Wanda Webb was born to be a prima donna. Despite meager beginnings and a repressive, conservative father, she dreamed of being somebody in her small Texas a town; to be a person of wealth and power.
Getting pregnant at the age of sixteen brought those plans to a complete halt. Wanda wed the baby’s father, Tony Harper, in a small, hurriedly planned ceremony. Soon thereafter, the couple welcomed their first child, Shane Harper, into the world. Shane’s birth would be followed within a couple of years by that of a little sister, Shanna Harper.
As is a common outcome of teenage marriages, the couple divorced amid allegations of excessive drinking, physical abuse, and infidelity. Wanda retained custody of the children.
Divorce provided Wanda with a second chance at seeking a wealthy, powerful man to marry. And custody allowed for her to mold and shape her daughter to be who she always dreamed of being.
And it became financially easier to achieve when Wanda met and married the older and financially well-to-do C.D. Holloway.
While Shane often lived in the shadows, Shanna was provided with everything that would make her who her mother wanted her to be. She had the finest clothes, dance lessons, and hosted parties of large magnitudes – designed by Mom to gain her popularity.
In 1991, Shanna was attending the Junior High School in Channelview, Texas, and able to try out for cheerleading.
Like everything else in Texas, football is a big deal. And to be a football cheerleader is as close to being a hometown sports hero as a gal can get. And since Wanda’s chance at stardom had passed, she was anxious to live vicariously through the daughter she had groomed just for this occasion.
To add extra assurance, Wanda had spent hours volunteering at the school to gain favor with staff and students.
But it was not to be.
Cheerleaders were chosen by student vote. Although Shanna’s best friend, Amber Heath, was elected to the squad, Shanna was not.
Wanda was infuriated. She ranted to anyone who would listen about the injustices of her daughter not be chosen for a spot on the cheer squad.
Wanda had always had a jealous streak a mile wide, but the jealousy was turning into something more sinister. It was turning murderous.
Despite having been divorced many years, Wanda still maintained contact with Tony’s family and now she went in search of his brother, Terry.
Terry Harper had a reputation for being an excessive drinker who often physically fought with his wives and girlfriends. More than once Terry had been a guest of the local jail.
But it he had never been a murderer, so it’s still a mystery why Wanda would turn to Terry to carry out her deadly plot. One can only assume that, constantly in financial dire straights, Wanda believe Terry would be eager to earn a nice fee that could dig him out the debt hole he lived in.
Whatever the reason, Wanda approached Terry with a plan to kill Verna Heath, Amber’s mother. Wanda believe that if Verna was murdered, Amber would be too devastated to continue on with cheerleading thus creating a vacate spot and Shanna would be a shoo-in.
What Wanda didn’t count on is Terry, while he might enjoying hitting the bottle, was no killer. And his conscience sent him straight to local authorities.
After several recorded meetings, Wanda made headlines across the nation when she was arrested for Conspiracy to Commit Murder. She soon became known as The Texas Cheerleader Murder Mom.
Soon jokes were running rampant through America about this mother who was so desperate to have her daughter on the cheer squad. In 1993, a spoof movie titled The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom, starring Holly Hunter as Wanda, would be released and serve as comical relief to an otherwise serious story.
Following a trial in latter 1991, Wanda Holloway was convicted of Solicitation of Capital Murder and sentenced to 15 years. Soon after the verdict, the conviction was overturned because it was discovered a juror had failed to disclose the fact that he was on probation. Instead of risking it with a second trial, Wanda pled no contest and a judge sentenced her to ten years. She served only six months of the ten year term before being released on probation on March 1, 1997. She was also ordered to complete 1,000 hours of community service.
Following her conviction and jail time, C.D. quietly divorced Wanda. Although most assume it has to do with Wanda’s actions, the reasons have never been publicly stated. Before his death in 2006, C.D. remarried.
Wanda maintains a very low profile these days. Some unconfirmed sources say that she is living in Dallas, Texas.
Verna Heath is now a prepaid legal services sales associate. She continues to live in the home on Wrotham Lane.
And the young girls, Shanna and Amber, about whom this whole ordeal surrounded, have both gone on to marry and have children of their own. Both still live in Texas.