Friday, February 02, 2007

"She misses her daughters, but she's staying busy"

Yep, busy as a bee hanging out in bars after killing her husband; Mary Winkler confessed to killing her preacher husband in March of last year but instead of hanging out behind bars in prison, she is hanging out in bars around McMinnville, Tennessee partying with co-workers (Thanks to the reader who sent me this story):

Luis Correa was also in the New York Grill on New Year's Eve and took pictures of Winkler with his camera phone. He claims someone went over to Winkler's table and asked if she killed her husband. He said she answered yes, in a joking manner and everyone around her was laughing.

News 2 spoke with Winkler's manager at the dry cleaners where she's employed. Her manager said it was on New Year's Eve that he and Winkler went out to New York Grill. He also said, "She's not the preacher's wife. She might have used to be the preacher's wife, but he is dead now. She's not married; she is no body's wife."

The issue of Winkler and the murder case is a divisive issue in McMinnville. Some have supported her, saying she did everything the justice system asked of her and has every right to be part of the community. Others don't think that is enough.

In another article about the crime, ABC news reports:

What's striking to many outsiders is how accepting and supportive the majority of the community has been to Winkler.

That sense of forgiveness, community members say, stems from the town's Christian roots and from its tendency to give people the benefit of the doubt.

Winkler's daughters are currently living with Matt's parents.

"She misses her daughters, but she's staying busy," said Miller, of her sister. "She's the loving Mary we used to know."

Yes, it's always best if you miss your kids and you are up on murder charges to hang out in a bar and laugh it up--it boggles my mind what people are willing to forgive, depending on your race and/or gender.

Update: Winkler's attorney is outraged by the photos of his client smoking in a bar. The pictures of the alleged husband killer are up on YouTube here and a promo of the pictures by a Memphis TV station are here. What do you think--should the TV station have run these pics and story?
GM Roper has a quick tour of the Psychbloggers. Go take a look.
Leftist Jews who Hate Israel: David Bernstein explains why.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Woman Charged in Double Murder Case

Another person has been charged in the double murder case of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom:

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- The woman who told police she witnessed events surrounding the double murder of a young Knoxville couple is now charged in connection to the crimes.

Vanessa Lynn Coleman was arrested in Lebanon, Kentucky Wednesday night. She's charged with aggravated rape and may face other charges as well.

Coleman was arrested on a warrant as a fugitive from justice in another state. She's being held in the Marion County, Kentucky Detention Facility without bond.

Aggravated rape and other charges? I thought women didn't rape.

National Wear Red Day

Tomorrow, February 2nd is National Wear Red Day, a day when Americans nationwide will wear red to show their support for women's heart disease awareness. You can learn more about about women's heart health here.

Women's heart disease certainly needs more awareness, since most women and even their doctors seem to think that heart disease is for men only or for women past menopause. But it is simply not true--9000 women under 45 have heart attacks every year and many others have heart related problems and 13% of women 45 and over have had a heart attack.

And lest you think that I am focusing too much on women's health, I was reading the other day that there is good news for men--even without the pink ribbons and red dressses, their cancer rates are going down:

The biggest drop occurred in colorectal cancer, with 1,110 fewer men and 1,094 fewer women dying from the disease. The decline was attributed to broader screening efforts and improved treatment.

Similarly, 666 fewer women died of breast cancer and 552 fewer men died of prostate cancer in 2004, probably the result of increased detection and better treatment.

Hey, at least Katie Couric was good for something.

Are Commenters that Predictable?

Ann Althouse is furious at New Blogger--I don't blame her. I have hesitated to switch over because as with everything else on the internet, one doesn't know if the updated version will be better or worse. I read the comments to one of Professor Althouse's posts describing her frustration and as is typical, there were a range of responses to her troubles:

First, there is the "sympathetic acknowledger" who tries to soothe the Professor: "I feel bad for you, Ann. Don't start the day out on the wrong foot. Turn that frown, upside down!"

Next, comes the "Let's roll up our sleeves and see if we can fix the problem" commenters who provide constructive advice on how to cope with this New Blogger pain in the ****: "Click no on the first "Security Information." Click yes on the next one to go back."

