Suicide in Church and Pastor on Trial for Murder
News Next Door: A bizarre case is playing out in northeastern Pa. as a pastor stands trial for killing his second wife
Homicide, suicide and illicit sex are all factors in an unusual case under way in Monroe County court this week as a former pastor is charged with killing his wife, who was 64.
Investigators say Arthur Schirmer, 56, staged a car accident to cover up the death of his wife in 2009.
They took a closer look into Betty Schirmer's death after a parishoner killed himself inside Reeders United Methodist Church shortly after the car crash. The man was apparently distraught because the pastor was having an affair with his wife, according to a WNEP report.
Schirmer's lawyer says adultery and church gossip don't mean his client is guilty of homicide.
Prosecutors say e-mails found on the defendant's computer show Schirmer complained that his post-menopausal wife had lost all interest in sex, according to a WFMZ report.
Schimer is also charged with killing his first wife, Jewel, in Lebanon County. Investigators say her death was staged to make it look like she died as the result of a fall.
A grand jury said Schirmer likely used blunt objects to kill both women, according to a CBS News/Crimesider report.