Following Closely a Shocking Story

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EAST STROUDSBURG — The trial for the man prosecutors called the “sinister minister” Drew national attention to the Poconos.

The story of the pastor accused of killing two wives is one the national media couldn’t resist.

It also captivated some who live in Monroe County so much, they felt they had to see the trial in person.

A crowd of photographers surrounded Arthur Schirmer as he left the courtroom following closing arguments. As his trial in Monroe County went on, the amount of media covering it grew.

For many it’s a shocking story, a Methodist preacher accused of carrying on affairs, killing two wives, and making their deaths look like accidents

“We’ve been reading about it in the paper and watching it on television.  It’s been on television all the time so we thought, let’s go!” said Judy Leiding, of Kunkletown.

Judy and Jim Leiding of Kunkletown sat through closing arguments in the case.

“Very fascinating how each side tried to develop each side of the story,” said Jim Leiding.

They thought the prosecution poked enough holes in Schirmer’s story and say they see Schirmer as a man who led a double life, this case has many asking a big question:

“How a person you know in a helping profession being a minister can allegedly do something so terrible,” said Jim.

While this trial has drawn national media attention and the interest of the public.  It has also brought those who knew Arthur Schirmer to listen to the case first hand.

“It’s shocking to hear the story behind his life when he really was the minister at that church.  We knew him.  He was very nice guy,” said Kathleen Barett, of Henryville.

Barett sat through several days of the trial. She was involved in Schirmer’s church in Reeders. The place where Shirmer delivered so many sermons, oversaw so many baptisms and weddings before he was charged with murder, accused of deceiving everyone.

Those who sat in court, were anxious to hear a verdict.

“It’s exciting it’s very interesting to hear how a murder trial works.  I think the district attorney here in Monroe County has done a fabulous job.  So it’s going to be interesting how it turns out,” said Barrett.