And finally, towards the end of the Althouse thread (about 9 comments down) thus far--we have the "subtle dig" commenter who uses passive-aggressive techniques to attempt to make the blogger feel bad and themselves feel superior: "I also wouldn't worry about a one-day drop in traffic because you were offline or subjected to slower response time for a day or two. It sounds a bit obsessive, you know? Unbecoming." Really, was the word "Unbecoming" really necessary here? I don't think so.

So the thread will typically desintigrate from there until we have the "plain old aggressive commenter" who hostilly accuses the blogger of being a racist, sexist, Nazi, or launches an outright personal attack on the blogger and so on--all stemming from an unrelated post on a topic having absolutely nothing to do with what the aggressive commenter imagines the post to be about. But then, it is not about responding in any meaningful way to the topic at hand, but rather about how the commenter views the world and his or her place in it. Some people are sympathetic, some practical, some passive-aggressive and others just plain aggressive in their approach to the world. What type of commenter are you?

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Some hopeful news for duped dads (thanks to the reader who emailed me this post).

Podcast on Forensic Science

basscov.jpgToday, we are talking in our studio with Dr. Bill Bass, a renowned forensic anthropologist here in Knoxville and Jon Jefferson, a documentary filmmaker and writer who are the authors of one of my favorite books, Death's Acre: Inside the Legendary Forensic Lab the Body Farm Where the Dead Do Tell Tales. The book tells the amazing story of how Dr. Bass came to found the Body Farm, where he and his colleagues have solved a number of murder mysteries with the use of forensic anthropology. Bass's body farm became famous after mystery writer Patricia Cornwell wrote her best-selling book, The Body Farm,based on his research facility.

Jefferson Bass, as the team are referred to, now have a couple of novels, Carved in Bone: A Body Farm Novel and Flesh and Bone: A Body Farm Novel,that are intriguing case histories based on Dr. Bass's work.

We also hear about Bass's latest case--finding out how J. P. Richardson, better know as " The Big Bopper" really died in the famous plane crash of 1959. Do you have an interest in forensic science and how it really solves murders? Hint: it's not like what you see on CSI.

You can listen directly -- no downloading required -- by going here and clicking on the gray Flash player. Or you can download the file directly by clicking right here. You can get a lo-fi version, suitable for dialup, cellphones, etc., by going here and selecting the lo-fi version. And, of course, you can always subscribe via itunes. Check for new episodes and catch up on old ones by visiting our show archives at

This podcast is brought to you by Volvo automobiles at

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

“These are stupid, spoiled little girls."

An example of the media reaction to women for standing up for men who have been unjustly treated by the media, the law, and their University.

Monday, January 29, 2007

No-Touch Torture?

Forensic psychologist Stephen K. Erickson has an interesting post up at the Crime & Consequences blog regarding a Time article describing the "mistreatment" of violent criminals in Supermax facilities. Dr. Erickson disagrees that supermax prisons are causing madness:

Professor Berman over at Sentencing Law and Policy has this post on this week’s Time magazine’s feature article on supermax prisons. Professor Berman quotes the Time piece:

"Modern science has confirmed this, with electroencephalograms showing that after a few days in solitary, prisoners' brain waves shift toward a pattern characteristic of stupor and delirium. When sensory deprivation is added ... the breakdown is even worse."

What is notable here is that, once again, the popular press and even legal scholars misunderstand how to interpret neuroscience results. There are likely many times during the day when everyone’s brain waves would show a pattern of stupor and delirium. EEG’s reveal brain activity, but they cannot be used exclusively to diagnose. The implication in the Time piece is that supermax prisons are so horrendous that inmates invariably descend into madness. Time proffer’s of the EEG data seems to solidify this conclusion with the certainty of science. Yet, EEG waves “characteristic” of stupor should be accorded little weight as evidence of this claim. Brain waves similar to stupor can appear frequently during “normal life” outside of prison."

Dr. Erickson points out that supermax prisons do not eliminate sight, sound, and tactile stimulation. The Times article seems to imply that they do and goes on to suggest that natural lighting, a radio, and TV be put in the supermax cells to ward off madness; what will Time suggest next: that supermax prisons provide violent criminals with a teddy bear and a big hug? You think I'm joking? Just wait, it's just a matter of time.