Tarrant Case Nets Record Audience

Earlier this month, On The Case With Paula Zahn featured a 25-year-old Tarrant County case – and it was the most watched episode in the show’s history.

More than 1 million viewers tuned in to watch the episode “A Knock on the Door,” making it one of the top 10 telecasts of all time to air on the Investigation Discovery Channel,  according to the website TV by the Numbers.

The episode featured the brutal slaying of 27-year-old Sandra Martin, who was bound, gagged and fatally shot on Sept. 22, 1986, while her two young children watched television in a nearby room. Her murder went unsolved until 2009, when Fort Worth police linked fingerprints on the duct tape wrapped around Martin’s body.

The fingerprints belonged to Jay Thayer Williams – a Dallas real estate agent who had posed as a prospective buyer to gain entry into the home, which Martin and her husband had put up for sale.

In 2011, nearly 25 years after Martin’s death, Assistant District Attorneys Kevin Rousseau and Tamla Ray prosecuted Williams for Martin’s brutal slaying. The jury deliberated about two hours before convicting him of capital murder.

Because prosecutors waived the death penalty, Williams was automatically sentenced to life in prison.

Kevin Rousseau speaks to show producers

Rousseau flew to New York last year to speak with Paula Zahn about the case and producers also traveled to Tarrant County to research and film the episode. Retired District Attorney Investigator Mike De La Flor is also featured on the show.

It’s a fascinating case and the show is well-done. Watch full episode below.  

A Knock at the Door from Tarrant County DA on Vimeo.


 - Melody McDonald, Public Information Officer

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