Spoilers ahead for The Innocent Man Season 1. Much of Netflix’s The Innocent Man centers around Tommy Ward and Karl Fontenot, two men convicted for the 1984 murder of Denice Haraway. According to the confessions they gave police, a third man, Odell Titsworth, was allegedly involved in the crime, but Ward and Fontenot have since claimed their confessions were false and coerced. (Bustle reached out to the Ada Police Department for comment on these allegations, but did not receive a response by the time of publication.) Furthermore, Titsworth was never arrested in connection to the murder — all of which begs the question, where is Odell Titsworth now?
According to an Ada News obituary, Titsworth died in April 2017 in Medford, Oregon. He was 57, and survived by his son and grandson. The obituary makes no mention of Haraway’s murder case or his alleged involvement in it.
As chronicled in The Innocent Man, the investigation into Haraway’s disappearance began after police received reports that she’d gone missing from the Ada, Oklahoma convenience store where she worked. Based on composite sketches drawn from witness accounts, police questioned Ward and Fontenot about their possible involvement in the crime.
That questioning eventually led to Ward and Fontenot’s confessions, in which they attempted to implicate Titsworth in the crime. In video from those confessions featured in The Innocent Man, Ward claimed Titsworth grabbed money from the register at the convenience store, while Fontenot alleged he was the one who hustled Haraway from the store into the waiting pickup truck. Ward also told investigators in the tapes that once they got Haraway into the car, Titsworth allegedly revealed he planned on killing her. Both men claimed Titsworth was the ringleader of the crime, and that he was the first to stab Haraway. (As shown in the docuseries, medical examiners later ruled she had been killed via a gunshot wound).
After giving their confessions, Ward and Fontenot were arrested, and police were sent to Titsworth’s house to bring him in for questioning. However, according to The Innocent Man, investigators learned upon their arrival that two nights before Haroway’s murder, Titsworth was in the hospital with a broken arm. Hospital records confirmed Titsworth’s arm was in a cast on the night Ward and Fontenot alleged he stabbed Haraway, and his girlfriend and her mother testified that Titsworth was with them on the night of Haroway’s disappearance.
According to The Oklahoman, Titsworth later testified at a preliminary hearing for Ward and Fontenot, during which he claimed Ward had apologized to him for involving him in the case. Titsworth’s doctor also testified, per the same report, stating that Titsworth’s arm was in a cast at the time of Haraway’s disappearance, and that his mobility would have been limited as a result.
After his court testimony, Titsworth doesn’t seem to have been mentioned in Ward and Fontenot’s cases again. Records from the Oklahoma Department of Corrections confirm Fontenot and Ward are still in prison, though both maintain their innocence to this day.
The Innocent Man Season 1 is currently streaming on Netflix.
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