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

[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

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. LFP

    It's truly sad how religious people contort reality to fit their pre-conceived beliefs. I'm so glad I tore away the shackles of these ridiculous religious rationalizations - things make so much more sense now!

    “I cannot conceive of a god who rewards and punishes his creatures or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I - nor would I want to - conceive of an individual that survives his physical death. Let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egostim, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with a devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature.”

    –Albert Einstein

    September 30, 2013 at 2:25 am |
  2. begrudgingatheist

    I'm an atheist, and I'm truly very happy for her. Everyone deserves happiness.

    September 30, 2013 at 2:16 am |
  3. Andrew

    I hear voices and I am crazy, she hears voices and its god....SO not fair!

    September 30, 2013 at 1:24 am |
    • SamB19

      very funny!
      Religion is by definition so self-serving. At least you can get some meds, but these religious nuts won't.

      September 30, 2013 at 1:32 am |
    • Scott

      She's a witch; burn her. No wait. She hears the voice of God. No wait, she slept with the devil. No, wait. She's going to make a million bucks and be on CNN.

      September 30, 2013 at 1:34 am |
  4. Scott

    Her tooth fairy has "called her" to be a messenger of hope. What an odd tooth fairy that failed to call in any hope for those 10 little girls that her wingnut ex gunned down. The same tooth fairy, after much "prayer and fasting" by the widow, "called her" to get engaged 4 months after the shootings. What an odd tooth fairy that has such wonderful plans for her, and her brood, and such terrible plans for those 10 little girls. Surely at least one of those 10 sought the tooth fairy as earnestly as the wingnut's widow. But who can reckon the wisdom of the great tooth fairy.

    As I read this drivel piece, I questioned who is more mentally ill: the wingnut shooter, his former widow or this Daniel Burke who writes claptrap like the orange blossoms of the shooter's rose bush remind that "god creates new life from old." This fantasy land BS masks mental illness...and the (now ex) widow alludes to this delusion/denial pattern when she uses Jesus speak like "perfect wife", and "not connected to the Lord in the ways I was". It's not only the shooter who had a "psychotic break with reality "; add to that the ex-widow and those who buy her book and believe this crap.

    Jesus, save me from your followers.

    September 30, 2013 at 1:20 am |
    • Sara

      Dear Scott,

      Someday – not so far away – you'll be saying, "Jesus, save me!" Good luck going through life with such malice and ignorance.

      ~Another God follower

      September 30, 2013 at 3:09 am |
      • Fallacy Spotting 101

        Post by Sara is a form of the flawed argument known as Pascal's Wager.


        September 30, 2013 at 8:07 am |
  5. mark edwards

    Looks like the "family friend" Mr. Dan took full advantage of the grieving widow.

    September 30, 2013 at 12:26 am |
    • SamB19

      or the other way around.

      September 30, 2013 at 1:33 am |
      • Sara

        ...and what's the reason Mr. Sam that she'd want to bother with men at all after going through the unimaginable ????

        September 30, 2013 at 3:12 am |
    • Sara

      Yo Mark! How daft are you? Why would any man want to take on the responsibility of three extra children – GRIEVING at that – and a woman who was at that time, seen as controversial? I reckon you're a bitter and divorced individual.

      September 30, 2013 at 3:11 am |
  6. Lexi

    I can't wait to look for this book in stores and see her side of the story! I love how strong her faith is and she is a testament to how others should walk in Christ!

    September 30, 2013 at 12:19 am |
    • Alien Orifice

      Jesus is dead. There will be no walking.

      September 30, 2013 at 12:29 am |
    • Reality # 2

      So where are the bones"?

      As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

      September 30, 2013 at 12:35 am |
    • Lexi

      I have my beliefs and you may have your own. I do not wish to start any arguments and I am only stating my own comment because I am allowed to just like you are.

      September 30, 2013 at 12:37 am |
      • Sara

        These athiests, agnostics and hates are hardly worth talking to; they thrive on the negative attention!! SAD

        September 30, 2013 at 3:17 am |
        • Ted

          Your state of delusion to me is more sad, Sara.And sad for America that our education system hasn't served you and us better.

          September 30, 2013 at 8:09 am |
    • AE

      Lexi, I agree. The evidence the people provide in their testimonies is very helpful and God can see us through our difficult times.

