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September 29th, 2013
08:40 AM ET

From grief to grace: Wife of Amish schoolhouse shooter breaks her silence

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog co-editor

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (CNN) - Among the flowers and plants in Marie Monville’s sunny yard sits a rosebush, a gift from her first husband, Charlie.

A few years ago, Monville painstakingly unearthed the roots and transplanted the bush from her old house 10 miles away - a house that Charlie had thrown into tumult and grief.

The bush’s prickles recall the pain she and her family have endured, Monville said, and its peach-colored blossoms offer a yearly reminder that God creates new life from old.

After years of silence, Monville is now telling a story of her own.

It’s the story of how a milkman’s daughter became a murderer’s wife, and how she found a divine calling after a devastating tragedy.

“If this wasn’t my life,” Monville said during a recent interview in her kitchen, family pictures smiling from the fridge, “I never would have expected it to look this beautiful.”

On October 2, 2006, Charlie Roberts - then Monville’s husband - burst into a one-room Amish schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, with a handgun, a 12-gauge shotgun, a rifle, cans of black powder, a stun gun, two knives, a toolbox and restraint devices.

Roberts ordered a teacher, a teacher’s aide and the boys to leave, then bound 10 young schoolgirls and lined them up against the blackboard.

He boarded the windows, apparently preparing for a long siege, but as police surrounded the schoolhouse, Roberts shot all 10 girls before killing himself. Five girls died; the others were severely wounded.

The gentle, quiet man who had shared Monville's bed, children and life was now a mass murderer, guilty of unfathomable evil.

In mere hours, Monville lost her husband, and her children lost their father. Her close-knit community was terrorized and her family's name disgraced. Her innocence was despoiled, and her evangelical faith tested.

“I felt deserted, left behind to bear the weight of the world’s judgment and questions alone,” Monville writes in “One Light Still Shines,” her new book about the shooting and its aftermath, “and I felt that weight pressing me down.”

Stepping out of the shadows

After the shooting, Monville tried to keep her family, especially her three young children, out of the public eye.

But with the release of “One Light,” which goes on sale Monday, Monville is stepping out of the shadows, sharing her story in deeply personal detail.

Zondervan, one of the country’s largest Christian publishing houses, won't say how many copies it plans to print. But it has launched a “robust” marketing and publicity campaign, with a billboard in New York’s Times Square and interviews with TV networks, including CNN’s Piers Morgan.

“It will sell millions of copies," said Donald Kraybill, co-author of "The Amish" and a professor at Elizabethtown College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. "Millions."

Not only is Monville’s story powerful and largely untold, it also hits a burgeoning market for book publishers, Kraybill said: the cross-section of evangelical spirituality and interest in all things Amish.

Christian fiction best-seller lists brim with Amish romance novels, largely because of their large evangelical readership, which scholars trace to the 2006 shooting and its stunning postlude of Amish forgiveness.

Monville said she kept silent for so long because that story - the grace and compassion the Amish offered her family - was already making headlines around the world.

“There wasn’t much more for me to say,” she said.

Even if there had been more to say, the intensely private Monville was reluctant to speak publicly. Shy and quiet, she sometimes joked that the label under her high-school yearbook picture should have read, “Most Likely to be Forgotten.”

But as the shooting’s psychological wounds began to heal, Monville said she heard God calling her to a new mission: to share her message of hope and to tell others that, even after Charlie's crushing actions, her family not only survived, they thrived.

“I now saw a grand purpose in telling my story,” Monville writes, “I wasn’t afraid anymore.”

Walking on water

The morning of October 2, 2006, was sunny and warm, Monville recalls, the trees in her rural neighborhood radiant with red and golden leaves.

Monville, then Marie Roberts, was living her deepest childhood dreams.

At 28, she had a vibrant church community and spiritual life, a dutiful husband who doted on their three young children and a home next-door to her grandparents in idyllic Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where she was born and raised.

