Mother of murdered 2001 Rockwall H.S. grad to speak about dating violence dangers

Jennifer Pankz

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The mother of murdered 2001 Rockwall High School graduate Jennifer Pankz will speak to the community about the dangers of dating violence, Oct. 29, 7 pm, at Rockwall ISD’s ADministration Building, room 600, 1050 Williams St/Hwy 66 (next to Helping Hands).

Rowlett resident Tanya Pankz, the former branch manager of all three First Convenience Bank locations in Rockwall, will join family violence survivor and Rockwall resident J.J. Smith, plus a law enforcement officer to speak, in hopes of preventing further injuries or deaths from occuring among local teens.

Seventy-five percent of teens have either personally experienced dating violence or know someone who has, according to a recent study by the Texas Council On Family Violence.

The presentation is also an effort to recruit volunteers to join the new Rockwall County Coalition Against Family Violence, initially organized by Smith, founder of the Lillian Smith Family Violence Foundation.

“Jen,” the daughter of Brian and Tanya Pankz of Rowlett, was murdered Dec. 27, 2002, by a boy whom she had been dating at the University of North Texas (UNT), after she told him she didn’t want to continue dating anymore because she had just learned that he was taking steroids. She had just completed her first semester in college.

The killer pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 45 years in prison, although he becomes eligible for parole after 22.5 years.

For more information, contact J.J. Smith, either by phone at 214-256-4071 or email

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