Wife of schoolhouse shooter shares her story in new book

Author: , Reporter, JCraven@wfmz.com
Published: Sep 30 2013 05:42:19 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 01 2013 07:54:13 AM EDT

This week marks seven years since a gunman shot 10 Amish schoolchildren in Lancaster County.

Now, for the first time ever, Charles Roberts' widow is telling her story in a new book.

"I was begging him not to do whatever it was that he was planning to do," Marie Monville told ABC's "Good Morning America."

Monville said Roberts had been depressed over the loss of their daughter, but said there was no sign whatsoever he would turn violent.

"What I heard from Charlie was about the loss of our first daughter, and in some way, he felt like he was getting back at the Lord for the loss we had sustained," she said.

Roberts' daughter died just 20 minutes after being born. He is buried in an unmarked grave next to her, just three miles from the massacre site.

"One Light Still Shines" is expected to be a best-seller, but in the tiny Amish village of Nickel Mines, will this new book dredge up old and painful memories?

"It shook the Amish community to their foundations," said Dr. Donald Kraybill, an expert on the Amish who wrote his own book about the schoolhouse massacre. 

"The Amish community understands that she was a victim -- in some ways, as much or more of a victim as they were.  And I think they will be open to hearing her story."

Near the school shooting scene, reaction is mostly positive.

"It might be a cleansing for her," said longtime restaurant owner Dave Lam. "It might be a process for her."

But many said Roberts' widow should not profit from the tragedy.

"Obviously, I think a lot should go back into the Amish community for all the support that they've given her," said Tom Wood, Lam's father-in-law.

Monville's publisher did not respond to questions about where the book's proceeds would go. She will appear Monday night on CNN's "Piers Morgan" show.