116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
A Court TV weekly series that started earlier this month will feature the 2009 Iowa murder case of legendary Aplington/Parkersburg High School football coach Ed Thomas, who was gunned down during an early morning workout by one of his former players.
The Thomas episode will be on the true-crime series, “Someone They Knew with Tamron Hall,” which follows the path from victim to verdict and will explore how, when it comes to murder, it is rare for there to be no previous connection between the killer and the deceased, according to a series’ news release.
There are no voice-overs, reporters or correspondents in the series. The stories are told from the point of view of the people impacted by the murder, including the lawyers, jurors, members of law enforcement and the victim's family and friends. Using new interviews, archival footage and re-creations of the crime, the goal of each episode is a balanced story, according to Court TV.
“When the idea of a series focused on crimes committed by intimate partners was presented to me, I felt a deep connection to these victims,” Hall, award-winning TV host, journalist and author, said in a statement. “I have always been pulled into the ‘why’ — why crimes like this happen — and the heartbreaking impact they have on family and friends. Court TV represents an additional, trusted partner to support the important work that I do.”
The June 24, 2009, murder shocked the close-knit community that was still recovering from an EF-5 tornado that leveled it over a year before. Thomas was a pillar in the community. He worked in the school district for 34 years as a social studies teacher, athletic director and football coach. Four of his former athletes play in the NFL.
A former high school football player, Mark Becker, who claimed insanity at his 2010 trial in Butler County District Court, fatally shot Thomas in the weight room of the temporary high school. Becker, using a .22 caliber-revolver taken from his parent’s home, shot Thomas multiple times before stomping on his head and body.
About 20 students were in the room and some testified during the three-week trial.
Becker was convicted of first-degree murder and is serving a life sentence without parole.
The episode on Thomas will be at 8 p.m. March 27.
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