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by Jorden Awesome
On 27 March, 2013
His suicide On Thursday March 18, 1993, a Pennsylvania Amish man named Edward Gingerich murdered his wife Katie as their children looked on in horror. The brutality of the crime shocked the Amish community and the nation. Who was Edward Gingerich? What was he? And how would the Amish community deal with his crime? This story is a true account of the only Amish man in history ever to be convicted of homicide Edward Gingerich: Introduction The case of Edward Gingerich In 1994, a jury of his peers found Gingerich guilty of “involuntary manslaughter but mentally ill.” He was sentenced to a minimum term of 2 1/2 years and a maximum of five, with credit for time served. Thesis
Edward Gingerich, a peaceful Amish man, murdered his wife Katy. End of story, right? Wrong. According to research, Edward always had been mentally ill. Could the Amish could have done something more to help him, save him and Katie from his eventual madness? Find out now. The murder story Ed stumbled back into the kitchen. “I have to go to the wedding,” he yelled. “It’s the only way I can save my soul.” Katie had heard about all she could take from Ed and stood firm.
“No,” she shouted back at Ed. “You’re too sick. You won’t even take your medicine.” “Because you’re trying to poison me…I have the devil in me and you’re trying to kill the devil!” Ed screamed.
“We’re trying to help you,” Danny, Ed’s brother replied. Realizing he was fighting a losing battle, Ed walked over to his cot and lay down. Danny had to finish his chores and promised Katie he would return as soon as they were finished.
As the children played on the floor, Katie stood in front of the sink and began to wash the dishes. She was startled suddenly when she turned around and Ed was right there towering over her. “What’s wrong?” she said. Ed ignored Katie’s question, took two steps back, and slammed his fist directly into the middle of her face. Katie was instantly knocked to the floor, and her face began bleeding profusely Still conscious, Katie asked, “Why did you do that?”
“I am the devil!” Ed shrieked. Ed and Katie’s young daughter, Mary, began crying, and their son, Danny, stood motionless.
“Danny,” Katie said, “go get Uncle Dan; tell him Daddy is sick. Hurry!”
Danny quickly ran out the front door, leaving his mother bleeding on the floor at his father’s feet. Mary and Enos, too scared to run, were left behind to witness what was still to come. The fact that his little nephew had run a half-mile through the snow barefoot was enough to suggest that something was terribly wrong. He quickly ran out of the house, grabbed a mare from the barn, and was soon galloping down the rode. When Danny went inside his brother’s house, he was nearly overwhelmed with terror. Katie was lying stretched out and motionless on the floor. Ed had her pinned down with his knees, and was madly pounding her face with his fists. Ed then lifted up his right foot and stomped it down on Katie’s face as hard as he could. Blood splattered all over the room and he only paused momentarily before dropping back down and resuming the blows to her face. Danny lunged at Ed and knocked him off of Katie. The two men wrestled on the floor briefly before they both jumped up. The look on Ed’s face told Danny that he would be next. Leaving behind the children, Danny ran out of the house and mounted his mare once again. He quickly rode to the closest English farm, just minutes away. “What is your emergency?”
the operator asked.
“A murder is being occurred..
my brother is killing his wife!” Dan replied.
“Where is the emergency taking place?”
“Rockdale Township, the home of Edward D. Gingerich, an Amish house next to the sawmill at the Frisbee town and Sturgis Road intersection.”
Before ending the call, Dan told the operator that he would meet the police at the Sturgis and Frisbee town intersection. ……Following his brief scuffle with Danny, Ed pulled on his work boots, walked back over to Katie, and began crushing his foot down on her head. His two young children looked on in horror. The right side of Katie’s face had caved in and her brains began to spill out onto the floor. After a few minutes, Ed dropped to his knees and undressed Katie’s body. Once all of her clothes were removed, he took a steak knife from the kitchen drawer and used it to make a seven-inch incision in her lower abdomen. Danny ran to his uncles house Through the incision, Ed reached his hand up inside Katie’s body cavity, and removed her lungs, kidneys, stomach, liver, spleen, bladder, uterus and heart. He stacked all of her organs in a pile next to her body, and stuck the knife into the top of them. Satisfied with his work, Ed washed himself up in the sink, threw his Bible into the fireplace, and told the children to put on their coats on. “I’m taking you to Granddad’s,” he said, “then I’m coming back to burn down the house.” …..Following Dan Gingerich’s 911 call, officers of the Pennsylvania State Police’s Meadville barracks (some 20 minutes away), and members of the Mill Village Volunteer Fire Department were dispatched. Paramedics were told to wait at the intersection and not to enter Ed’s house until the state police arrived. As the sun began to set, and paramedics desperately waited, Ed Gingerich was spotted walking down the road towards them. He was carrying a little girl and leading a small boy by the hand. As Ed approached, one of the paramedics spoke up. “Where are you heading?” “I’m going to my dad’s house,” Ed replied.
“Where is your wife?” the medic inquired.
