Retired Pennsylvania pastor charged with killing his two wives

Arthur A.B. Schirmer  
By: Ryan Lee Hall 

(Scroll down for video) A retired Pennsylvania Pastor was charged with killing his two wives after they both died under mysterious circumstances, according to prosecutors.

Retired Pennsylvania Pastor Arthur A.B. Schirmer was a serial womanizer, preying on women in the church who were having problems in their marriage, according to court papers. However, adultery might have been the least of his sins.

He was charged two years ago in the death of his second wife. Now Schirmer is accused of killing his first wife, too, after a grand jury concluded that her injuries were not consistent with a fall down the stairs, Lebanon County prosecutors announced on Friday. He intends to plead not guilty, and their children say they support him.

Schirmer, 64, has long claimed that he had gone jogging on April 23, 1999, when he returned home to find the body of Jewel Schirmer in a pool of blood on the bottom of the basement stairs. Although she had suffered a fractured skull, facial, body, arms and leg injuries, the coroner made no determination as to whether her death was an accident or a homicide, and the case was closed.

That decision did not sit well with her brother. Jonathan Behney told police two days after the death of his sister, that it was his view that her head was crushed by someone, a police statement said. He added that Arthur had been unfaithful to her sister for some time and has had several extramarital affairs with other women.

Police and prosecutors decided to take another look at Jewel Schirmer's death after her husband of 31 years was under investigation for the 2008 death of his second wife, Betty Jean, in the Pocono Mountains. Prosecutors say the pastor killed Betty Jean Schirmer, then staged a car accident to cover it up.

On Friday, Behney welcomed the decision to charge Schirmer in the death of his 50-year-old sister.
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