Mark Winger

Last updated
Mark Winger
Born (1962-11-26) November 26, 1962 (age 60)
OccupationNuclear engineer
Conviction(s) First-degree murder of wife Donnah Winger and driver Roger Harrington (2002); solicitation of murder of ex-girlfriend and another (2007)
Criminal penaltyLife without parole (2002);
35-year sentence for solicitation of murder (2007)

Mark Winger (born November 26, 1962) is a former nuclear power plant technician from Springfield, Illinois. He was convicted in 2002 of the 1995 murder of his wife Donnah Winger, an operating room technician, and Roger Harrington (born 1967). Winger had married Donnah Winger ( née Brown, born 1963) in 1989. [1]


His Case is featured on the Season 3, Episode 8, titled "Rotten to the Core", from the Show, Deadly Sins .

Murder of Donnah Winger

On August 23, 1995, Donnah Winger was driven from St. Louis International Airport to her home in Springfield by shuttle driver Roger Harrington. The Wingers later complained to Harrington's employer, saying that Harrington gave Donnah a "hard time" during the ride by talking about getting high and having orgies. Six days later, Mark Winger called 911, saying that he had shot Harrington to death after Harrington attacked Donnah with a hammer in their home. The police initially believed that Harrington had broken into the Wingers' home and attacked Donnah in retaliation for their complaint to Harrington's employer. However, investigators later became suspicious of Winger because he continued to ask about the case even after it had been initially closed. [2] "He kept coming in. I kept feeling like he was trying to find out if we were checking into anything," said a detective. Winger's remarriage to his young daughter's new nanny, hired five months after Donnah died, increased suspicion. Winger eventually had three children with his new wife.

Four years after Donnah's death, her best friend, DeAnn Shultz, came forward and told police that she and Winger had been involved in an affair at the time of Donnah's death. Winger had ended the affair soon after Donnah's death, and Shultz suspected that he had killed Donnah. On reexamination of the evidence, police concluded that the positions of Donnah's and Harrington's bodies were inconsistent with Winger's account of a struggle with Harrington. They also found evidence in Harrington's car that Mark Winger had invited Harrington to the Winger home. The new theory was that Donnah's upsetting ride with Harrington inspired Winger to plan to kill her with the hammer and then to shoot Harrington, using the fabricated story of an attack by Harrington as a cover. He was charged with murder in 2001.

Evidence introduced at trial included recorded conversations between Winger and Harrington arranging a meeting on the day of the murders. Testimony from paramedics that they found Donnah face down contradicted Winger's statement that he had held his wife before they arrived. Shultz also testified that Winger had tried to involve her in his plot and told her it would be better if Donnah died. In May 2002, a jury convicted Winger of the first-degree murders of Donnah and Harrington, and he was sentenced to life in prison without parole. [3] [4]

Solicitation of murder from prison

In 2006, Winger was indicted for asking a fellow prison inmate to arrange two murders. One of his intended murder victims was DeAnn Schultz, his girlfriend at the time of the murders, who later testified against him during his trial. The second intended victim was Jeffrey Gelman, a childhood friend, whom Winger resented for refusing to post his $1 million bail. Winger initially wanted Gelman kidnapped for ransom and then wanted both Gelman and Schultz killed. In June 2007, Winger was convicted for solicitation of murder, and a 35-year sentence was added to his existing life-without-parole sentence. [5] Winger's second wife never remarried and raised all of the Winger children on her own. [6]

See also

Related Research Articles

Lori Kay Soares Hacking was a Salt Lake City, Utah woman who was murdered by her husband Mark Douglas Hacking in 2004. She was reported missing by her husband, and the search gained national attention before her husband confessed to the crime.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Michael Swango</span> American serial killer

Michael Joseph Swango is an American serial killer and former physician who is estimated to have been involved in as many as 60 fatal poisonings of patients and colleagues, although he admitted to causing only four deaths. He was sentenced in 2000 to three consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole, and is serving his sentence at ADX Florence at his own request.

