Case of Slain Iowa H.S. Football Coach to Be Featured on Court TV
In 2008, the town of Parkersburg was devastated by the effects of an F5 tornado. In its aftermath, there was no one more suited to keep the reeling community together than its beloved high school football coach, Ed Thomas. Months later, the community would be devastated once again when Thomas himself was murdered by one of his former players.
A new series on Court TV is set to tackle the case that made local and national headlines numerous times over the last 13 years, when "Someone they Knew...with Tamron Hall" airs an episode in late March, centered around the murder of Thomas and the motivation of his killer, Mark Becker.
The show's premise hits differently than other true-crime docuseries of its type in that it will feature footage and interviews with people who were there and were impacted by the murder. According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, it is described as having "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."
Thomas had been a major pillar in the community for 34 years as its football coach, athletic director, and teacher. He also sent four players to the NFL and remains a beloved figure to the Aplington-Parkersburg community.
Mark Becker pled insanity in 2010 after fatally shooting Thomas in the weight room of the temporary high school set up following the tornado. The Gazette says Becker shot Thomas multiple times with a .22-caliber revolver before stomping on Thomas' head and body.
20 then-current or former students were present at the trial which took 3 weeks and saw Becker get sentenced to life without parole. The Ed Thomas episode of "Someone They Knew...with Tamron Hall" is scheduled to air Sunday, March 27 at 8 p.m. Find out how to watch on Court TV in our area here.