A mother of a local student killed by her boyfriend spoke to students at Bettendorf on Monday, Feb. 26 regarding teen dating violence.
Vicki Crompton- Tetter, who's daughter Jennifer, a student of Pleasant Valley, was killed by her boyfriend in 1986.
On the afternoon of Sept. 26, 1986, Mark Smith broke into the Jennifer’s family’s home and stabbed her 44 times in the back and 22 times in the chest.
Jennifer and Smith had dated for many months, but the relationship ended after Smith began stalking her and becoming overly jealous. Smith followed her to friends’ houses and called her continuously if she didn't answer.
Jennifer stayed with Smith until Jennifer got tired of his possessive behavior and broke up with him.
“He only became more desperate,” Vicki said about Smith’s behaviors after the breakup.
Smith did not let the break up stop him from following her, showing up at her house, and breaking in. Smith left notes for her in her locker and on her front door threatening her.
Vicki never expected something like this to happen.
“I used to think that this is the Quad Cities, and this kind of stuff doesn’t happen here,” Vicki said.
Three days after Jennifer was killed, Smith was arrested for the murder of Jennifer.
After a 10 day trial, Smith was convicted of first-degree murder with life in prison and no chance of parole.
“The night before Jennifer died, we had an argument. I told her that it would destroy me if anything happened to her, and it just about did,” Vicki said.
After the assembly, students were shocked and touched by the message.
“It was upsetting to hear that a young girl had her life ended so brutally, and that no one realized what was going on between Jenny and Mark,” Samantha Foht said.
Other students were impressed with the way that Vicki told the story.
“Vicki described her story strongly and left us with no questions. Her talk made me realize how easily someone could go,” Sophie Tidrick said.
“I was impressed that she was able to share such a hard story about her past to warn and benefit students,” Kaitlynn Flick.
In 2004, Vicki coauthored a book, "Saving Beauty from the Beast," about protecting teens from dating violence.
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month to raise awareness about dating violence in communities across the country.