Widow of Nickel Mines schoolhouse gunman shares story

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It has been more than six years since five Amish girls were killed and five girls were injured in the West Nickel Mines schoolhouse shooting in Lancaster County on October 2, 2006.

The shooter, Charles Roberts, then turned the gun on himself.

Now, for the first time, Roberts’ former wife is speaking out about that tragic day.

It’s a heartfelt account about the moments leading up to the shooting as well as the painful aftermath.

“To know that the man that walked down to the bus that morning and kissed his own kids and said that he loved them, was capable of hurting someone else’s children, was unfathomable, yet there was no way to say that it couldn’t happen because it just had,” said Marie Roberts Monville.

Monville shared her innermost thoughts in a video posted on YouTube. It’s a glimpse into her forthcoming book, “One light still shines: My Life Beyond the Shadow of the Amish SchoolHouse Shooting.”

She talks about the difficulty of having to explain to her three children what their father had done.

“I’m going to have to shatter their world and tell them something no parent would ever want to have to say,” she said. “And am I ever going to hear them laugh again?”

Monville also recounts the difficult road to rising above her shock and grief.

“I had never known a place of desperation like that,” she said. “I had nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. There weren’t any real answers. I mean I was being looked on by the world to give some kind of answer, but for me there was no one to go back to except for the Lord.”

Monville’s book is set to be released in October.


  • SLM

    That brought me to tears again…you are doing a good thing by facing it with God and sharing this for the world to see! I saw you perform at my sisters church and my heart dropped. You are an amazing woman! Blessings!

  • commonsense

    I don't think she should make a profit off this book. I don't think what she went thur is half as hard as what the children's families went thur. I am sure they do not want it brought up again. The Amish are quiet people, and she is bringing attention and bad memories back for these people to have the spot light on herself.

  • Todd Lupold

    These memories need to be explored in depth….we need to understand what brings someone to do this kind of thing so that we can put in place appropriate controls. The lack of knowledge and discussion about these topics will condemn us to repeat them unless we fully understand what it happening so that we can find proper solutions and not enacting rash laws that have no evidence of succeeding.

  • M Lapp

    The horror and pain of the past can never be erased. All we can do is to live each day the best that we can, and allow God to take our hurt and leave in its place a sense of peace. We can't change yesterday, but we can look for the best in today and believe in and work toward a better tomorrow. No one related to this tragedy can escape the hurt it has caused, including the family of Charles Roberts. Marie is taking this horrible event, in which she and her children are innocent victims just like the other families, and finding a way to give glory and honor to God even in this circumstance. May her telling of the story be another step on the healing journey for everyone involved.

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