“You wouldn’t understand.” Ed said. Since Ed was no longer in his house, the paramedics decided that one of them would follow Ed, while the others went up to his house.
The paramedics were immediately struck by the somber odor of death as they stepped inside Ed’s house. Upon entering the kitchen, they stood speechless. Katie’s nude body was sprawled out on the floor, one-fourth of her face was gone and her organs were lying in a pile next to her corpse. There was nothing they could do. Katie Gingerich was dead. “What are you doing?” Dan screamed. “Get off of her!”
Ed stood up and coolly replied, “This is what she deserves.”
As the English man opened his door, he could tell that Dan was in a desperate state of shock. “There’s been an accident at my brother’s,” Dan managed to say. “Can I use your telephone?” Sensing the seriousness of the situation, the English man led Dan to his phone. Dan dialed 911, and within seconds an operator was on the other end of the line. In January 1997, the Gingerichs consulted a lawyer in Meadville about acquiring legal custody of Dan, Enos, and Mary. They learned that Ed, by killing their mother, had not automatically lost legal custody of his children. To take legal control from their son, the Gingerichs would have to go to court. Because old-order Amish are reluctant to take such drastic legal measures. Dan and Mary Gingerich (katies Parents) decided to handle the problem through the family and the churches. Edwards life up to his suicide (after being arested) The Gingerichs got custidy…..
Ed was released on March 19, 1998, after serving his full sentence. It was the New Order Amish who arranged for him to go to Harmony Haven, an Amish-run mental health facility in Evart, Mich., after his release from prison Later, authorities in Pennsylvania arrested Gingerich after he accosted his 15-year-old daughter and took her to a camp in McKean County. He was charged with concealment of the whereabouts of a child and interfering with the custody a child. During his sentencing hearing, on Dec. 5, 2007, Gingerich was sentenced to six months of probation and ordered to pay a $500 fine. It is not immediately clear where Gingerich went following his release from jail. But eventually he moved in with George Schroeck, an attorney who had represented the Gingerich children, and his wife. In February 2008, Gingerich, who was prohibited from possessing a firearm, again found himself in hot water when he was caught hunting with a gun. He was charged with a second-degree felony. In October of that year he pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to three months in jail. MEADVILLE (Newspaper) — Edward Gingerich, convicted almost 18 years ago of one of the most gruesome and publicized crimes in Crawford County history, has been found dead. Crawford County Chief Deputy Coroner Scott Schell said the cause of death was suicide by hanging.
Gingerich, 44, who was Amish, had been living at the home of George and Stephanie Schroeck, 27912 Miller Station Road, Rockdale Township, where he resided for about the past year. “He left the house about 10 (a.m.) and walked to the barn to feed the horses,” Schell said he was told by Stephanie Schroeck. “He didn’t return, and she went looking for him about 3.” Primary Sources: Greetings:
To all that may read this. As I approach the door to my room, everything seems as usual with nothing abnormal on my mind. I opened the door and start to walk across the room and then it engulfs me. The inner and outer presence of something, nothing like I have felt before in my entire life. I turn around and look about the room that surrounds me, nothing.
You have guessed it, the presence of our Lord, Jesus Christ, a sign that he has forgiven and cleansed my sins by his blood, which he shed on the cross. I lay down on my cot feeling weak, and full of an inner peace, and joy overflowing within my heart. I lay there for the space of one and a half hour, and it slowly starts to lift away, although not all together. It stays with me for the better part of a week. It makes me feel like singing and to shout for joy. I do not shout because of my surroundings, but I do sing something I have not felt like or done in the last perilous few years. Although this has not occurred before many tears and prayers, the latter being to believe in First John, Chapter Five Verse Thirteen. Yes, knowing you may have eternal life. Searched and discussed by a friend, a brother in Christ, a few days beforehand, which I finally accepted as being the truth.
There is also a second reassurance that has not gone unnoticed, which reads in Romans Chapter Eight Verse Sixteen.
Yes, the spirit beareth witness, that we are the children of God.
A brother in Christ
Where he killed Katie Where he commited suicide Cops at scene
There is fresh grave in the Amish cemetery, next to the one where Katie Gingerich has lain since her murder in 1993. It belongs to her killer and husband, Edward Gingerich, who was 44 when he hanged himself Jan. 14.
Amish were pitted against Amish over how to respond to a murderer who everyone agreed was psychotic when he killed his wife. It was the only known case of a homicide committed by an Amish man.
“He was depressed that he couldn’t see his kids, who couldn’t come see him on pain of being shunned themselves,” said George Schroeck, a non-Amish friend with whom he was living.
“I don’t doubt that there might have been some guilt and that’s what got him into the graveyard. But this little reconciliation — to take a corpse back — it would have been much better had they taken the living Ed back and treated him with some Christian kindness,” he said.
Katie and his brothers had sought psychiatric help when he began seeing giant rabbits, howling like a wolf and raving that God and Satan were battling for his soul. They hospitalized him twice, once hog-tying him to get him to an emergency room where he sent medical equipment flying once he was freed. But he stopped taking the anti-psychotic drugs that made him sluggish.