This is a list of notable overturned convictions in the United States.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom</span> 2007 carjacking, rape, and murder of a couple in Knoxville, Tennessee

Channon Gail Christian, aged 21, and Hugh Christopher Newsom Jr., aged 23, were from Knoxville, Tennessee, United States. They were kidnapped on the evening of January 6, 2007, when Christian's vehicle was carjacked. The couple were taken to a rental house. Both of them were raped, tortured, and murdered. Four males and one female were arrested, charged, and convicted in the case. In 2007, a grand jury indicted Letalvis Darnell Cobbins, Lemaricus Devall Davidson, George Geovonni Thomas, and Vanessa Lynn Coleman on counts of kidnapping, robbery, rape, and murder. Also in 2007, Eric DeWayne Boyd was indicted by a federal grand jury of being an accessory to a carjacking, resulting in serious bodily injury to another person, and misprision of a felony. In 2018, Boyd was indicted on state-level charges of kidnapping, robbery, rape, and murder.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ripper Crew</span> American cult and organized crime group

The Ripper Crew or the Chicago Rippers was a satanic cult and organized crime group composed of serial killers, cannibals, rapists, and necrophiles Robin Gecht and three associates: Edward Spreitzer, and brothers Andrew and Thomas Kokoraleis. They were suspected in the disappearances of 17 women in Illinois in 1981 and 1982, as well as the unrelated fatal shooting of a man in a random drive-by shooting. According to one of the detectives who investigated the case, Gecht "made Manson look like a Boy Scout."

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Diane Downs</span> American criminal (born 1955)

Elizabeth Diane Downs is an American criminal who murdered her daughter and attempted to murder her other two children near Springfield, Oregon, in May 1983. Following the crimes, she made claims to police that a man had attempted to carjack her and had shot the children. She was convicted in 1984 and sentenced to life in prison plus fifty years. She briefly escaped in 1987, but was quickly recaptured.

In the United States, life imprisonment is amongst the most severe punishments provided by law, depending on the state, and second only to the death penalty. According to a 2013 study, 1 of every 20,000 inhabitants of the U.S. were imprisoned for life as of 2012. Many U.S. states can release a convict on parole after a decade or more has passed, but in California, people sentenced to life imprisonment can normally apply for parole after seven years. The laws in the United States categorize life sentences as "determinate life sentences" or "indeterminate life sentences," the latter indicating the possibility of an abridged sentence, usually through the process of parole. For example, sentences of "15 years to life," "25 years to life," or "life with mercy" are called "indeterminate life sentences", while a sentence of "life without the possibility of parole" or "life with no mercy" is called a "determinate life sentence". The potential for parole is not assured but discretionary, making it an indeterminate sentence. Even if a sentence explicitly denies the possibility of parole, government officials may have the power to grant an amnesty to reprieve, or to commute a sentence to time served.

The Julie Jensen case involves the trial of a Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin man, Mark Jensen, on charges that he murdered his wife, Julie Carol Jensen on December 3, 1998. The case is notable for the eventual admission into evidence of a letter written by the deceased prior to her death expressing suspicion of her husband's intentions.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Michael Hughes (serial killer)</span> American serial killer

Michael Hubert Hughes is a convicted American serial killer on death row in San Quentin. Hughes was initially sentenced to life without parole for the murders of four women and girls in California. Later, he was convicted of committing three further murders of women, linked to the crimes via DNA profiling. At the second trial, he was sentenced to the death penalty.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Murder of Morgan Dana Harrington</span> Murder of American student

Morgan Dana Harrington of Roanoke, Virginia, United States, was a 20-year-old Virginia Tech student who disappeared from the John Paul Jones Arena while attending a Metallica concert at the University of Virginia (UVA) in Charlottesville. Her remains were discovered three months later in rural farmland. A forensic connection was later made to Jesse L. Matthew, Jr., the prime suspect in the murder of Hannah Graham, a UVA student who is believed to have been abducted on September 13, 2014. On September 15, 2015, Matthew was formally charged with first-degree murder and abduction with intent to defile in the murder of Harrington. On March 2, 2016, Matthew pleaded guilty to the abduction and murder of both Graham and Harrington, receiving four consecutive life sentences with no possibility of parole.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Harvey Carignan</span> American serial killer (1927–2023)

Harvey Louis Carignan was an American serial killer who was sentenced to life in prison for the murders of two women in the early 1970s. He had been previously convicted of a 1949 rape and murder he committed while stationed in the U.S. Army, in Anchorage, Alaska. He was imprisoned at the Minnesota Correctional Facility – Faribault until his death in 2023.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Michael Morton (criminal justice)</span>

Michael Morton is an American who was wrongfully convicted in 1987 in a Williamson County, Texas court of the 1986 murder of his wife Christine Morton. He spent nearly 25 years in prison before he was exonerated by DNA evidence which supported his claim of innocence and pointed to the crime being committed by another individual. Morton was released from prison on October 4, 2011, and another man, Mark Alan Norwood, was convicted of the murder in 2013. The prosecutor in the case, Ken Anderson, was convicted of contempt of court for withholding evidence after the judge had ordered its release to the defense.

