Sunday, April 15, 2007

A 12-gauge Attention-Getter?

Bank Tellers testify in the Mary Winkler case: "Witnesses: wife was in financial trouble, deposited bad checks." It is not uncommon before someone kills, to have a "triggering event" that makes them feel that the only way to solve their problem is to bring it to a climactic conclusion--murder is sometimes the only way "out" in their mind. I wonder if Winkler really just meant to "get her husband's attention" with the gun as the defense reported in a previous news story. It seems implausible after reading this statement:

"I don't remember going to the closet or getting the gun," Winkler said, according to her statement to Carpenter. "The next thing I remember was hearing a loud boom, and I remember thinking it wasn't as loud as I thought it would be."

She thought about how loud it would be? Doesn't that mean that she had already decided to pull the trigger when she pointed the gun at her husband? Because, really when you are trying to get someone's attention, what loud boom is involved?



Blogger SFN said...

I'm not sure I'd interpet that way, or just that it wasn't as loud as she thought the gun would be in general. I mean, it's reasonable to have a preconceived notion of what it should sound like even if you aren't planning on pulling the trigger that moment.

Cop friends tell me that when you fire a gun "for real" it doesn't sound anything like at the range - your mind/body/whatever suppresses a good piece of it.

12:33 PM, April 15, 2007  
Blogger Purple Avenger said...

A 12ga out in the open without hearing protection leaves your ears ringing for a few minutes. Inside, it has to deafening.

She just confessed.

2:08 PM, April 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loud booms are WONderful for getting somebody's attention. (They're great physics demonstrations. Always work in an explosion to keep the class awake.)

But loud booms, applied in the 12-ga fashion, make it hard to keep the attention you've just acquired. Massive trauma followed by death is hell on the attention span.

2:40 PM, April 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"She thought about how loud it would be? Doesn't that mean that she had already decided to pull the trigger when she pointed the gun at her husband?"

Maybe maybe not. One would have to follow up with her about WHEN she thought this. Was it a realization that occurred after she shot and was a reflection on her previous perception of how loud a 12 ga would be?

But then, It certainly sound like she MIGHT have thought about it in the context of this crime.

I love the fact that she did not remember getting the gun. Seems like a big event, lugging around a 6lb shotgun tends to stick in ones mind.

In the end, it's a tough sell to a jury.

2:53 PM, April 15, 2007  
Blogger Mercurior said...

i still say, if she got a gun, in her hands, she was prepared to use it. otherwise, why have a gun, and not a knife, or a kettle.

3:53 PM, April 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lace teddy would have worked just as well as a shotgun.

Of course, a lace teddy AND a shotgun would have worked even better...

5:44 PM, April 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mary Winkler said: "The next thing I remember was hearing a loud boom, and I remember thinking it wasn't as loud as I thought it would be."

That sounds like premeditation. It did not sound as loud as she thought it would refers to the event and her thoughts about how the even would sound.


6:37 PM, April 15, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...


Sounded like premeditation to me also. The way she states it would suggest that perhaps she had played the shooting out in her mind, and when it actually occured, the gunshot did not sound like she thought it would.

7:06 PM, April 15, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

TMink -- I demonstrated combat weapons for crowds a while ago. I got this matchlock (similar to a flintlock) to demonstrate one day and when I shot it off I thought "That's louder than I expected."

What I meant to myself was louder than I thought a more primitive gun would sound like, not louder than I expected the gun in my hand to sound like. The abstract against the physical.

As such, I hold the comment worthless for determining her intent.

10:58 PM, April 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Self denial of realities of self-serving family asset management.
Resentment of the source of truth.
Ego maniacal transferance of source of "discomfort" and accountability.
Opportunity for plausable denial.

Confession only in the face of irrefutable evidence.

Hammer Down

I suspect the original, yet untouchable, resentment was toward the bank tellers.

Armchair Psyche and Law can be a dangerous thing.

12:09 AM, April 16, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand that Mary W. also said that her husband had tried to control her through her handling of the finances, or some such thing. That makes no sense to me. I manage the finances in our household, both business and personal; does that mean Bruce is controlling me?

I must be missing something!

1:04 AM, April 16, 2007  
Blogger Health Watch Center said...

Hello Dr.Helen,

Interesting and informative blog...

I am new here and not a Doctor or medical student...but have a few health related blogs...came across to your blog while was searching for health related this comment is my first one so wanted to say hi and thank you for sharing helpful information..

Self Help Zone

6:07 AM, April 16, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Olig, interesting experience. I think I get your point, and it does muddy the whole premeditation thing. Thanks for writing it, I am not so comfortable in my accepting premeditation as I was. I wonder if a jury will consider it?

Captdmo wrote: "Armchair Psyche and Law can be a dangerous thing."

How? What is the risk? We are discussing our opinions, that seems to me to be less dangerous than driving to work. What do you mean?


10:02 AM, April 16, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, who knows what she meant, but when I read it I assumed she was referring to the loudness of a gun shot in a general way.

10:44 AM, April 16, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

vickisue - I wonder if it meant she was having financial problems and felt that he was holding them over her head, controlling her through guilt. Maybe even threatening to turn her in for writing bad checks or something.

He may have actually treated her this way, or it could have been just her interpretation of his behavior.

12:19 PM, April 16, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of making a point with firearms - Anybody read about the latest at Virginia Tech?

1:20 PM, April 16, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Prosecutors have said Mary Winkler, formerly of Knoxville, was caught up in a swindle known as the "Nigerian scam," in which victims are promised riches if they advance money to cover processing expenses.

Defense attorneys have said the Winklers were both taken in by the scam. "

Are there really people this naive?


1:50 PM, April 16, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quasi, there certainly are people that naive. That is why the scam is still being run.


2:14 PM, April 16, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

TMink -- Don't go overboard on me. I only said that phrase isn't conclusive because it can be interpreted either way.

The woman walked up and pointed a shotgun. It was premeditated alright.

9:43 AM, April 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I watched Mrs. Winkler testify yesterday while I ate lunch in a diner.

I watched without being obvious the faces of the rural townspeople that happened to be in the diner. If they are anything like the members of the jury, Mrs. Winkler's wardrobe decisions for the next 60 years will be simple (short or long-sleeve jumper).

If the defense team expects the jury to believe that a 12-gauge shotgun just went off while she was only holding it as an attention-getter, they are fooling only themselves.

Following the incident as a resident of Knoxville, I believe Mrs. Winkler fell for the Nigerian scam and was about to be forced to break the news to her husband. Her attempt to portray her husband as abusive was playing out on the faces of my fellow diners as in poor taste and causing resentment of her.

If there was a deal offered, she should have taken it. If it was abuse, she should have reported it. If it was an accident, she could have explained it.

Driving away for several days sealed the case.

10:57 AM, April 19, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You would be astonished how "stupid and blind" people become when it comes to serving justice on women.

8:21 PM, April 20, 2007  
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