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Pocono Township, PA – Here’s a story that I’m sure will show up on FORENSIC FILES or something similar in the near future. Back in 2008, Pastor Arthur Schirmer said his attempt at avoiding a deer is what caused him to slam his vehicle into a guard rail in an accident that would claim the life of his wife, Betty Schirmer. Police were initially skeptical, especially since paramedics said the crash was too minor to have caused Betty’s injuries, but their hinky meters were really set off when a few months later, Joseph Musante committed suicide in Schirmer’s church. Especially when they learn Schirmer was having an affair with Musante’s wife, who worked at the church. They also found out that his first wife had also died back in 1999 — from a fall down a flight of stairs. After doing a little more checking into his second wife’s death, and finding some drops of blood in the garage that hints at the fact that Betty was dead before she was even in the car crash, Schirmer was arrested and charged with murder and fabricating or tampering with physical evidence. His first wife’s death is now being investigated as a possible homicide a well.

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  • Anonymous

    Don’t hold me to this…. but… I think the Monk writers may have taken a page or two from this man’s evil doings…. I remember a show that seemed to follow this to a tee…. my memory can be a little sketchy but this one episode just stood out.

  • Anonymous

    I think this guy took a page from other losers….Drew Peterson, among others. Passive-aggressive, controlling freaks.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah well this sort of thing does happen . . .

    My first husband died because he ate poisoned mushrooms . . . In a freaky coincidence my second husband died the same way – eating poisoned mushrooms! My third husband died from blunt force trauma to his head. . .

    because he wouldn’t eat his mushrooms!

  • Gee

    Sounds very Familiar to me as well

  • Layla26843

    Did he kill the husband of his mistress also or was that truly a suicide?

  • MissTrix

    I was wondering the same thing. The article regarding the suicide said that he shot himself & was found by the church secretary. Wonder if they tested his hands for gunpowder or did they jump to (what seemed at the time) the “obvious” conclusion?

  • Dove

    I was thinking about Drew Peterson as well.

  • Angel of Accountability

    I’d be re-investigating that suicide too. If schirmer has murdered two wives it’s not inconceivable that he also murdered his mistress’ husband and made it look like suicide !!!

    I wonder what the status of the relationship between he and his mistress is now ?

  • Anonymous

    Another fine representative of the clergy on DD.

  • Anonymous

    The fungus of crime bears bitter fruit.

  • Holly Golightly

    They probably will check out the other suicide. Especially if they believe that he’s responsible for the first wife’s death.

  • MinorMatters

    Ha! That made me laught out loud at the library… Thanks a lot, Miss_Ann_Thrope :P lol

  • LeaveMeBe

    Honk if you love Jesus! Marry Pastor Schirmer if you want to meet Him!

  • LeaveMeBe

    Honk if you love Jesus! Marry Pastor Schirmer if you want to meet Him!

  • LeaveMeBe

    I wonder if the church secretary was his wife? I’m with y’all, something’s fishy.

  • Anonymous

    This reminded me of a guy whose 3 wives died in house fires… he had set them all. For collecting insurance purposes he’d find a wife marry her & as soon as the money was gone, he’d kill them.

    Saw it in Cold Case Files… this show was real though & the music just gave me the creeps, so I never watched the beginning of it.

  • Anonymous

    This reminded me of a guy whose 3 wives died in house fires… he had set them all. For collecting insurance purposes he’d find a wife marry her & as soon as the money was gone, he’d kill them.

    Saw it in Cold Case Files… this show was real though & the music just gave me the creeps, so I never watched the beginning of it.

  • Anonymous

    This reminded me of a guy whose 3 wives died in house fires… he had set them all. For collecting insurance purposes he’d find a wife marry her & as soon as the money was gone, he’d kill them.

    Saw it in Cold Case Files… this show was real though & the music just gave me the creeps, so I never watched the beginning of it.

  • Anonymous

    Pocono reverend’s first wife’s death re-ruled homicide
     
    The death of the first wife of a former Jackson Township pastor — who has been charged in his second wife’s death — has been reclassified as a homicide, officials said Monday.
    But whether Arthur Schirmer, 63, former pastor of Reeders United Methodist Church, will be charged in his first wife’s death is unclear, according to investigators.
    Schirmer is awaiting trial on charges of murder and tampering with/fabricating physical evidence in the July 2008 death of his second wife, Betty Jean Schirmer.
    Dauphin County Chief Deputy Coroner Lisa Potteiger earlier this month amended the cause of the April 1999 death of Schirmer’s first wife, Jewel.
    Her death was reclassified from “undetermined” to “homicide,” said John Leahy, chief detective in the Lebanon County District Attorney’s Office.
    “Dauphin County notified my office by phone last week or the week before,” Leahy said Monday. “I haven’t yet seen (Jewel Schirmer’s) amended death certificate, so I don’t know what’s listed as the actual cause of death. The investigation is still ongoing, and charges have not been filed.”
     
