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Version 3.8
Copyright 2001-2008
JusticeForWoody.net site last revised 1/17/06
fair use notice

Killing Reaction Cases Evidence Analysis Media Woody

J.B.C. Thomas

J.B.C 'Tommy' Thomas was one of only a few of the 18 civilian witnesses to Woody's shooting who was willing to make public statements about the events they witnessed on December 2, prior to the conclusion of Sorrell's 'investigation'. Tommy made what was probably his last public statement about what he observed that day at the Brattleboro town forum held on January 20th. Following an earlier statement by John Martin defending the return of the shooters to active duty 10 days after they shot Woody, Thomas stated that he and others he spoke to saw Woody shot while he was lying on the floor. Just nine days later, on January 29th, Tommy died suddenly. His obituary, which appeared in the Brattleboro Reformer, is excerpted here:

As an activist for liberal causes, he cared passionately about issues of justice and was very involved in community affairs. He had been president of All Souls Unitarian Church, president of the board of the Brattleboro Music Center and the Brattleboro Area Drop In Center. Currently, he had been serving as president of the Windham Arts Council and the Marlboro Conservation Commission.

Jim Hoffman, a friend of Woody, had the following to say about Thomas.

A number of us who probably never would have met Tommy got a glimpse of who he was (and remains in spirit) in the wake of the killing of Woody, and even that glimpse was a gift. It is clear that Tommy was motivated by the truth, for even though he stood nothing to gain by recounting the events he witnessed, and sympathized with all involved, including the police, He patiently recounted the terrible events of December 2 three times that I witnessed, and I don't know how many other times, a story which does not fit with the official version of events. I wish I had gotten a chance to talk to Tommy about some of his many other accomplishments in life, or to go skiing with him. (He had been skiing the Vermont slopes the day before he died.) It felt like some part of Woody died in me when Tommy did, some part I was still hanging onto in Tommy's commitment to the truth.

Tommy's passing is clearly a huge loss to many. Obviously his family suffers from his loss, as he is survived by his wife, three children, seven grandchildren and two brothers. Given his active civic role, the local community has suffered a loss as well. And to the friends and family of Woody, the loss is not only to their ability to learn the truth of what happened on December 2, but also of the person who had so selflessly shared with them what he had witnessed.


page last modified: 2005-12-14