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A contradictory coroner's report

Posted on January 26, 2014 at 4:55 PM Comments comments (44)

   I recently had a chance to visit many of the sites in Ada that are important to the Haraway disappearance. I visited the site where she was found near Gerty, I visited the residence where Tommy lived at the time of her disappearance as well as the location of the power plant where it was originally believed she was killed and I once again visited the Brook trailer park where I found that one of the key suspects lived within a few dozen yards of the Trailer 95 where Haraway was spotted prior to disappearance. My tour guides, Sandy and her lovely mother, had attended the original trials and visited Karl and Tommy on death row. They shared 30 years worth of research with me and all I can say about what I saw was WOW!.


     One of the most interesting documents that Sandy and her mother shared with me was a three page copy of the coroner's report. I had previously requested a copy of the report, twice, and was only sent the front page both times. According the the front page of the coroner's report, Haraway's cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head. The diagram of the wound was on another page. According to this page, Haraway appears to have been shot execution style with the bullet entering the lower back of the skull and exiting the upper front. This could happen a variety of ways. Picture in your head someone on their knees praying with their head down and someone put a bullet to the back of their head and pulls the trigger. This would be one possibility. However after visiting the area where she was found, and assuming she died there, it is possible that she was walking up a hill and someone walking behind her pulled a gun and shot her. This would also cause the projectile to sore into the air making it impossible to find. However, this was not the contradiction I noticed. On one page of the report, after listing the cause of death as a gunshot wound to the head, the notes state that she was kidnapped by two men who were already in prison for her death. It goes on to say that she was raped and stabbed to death by the old power plant.


     The prosecutors in this case was so determined that they had the right killers that they did not want to hear anything other possiblities. This is evident by the coroner's report actually listed two different causes of death on the same report.

Should Bill Peterson be prosecuted?

Posted on January 11, 2014 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (0)

     Sorry for the absence. I took some time off to spend with the family. December 31st has come and gone and no word of whether or not The Oklahoma Innocence Project had any issues with Pontotoc County DA Chris Ross turning over all of the requested documents. One can assume that in this case, not hearing is a positive thing. This may mean that The OIC has not have to file any further grievences against the state to get the information needed. I have spoken to a woman in Ada that has seen many of these 800 pages of evidence withheld from the defense attorneys of Karl and Tommy by former DA Bill Peterson. Should Karl and Tommy be exonerated I feel that some sort of criminal negligence should be filed against the prosecutors on this case for the withholding of evidence. This happened recently in a now famous Texas case where the DA, who was now a judge, was actually sentenced to prison and lost his license to practice because an innocent man spent years in prison when the DA withheld crucial evidence. The man's name was Michael Morton and he spent 25 years in prison because evidence was both withheld and ignored. If you have not seen the documentary, An Unreal Dream: The Michael Morton Story, follow the website below for more information on this case. Cases like these give hope to all of those that are wrongfully convicted.

 

http://www.anunrealdream.com/

 

Trailer 95

Posted on December 23, 2013 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (2)

     In May of 1985, Private Detective Richard Kerner interviewed Mildred Gandy in her home in Choctaw, Ok., about a claim she had of seeing Denice Haraway five weeks before her disappearance at Brook Trailer Park located North of present day Country Club Road. Mildred reported seeing Haraway in a door way of Trailer 95. The trailer was know as a party place for construction workers building the new McDonald's in Ada. Also at this home was seen an older model Chevy pickup matching the description of the truck that was seen at McAnally's the night of Haraway's disappearance. Whoever lived in this trailer during this time could surely shed some light on what may have happened to Denice Haraway.

 

     Recent correspondence with a person close to this case may shed some light on the mysterious Trailer 95. Do to an agreement with this individual, his name and the names of possible suspects will not be included here. However, this individual claims to have seen Haraway with some men in a trailer that may have been located in the Brook Trailer Park. He could not remember the exact location of the park but thought it might have been here.

 

     Today the Brook Trailer Park is under new ownership. The park probably looks very similar to the way it did 30 years ago as the trailers are very run down. It is not hard to imagine by looking at them now that this could have been a place where wild parties would have taken place. It is located on paved road just north of the Wal-Mart and many of the trailers are now gone or seem abandoned. This is the case for Trailer 95. The trailer is one of two numbering in the 90's that is no longer there. There is no telling how long it has been gone but with it is gone any traces of Denice Haraway and clue as to what may have come of her.