Charlie Roberts, her husband of nearly a decade, drove a truck that delivered milk to nearby dairies, just as Marie’s family had done for generations. He sometimes brooded over the death of their first daughter, who was born three months premature and died after just 20 minutes, but he usually pulled out from these bouts of depression.

On the morning of the shooting, Marie led a prayer group at a local church, where they asked God to keep schoolchildren safe.

As usual, she and Charlie later walked their two oldest children, then 7 and 5, to the bus stop, kissing them goodbye before Charlie left for work.

At 11 a.m., as Marie was pouring herself a cup of coffee, Charlie called.

“I had never heard Charlie’s voice sound like that before,” Monville writes, “not in almost 10 years of marriage. Something was horribly wrong.”

Charlie told Marie he was not coming home. He left a note explaining everything, he said. Marie pleaded with him to come home, but he hung up.

According to Pennsylvania State Police, Charlie also told Marie he had molested young family members two decades before and had daydreamed of doing so again. Monville said she left that out of her new book because police found the claims to be false.

“Charlie said a lot of things on the phone or the letter that didn’t make a lot of sense,” Monville said in an interview. “His mind was filled with all of the things he was planning to do, so he wasn’t in a place of being OK.”

The three-page letter Charlie left for Marie said she was the perfect wife, but the death of their firstborn child made him enraged at God.

“I am sorry to put you and the kids in this position but I feel that this is the best and only way,” Charlie wrote. “I love all of you and this is why am I doing this.”

Marie called 911. Sirens wailed in the distance. Hanging up the phone, she stood in the living room, staring at her ceiling fan, and prayed.

Monville calls this her “walk on water” moment, recalling when Jesus challenged the disciples to show their faith by following his footsteps across the Sea of Galilee.

“I was faced with two choices, and only two,” she said.

“I could choose to believe that everything written about God in the pages of the Word were true, and that he was going to rescue me and my family. Or I could choose to believe that we were going down like the fastest sinking ship.”

The falling flower 

Raised a churchgoer in deeply religious Lancaster County, where churches far outnumber bars, Monville said she always enjoyed a close relationship with God, hearing his voice call to her, feeling his embrace during prayer and worship.

Even after the death of her firstborn, whom they named Elise, and a later failed pregnancy, Monville said she kept hoping that God held better days in store.

But Charlie’s faith faltered, and he shrugged off her pleas to talk to a pastor, counselor or friend about his deepening depression.

“He was angry at God, which I didn’t realize in those days,” Monville said. “I just thought he wasn’t connected to the Lord in the ways I was. The harder I pushed, the more he withdrew.”

Counselors later said that Charlie Roberts likely suffered for years with untreated clinical depression over the death of Elise, which led to a psychotic break with reality, Monville said.

“I did not know the man who went into the schoolhouse and did the things he did there,” she said. “I did not know that Charlie.”

Counselors told Monville that depression can be difficult to diagnose, especially when a sufferer is trying hard to hide it. “There were a lot of things I asked myself,” Monville said. “How did I not see this? What are the signs I missed?”

Those questions didn’t yield easy answers, just more difficult questions, she said: How could God allow this to happen? What should she tell her children? Would people hold her responsible for Charlie’s actions? Could she rebuild her life in Lancaster?

The community - including the Amish - showered her family with gifts, meals and love after the shooting, Monville recalls. They waved hello on the way to the bus stop, dropped by to see if she needed groceries, encouraged her to stay in Lancaster.

Still, Monville had always been a people-pleasing middle child, shyly hoping she could somehow escape the world’s gaze. Now she was the center of attention, with news vans parked in her neighborhood and reporters prowling around her yard.

With her newfound notoriety came questions from strangers that made her skin crawl. Did Charlie have life insurance? How do you sleep at night knowing what your husband did? 

In fact, Monville didn’t sleep at night. She tossed and turned, grieving over her husband and the deaths he caused, and worrying about her children’s future.

But with Scripture and prayer, in reaching out to God and hearing his reply in shouts and whispers, feeling his fatherly care in signs and wonders that people of lesser faith might take for coincidences, Monville said she found healing.

