Thursday, September 27, 2007

Tommy Ward The Confession and Comments From Family


Today I received another comment on my blog, Barbara's Journey Toward Justice, from a family member of Tommy Ward.
Tommy Ward and Karl Fontenot were convicted of murdering Denice Haraway. Haraway, 24, worked part-time at McAnally’s convenience store in Ada, Oklahoma, USA.
John Grisham describes how they finally cracked the case:
After two hours of non-stop hammering, Tommy finally cracked. The pressure came from fear – Smith and Rogers (the police detectives) were angry and seemed perfectly able and willing to slap him around if not outright shoot him – but also from the horror of wasting away on death row before finally getting executed. And it was obvious to Tommy that he would not be allowed to leave until he gave the cops something. After five hours in the room, he was exhausted, confused, and almost paralyzed with fear. He made a mistake, one that would send him to death row and eventually cost him his freedom for life.

Tommy decided to play along… more..
Tommy was brain-dead and barely able to mumble. He tried to recite their tale, but kept getting the facts mixed up. Smith and Rogers would stop him, repeat their fiction, and make him start over. Finally, after four rehearsals with little improvement and their star fading fast, the cops decided to turn on the camera. “Do it now”, they said to Tommy. "Do it right, and none of that dream bullshit."

“But the story ain’t true”, Tommy said. “Just tell it anyway, the cops insisted, then we’ll help you prove it’s not true. And none of that dream bullshit.”…

At 6:58 p.m. Tommy Ward looked at the camera and stated his name. He had been interrogated for eight and a half hours, and he was physically and emotionally wasted… He told his tale. He, Karl Fontenot, and Odell Titsworth kidnapped Denice Haraway from the store, drove out to the power plant on the west side of town, raped her, killed her… Thirty-one minutes later the video was turned off.. END

The “confession” Tommy Ward made to the police wasn’t quite a confession, since the crime as he described it took place in a dream, rather than in real life. The policemen were unable to find the body where Tommy described it in his dream. Smith and Rogers used similar methods to get a confession out of Karl Fontenot.Tommy and Karl have been incarcerated about 22 years.
Tommy is serving a life sentence. Karl's sentence: life without parole.
As they serve another man's sentence, the real killer walks free.
Please read the heartbreaking comments his family made on my blog, Barbara's Journey Toward Justice
Here is one of them:

I am one of Tommy Ward's first cousins. My cousin... I am one of Tommy Ward's first cousins. My cousin Joice is a strong woman and very vocal, she is not afraid to tell it like it is. Tommy's case had really put a rift between some of our relatives. My family and Tommy's have always stood our ground and stood beside Tommy, in believing that Tommy is innocent. Tommy was really close to my Mom and Dad. What Joice told you is true. We want our families to be healed from this anguish and hell we have been going through for the past 22 years. My cousin was unable to have adequate council in the very beginning, because my aunt and uncle could not afford it. Our families didn't have much money, but what we lacked in money, we have in our faith. My hat off to Mr. Fritz too. Thank you for helping tell the world of this injustice.

6 comments:

Joice said...

Justice in Ada is just for people who can pay for it. It makes me sick that Bill Peterson is suing John Grisham, Dennis Fritz and Robert Mayer and others.I guess the truth hurts. I know it is the truth I LIVED IT. I am Tommy Wards sister.Joice

Tommy said...

Tommy Ward is INNOCENT ! I am Tommy's nephew my family sufferd so much because of Bill Peterson. He needs to face the facts that Tommy did not do it. There was not enough evidence to prove that he is guilty. At that time in a small town called Ada the cops use to physicaly beat Tommy! and GUESS WHAT was the Sheriff at the time Denice Haraway FATHER. If he beat on Tommy what is going to stop him from sending him to prison for a crime he did NOT commit.My grandma awaits the day that she can hold Tommy as a free man.
It was because of this I got my name, yes I am named after my uncle, Tommy Ward, I AM THOMAS CAVINS SON OF JOICE CAVINS, Tommy Wards sister.

Anonymous said...

I am also appauled that Bill Peterson is suing Johns Grisham.
My dad had retired early from the Ada police department. He was forced into retirement (not too long after Tommy was arrested) because of Mr. Peterson and with Dennis Smith's obession to pin Denice's murder on someone. My dad died in 1994, he also believed that Tommy was innocent.

