Pastor Accused of Killing 2 Wives Devastated: Daughters

A Pennsylvania pastor accused of murdering both of his wives the same way, was "devastated" when each woman died, according to his daughters

By MICHAEL RUBINKAM
|  Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013  |  Updated 5:30 PM EDT
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Pastor Accused of Killing 2 Wives Devastated: Daughters

AP

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Two adult children of former Pennsylvania pastor Arthur Schirmer say their father was devastated when both of his wives died. Prosecutors say he bludgeoned both women and tried to make it seem as if they'd died in accidents --  Jewel Schirmer in a fall down the stairs and Betty Jean Schirmer in a car crash.

Julie Campbell and Micah Schirmer testified Wednesday at their father's homicide trial.

They were called by the defense to rebut prosecution witnesses who characterized the ex-clergyman as calm, dry-eyed and unemotional after Jewel's death in 1999 and again after the 2008 death of his second wife, Betty Jean.

Schirmer testified that he came home one day to find his first wife unconscious at the bottom of the couple's basement stairs in North Lebanon County, with a vacuum cord around her leg. They'd been married for 31 years.

Two years after his first wife died, Schirmer married Betty Jean and moved to Monroe County . She died in 2008. Schirmer is accused of staging her car crash. After he was charged in that case, investigators reopened the investigation into Jewel's death.

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