Earl Thelander Articles

On November 23, 2011, in , by Jody Ewing

News and Articles with references to
Earl Thelander death

 


Earl L. Thelander

 

May 9, 1927

to

September 1, 2007

 

 

Cold Case: Exploring Iowa’s unsolved murders

October 24, 2015 | Independence Bulletin Journal

This is a weekly feature highlighting some of Iowa’s unsolved homicides in the hopes that it will lead to new tips and potentially help solve cases. The project is a partnership between this newspaper and other members of the Iowa Newspaper Association.

ONAWA – Earl Thelander sustained second- and third-degree burns over 80% of his body in an August 28, 2007 explosion caused by copper thieves. The thieves had stripped propane gas lines from a country home that Earl and his wife Hope had been renovating.


Gone Cold: Earl Thelander

September 1, 2015 | Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

Earl Thelander got second- and third-degree burns over 80 percent of his body in an Aug. 28, 2007, explosion caused by copper thieves. Sometime overnight from Aug. 27 to Aug. 28, thieves broke into the vacant home at 20877 Gum Ave. near Onawa, which Earl and wife Hope had been renovating, and stole copper propane and water lines, causing the house to fill with gas. Earl discovered the break-in at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 28. Read More


Gone Cold: Earl Thelander

August 24, 2015 | The Carroll Daily Times Herald

Part of the GONE COLD: EXPLORING IOWA’S UNSOLVED MURDERS series.

Earl Thelander sustained second- and third-degree burns over 80% of his body in an August 28, 2007 explosion caused by copper thieves. The thieves had stripped propane gas lines from a country home that Earl and his wife Hope had been renovating.


Gone Cold: Earl Thelander, killed in 2007

August 22, 2015 | The Des Moines Register

This is a weekly feature highlighting some of Iowa’s unsolved homicides in the hopes that it will lead to new tips and potentially help solve cases. The project is a partnership between this newspaper and other members of the Iowa Newspaper Association.

Name: Earl Thelander

Age: 80

Died: September 1, 2007

Location: Onawa

Earl Thelander sustained second- and third-degree burns over 80 percent of his body in an Aug. 28, 2007, explosion caused by copper thieves. The thieves had stripped propane gas lines from a country home that Earl and his wife Hope had been renovating. Read More


Iowa’s cold cases: Website offers hope to victims’ families

May 31, 2012 | The Des Moines Register

The stories kept coming.

The year was 2005. Newspaper reporter Jody Ewing had finished her series on a half-dozen Sioux City-area cold case crimes for the Sioux City Journal magazine, the Weekender.

But months after the last paragraph published, emails and letters continued. Family members of victims, amateur crime historians and retired law enforcement officers wrote and called Ewing with more stories of unsolved crimes from across Iowa.


Keeping cold cases from being forgotten

May 11, 2012 | The Iowa City Press-Citizen

When Jody Ewing first began writing about Iowa’s unsolved murders, people would ask if she had a personal connection to a cold case that sparked her interest.

Until 2007, the answer was always no.

On Aug. 28 of that year, 80-year-old Earl Thelander of Onawa, Ewing’s stepfather, was cleaning the basement of an unoccupied rental property that had been gutted by copper thieves. Earlier that day, he and law enforcement officials had turned off the propane tank and aired out the house, but when he turned on a blower fan to dry out the basement, it ignited an explosion. Thelander died of severe burns four days later.


Legislature tackles scrap metal theft

March 26, 2012 | Iowa Senate Democrats

The theft of copper and other scrap metal from construction sites, homes and businesses is a national problem, including here in Iowa.

Not only are businesses and individuals being robbed, this is a serious threat to public safety. For example, thieves are entering homes and stealing copper wiring and tubing. That creates fire hazards and other serious dangers to Iowans. In Monona County, Earl Thelander died in 2007 from burns he suffered in an explosion after thieves stole copper piping from his rural Onawa property.

That’s why the Senate Judiciary Committee has approved House File 2399. The bill requires all scrap metal dealers to keep a record of their scrap metal purchases. The dealers are required to get the name, address and place of business of every person who sells them scrap metal. In addition the seller must provide some form of government-issued photo identification.

These records will be kept in a confidential log that law enforcement can use if needed in a criminal investigation.