      September 30, 2013 at 12:42 am |
    • HeavenScent

      That's right. I believe in Harry Potter. And I'm allowed. The fact is, that those who believe Jebus is talking in their heads, have a right to believe that. Beliefs which have no evidence for them, do not have to be respected by others.
      I believe the is a 1957 Chevy orbiting Pluto.
      Do you respect that ? No.
      And your nonsense is less credible that that.

      September 30, 2013 at 12:47 am |
      • Lexi

        Respect and beliefs are two different things. Everyone can have certain beliefs, but everyone DESERVES respect! Please do not call what I believe in nonsense because in no way did I attack you or anyone else who believes in whatever you believe in. I deserve respect just like the next person here. Yes I am a Christian, No I am not afraid to say it! I am not preaching to you so please do no preach to me!

        September 30, 2013 at 12:59 am |
        • Truth

          You didn't nothing offensive. They took offense – but they are so self-centered they take offense to anything that doesn't glorify their ego.

          September 30, 2013 at 1:02 am |
        • Truth

          co: You did nothing offensive

          September 30, 2013 at 1:03 am |
        • G to the T

          Respect is earned, not deserved – both at the individual level and at the group level. Challenge is – too many negative tales about christians and christianity have come to light and it has damaged the reputation of christians in general.

          Once you all get your act together, come back and we'll talk...

          October 1, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • AE

      I don't respect your "1957 Chevy orbiting Pluto" story because you admitted you just made it up to try and prove a point. And there are a lot of people that post on here that test that theory, but it always fails. It does not disprove God.

      God is real. I didn't make Him up.

      September 30, 2013 at 12:54 am |
    • Scott

      I too marvel at how strong her faith in the Great Tooth Fairy is. She truly is a testament to how one should walk in The Great Oz!

      September 30, 2013 at 1:24 am |
    • SamB19

      wow, her religion is so self-serving! When she heard her god speak, I wonder if god also explained to her why he decided to let five young girls get killed?

      September 30, 2013 at 1:36 am |
    • Sara

      I agree Lexi!

      September 30, 2013 at 3:14 am |
    • Reality # 2

      Some 21st century reality with an updated prayer/creed:

      The Apostles’ Creed 2013: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
      and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      (references used are available upon request)

      September 30, 2013 at 8:12 am |
      • Lexi

        Like I said before...please just stop talking...I had a very harmless comment that you are blowing way out of proportion. It is called faith for a reason...I am not stupid in anyway just because I am a Christian. I graduated with a 4.1. I have every right to believe in what I want to believe. I am not throwing things in your face so please do not throw them in mine. I actually have many friends who are atheist ad we have very educated conversations about this topic. I don't belittle them and they don't belittle me. We RESPECT each other as people. Thank you!

        September 30, 2013 at 10:36 am |
        • G to the T

          Wow... I must be stupid then – I thought the grading system only went to 4.0. How did you get more than 100%? Honestly curious...

          October 1, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
        • Lexi

          I took advanced placement courses (college level courses) and honors courses in high school. They give weight to the GPA. My school didn't give out our unweighted GPAs but pretty much when schools or scholarships asked for "unweighted" I say it was a 4.0.

          And in response to your previous comment, I personally have my act together thank you. Both Christians and Atheists have bad reputations and it is mostly because of few people that ruin it for the rest. I just do not think it is fair that I am being lumped together and preached down to because of a harmless comment I posted on a public blog. I personally do think that respect is earned but you also need to give it to get it and we shouldn't disrespect someone we have never met. I am just trying to be a bigger person that is all.

          October 1, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
  7. In other CNN news

    "Bond is set at $1 million for a Louisiana man accused of shooting and killing a church pastor as he preached in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on Friday night. Calcasieu Parish sheriff's deputies arrested 53-year-old Woodrow Karey, a church deacon, and charged him with second-degree murder."

    Now that's something you're not likely to hear about- an atheist murdering another atheist while he is preaching...

    September 30, 2013 at 12:12 am |
    • HeavenScent

      95% of the US prison population claim to be Christians. Lotta good it does them.

      September 30, 2013 at 12:48 am |
      • Candace

        There is a difference from being a Christian and being a practicing Christian... Just cause you are baptised does not make you a Christian. Believing in Christ following his teachings and giving your life to him is a Christian. I love my lord and savior for he is an awesome GOD!

        September 30, 2013 at 1:33 am |
        • SamB19

          not sure if the 5 little girls agree with you.

          September 30, 2013 at 1:37 am |
        • Fallacy Spotting 101

          Post by Candace is an instance of the No True Scotsmen fallacy.