On the day of the shooting, after Charlie’s frightening call, she saw a vision of God’s hand catching a falling flower petal just before it hit the ground, Monville said.

And that’s just what God did for her, she said, every time her spirits fell.

She saw God's hand when the Amish attended Charlie's funeral, when neighbors sent baskets of food, and strangers filled her mailbox with supportive notes.

Most importantly, Monville said, she felt God's strength when she had to tell her children that their father had made some very bad choices, and some people had died, and he had died, too.

“Over and over again," Monville writes, "(God) broke though my pain, revealed his presence, and restored my hope.”

New love

Along with restored hope came another miracle, Monville said: She no longer cared what other people thought.

Marie needed that fearlessness when, just four months after the shooting, she told her family she was engaged to a family friend, Dan Monville.

She and Dan, a divorcé, had bonded after the shooting as they supervised play dates with their young children. She felt a connection with Dan as their families bonded, she said, which ripened into love.

Maybe Dan was the right man, her family said, but it was definitely the wrong time.

Marie had doubts, too. It was so soon after the shooting. But she felt God whispering to her, telling her that Dan was the man she should marry.

Marie said she wrestled with that revelation, fasting and praying for days. Again, one of those signs and wonders - the kind that others might take for happenstance - broke into her life.

Early one morning in December 2006, Marie awoke to hear her Christmas tree tumble with a crackling crash.

Each year, she and Charlie had exchanged Christmas ornaments, their own family tradition. Only two broke when the tree fell, Monville said, the first and last Charlie had given her.

“At the precise moment I noticed this,” she writes, “I heard the words 'It is finished' echo through my heart and mind.”

Dan and Marie were married in May 2007, seven months after the schoolhouse shooting. They now live in the house with Charlie's rosebush, their five children are healthy and happy.

Joyful messenger

Sipping a cup of coffee in her tidy kitchen last week, Monville said she relishes her return to routine, dropping the kids off at school, grocery shopping. "Normal mom" stuff.

She keeps the letter Charlie left and reads it from time to time, even though some parts leave her feeling shaky. Monville also keeps cartons full of letters sent from strangers around the world. She tries not to dread the arrival of October 2, but still finds her eyes fixed to the clock each year, remembering when Charlie left her work, when he called, the day's devastation.

Monville said she has spent years trying to remove the “the shooter’s wife” label - but in a way, she embraces it now, as long as she gets to tell the rest of the story.

It’s the story of how the milkman’s timid daughter, the murderer’s grieving wife, became of all things a joyful messenger, telling everyone who’d listen about the grace of God’s love.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Books • Christianity • Death • Faith

soundoff (1,271 Responses)
  1. smallz

    I wish people would stop telling people that are trying to get over something like the death of a newborn to let God guide you, he has the answers...talk to him and pray.
    When this idea fails for these people.. they snap. Keep your religious beliefs to yourself and maybe we can all live more peaceful!

    September 30, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • HeavenScent

      Oh but you get to spout yours ?
      That's great advice.
      Pray .. which is talking to yourself.
      Real great advice there.
      Science knows what goes on in human brains when they "pray". Nothing magical about it.

      September 30, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
  2. lonelygrrl

    What makes me go crazy is when people say, "everything happens for a reason." No it does not.....

    Why would God let those poor children die? What possible reason is there for that? Someone once told me that we do not understand because it is somehow part of God's plan that we can never understand.....Bull Crap.

    I think it is terrible that someone can make a dime from any tragedy, especially one as heinous as this one.
    As a mother the one thing I think I would be concerned about would be both my own children and the children who were either killed or injured by the shooter....

    I agree that every dime that is made from this book should go to the victims and the victims' families...

    I am just appalled by this whole article...

    September 30, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      There can only be so much comfort in words, but Jesus did address issues like this.