Partnership to Combat Critical Infrastructure: Copper Theft

February 28, 2012 | SafeGuardIowa.org

A webinar focused on copper theft affecting critical infrastructure and designed for individuals interested in collaborating with public agencies and private-sector organizations to successfully investigate and prosecute copper thefts.

96 Webinar Slides — Earl Thelander case on page 42 under title:

Iowa Example: Homicide

Webinar Sponsored by:
  • Department of Justice — State of Iowa
  • Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management
  • Iowa Department of Public Safety Division of Intelligence
  • Iowa League of Cities
  • Iowa Municipal Attorneys Association
  • Iowa Law Enforcement Intelligence Network
  • Iowa County Attorneys Association
  • MidAmerican Energy
  • Safeguard Iowa Partnership

Stealing Copper Can Be a Deadly Crime

October 21, 2011 | KCAU-TV Channel 9, Sioux City

After a rash of attempted copper thefts, authorities want people to know the dangers from stealing copper are real.

One Siouxland family has come face to face with the deadly dangers that copper thieves can leave behind.


Propane warning for LL

By RR [WA]) Posted on Aug. 31, 2011 10:54 AM

This story about Earl Thelander is a few years old, but I just read it and realized that it could happen to ANY ONE OF US.

Here’s the story:  https://iowacoldcases.org/case-summaries/earl-thelander/

In short, copper thieves stole propane lines, house filled with propane, gas was turned off, authorities were called, the house was aired out for a couple hours, THEN:

“Earl entered the house, and, smelling no propane gas, felt it was safe for him to work. In the basement, however, he discovered water had leaked onto the floor from the cut and stolen water lines. He set up a squirrel cage blower to help expedite drying the basement floor and plugged it in. The home suddenly exploded, throwing him all the way across the room and into a basement corner.”

I probably would have done the same thing…

How could this have been prevented? How long do you need to air out a house after a major propane leak?

–76.22.104.242


COLD CASES: Death of stepfather drives woman to profile Iowa’s unsolved crimes

July 29, 2010 | WHO-TV Channel 13, Des Moines

Onawa, IA – For Jody Ewing of Onawa, near Sioux City, this is her calling. Remembering the forgotten. Profiling cold, unsolved cases throughout the state on her website iowacoldcases.org.


Iowa woman casts a wide net to catch criminals: Web site helps keep Iowa cold cases alive

The Muscatine Journal
February 12, 2010

ONAWA, Iowa – Bringing up unsolved murders can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, victims’ families hope new stories and information can cut through years of mystery and uncertainty and bring to justice the person responsible for their loved one’s murder.


‘Urban miners’ scrap plans to steal metals

The Des Moines Register
November 19, 2008

… A thief who stripped copper tubing from a propane tank in western Iowa in August was blamed for a buildup of gas in a house. The explosion killed 80-year-old Earl Thelander of Onawa.


Sioux City Journal copper theft imageCopper theft: It can have deadly consequences

The Sioux City Journal
September 28, 2008

SIOUX CITY — Even though he had retired from the plumbing and heating business, 80-year-old Earl Thelander liked to stay busy. On Aug. 28, 2007, he was cleaning up the basement of one of his rental properties in rural Onawa, Iowa, when an explosion occurred. Thelander, who suffered second- and third-degree burns over 80 percent of his body, died four days later at an Omaha burn unit.


Inside Edition: Copper Theft

May 14, 2008

The television newsmagazine reports on the nationwide copper theft epidemic and the death of Earl Thelander of Onawa, Iowa.


KTIV - Earl and Hope ThelanderRemembering Earl Thelander

KTIV News Channel 4, Sioux City
May 10, 2008

A year after his death, Earl Thelander’s family plants evergreen trees in his memory.