          September 30, 2013 at 8:11 am |
  8. Jon

    "Marie Monville has spent years trying to remove the label of "the shooter's wife." Never heard of her until now, go nationally on CNN,,, way to go.

    September 30, 2013 at 12:11 am |
    • Candace

      Do you live in the middle of no where in isolation? her story is famous and how the Amish people forgave her husband and took pity on her even the families of the dead children forgave her husband and went to his funeral to show her support. I find her story amazing and the true way Christians should behave! Even if you do not believe in God their forgiveness their kindness should be the model for how people should love one another and treat everyone with respect and learn to forgive.

      September 30, 2013 at 1:40 am |
      • Sara

        He must...!!!

        September 30, 2013 at 3:29 am |
      • Jon

        Guess it just didn't get the media coverage like Zimmerman, Casey Anthony and O.J. did.

        September 30, 2013 at 11:01 am |
  9. HeavenScent

    THAT is journalism ? That sentimental drivel ?
    If there actually was a loving god, she would not have permitted the horror, in the first place.
    ANYTHING, to make the cognitive dissonances stop.

    We have Amish neighbors. They are always coming over asking to use our phone, and other "technology".
    The biggest bunch of hypocritical nonsense ever cooked up.

    September 29, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
  10. Kate

    She's making a profit off of the fact that her husband murdered a bunch of little girls and destroyed a community. Absolutely sickening.

    September 29, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
    • Kristi

      That thought crossed my mind more than once. Along with, which "Shooter's Wife" are you specifically, because until now I had never heard of her and there is a mass shooting every other week, so...

      September 30, 2013 at 12:46 am |
  11. deder914

    "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."***********She conveniently doesn't believe that her husband was a pedophile. Despite everything he did and the fact that he let the adults and boys go and only kept the little girls. This woman STILL has her head stuck in the sand. This is nonsense! I wouldn't read her book if someone paid me. Don't spout faith and love of God to me and then deny reality. The only thing giving her strength is her ability craft a false reality. This is not courage.

    September 29, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
    • SamB19

      exactly. so-called "religious" people tend to selectively believe only what's convenient them.

      September 30, 2013 at 1:40 am |
  12. Ungodly Discipline

    "God's plan" is the way that Christians traditionally explain things like amputations, cancer, hurricanes and car accidents. For example, if a Christian dies a painful and tragic death because of cancer, she dies as part of God's plan. Her death has a purpose. God called her home for a reason. Even if something bad happens to a Christian, it is actually good because it is part of God's plan.
    Because God made you for a reason, he also decided when you would be born and how long you would live. He planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death. The Bible says, "You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!" [Psalm 139:16]

    There is also this:

    Regardless of the circumstances of your birth or who your parents are, God had a plan in creating you.

    Under this view of the universe, God plans everything.
    Therefore there can be no free or evil because it is all God’s plan.

    September 29, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
    • AE

      I've never heard anything like that in my church. Thank God.

      September 30, 2013 at 12:01 am |
      • Alien Orifice

        AE, try the Bible, that is where you find the truth of your sick religion.

        September 30, 2013 at 12:06 am |
        • AE

          The Bible says there is no evil? No, I don't agree with that. The Bible illustrates that evil is real and a threat, and God is NOT the source.

          September 30, 2013 at 12:11 am |
        • Alien Orifice

          "You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!" [Psalm 139:16]

          Is this a lie in the Bible? If it is true, then God plans both the good and the evil.

          September 30, 2013 at 12:17 am |
        • Really????

          So Evil, like God, must exist outside of the time and space of this universe. How would we know which is more powerful? How have they been measured?

          September 30, 2013 at 12:19 am |
        • AE

          Psalm 139 was written by David, not God.

          He also asks God to protect him from evil: "O that thou wouldst slay the wicked, O God,"

          September 30, 2013 at 12:23 am |
        • Alien Orifice

          AE, God never wrote anything.

          September 30, 2013 at 12:24 am |
        • AE

          Some writings in the Bible were dictated by God. The Psalm you provided is not an example of that.

          September 30, 2013 at 12:26 am |
        • AE

          -So Evil, like God, must exist outside of the time and space of this universe.
          No. Evil exists within our time and space. So does God.

          -How would we know which is more powerful?
          The consequences.

          -How have they been measured?
          Evil comes from within people. Don't measure it, take a stand against it.

          September 30, 2013 at 12:29 am |
        • Really????

          "Some writings in the Bible were dictated by God"

          So the Egytians had their own Gregg shorthand?

