After Donnah Winger’s murder, her family helps with her infant daughter: Part 3

Donnah Winger’s family helped her husband take care of their infant daughter, but eventually encouraged him to hire a nanny. He hired Rebecca Simic.
7:57 | 04/17/21

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Transcript for After Donnah Winger’s murder, her family helps with her infant daughter: Part 3
It was around 11:03 on a Tuesday evening when, all of a sudden, we got a phone call. And it was Mike Datz. And Mike Datz said to me, I've got some very bad news to tell you. I remember screaming, Ira, tell me. Tell me what is wrong. And finally he said to me, Sara Jane, donnah was murdered. And I said to him, murdered? What are you talking about? And then I finally said to him, we have to tell the girls, and I have to break their hearts. It was 4:00 in the morning. And I said, Jenny, it's mom. Something terrible has happened. My mother begins to sob and says, donnah's dead. Donnah's dead. I couldn't think. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't understand. And we sat there in my room, the four of us, just crying at this unimaginable loss. And Wednesday morning, we were on an 8:00 plane to Springfield. We went right to the rabbi's house. The first night, in the jewish religion, you have a prayer service in the evening. And the rabbi was just ready to start the service when mark walked in with the baby in his hand, and everybody cried. We had heard right away that it was Roger. I couldn't imagine what an evil person he was and why he would do such a horrendous thing. Springfield's a small town and a small community. And a case like this is shocking to everyone in the area. The details, when they came out, then people started imagining how someone at random could take a hammer and kill this woman. I kept thinking to myself, oh, my goodness, how awful. This evil man was so close to my brother-in-law. How horrific that he had to go through this experience and watch his wife being murdered. My mother and I started to go to Illinois. We were taking turns in taking care of the baby. In the beginning, it was fine. But as I think back, mark was quiet. He was off in his own little world. I spent a lot of time with mark. And I'm observing these odd behaviors. He was drinking a lot. He would go to bars. He would watch movies like "Pulp fiction." And you will know my name is the lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee! This movie is violent. After what he just went through, why did he pick this movie? But if this is the way that mark grieves, then I will have to accept that. You really can't judge anybody by how they grieve. When you lose somebody close to you, it's devastating. You never know how somebody is going to react. I didn't understand it, but I loved him because he loved donnah, and that's what was important to me. But I had to be very careful. Because I did not want to ruin my relationship with him. Because I did not want to ruin my relationship with the baby. I wanted to be a grandma, and she made me a grandma. We tried very hard to make sure that Bailey had everything that she needed. We couldn't keep going up there and taking care of Bailey, and we needed to get him some help. So, I suggested to mark that he hire a nanny. And in comes Rebecca, this young, beautiful, tall, blond nanny who has a heart of gold, wants to help out this poor man. She was just adorable, which made me a little nervous because she was really cute. This is Rebecca interview take one. This is the first time I've sat down to tell my story. Mark just had a way of being extremely influential in that I needed to accept this position. I was going to become her nanny, Can you say hi? I would move into the home and take care of her basic needs. And I just felt like she deserved the best. Mark asked me to train her, to show her all the things about the baby. And I felt really good about that. Say hi. Can you say hi to grandma? I think deep down I didn't want to like Rebecca, but it was hard not to like her, and seeing her with Bailey, there was really nothing bad we could say about her. Stand up here. Show grandma how you stand in your crib. I was blown away at what this little girl had been through in her life in such a short time. She lost two mothers by the time she was 3 months old, and she was so smiling. Can you say hi? Hmm? I wanted to get in there and say, I'm going to help, and I'm going make this little girl's life better. There she is, standing in her crib. It was a big responsibility, but I was ready for her. Like, Bailey made me a mom, and sometimes a child has to appear for the mom to be created. Bailey's kind of the start of great things for Rebecca. There she is, the most beautiful girl in the world. There she is. Mark called up one day, and he said to me, "I just want to tell you some good news." The nanny was pregnant. Oh, my god, what is happening

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