 

 


Remembering Earl Thelander

KMEG Channel 14, Sioux City
May 10, 2008


Copper Theft Killing Now a Cold Case Investigation

(Visit the Discussion Forum on this article here.)
Action 3 News, Omaha
May 8, 2008


U.S. News & World Report logoPrice Hikes Lead to Rash of Metal Thefts

U.S. News & World Report Magazine
March 27, 2008


Australia’s new crime wave

The Scone Advocate
March 6, 2008


Reward Offered in Copper Theft That Led to Deadly Explosion

WHO-TV Channel 13
January 8, 2008


Earl Thelander working at Monona HotelThelander Family Offers Reward for Information

KTIV News Channel 4, Sioux City
January 6, 2008

 

 


Family offers reward for information on explosion

Council Bluffs Nonpareil
December 22, 2007


Sioux City Journal article‘A good man died a needless, pointless death’

The Sioux City Journal
October 28, 2007

Two months after blast, search continues for those responsible

 

 

 

 

 


Man Dies After $20 Copper Theft

MSNBC
October 12, 2007


Victim’s family awaits copper thief’s arrest

Omaha World-Herald
October 12, 2007


KETV Image of Earl ThelanderMan Dies After $20 Copper Theft

KETV 7, Omaha
October 12, 2007

 

 

 


Man Dies After $20 Copper Theft: Onawa Police Seek Informants

KCCI Channel 8, Des Moines
October 12, 2007


Copper Theft Crackdown

WOWT News Channel 6, Omaha
September 25, 2007


Thieves target copper pipes, wiring

The Sioux City Journal
September 22, 2007


Copper Thieves Cause Explosion – Man Critically Injured

Williams Kherkher
September 18, 2007


Obituaries: Earl Thelander

Polk County Newspaper.com
September 14, 2007


Copper Theft Compromised Safety

WOWT Channel 6, Omaha
September 13, 2007


Monday’s Our View: Tragic turn
Our Position: Copper thieves responsible for man’s death

The Daily Nonpareil
September 10, 2007

While some may dub this incident an accident, it was far from it. Thelander died as the result of someone else’s disregard for the law, both natural and state mandated…


Man killed in blast died for ‘piece of copper piping’

The Des Moines Register
September 5, 2007


Robbery Suspects Face Enhanced Charges After Explosion

KTIV TV
September 4, 2007


Explosion victim dies of injuries

Denison Bulletin Review
September 4, 2007


KLEM News Update

KLEM 1410, Le Mars
September 4, 2007


Natural gas explosion leads to man’s death

Iowa State Daily
September 4, 2007


Explosion victim dies of injuries

The Daily Nonpareil
September 4, 2007


Onawa Explosion Victim Dies

WHO TV News Channel 13
September 3, 2007


Obituary: Earl Thelander

The Sioux City Journal
September 3, 2007


Onawa Explosion Victim Dies

MSNBC
September 3, 2007


Onawa man hurt in explosion dies in Omaha

The Sioux City Journal
September 3, 2007


Iowa Man Loses Fight for Life

WOWT News Channel 6, Omaha
September 3, 2007


Victim Of Robbery and Explosion Passes Away

KTIV TV News Channel 4
September 1, 2007


Man Recovering After House Explodes

WHO TV News Channel 13
August 31, 2007


Home explodes after thief nabs copper pipes

The Record Herald and Indianola Tribune
August 30, 2007


Victim’s Family Speaks Out About Copper Crime Explosion

KTIV TV News Channel 4
August 30, 2007


Iowa Man Burned in Explosion

WOWT News Channel 6, Omaha
August 30, 2007


Onawa man hospitalized after home explodes

The Sioux City Journal
August 30, 2007


Copper theft results in explosion, injuries

Omaha World-Herald
August 30, 2007


Home Explodes After Thief Nabs Copper Pipes

DTN Blogs
August 30, 2007


Onawa Man Injured in House Explosion: Officials Say Burglar Tried to Steal Copper Propane Line

KETV 7, Omaha
August 29, 2007


Onawa man injured in house explosion

Associated Press
August 29, 2007


Blast Victim In ‘Critical’ Condition

KTIV TV News Channel 4
August 29, 2007


Onawa man hurt in house explosion

The Sioux City Journal
August 29, 2007


Copper Theft blamed for house explosion

The Des Moines Register
August 29, 2007


House Explosion

Godlike Productions (from KCAU TV)
August 28, 2007


Explosion Damages Onawa, IA Home

KTIV TV
August 28, 2007


KTIV - Top Story imageTop Story: Rural Onawa, IA Home Explodes

KTIV TV
August 28, 2007