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Son Finds Closure in Mother’s Death

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STROUDSBURG -- A life sentence was given to a former pastor in the Poconos who murdered his second wife.

The victim's son allowed Newswatch 16 to be with him as he tried to put closure on the entire ordeal.

Convicted murderer and former pastor Arthur Schirmer, kept quiet and looked away when witnesses on both sides testified during his sentencing Monday morning.

Schirmer will spend life behind bars without parole for killing his second wife Betty, in July 2008.

Betty's son Nate Novack said his piece as well this morning.

Then took time to retrace the night his mother was killed as a way to find some closure.

The last time Nate was on Route 715 near Tannersville was in 2008, soon after his mother, Betty, was found severely injured after a car crash.

Nate said he felt he just had to go back to the spot where convicted killer, Arthur Schirmer staged that crash.

"Ultimately, this is where my mother took her last breaths. And I'm just trying to find some closure through all this. It's been such a battle. Not only in myself, but spiritually, mentally, for so long," said Novack.

In court earlier in the day, Nate told Schirmer his mom taught him to turn the other cheek.  Nate then apologized to her, saying he can't forgive Schirmer for what he did.

But what Nate wanted to do was first find closure by visiting the parsonage, where Schirmer and his mother Betty lived.

That's where the jury concluded Schirmer beat Betty, then put her into the car and staged the car crash to make it look the wreck killed his wife.

Looking through the garage window, Nate continued to have questions.

"I just wish I could know exactly what was the end.  Like, what were my mom's final moments like. Like, what went on here?" asked Novack.

Nate then visited the crash site, and spent time honoring his mom there by leaving Rosary beads he received as a gift from his mom when he was a little boy.

"I just thought it was appropriate that I leave these here at this spot just in remembrance of her," said Novack.

While visiting the spot, Nate said he believed his mom was with him.

"I think she's here, yes, when we first approached the scene here. I definitely felt something. I can't really figure it out. In my heart, I know she's here," said Novack.

Nate told Newswatch 16 that was the last time he would visit the Poconos, because he said it would be just too painful to return.

Schirmer is also accused of killing his first wife, Jewel, back in 1999 in Lebanon County.

That trial is scheduled to begin in November.