          September 30, 2013 at 12:35 am |
        • Really????

          How could God have created the universe if he's been inside it the whole time?

          September 30, 2013 at 12:37 am |
        • AE

          For example: God gave Moses the 10 Commandments. Moses wrote them on stone tablets.

          September 30, 2013 at 12:38 am |
        • Alien Orifice

          AE, I have a question for you. Why is it so difficult to just say, "I don't know", "I can't know", "I will never know"?

          September 30, 2013 at 12:41 am |
        • AE

          It is not that difficult for me to say that.

          But when somebody says the Bible claims evil does not exist I will point out the flaw in that statement.

          September 30, 2013 at 12:45 am |
        • Alien Orifice

          I am NOT saying evil isn't in the Bible. Never was. I am saying God is clearly responsible for it.

          September 30, 2013 at 12:52 am |
        • AE

          According to Jesus evil comes from within human beings, not God:

          "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man." Mark 7:21-23

          September 30, 2013 at 12:59 am |
    • Humberto

      It's not Gods fault because you messed up.

      September 30, 2013 at 12:02 am |
      • Humberto

        Both of you.

        September 30, 2013 at 12:04 am |
  13. Where is your God now?

    "Roberts shot all 10 girls before killing himself. Five girls died; the others were severely wounded."

    September 29, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    "its peach-colored blossoms"? Get to the point, CNN. Is this an article or a novella? Not quite as bad as the recent 15-page ramblings about a church bombing from 60 years ago, but there's no need to dramatize every tidbit of information.

    September 29, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
  15. Apple Bush

    To be honest with you, I could give a shit about this woman. The only story here is the poor grieving families of the children and the children themselves.

    The LAST thing we need is another bullshit book about faith.

    Hey kids! God loves you so much!! Kids? Kids!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 29, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible.......Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!

      Dead babies. God's plan.

      September 29, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
      • Chris

        No, not Gods plan you idiot. You obviously don't know Him at all. How about you get to know Him before you put your judgments on him.

        September 29, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
        • Ungodly Discipline

          God delights in the pain and suffering of human beings.

          September 29, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
        • Athy

          Chris, invite the sonofabitch for dinner at my house next Friday at 6pm. I'd love to get to know him.

          September 29, 2013 at 11:59 pm |
  16. stayinalive

    She's just trying to cash in on the noteriety of the story. Seen this countless times before. Didn't read the whole article but scanned for the word "donate", as in she will "donate" the proceeds of the book to the victims of the massacre. Didn't find the word. Says it all.

    September 29, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
    • Sish

      That is so ignorant. She was a victim, too. Why should she donate? Why shouldn't she benefit from sharing HER part of this story.

      September 29, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
      • Alien Orifice

        You are sick. No morals.

        September 30, 2013 at 12:14 am |
    • SamB19


      September 30, 2013 at 1:45 am |
    • Sara

      You are so cruel... like she doesn't help after what happened? I applaud her efforts and think it's great that she has risen above this. Whatever that is in your life holding you back from being a caring, kind, open-minded person – I hope gets cleared away.

      September 30, 2013 at 3:06 am |
  17. Me

    I know it's probably not very big of me but two things kind of stand out to me here....she's pretty, and that family friend moved in kind of fast.

    I'm not trying to imply that they were having an affair or anything, but if I'm not mistaken, it's a sin to covet someone else's wife, and if you are lingering on the periphery as a "friend", and jump in when the husband is out of the picture, you are probably coveting.

    September 29, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
  18. Colin

    If you watch any of the TV shows about the Amish that are floating around right now, it is pretty obvious that (possibly through generations of inbreeding) they are slightly subnormal. Nice people I believe, but not the sharpest tools in the shed.

    Like most very religious people.

    September 29, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
  19. texasgreenacres

    AMISH? Amish people don't have phones, or electricity and ceiling fans.Her book sounds like a big lie.I could see how she would be tormented by her husbands actions.But her book and what she is saying doesn't sound Amish

    September 29, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
    • robocoppola

      She's not saying she's Amish, because she's not. They just lived near an Amish community, and her husband killed Amish children. She is/was Christian, but not a member of the Amish community. Not sure where you got that from.

      September 29, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
    • LesMoore

      @ texasgreenacres – She is the wife of the SHOOTER, not one of the VICTIMS. In fact, I believe he shot only the females and let the male children and adults leave. The shooter was NOT Amish, he just lived NEAR them. Sheesh, did you just now hear about this?

      September 29, 2013 at 11:31 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.