Crime

Police Arrest Person of Interest in Murder of Beloved Book Reviewer Penny Terk

Penny Terk, 73, was a former actress who'd become the toast of book review clubs across Dallas. In a few weeks, she was set to host her annual Summertime Showcase, a conclave for book club leaders and speakers, where "a LIMITED number of rectangular vending tables must be reserved in advance at $20 each."

Per her website, vendors were advised to bring their own tablecloths. But by Friday, her daughter grew worried. She hadn't heard from Terk since Wednesday. So she drove to Terk's home on Putting Green Drive in southern Dallas at around 4:45 Friday afternoon and found the door unlocked. She pushed it open. The house was in "disarray," according to the police report. Her daughter backed out of the door and dialed 911. When police arrived, they found Terk, strangled, stabbed and shot to death.

Missing from her home: A few leaf blowers, weed trimmers and an appliance described only as a "Magnavox."

On Sunday, a 50-year-old man named Gary Anthony Sanders was booked into a Dallas County jail in connection with the burglary. He's considered a person of interest in her murder, and has a lengthy list of priors, including aggravated robbery and burglary.

Friends described Terk as a bundle of energy, who'd dedicated her life to books and to sharing her opinions of them. A friend told WFAA-TV: "I am having a really hard time accepting that she's gone ... and gone in such a harsh way."

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Brantley Hargrove