Winkler said the two had argued throughout the evening about several things, including family finances. The problems were "mostly my fault," she said, because she was in charge of keeping the family books.
"He had really been on me lately criticizing me for things -- the way I walk, I eat, everything. It was just building up to a point. I was tired of it. I guess I got to a point and snapped," Booth read to the court.
My original speculation about her motive was that he might have been sexually abusing one or more of the daughters. I thought this because that is about the only thing that I could imagine would make me kill my husband. But I have to admit that in reading her statement about feeling put down and unappreciated (my words) I can see how a woman might "snap" and do something drastic, especially when a large man has been verbally vicious and merciless for an extended period of time. Sometimes men underestimate the amount of fear and desperation that they can cause a woman when they put their energy into attacking, whether it is verbal or physical. Women look to men for support and approval. No, that isn't a 'politically correct' statement, but even feminazis crave the approval of men in the form of 'equality.'
Certainly, I'm not excusing Mary's crime. I'm only trying to have some empathy for her situation and mental/emotional responses to it. I think it is a fair statement to say that every married person has experienced at least one episode of the kind of criticism that Mary says she suffered. (It isn't only women who are verbally abused by their spouses, but the men who suffer are a much smaller portion.) Add hormonal and/or emotional issues to the mix and the results can be explosive.
A little advice to the testicle bearing members of society, especially those who live in a very traditional and/or Christian lifestyle:
1. Don't use your position of power in a relationship in a destructive manner.
2. Remember that your wife depends primarily on you for support (financial, emotional, etc.). You are the 'provider' so provide.
3. Never underestimate your power to hurt.
There is more to say, but I have to go right now.
Lubos Motl also has a detailed analysis of this story.
Addendum: As a woman who is living in a traditional 'gender role' arrangement and who is currenting experiencing hormonal instability I must say that my empathy for Mary Winkler is at an increased level. The point that I really wish and hope is understood is that men must appreciate their women and treat them with kindness and gentleness. I'm not blaming the victim, not exactly. But in my current state of mind I am saying that Mary Winkler is not the only woman in the world to have been criticized to the point of "snapping." Most of us when it happens don't kill our husbands but resort to other relief. To be a little too personal, I often feel like my sacrifices and efforts are far from appreciated and that every thing I do is subject to criticism or disregard. Sometimes nothing I do is good enough. I know that Mary Winkler felt the same way. No, I'm not about to shoot my husband. But I am going to cry for Mary and for myself and for every other woman who has even felt like all of her energy is spent thanklessly. Matthew Winkler was apparently one of those men who believed that his wife's only purpose was to please him. I think Mary did not want her girls to grow up with that kind of male influence in their lives. Well, if you ask me at this particular moment, I think the world might just be better off without him then.