The Johnston family of suburban Atlanta, Ga., appear to be an ordinary, close-knit, churchgoing family, but they're sitting on one of the most extraordinary and worst-kept secrets in their town.
It's a secret that revolves around the oldest daughter, Heather, whose momentary thirst for easy money changed her family's life forever.
By all accounts, Heather was a good kid, a star tennis player who was on her way to college, but she was living a secret life that would lead to a crime so brazen and bizarre that it would make headlines all across America.
Now, instead of college, the former high school scholarship winner could end up spending the next decade in prison. In an exclusive interview with "Primetime," Heather explained how she went from straight-A student to stripper to bank robber.
The Winkler family would also see their lives changed forever because of family secrets. The charismatic young preacher Matthew Winkler and his beautiful wife, Mary, met at Bible College. Along with their three young daughters, this picture-perfect couple had the pride and respect of their 200-person congregation of the 4th Street Church of Christ in Selmer, Tenn. The Church of Christ is a religion that believes in the literal interpretation of the Bible — men set the rules in their families, divorce is frowned upon and there is no room for women as church officials.
One summer evening the preacher never arrived for the weekly Wednesday night service. When church officials stopped by his house looking for Matthew, they found him dead, shot in the back with a shotgun blast. Worse still, his wife and three young daughters had vanished without a trace along with the family minivan. A nationwide Amber Alert went out searching for the mother and her daughters, as church officials pondered what demons had visited this man of God and his family.
The answer behind this mystery lie hidden in a web of family secrets, and accusations of financial wrongdoing, violence and sexual secrets that would eventually explode into public view, painting a very different portrait of the relationship between the God-fearing preacher and his wife.
Watch these stories Tuesday at 10 p.m. EDT.
This summer, "Primetime: Family Secrets" goes behind closed doors and sees firsthand the secrets most families would never talk about. Other stories profiled include a real wild child, locked in a house in Austin, Texas, for eight years and the skeletons in the closet of one of Hollywood's most infamous families, the Baldwin brothers, whose "black sheep brother," Daniel Baldwin, allows viewers inside his rehabilitation program.
Each episode looks at the poignant and sometimes shocking secrets of families — why they keep them, how they keep them and what happens when the truth finally surfaces. Tune in Tuesday at 10 p.m. EDT.