E:60Journalism ShowcaseStarting 5

E:60 Investigative Reporter Tisha Thompson No Stranger to Murder-for-Hire Stories

On Sunday’s E:60 “Dead Man Walking,” investigative reporter Tisha Thompson tells the story of a boxing trainer, the woman who wanted him dead and the man who saved his life. Thompson, who has been an investigative reporter for 18 years is no stranger to these types of stories.

“One of the very first stories I ever covered was a murder-for-hire plot,” Thompson said. “It was one of my very first live shots as a television reporter in Columbia, Missouri [at KOMU-TV].”

Thompson says she has covered a murder-for-hire story in nearly every market she has worked in and although they are very different, they all have certain things in common.

Producer Kevin Shaw, Ramon Sosa and Tisha Thompson on set of E:60

“The money is always incredibly small, considering that someone wants to kill someone, and the motive is always the same,” said Thompson.

Unlike most of the prior projects however, this one has an elaborate backstory with dramatic undercover video that exists because of the courage of a man named Mundo. Mundo put his own life in danger in order to help save boxing trainer Ramon Sosa’s life.

“Although this story was covered, no one has talked to Mundo about what he went through,” Thompson said. “The focus has always been on Ramon.”

Mundo speaking on national television does potentially put his safety in danger and Thompson and producer Kevin Shaw took precautions when telling this story.

“I take the responsibility of concealing Mundo’s identity really seriously,” Thompson said. “As a reporter it’s unusual for me to promise a silhouetted interview [not revealing the person’s identity]. My personal rule has always been to only do this when a whistleblower could lose their job or someone’s life could be in danger. Mundo obviously qualifies.”

In addition to “Dead Man Walking,” E:60 reporter Jeremy Schaap will tell the story of former University of Kentucky quarterback and New York Giant Jared Lorenzen in “The Hefty Lefty,” airing Sunday at 9 a.m. ET on ESPN.

 

Journalism On Display

ESPN received a record 30 nominations in the 2018 National Association of Black Journalists’ annual Salute to Excellence Awards. The nominations spanned 18 categories and recognized work published in 2017 in the areas of Digital Media, Art & Design, Magazine, Photojournalism and Television. The winners will be announced on August 4 during the NABJ convention in Detroit.