Two decades after Channelview’s “Pom Pom Mom” took out a hit on another mother, her daughter is ready to talk about the story that thrust her family into the national spotlight.
Shanna Widner, now 34 and a mother herself, appeared on Good Morning America Tuesday to discuss the case, which has forever changed her relationship with her mother, Wanda Webb Holloway. “We do not have a very close relationship,” Widner said. “We don’t have a mother-daughter relationship where you sit around and gossip.” (This is a far cry from back in the early ’90s, when Wanda and Shanna were known to wear matching mother-daughter outfits, including a cheerleader suit).
Widner is breaking her twenty-year silence on the case now after time in therapy. “When it all happened, it wasn’t talked about in my family,” Widner said. “We didn’t discuss it. It was like it didn’t happen. It was just put on the backburner like nothing had happened.”
Shanna was in eighth grade when her mother decided that the only way to assure Shanna a spot on the cheerleading squad at Channelview High School, was to take out a hit on Verna Heath, the mother of their neighbor, thirteen-year-old Amber, who was also a cheerleader. Holloway enlisted her former brother-in-law to commit the murder, but the plan unraveled when he went to the police.
For a refresher on the whole case, revisit Mimi Swartz’s 7,000-word TEXAS MONTHLY piece on Wanda Holloway’s crime and the town that shaped it.