Rip Van Winkle

Posted on December 16, 2013 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (1)

     Everyone knows the story of Rip Van Winkle. He slept for 20 years. He missed the death of his wife, the birth of his grandson, the marriage of his daughter and the entire Revolutionary War. Twenty years is a lot of time to miss out on. When Rip Van Winkle awoke the world was somewhat unrecognizable. So much had changed. Friends had forgotten about him and he had little compared to what he had when he began his little nap.


     Karl Fontenot is like a modern day Rip Van Winkle. While he may not have been asleep for the last 20 years, he has been lost so much in his nearly three decades of encarceration for a crime he did not commit. When Karl was arrest, there was no such thing as a cell phone, laptops and tablet computers. There was no Playstation or Xbox. If you wanted to correspond with someone, you mailed a letter. Today you pull out your smartphone and send an email. The internet was not even a word that people knew. Karl has lost friends and family. He has missed out on wars and major events.


     When Karl is finally cleared of all his charges, he will leave prison with the clothes he has and a GED which he acquired only a couple of years ago. He will leave prison without family there to meet him with open arms. His walk out of that prison will be met with a few members of the media and possibly a few of the pen pals that he has had over the years. He will be lost in a world he no longer recognize. A world where even the most common of men have a cell phone and satellite televison. He will re-enter the world without the necessary skills to provide for himself. He will begin a life like he has never had. A life that he deserves to have. Karl's story is not Rip's, it is Karl's and it is still waiting to be told. The beginning and the middle has been written and now only needs an ending. Hopefully that ending will be written soon and the whole world will know of the things Karl missed and how he overcame and survived.  

Wrongful Conviction

Posted on December 6, 2013 at 9:25 PM Comments comments (0)

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    There are no known numbers on the amount of people still in prison that was wrongfully convicted. It is an obvious problem that will not go away until each state makes a solid effort to ensure that laws make it very difficult for police and prosecutors to lie and pressure innocent people to confess of crimes they did not commit or to enlist jail house snitches to lie against innocent people.


Why do innocent people confess to crimes they did not commit?

Posted on November 29, 2013 at 2:25 PM Comments comments (0)

     Shortly after the release of "The Innocent Man", John Grisham toured the country promoting The Innocence Project. One stop on this tour was at the Oklahoma City University Law Department where they had recently founded The Oklahoma Innocence Project. In the video (link below) John Grisham explains how an innocent person gets convicted for a crime they did not commit. Not only will this video help explain what wrongfully convicted means, it will teach you to do and not do if you are ever wrongfully accussed.


http://vimeo.com/7144433

The Medical Examiner's Report

Posted on November 24, 2013 at 7:50 PM Comments comments (97)

The Front Page

 

     Donna Denice Haraway was born August, 19, 1959. She was a married white female that was 24 years old at the time of her death. She lived at 202 E. 14th in Ada, Ok. This information was contained in the first two lines of the “Report of Investigation by Medical Examiner”. This report goes on to say that her death was “violent, unusual, or unnatural” and that the cause of death was a “firearm”.

 

     Donna’s skeletal remains were found one mile south and three and a half miles west of Gerty, Ok., off a rural county road in Hughes County. Her remains were found in a wooded area at 5pm on January 21, 1986. She had been missing since April 28, 1984. The autopsy report would go on to say the following about the remains:

“Completely skeletonized remains identified via dental records and showing an entry gunshot wound to the left occiput and an exit gunshot wound to the right temporal region. See CME series forms for details of remains. Also included were decomposing items of clothing and an earring”.

 

     The medical examiner listed the manner of death as a homicide and probable cause of death as a “gunshot wound to the head”. The medical examiner was Larry Balding, M.E. The report was dated January 22, 1986.

 

      I received a copy of this report a few months back. Notice in the notes section it is stated that there were also CME series forms with more details. I requested this report three different times and each time only the main page was sent. It was not until a later report by Brent Turvey, Adjunct Professor at Oklahoma City University, that I would learn of the information included in the other pages.