      Luke 13:1-5
      From this passage, Jesus teaches us that horrible things happen to otherwise “good” people that are perpetrated by others who are very wicked, and in just the same way, natural disasters also come and kill many “innocent” people.

      What we can gleam from this is twofold:
      1) That there was not a single person who was killed who was not going to die anyway. Since God is sovereignly in control and works all things according to the council of His own will, and He works all things for good to those who love God – as tragic as those deaths were, if they loved God, then they were immediately put into the presence of God.

      2) Furthermore, Jesus tells us that unless we repent, we will all likewise perish – in other words, no one knows the day nor the hour that they will die, so they must always be prepared to do so – therefore repent and trust in Christ.

      Therefore, whenever tragedies happen anywhere on this earth, Jesus tells us that it is a call to repent!

      September 30, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • neoritter

      I think the problem you're having is, you ask for a reason but then you deny it when you think the reason isn't good enough. There was a reason though. Too often people conflate reason with consequence and assume that it means that everything has a good consequence.

      It's up to us the survivors to accurately find the reason for a tragedy, learn from that, and endeavor to prevent the next tragedy from happening. When you sit there and bemoan a tragedy as senseless you further nothing. You've made yourself the bewildered victim unable to protect yourself from the next terrible incident.

      September 30, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
  3. MBari

    The depths of her religious faith and that of the Amish are too deep for the trollers. It's the utmost of grace and dignity shown during a horrible tragedy ending 10 innocent young girls lives to someone suffering mental illness. Too good to believe for the doubters. It's religion at its best.

    September 30, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
  4. try546

    Unless she is going to donate every cent of the proceeds from the sale of this book the lead to this story should read "Wife of Amish school house shooter uses religion as a cover to profit from the murder of innocent children".
    eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepgiorg.blog.comeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    September 30, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      Oh wow, she too is a victim, as are her children. What she does with the proceeds is not anyone's business!

      September 30, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  5. Hilary Byrd

    I find her story truly disturbing. 4 months after this tragedy she's finding love and planning a wedding?? I'm guessing 4 months after and the parents of the slain children still can't get out of bed and get through a day. Where was her focus on her own children that now have to learn to cope with the fact that their father murdered innocent children? Maybe her husband was depressed because of being with a woman like that!

    September 30, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • lesliee

      It's her story, Hilary, not yours. You don't have to like it, but that doesn't mean you've lived it or understand it.

      September 30, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • lesliee

      Thiink, Hilary, It's not that hard. You just made the wife responsible for the deaths of young girls. Would you like to have people speak that way about you?

      September 30, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • LiLBit

      AHHHHMEEEEN Sister! That woman is absolutely vile! It's just fine to be religious, but I think God would be more concerned that your children are suffering with this ordeal and I don't know, the children who lost their LIVES than if this pathetic woman is knockin boots or not. Way to abuse a tragedy for monetary gain and fame. So glad you could thank your neighbors for still supporting you- oh wait, again you only thank God. Go crawl back into a hole and stay there.

      September 30, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Tina

      She didn't pull the trigger and wasn't aware of how deeply depressed her husband was becoming. Have some sympathy. She suffered too.

      September 30, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • HM

      I agree somewhat......cannot see someone who is supp so much in love remarried within such a short time. she may be profiting from it but i don't see that as a problem, esp for what she went through........she didn't kill those kids, her husband did.

      September 30, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
      • Atheist, me?

        I guess you guys all miss the point about the love that has been showered on this woman to help her heal quickly!
        The Amish started it and her new hubby completed it! Forgiveness is the medicine the Amish chose for their depression and it works wonderfully.
        That is the essence of the story not s e x.

        September 30, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      The shooting happened in 2006.

      September 30, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
  6. Wm.Russ Martin

    Science may not know everything, but religion knows nothing.

    September 30, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
  7. lol??

    Oh, oooohhh. The 1%er facilitator faculty post deleters are on the loose. You can take the faculty out of insti*tutions but you can't get the insti*tution out of the faculty.

