25,000. However, the company ran into financial trouble and on October
19, 1982, the British government announced the plant would be shut
down. That same day, DeLorean was arrested on drug trafficking charges
in Los Angeles. Three months earlier, DeLorean was approached by a
former drug smuggler turned paid FBI informant and the two men engaged
in a series of discussions about a deal involving cocaine smuggling and
money laundering that would potentially save DeLorean’s company. At his
highly publicized trial in Los Angeles, DeLorean maintained he had been
set up by the government and a jury acquitted him on August 16, 1984.

An estimated 9,000 DeLoreans were produced before the Dunmurry plant
closed. The DMC-12 got a huge publicity boost starting in 1985 when it
was featured as a time-travel machine in the Back to the Future films
starring Michael J. Fox. Today, the car has an avid community of

In 1999, John DeLorean filed for bankruptcy and was forced to sell
his New Jersey estate. He died on March 19, 2005, at age 80, following
a stroke.

"I may be going to hell in a bucket, babe But at least I'm enjoying the ride"~Grateful Dead


August 17, 1984
A serial rapist strikes in England

The serial burglar and rapist known as "the Fox" breaks into a house and physically assaults a girl, her boyfriend and the girl's brother near the village of Brampton, England. After raping the woman, the attacker proceeded to remove any traces of evidence from both his victim's body and the surrounding area.The attack turned out to be a part of a crime spree had had begun in the spring of 1984 when a hooded burglar broke into several houses in an area north of London. A few months later, the thief turned to rape.

Despite the attacker's efforts, detectives called to the scene near Brampton found fresh tire tracks in a field next to the victim's home and a tiny flake of yellow paint on a nearby tree. A shotgun that the Fox had stolen from a previous victim was also found, hidden under some leaves. Police staked out the site, hoping that the Fox might return for the gun, but he never did. Fortunately, the paint flake turned out to be an essential clue; apparently, the color had been used only on a single model of a particular car manufacturer, Leyland, and that the car was produced in 1973 and 1974.

The victims also reported that the Fox had a northern accent. When investigators checked their records, they found more than 3,000 known burglars who were from northern England but had moved south. Detectives sent to investigate each of these men found a man washing a yellow Leyland in front of his house on September 11. Upon closer inspection, they noticed that a bit of paint was missing from the back of the car.

Malcolm Fairley confessed to the crimes after his arrest and received six life sentences in 1985.

"I may be going to hell in a bucket, babe But at least I'm enjoying the ride"~Grateful Dead

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