SLAYING THE GREEN-EYED MONSTER
Dr. James Merritt
1. Channelview, Texas is a neat middleclass suburb of
Houston. It is a typical bedroom community of nice
homes, nice cars, and nice families. Competition is
fierce in all sports, but recently the competition got
more than a little intense—not in football or in
basketball, but in cheerleading.
2. Amber Heath and Shanna Holloway lived right around
the corner from each other. They had been friends for
years. Amber was president of the Student Council and
Shanna was Vice President. Their mothers were also
wonderful friends. The girls both went to the same
private Christian school, and the moms would even take
turns driving those kids to school. Everything was
fine between the two families until the sixth grade.
That's when Amber beat out Shanna for cheerleader.
3. The two girls had always competed against each
other, but Amber had been competing in beauty contests
since she was four, and she always seemed to get the
edge over Shanna. Shanna's mom, who attended a local
evangelical church several times a week, and, in fact,
was the church organist, began to resent the pattern
of her daughter consistently losing out to Amber.
4. She even tried unsuccessfully to get Amber
disqualified from the cheerleading competition by
invoking a technicality in the rules. One year she
showed up at school the day students were voting for
cheerleader candidates, and handed out rulers and
pencils bearing the slogan, "Shanna Holloway—
cheerleader." But as a result of her mother's
actions, Shanna was disqualified.
5. Finally, Shanna's mother could take it no longer.
She allegedly tried to hire a hit man to kill both
Amber and her mother. Trying to find someone to do it,
she mentioned it to her former brother-in-law, who
notified the police, who wired an officer who posed as
the hit man. According to the tap ...
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