cover image Mother Love, Deadly Love: The Texas Cheerleader Murder Plot

Mother Love, Deadly Love: The Texas Cheerleader Murder Plot

Anne McDonald Maier. Carol Publishing Corporation, $18.95 (240pp) ISBN 978-1-55972-137-0

The bizarre case of Wanda Holloway, arrested and tried in 1991 for soliciting the murder of Verna Heath, mother of her daughter's junior-high-school cheerleading rival, is detailed by a People magazine staffer and lawyer. Maier explains that cheerleading is so important in Texas because high school football is such a major preoccupation there; she also tells of Holloway's teenage ambition, frustrated by her puritanical father, to be a pompom girl. While she pushed her daughter Shanna to be what she had been denied, Heath was also promoting her daughter Amber to be a cheerleader. Although the two women had been friends before Amber began beating out Shanna, Holloway wanted Amber's mother dead so that Amber could not compete. When Holloway asked her ex-brother-in-law to hire a hit man to kill Heath, he took her request to the police. Although convicted, Holloway is free on a technicality and the case is before an appeals court. A straightforward account of a pathologically twisted plan. Photos not seen by PW. (Nov.)