Life is still not running smoothly for either Lisa Nowak or Mary Winkler. Some would call it poetic justice.
, the astronaut who shocked the world in February 2007, by traveling half-way across the continent to confront her love rival, Colleen Shipman,(above)
was originally charged with attempted murder and abduction. She lost her job as an astronaut but in the criminal courts ended up with a slap on the wrist. She petitioned the court for an early release from probation.
Colleen wrote to the judge urging him to deny the request. “I believe Captain Nowak’s request to be quite arrogant considering the premeditated and malicious nature of her crime.”
Colleen and the third member of the love triangle, Bill Oefelein, plan to marry sometime this year and are especially concerned that Nowak might do something crazy again.
The judge decided to maintain probation but he dropped it to an administrative level, meaning that she does not have to report regularly to her probation officer for the last six months of her sentence. She continues, however, to be forbidden from traveling to Alaska or California or from making contact with Colleen or Bill.
Mary Winkler shot her sleeping husband in the back in Selmer, Tennessee. This preacher’s wife
had to serve only 67 days after her conviction. Now, it seems she’s encountered some very unfortunate karma
. She regained custody on her daughters in 2008 and had settled with them in a rental home with lots of acreage. She decided she wanted to be a nurse.
But after being accepted to nursing school in the fall, Mary fell seriously ill. At first, a stroke was suspected. Now she has received a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Her serious aspiration problems with this disease left her unable to care for her children for three months earlier this year.
And, of course, Matthew Winkler’s long-suffering parents stepped into the breach again and cared for their granddaughters until Mary could get back on her feet. Those three girls are fortunate to have grandparents who look past the woman who murdered their son and give them the love and care they need.