In jail he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.
In 1994 he was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter but mentally ill. He served his five-year sentence in the prison ward of a mental hospital. Some believe he should have been found not guilty by reason of insanity, allowing indefinite hospitalization.
“When you imprison someone like that and they serve their time, they are released without condition … and their treatment is left up to them. Eventually almost all of them quit taking their medication and they relapse. In Ed’s case, that could mean violence,” he said.
But other Amish communities petitioned for his release. Their ministers had visited him and reported that medication had restored his sanity, and he was profoundly sorry for killing Katie. They believed that repentance required forgiveness and full restoration. They offered to take him in and supervise him.
A male nurse came every two weeks to inject him with anti-psychotic drugs, but he took anti-depressants on his own.
“I never saw Ed delusional. I never saw him wigging out,” Mr. Schroeck said. “I watched him closely, because I knew his history.”
But he had fallen into a deep depression. Mr. Schroeck received a call from one of Ed Gingerich’s close friends, who said that Ed had stopped taking anti-depressants.
On Jan. 13, Mr.Schroeck said, he took him to a doctor. That night and the next morning he assured Mr. Schroeck that he had taken his anti-depressants.
On the 14th, Ed Gingerich went to the barn to feed the horse. Five hours later Mrs. Schroeck found him hanging from the second floor.
“Forgive me please” was written in the dust on a bucket, according to Reuters.
Several Amish wondered why the community claimed Ed Gingerich in death when it had shunned him in life.
Pittsburg Gazette His Illness Doctors saw an engaging, mechanically creative Amish man change into a lunatic – “a man gone wild,” doctors would say – a man who at times had to be tied down, who barked like a dog, who raved about the devil, and who jumped out a window and had to be chased down by relatives in a horse and wagon. He began to have dizzy spells, and to talk about hearing voices and having visions. He became paranoid and started rambling incoherently. In 1992, Ed began to act violently, smashing windows in the house. His brothers had to tie him up to take him to the hospital, where he was untied and began to tear apart the exam room. He stayed in the hospital a mere two weeks before being released with prescriptions for medication to control his erratic behavior. Workman, his neighbor, also knew that, about a year before, Ed had developed serious mental problems. He knew that Ed had been taken from his home outside the hamlet of Mill Village to the psychiatric unit of the Hamot Medical Center in Erie, about 20 miles north. And he himself had driven Ed’s wife, Katie, and several of his siblings to visit Ed a few weeks later after he had been taken to a mental facility in Jamestown, N.Y., about 50 miles away. What Workman did not know were the details. He did not know that Ed, bothered by side-effects, had stopped taking his medicine after each hospitalization. He did not know how tortured Ed was by his illness; that his skin crawled, his hair tingled and his brain burned as if a blinding light were in his eyes; that he sometimes saw giant, threatening rabbits outside his window; that he heard voices and believed that the devil was winning the struggle with God over his soul.
He did not know that Ed sometimes had to be tied down and that there was similar mental illness among several of his uncles. Ed Gingerich spoke of suicide.
A doctor in Punxsutawney was suggested. Darkness was approaching, and Punxsutawney was almost 100 miles southeast, but Workman offered to drive.
All the members of the family went in, and Workman said they were given many small bottles of what he believed to be herbs. His Amish friends had convinced him to go see a local chiropractor named Merritt W. Terrell. The chiropractor had a large Amish clientele covering three states and, in the past, had been known among out-of-state Amish as ”the Pennsylvania doctor.” Gingerich had been seeing Terrell almost monthly for a while. Terrell – whose sign outside his tiny office reads, “Dr. M.W. Terrell . . . Drugless Therapy” – had been treating Gingerich with scalp manipulation and blackstrap molasses. With this evidence so far, do you believe that the Amish should have done something more to help him? This is a few of our mentally ill laws that pertain to the case. Our laws on mentally ill
1. The right to be informed of all available medical treatments which do not involve the administration of a psychiatric drug or treatment.
2. The right to refuse psychiatric drugs documented by international drug regulatory agencies to be harmful and potentially lethal.
3. Any individual who:
Has a serious mental disorder that includes significant behavior or psychological problems, and the disorder impairs the individual’s functioning to the extent that treatment is necessary, then lacks capacity to make an informed decision concerning treatment, and is likely to cause harm to self or others.
Edward Gingerich, a peaceful Amish man, murdered his wife Katy. End of story, right? Wrong. According to research, Edward always had been mentally ill. Could the Amish could have done something more to help him, save him and Katie from his eventual madness? Well, what do you think? We believe this is a turning point in history for the Amish community because it startled them. A peaceful group of people suddenly rattled by a murder. But could they have stopped it? I wonder if this question ever comes across any of they’re minds. I also wonder if Edward Gingerich had not been Amish, would the problem have been dealt with before the murder could take place? Although we cannot answer these questions we know that there defiantly is a possibility that something could have been done. But what or how much, that’s you to decide. The end