 

The Missing Pages

 

     Brent Turvey (crimereconstruction.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-denice-haraway-case-abduction.html) was asked by the Oklahoma Innocence Project to review the medical examiner’s report and give his expert opinion. In his report, he states that it is believed that Denise Haraway had given birth shortly before her death. If this is true, this means that she would have been held for some time before she was murdered. The family claims that they were unaware of her pregnancy and no infant remains were found. The officers securing the scene did take photos of the remains, but no photos of the personal effects were known to be taken.

 

 

What is a dream?

Posted on November 24, 2013 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)

     According to Merriam-Webster dictionary (2013), a dream is "a series of thoughts, visions, or feelings that happen during sleep". However, the dictionary also gives an alternate definition of "an idea or vision that is created in your imagination and that is not real". Tommy Ward relayed a dream that he had to members of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) and the Ada Police of how he had killed Denise Haraway. They took this dream and turned it into a confession. A teenage boy tells a dream to law enforcements officials that are trained to make logical conclusions through thorough interrogations. These men took this dream and decided that Tommy had to be telling the truth because he would not have had this dream had he not committed the crime. As previously mentioned, a dream is something created by your imagination that is not real. A person trained in interrogations techniques should be able to understand that the dream was not based on reality. But they did not want to do this. They were being pressured by the family and friends of Denise Haraway, as well as the general public, to make an arrest. They viewed this moment as an opportunity to put everyone at ease. A person can have a dream of a past event that they experienced, but they can also just have a dream with little meaning. I once dreamed that I was flying. I stretched my arm out and ran as fast as I could before lifting off the ground and soaring through the air like an eagle. I soon woke up disappointed that I was not flying but simply sitting at my desk having nodded off in a moment of boredom. My point is that my dream made no sense and a reasonable person would have understood this. Tommy's dream made no sense either. First of all, there were three men in his dream committing the act. However, only two were arrested and charged. Why is this? The third man, Odell Titsworth, was not arrested because the third man was already in jail for an unrelated crime. This should have been the first clue. Second, Karl knew nothing about Tommy's dream until the police began to relay the details. This should have been the second clue. Finally, the detail changed multiple times during the relaying of the dream. This should have been the final clue that told the detectives something just was not right. But it wasn't. Instead of letting two men go free, they arrested them for a crime they did not commit.

Imagine this is you!

Posted on November 20, 2013 at 8:55 PM Comments comments (0)

     Imagine one day enjoying your surroundings and feeling that things could not get any better. Perhaps it is summer time and you are at the lake. You are enjoying the warm sunrays bouncing off the water as you float on an innertube. Or maybe it is winter time in New York and you are iceskating with your family. Suddenly your heart skips a beat when you see a child fall, perhaps only briefly until you see the child is unharmed. It is times like these that make life worth living. These things give your life purpose, a sense of meaning. Now, imagine laying in bed suddenly awaked by the loud noise of a swat team surrounding your bed with assault rifles pointed at you from all directions. Or perhaps a knock on the door finds a detective wanting you to come down to the station for a few questions. Before you know it you are being charged with a crime you did not commit. Not only did you not commit the crime, the things are so horrific that you couldn't imagine how a human being could do such a thing. Sadly this does occur and it occurs more than most people would like to admit. In fact, the statistical data on wrongfully accused is absolutely shocking.


  • There are a known 300+ exonerees, based on DNA, in the history of the United States
  • Nearly two dozen of these men and women where originally sentenced to death and lived in America's brutal death row system
  • The exonerees have come from 35 different states and the District of Columbia
  • Average time served before exonerated: 13.6 years


     These are only a few of the known stats regarding those who have been wrongfully accused. In fact, these points only cover those cases that contained some sort of DNA evidence. There are no numbers on those innocent men and women that are in jail for non-violent crimes or crimes in which there is no DNA found at the crime scene. There are also no numbers on how many innocent men and women have actually been executed because of false confessions, public pressure for police to solve a crime, or simply because no one cared enough to listen to their pleas of innocence.


     Whether you are for or against the death penalty, every person deserves to have a fair chance at freedom. The law states that "you are innocent until proven guilty". Unfortunately, in both the legal system and the court of public opinion, this often is not the case. Too many times the public and law enforcement officials view a person as guilty until proven innocent. When a police officer, judge, District Attorney, or jury has made up their mind as to a person's guilt there is no amount of evidence that can convince them otherwise. The 300+ men and women that have been exonerated are living proof of the injustice we see every day in our legal system.


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