'Tireless' senior found slain in Dallas home

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by CARLA WADE and JASON WHEELER

Bio | Email | Follow: @CarlaNWade

WFAA

Posted on June 29, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Updated Saturday, Jun 29 at 10:44 PM

Woman found dead

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DALLAS — A well-known local book reviewer has been found dead in her Oak Cliff home, and police think it could be a case of murder.

Officers were dispatched to the residence of 73-year-old Penny Terk in the 6800 block of Putting Green Drive late Friday afternoon after her daughter went to check on her. She found the door was open and the home had been ransacked.

Police discovered the victim in her bedroom, "deceased from homicidal violence."

Terk loved literature so much that after her years as a schoolteacher, she wrote a new chapter in her own life.

"She was working like a 50-year-old," said friend Nancy Ashley. "I was so surprised she was 73 because she had such high energy and good ideas, and she was tireless at putting her projects into action."

Years ago, Terk started a new career in Dallas connecting book clubs and book reviewers.

"She really did a service in bringing people together and really helping them to know that each was out there," said friend Colleen Boudreaux.

Terk helped a lot of book reviewers make a name for themselves. But the compelling success story of her life came to an abrupt and violent end.

"I am so sad this is the way her life ended, because she deserved so much more dignity," Ashley said.

Friends and colleagues are stunned by the loss. Terk was organizing her annual literary showcase for early July. No one can imagine how it can go on without her; she was the crucial link bringing artists and business people together.

"I am having a really hard time accepting that she's gone... and gone in such a harsh way," said friend Kathleen Cunningham.

Police have not released any information about suspects in this case. The medical examiner has yet to rule on how Penny Terk was killed.

E-mail cwade@wfaa.com and jwheeler@wfaa.com

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