Anonymous said...

I too believe Tommy is innocent. I have read the book of his conviction by John Grisham and am familliar with the judicial systems terrorist ways. I had a son and a brother railroaded into prison this same way. My mother lived on federal land. Because of a lying inlaw, my brother was implicated in a murder case. The inlaw committed the murder but was trying to pen it on my brother. They couldn't because he was not guilty of the crime they were trying to pin on him, but they swore to my brother that they would get him. For ten years, off and on,the ATF, at the command of the DA in Ardmore, OK, would come to my mother's house and harrass my brother. My mother had Alheimer's and he lived with and cared for her. They put automatic weapons in her face and screamed at her to get down or they would shoot. She had no clue of what they meant. Her provider had to tell them to stop. They treated her terrible and my brother too. My daughter came to visit one day when they were there. She didn't want to go up there while they were there so she turned around in the driveway and went to sit down the road until they left. They got in there cars, chased her down, dragged her out of her vehicle, slammed her on the ground and hurt her pretty bad. She is a size 0, she's very tiny. They scared her to death. They searched her for drugs and what ever else they could find. She was not a drug user nor did she hang out with anyone who did. The police are not friends or servants of the poor. They only help the rich in order to get something for themselves. They don't care about justice, order, or peace-they don't care if they have the right man or not. They just don't want to put the time and effort it takes into a case to solve it. It's too much work. To keep them from looking like fools in the public eye, they'll pin it on anyone just so they can say that the case is solved. They just want to get it over and done with so they can sit around with nothing to do but sit back and draw a check from the public. Bill Peterson and the rest of those cold hearted, pig headed people just couldn't face the fact that they were wrong. They really didn't care. They figured they were doing the public a favor by taking Tommy and Karl off the streets and out of society. You'd think after awhile their conscience would bother them. Anyway, I would like the family to know that they have my complete sympathy and understanding. So do Tommy and Karl. I think it is so injust. The real killer is still free I suppose. My brother only spent one year in the federal pen in OKC. They got him on a trumped up charge of possession of marijuana. They kept their promise, they got him. I couldn't believe it. These people can one day decide to target you and on paper and through the media circus make you look like a homicidal maniac overnight even if you have never been in trouble in your life. You don't have to have a record, they can provide you with one. No matter how innocent the incident, they can pump it up and magnify it make you look like public enemy number one. He had a laminated leaf about 1 inch in diameter in his wallet which was given to him by a friend. He had a breakdown while there. He could not process the fact that he was an innocent man and serving time in prison after being harrassed for ten years and no proof of anything ever came up. Not even a hint. The judge that heard the case did not want to send him to prison. He saw no need to. He gave him 30 days to get his business wrapped up and report back even after he had been sentenced. I wish there was something I could do to help all of you. I feel for the family of Denice but they should not be satisfied with this conviction. I wouldn't be. I would want to know that I had the right one. That the right one was paying for his crime. Why would they settle for less? I would want the perpetrator to suffer, not innocent people. Why can't they get that concept? What good is it doing to incarcerate innocnet people? I don't get the picture. Money people must be blinded by their riches. Can't they see injustice when it is staring them in the face? If no one has ever been through this they don't really understand. I used to have great respect for the law but now I see it as legal terrorism.

Anonymous said...

Who does Bill Peterson think he is? Why does he think that his name and deeds should not be publicized along with all the others that ruined innocent peoples lives? It's absolutely absurd for him to think about suing John Grisham. This stuff is public record! That is the biggest laugh I've gotten out of him yet. Hasn't he made a big enough fool of himself by convicting one innocent person after another? He appears to be a man that lives in a state of denial and cannot face the fact that he can make a mistake or be wrong. I certainly wouldn't want to be his wife. He sounds like a total bully. Why did the city of Ada continue to keep these people in office? How many innocent people have to suffer by these men's hands before their eyes are opened?

Anonymous said...

I believe the boys are innocent and I also beleive that when a person has to spend most of their life in prison because of police terrorism, that when they are found to be innocnet the police should serve time for forcing, coercing, scaring and what ever else they do to them to make them confess to a crime they didn't commit.