The Dreams of Ada: A True Story of Murder, Obsession and a Small Town

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Overview

When Denice Haraway disappeared from her small town, the town's obsession grew while the police searched for the killer. Then, two young men were arrested--on the basis of a dream one of them had. This is the shocking, true story of the case and its sensational trial.
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Dreams of Ada

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Overview

When Denice Haraway disappeared from her small town, the town's obsession grew while the police searched for the killer. Then, two young men were arrested--on the basis of a dream one of them had. This is the shocking, true story of the case and its sensational trial.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A miscarriage of justice, in Mayer's unconvincing view, occurred in the Oklahoma town of Ada when two young men, Tommy Ward and Karl Fontenot, were accused of the 1984 rape and murder of Denice Haraway, a newly married 24-year-old grocery clerk, for which they were sentenced to death although no body was found. The men repudiated their confessions, which were extracted by allegedly coercive police officers, claiming that they were recounting dreams. In suspenseful style, journalist-novelist Mayer recreates in minute detail the investigation and trial along with character and actions of those concerned with the casevictim, the accused, families, witnesses, authorities and outraged townspeople. Haraway's body has now been found, and the two men on death row await a new trial before a court of appeals. Photos not seen by PW. 25,000 first printing. (April 16)
Library Journal
This is a focused glimpse of the criminal justice system, a journalistic study of the disappearance of a young woman in Ada, Oklahoma, and the subsequent arrest and trial of two men suspected of kidnapping, raping, and murdering her. A jury convicted the two men without any eye witnesses, and without a body, a murder weapon, or the implicated vehicle. Mayer looks inside the various elements of the systemlaw enforcement, the work of the district attorneys and defense lawyers, and the responsibilities of the judge and the juryand reveals how this system, and an obsessed and overly zealous public, can lead to injustice. Mayer does an excellent job depicting all sides of the story thoroughly and objectively. The reader is left with an eerie, frightening view of our criminal justice system, which still holds these two men on Death Row.Melinda Stivers Leach, Precision Editorial Svces., Wondervu, Col.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451169815
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/2/1991
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: REISSUE
  • Pages: 560
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(0)

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2007

    Super Book!

    I read this book after reading John Grisham's, The Innocent Man, and I thought it was well-written and made me want to be in Oklahoma when this trial took place. I really want to know what happened to Tommy Ward After 1987- he needs to be out of prison, is he??????

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2007

    AWESOME READ!!!!!!!!!

    I was apprehensive about reading this even though Grisham recommended it but I loved it. It's hard to put down. I'm a HUGE Grisham fan and I liked this better than The Innocent Man.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2007

    Great True Life Crime

    This was a great book to read. I was astonished at how much the law enforcements could alter and 'adjust' the crime to fit their needs. I am from Oklahoma and it fits other things that I have heard from people that I know that live in Ada. It is well written. Too bad that the same crime happened twice (or possibly more than that)there in that town. This is an excellent read. Couldn't put it down.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2006

    Grisham Is Right!

    John Grisham mentions this book seven times in 'The Innocent Man.' Elsewhere he calls it 'an astounding book, a great example of true crime writing.' He's right on. The book takes place, like Grisham's in the small town of Ada, OK. The same cops, the same prosecutors, the same snitch, put two other innocent men in prison -- and they are still there after 22 years. This is as good as the old pro's. Read it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 24, 2010

    Interesting Book

    A very sad but true to life story that needs to told. Peterson who is a bad prosecutor is retired but his legacy will live on as to how he has destroyed innocent lives. He may blame in on the cops or the investigators but he is the gate keeper of justice.
    He sued several authors for writing books about his misconduct and has lost. Peterson is the loser.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Very interesting.

    If you read John Grisham's Innocent Man than this book will make sense since Grisham touches on the characters in Innocent Man. It is a slow read in the beginning but gets better toward the end. Worth the read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2014

    Informative

    A very good book about how wrong our judicial system can be.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2011

    !

    Tommy ward is still in prison.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews

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