Missing Dad Earl: Five Years Gone

On August 28, 2012, in Anniversaries, The Families, by Jody Ewing

Five years ago today, my family received news no family ever expects to hear. We were fortunate, however, in that we received a gift few families get to experience when crime comes knocking on one’s door; we each got the opportunity to see and speak to our loved one — and him to us — […]

Inside Edition Investigative Reports: Earl Thelander Copper Theft Death

On March 6, 2011, in , by Jody Ewing

INSIDE EDITION   COPPER THEFT Airdate: 5/14/2008 Doug Thelander and his family are victims of one of the fastest growing crimes in the country…copper theft. Thieves stole several feet of copper pipes from a house owned by his dad, but in the process they cut the gas line, leaving dangerous propane gas leaking into the […]

Earl Thelander

On October 26, 2010, in , by Jody Ewing

Earl Thelander — A Nation’s First Copper Thieves Steal Lives Homicide Earl Thelander 80 YOA Home Residence: 710 1st Street, Onawa, IA Crime Location: 20877 Gum Ave., Onawa, IA Monona County Investigating Agencies: Monona County Sheriff’s Office and Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Case # 07-SO0855 Date of Crime: August 28, 2007 Date of Death: […]


On October 21, 2010, in , by Jody Ewing

Onawa in Monona County Monona County Cold Cases in Onawa, Iowa       Earl Thelander Earl Thelander 80 YOA Crime Location: 20877 Gum Ave. Onawa, Iowa (Monona County) Case # 07-SO0855 Date of Crime: August 28, 2007 Date of Death: Sept. 1, 2007 Earl Thelander of Onawa, IA, died September 1, 2007 from burns […]

The Copper Theft Epidemic

On October 19, 2010, in , by Jody Ewing

Earl Thelander of Onawa, Iowa, became the nation’s first innocent copper theft fatality. Thelander died Sept. 1, 2007, after sustaining second- and third-degree burns over 80% of his body in an explosion caused by copper thieves. Cold Cases Just Waiting to Happen: The Copper Theft Epidemic Copper theft is a serious, deadly crime, and a […]

Mom and Earl – They’re Famous, You Know; You’ve Probably Heard of Them

On March 7, 2008, in The Families, by Jody Ewing

I swear I wasn’t intentionally eavesdropping. In fact, I’ve wanted to tell this story for a long time. I’d been saving it for a chapter in my book, but feel now I’ve got to share at least part of it as it relates to “Dad Earl” and my mother, Hope. The year is 1992. We’d […]

Please Support Iowa House Study Bill 660

On February 24, 2008, in Rewards, by Jody Ewing

This used to be a home. That was before copper thieves came in the night and cut propane lines and let it fill with gas to later explode with a man inside. That man was my stepfather, Earl Thelander. My grandparents used to live here. After my grandfather died, my folks purchased the rural home […]