    September 30, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  8. Curious George

    She married a family friend 8 months after he did this? Sounds like he found out she was cheated, flipped out and acted out an atrocity.

    Then she married the guy and profited from it.

    September 30, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • lesliee

      Typical. The guy murders people. Blame the wife.

      September 30, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
      • LiLBit

        I think people are more mad that she's making a profit off of this. Any money she makes should go directly to the families. Not her new husband.

        September 30, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          What about her kids??? The children who must live with the knowledge that their father killed 10 innocent children...do they not matter here at all??

          September 30, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      Reading comprehension is not your friend. Her actions before, during or after her husbands crime have nothing to do with why he did what he did. It's pathetic that you would turn the blame on her when she didn't pull the trigger.

      September 30, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
      • LiLBit

        For some reason I couldn't respond to your response, but yes I do believe money should go to help her own children. However, after reading this article I am led to believe there's only one thing on her mind: her new romance. That is what is so upsetting. How can you be emotionally able to commit yourself to a new marriage and man so soon after such a horrifying tragedy? On top of that, how can you be certain your children are emotionally able to look at another man as a father figure when their own KILLED children. Just saying, if I were her daughter I wouldn't be able to have a step-dad so soon afterwards because it would be difficult to trust another man as a father figure. Which makes me believe that she does not care about her children as much as her new romance. She should be focusing on ensuring her children will not become depressed like their father and also do something disastrous. But nah, the world needs to hear about her new hubby

        September 30, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
        • Atheist, me?

          I believe you did not understand the part about the Amish forgiving her husband, herself and the kids in such a Christ-like manner that they healed quickly?!
          Forgive it will heal you!

          September 30, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Loneliness can be a horrible thing and it sounds like she was housewife, dependent on her husband. I feel for her children more than anything and I can only hope she has it in her to ensure they received help.

          September 30, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
        • doobzz

          @ AtheistMe?

          I don't understand why any forgiveness needed to be shown her or her children. They did nothing wrong, so spouting off about how wonderful their Amish community is to have forgiven them is just plain arrogance and stupidity.

          Showing kindness, support, food, a place to go, whatever, is all fine and good. But forgiveness? Unnecessary and judgmental.

          September 30, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
  9. Rob

    The guy moved closer just to be a support.
    Oldest trick in the books. But good for them.

    September 30, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
  10. Kevin Cooley

    I'm trying to get my head around why a dairy would want to have milk delivered to it. He was probably going to the dairies to pick up the milk they produced.

    September 30, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • Sharon

      No, milk tank truck drivers go to dairy farms, take on the milk farmers get from their cows which they store in large tanks while waiting for the drivers to pick it up, after which the drivers deliver it to the dairy.

      September 30, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • lesliee

      Kevin, do you really not know that milk comes from cows? That dairies don't manufacture it from chemicals??

      September 30, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
      • Kevin Cooley

        Right, but why would a dairy need milk delivered to them? They have all the milk they need! Perhaps it was special muscle milk for the vending machines. I used to work at a pizza shop and we had Chinnese food delivered to us sometimes, but we never ordered out for pizza!

        September 30, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
        • nancy smith

          kev, old buddy, you really are a city slicker aren't you!? a dairy is place for processing the product OF a dairy FARM (the cows do most of that work). the story leads one to think the guy was driving only to the dairy, when he was actually driving away from the farms toward the dairy with the raw milk product. happens every day in farm regions. large milk farms can produce TONS of milk that must be processed 'right way really quick' before it goes bad too. they actually weight the milk and measure it by the pound, rather than liquid volume too. (i hope all that's right, i listened when i went to a cool farm one time, to visit the farmers daughter ;-))

          September 30, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
  11. Dan Dennett

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbJHOnkFimg&w=640&h=390]

    Another interview with cognitive scientist Dan Dennett on consciousness, free will, and related issues in the philosophy of mind.

    September 30, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • lol??

      He should check out Pithyism.

      September 30, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
  12. edr

    Unless she is going to donate every cent from the sale of this book the headline should read "Wife of Amish School house shooter uses religion in hopes of profiting from the murder of innocent children."