This is a list of notable overturned convictions in Canada.

Patrick Kelly is a former Royal Canadian Mounted Police undercover agent and convicted murderer. He was an officer in Toronto's drug squad based in Toronto at the Toronto RCMP Building in the early 1970s.

The Tate–LaBianca murders were a series of murders perpetrated by members of the Manson Family during August 8–10, 1969, in Los Angeles, California, United States, under the direction of Tex Watson and Charles Manson. The perpetrators killed six people on the night of August 8–9: pregnant actress Sharon Tate and her companions Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, and Wojciech Frykowski, along with Steven Parent. The following evening, the Family also murdered supermarket executive Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary, at their home in the Los Feliz section of Los Angeles.

Dellen Millard and Mark Smich are two Canadian convicted murderers from Toronto, Ontario, who together murdered Laura Babcock and Tim Bosma in separate killings in July 2012 and May 2013 respectively. They were both convicted of the murders in December 2017 and June 2016, respectively. Millard has also been convicted individually of first-degree murder for the 2012 death of his father, Wayne Millard, which had initially been deemed a suicide but was later reinvestigated. The guilty verdict for that charge was delivered on September 24, 2018.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Murder of Ryan Poston</span> Murder of an American attorney

On October 12, 2012, Ryan Carter Poston, an American attorney from Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, was shot to death by his on-again off-again girlfriend Shayna Michelle Hubers. After a trial in the Campbell County circuit court, Hubers was convicted of murder on April 23, 2015. She was sentenced to 40 years in the Kentucky Department of Corrections on August 14, 2015, with parole eligibility after 34 years. On August 25, 2016, Hubers’s conviction was overturned on appeal when one of the jurors in her murder trial was revealed to be a convicted felon. Hubers was convicted of murder during her second trial on August 28, 2018. On October 18, 2018 she was sentenced to life imprisonment with parole eligibility after 20 years.

Martin Dean "Marty" Priest is an American murderer and suspected serial killer. Convicted of murdering a young girl and a man in both Missouri and Kansas, Priest is also suspected, but acquitted, in another three murders dating from 1980 to 1985. He is currently serving two life sentences at the Lansing Correctional Facility in Lansing, Kansas.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Philip Joseph Hughes Jr.</span> American serial killer

Philip Joseph Hughes Jr. known as The East Bay Strangler, is an American convicted serial killer. He killed at least three young women in Contra Costa County throughout the 1970s with the help of his ex-wife, Suzanne Perrin.

Veronica Anne Packman, known as Carole Packman, was a 40-year-old British woman who disappeared from her home in Bournemouth, England in June 1985. Her husband, Russell Causley, was found guilty of his wife's murder, but her body has never been found.


  1. "Donnah Brown Plans to Wed Mark Winger". The New York Times. 1988-07-17. ISSN   0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2019-12-28. Retrieved 2019-12-28.
  2. "Part 2: A Witness Comes Forward". Archived from the original on 2019-12-28. Retrieved 2019-12-28.
  3. "Donnah Ellen Winger and Roger Harrington murders 8/29/1995 Springfield, IL *Husband, Mark Alan Winger, convicted and sentenced to LWOP for both murders*". Bonnie's Blog of Crime. 2008-12-13. Archived from the original on 2019-12-28. Retrieved 2019-12-28.
  4. " Winger convicted in deaths of wife, van driver 6/5/02". 2012-10-06. Archived from the original on 2012-10-06. Retrieved 2019-12-28.
  5. Re: Mark Winger - Documents detail murder-for-hire plot, by Chris Dettro, May 21, 2007 from the Springfield, IL State Journal-Register. Archived July 1, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  6. Smith, Patti (2012-06-04). "Wife finds new life after husband's murder conviction". The Southeast Outlook. Archived from the original on 2019-12-28. Retrieved 2019-12-28.