Accident, Suicide or Murder S1 E1 The Sinister Minister

When we think of religious leaders, images of morality, guidance, and trust often come to mind. But the tale of Reverend Arthur “A.B.” Schirmer, a former pastor from Pennsylvania, paints a much darker picture. His story serves as a chilling reminder that even those in positions of trust can harbor deeply sinister secrets.

**The Crime Unveiled**

On July 15, 2008, emergency responders in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania were called to a car crash involving Reverend Schirmer. He claimed that he had been driving his wife, Betty, to the hospital for jaw pain when he swerved to avoid a deer, causing the car to crash. Betty was severely injured and eventually succumbed to her injuries at the hospital.

On the surface, it seemed like a tragic accident. However, medical examinations revealed discrepancies. Despite the minor damages to the car, Betty’s injuries were excessive, consistent with multiple blows to the head and not a car crash. This raised suspicions.

**Deepening Suspicions**

As authorities delved deeper into Schirmer’s past, another shocking revelation came to light. He had been married before, and his first wife, Jewel, had also died under mysterious circumstances in 1999. Initially deemed an accidental fall, the similarities between the two deaths prompted a reinvestigation.

**The Trial and Conviction**

During the trial, evidence mounted against the Reverend. Investigators found traces of Betty’s blood in the couple’s garage, suggesting that the scene of the crime was not the car, but their home. Testimonies from individuals close to the couple revealed potential motives: marital issues and affairs.

In 2013, Reverend Arthur “A.B.” Schirmer was found guilty of first-degree murder in Betty’s death and later convicted for the murder of his first wife, Jewel.

**A Fall from Grace**

Schirmer’s convictions shook the communities he had once served. It was a bitter revelation that someone trusted to guide a congregation could be capable of such heinous acts. This case stands as a stark reminder that appearances can be deceiving, and it’s always essential to question and seek the truth, no matter how painful it might be.

Victim: Second Wife, Betty Jean Schirmer

Possible Victim: First Wife, Jewel Schirmer

Where is he now? Schirmer was sentenced in March 2013 and is incarcerated in Greene State Correctional Institute in Waynesburg, Greene County, Pennsylvania.