    Fell down stairs?
    Prior to marrying Betty Jean and moving to Reeders, Arthur Schirmer pastored in Lebanon County, where he had been married to Jewel Schirmer. Schirmer said he came home April 23, 1999, to find Jewel lying at the bottom of the steps and bleeding from the head, according to police.
    She died the next day in Hershey Medical Center in Dauphin County.
    Between the date of death and the April 27, 1999, autopsy, her organs were removed because she was an organ donor, Leahy said. Patty Garber, Dauphin County chief deputy coroner at the time, found evidence of Jewel Schirmer having suffered a heart attack at the time of the fall, he said.
    Forensic pathologist Wayne Ross performed the autopsy, finding evidence of a traumatic brain injury consistent with a fall down steps or contact with a blunt object, and ruled the manner of death as undetermined, not having seen Garber’s report at the time, Leahy said.
    Lebanon County police took another look at Jewel Schirmer’s death after state and Pocono Township police charged Arthur Schirmer in Betty Jean’s death in September 2010. This month Potteiger amended the manner of Jewel’s death to “homicide.”
    Potteiger and Ross, who Monroe County First Assistant District Attorney Michael Mancuso says concurs with the amended death certificate, were unavailable for comment Monday.
    Pocono reverend’s first wife’s death re-ruled homicide

    The death of the first wife of a former Jackson Township pastor — who has been charged in his second wife’s death — has been reclassified as a homicide, officials said Monday.
    But whether Arthur Schirmer, 63, former pastor of Reeders United Methodist Church, will be charged in his first wife’s death is unclear, according to investigators.
    Schirmer is awaiting trial on charges of murder and tampering with/fabricating physical evidence in the July 2008 death of his second wife, Betty Jean Schirmer.
    Dauphin County Chief Deputy Coroner Lisa Potteiger earlier this month amended the cause of the April 1999 death of Schirmer’s first wife, Jewel.
    Her death was reclassified from “undetermined” to “homicide,” said John Leahy, chief detective in the Lebanon County District Attorney’s Office.
    “Dauphin County notified my office by phone last week or the week before,” Leahy said Monday. “I haven’t yet seen (Jewel Schirmer’s) amended death certificate, so I don’t know what’s listed as the actual cause of death. The investigation is still ongoing, and charges have not been filed.”

    Fell down stairs?
    Prior to marrying Betty Jean and moving to Reeders, Arthur Schirmer pastored in Lebanon County, where he had been married to Jewel Schirmer. Schirmer said he came home April 23, 1999, to find Jewel lying at the bottom of the steps and bleeding from the head, according to police.
    She died the next day in Hershey Medical Center in Dauphin County.
    Between the date of death and the April 27, 1999, autopsy, her organs were removed because she was an organ donor, Leahy said. Patty Garber, Dauphin County chief deputy coroner at the time, found evidence of Jewel Schirmer having suffered a heart attack at the time of the fall, he said.
    Forensic pathologist Wayne Ross performed the autopsy, finding evidence of a traumatic brain injury consistent with a fall down steps or contact with a blunt object, and ruled the manner of death as undetermined, not having seen Garber’s report at the time, Leahy said.
    Lebanon County police took another look at Jewel Schirmer’s death after state and Pocono Township police charged Arthur Schirmer in Betty Jean’s death in September 2010. This month Potteiger amended the manner of Jewel’s death to “homicide.”
    Potteiger and Ross, who Monroe County First Assistant District Attorney Michael Mancuso says concurs with the amended death certificate, were unavailable for comment Monday.

    Court appearance
    Arthur Schirmer appeared Monday with defense attorneys Brandon Reish and James Swetz in Monroe County Court. The defense presented a pre-trial omnibus motion, asking that statements Schirmer had made to police and certain evidence found on search warrants be suppressed.
    A hearing on the motion was held, at which some of the prosecution’s witnesses testified. State Police Sgt. Mark Holtsmaster testified Monday to interviewing Arthur Schirmer prior to Schirmer’s arrest in Betty Jean’s death. Holtsmaster gave the following account:
    Schirmer said Betty Jean awoke on the morning of July 15, 2008, complaining of jaw pain. He said he was driving her to Pocono Medical Center, heading north on Route 715 toward Interstate 80 in Pocono Township.
    Schirmer said Betty Jean was uncomfortable in the passenger seat and that she removed her seat belt to get into a more comfortable position.
    He said a deer darted into the road at that moment and that he swerved to avoid it, crashing into the guide rail. He said Betty Jean, who hadn’t yet put her seat belt back on, hit her head against the windshield.
    Paramedics arrived to find the car saturated with blood on Betty Jean’s side, though police later found damage to the car to be too minor to have caused an injury with that much blood.
    […[

    http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120131/NEWS/201310318

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