Penny Terk portrait via

Penny Terk portrait via

A 73-year old woman, well known in the Lakewood community, was violently murdered in her Oak Cliff home. Police say they now have arrested a suspect.

Penny Terk, the popular book reviewer and founder of — a website that helps book clubs find entertaining speakers — was killed in her Oak Cliff home last Tuesday, according to a police report.

Police have charged Gary Anthony Sanders in Terk’s death. Sanders stands accused of robbing Terk’s Putting Green Drive home  before strangling and stabbing her.

Terk, a youthful and active 73-year old, was popular with the Lake Highlands Book Review Club (which meets in East Dallas and includes many Lakewood residents). Several years ago we published a short article about her in the Lakewood Advocate, alongside our story about the club‘s 50th anniversary.

The spirited ex-actress told us then that her favorite book on which to lecture was ‘Secrets Under the Bridge’ by Overton Shelmire. “It’s the bio of the Dallas architect who designed the Anatole Hotel, and it’s just a wonderful history of Dallas here in the 1930s,” she had opined.

Police have arrested

Police have arrested Gary Anthony Sanders in connection with Terk’s death

In a June 25 email, Terk asked that subscribers help spread the word about’s annual Summer Showcase, a networking event for book club leaders and speakers set for July 11. No word on whether the event will still take place; several of  the speakers Terk represents were slated to appear.

She had a firecracker personality — I recall her snapping at me the first time I called her and then relenting after learning I was a reporter and not an advertising rep with the Advocate.

Her untimely death will no doubt leave a gaping hole and a great deal of sorrow in the communities where she lived, worked and socialized.

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