    September 30, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • lesliee

      Os is that what you would do if you had the chance?

      September 30, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      What about using the money to put her own kids through college or they unworthy? I honestly don't think it is of concern to anyone how she spends the proceeds from her book.

      September 30, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
  13. edr

    Unless she is going to donate every cent of the proceeds from the sale of this book the lead to this story should read "Wife of Amish school house shooter uses religion as a cover to profit from the murder of innocent children".

    September 30, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Brock Linahan

      I seem to remember another book that generated profit from violence and religion. What was it called again? Oh yeah – The Bible.

      September 30, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
  14. lol??

    Did the woeman get approval to write a book from her hubby??

    September 30, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    •  

      tarded old fool

      September 30, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      Did you get permission from your nurse to use her computer?

      September 30, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
      • lol??

        I didn't read the article. Don't want to either. Just saw a picture of luvbirds. Figure she's remarried. What's wrong with the question??

        September 30, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          "From grace to grief, widow of amish schoolhouse shooter" meant nothing to you? Even if the situation is not what it is, why the hell would she require the permission of anyone to do anything?

          September 30, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
        • lol??

          If she's married she would. Men ruling over their wives is a proven cultural stabilizer.Works everywhere.

          September 30, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
  15. Fred Evil

    Only for fools. Science has disproven religions claims time and time again. When will you stop drinking from the obviously contaminated water?

    September 30, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
  16. Steel On Target

    "Christian fiction best-seller lists brim with Amish romance novels"

    Couldn't stop laughing at that one.

    September 30, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Billy

      "As the World Churns"
      "General Pain-Pullers"
      "Gettin' buggy whip it"

      September 30, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Sea Otter (Leader Allied Atheist Alliance)

      FFE

      September 30, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  17. Steel On Target

    I'm glad you enjoy living in a world where your god murders school girls. You people are disgusting with your god's.

    September 30, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
  18. I've changed

    GOD OF THE GAPS much?

    September 30, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
  19. JAG

    Something doesn't make sense here.
    So he was depressed. I understand depression. But who guns down a bunch of little girls because you are depressed?
    And why did he target the females?
    Sorry. I'm not buying it.
    And she seems to have more sympathy for her own situation than that of the victims who were robbed of their lives and futures.
    I found this article nauseating.

    September 30, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Perhaps he was a Calvinist and regarded women in the way that the Protestants of old did "because she was seduced by Satan, and so diverted her husband from obedience to God that she was an instrument of death leading all to perdition. It is necessary that woman recognize this, and that she learn to what she is subjected; and not only against her husband. This is reason enough why today she is placed below and that she bears within her ignominy and shame."

      Just be thankful that he didn't go so far as God did with the daughters of Zion in Isaiah 3:18 and that he didn't make them all bald and rotten smelling before slaughtering all the men they cared about as well.

      September 30, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
      • Colin

        Don't ya just know that the Proto Isaiah source was a se.xually frustrated 20 something who the women of Isreal ignored. Doesn't the writing have "bitter and resentful spurned male" written all over it.

        September 30, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          It's like the OT authors used to say:
          "Women – can't live with 'em, can't phuk manischewitz."

          September 30, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Tonyb

      It said in the article that the depression led to a psychotic breakdown wear he lost all terms of reality. Who knows where his mind was. He may have just broke into a state of madness

      September 30, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • terrinor

      It states he was robbed of his infant baby girl (their firstborn). He was angry with God, and so deeply depressed that he apparantly had a psychotic break. It is not a far leap of the imagination that people will often turn blame (at God) into a burning source of vengeance. He was robbed, so he was going to take away other people's little girls so they'd hurt, too.

      That's just an assumption, of course.

      September 30, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
      • Athy

        Ah yes. Religion in action.

        September 30, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • TC

      She helped to take care of those surviving Amish chidlren for years. Don't judge where you have no knowledge.

      September 30, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.