The Innocent Man
rehabilitate himself, but they’ve never worked out.
    Brooking also diagnosed a paranoid personality disorder because of “a pervasive and unwarranted suspiciousness and mistrust of people, hypersensitivity and restricted affectivity.”
    And, for good measure, he added alcohol and substance dependence. His prognosis was “guarded,” and he concluded by saying, “This young man has never gotten it together since he left home more than ten years ago. His life has been a series of problems and devastating crises. He continues to try and get his feet on solid ground, but so far he has never been able to make it.”
    Brooking’s job was to evaluate Ron, not to treat him. By the late summer of 1983, Ron’s mental condition was worsening, and he was not getting the help he needed. Long-term, institutionalized psychotherapy was required, but the family couldn’t afford it, the state couldn’t provide it, and Ron wouldn’t agree to it anyway.
    His application to East Central University included a request for financial aid. The request was granted, and he was notified that a check was available at the business office of the school. He arrived to pick it up, in his usual unkempt condition with long hair and a mustache, accompanied by two other shady characters, both of whom seemed very interested in the prospect of Ron getting some money. The check was made payable to Ron, but also to an officer of the school. Ron was in a hurry, but he was told to wait in a long line. He felt the money was rightfully his, and he didn’t feel like waiting.
    His two buddies were anxious to get the cash, so Ron quickly forged the name of the school official.
    He left with $300.
    The forgery was witnessed by Nancy Carson, the wife of Rick Carson, Ron’s childhood friend who was an Ada policeman. Mrs. Carson worked in the business office and had known Ron for many years. She was appalled at what she had just seen, so she called her husband.
    An official from the college knew the Williamson family. He drove straight to Juanita’s beauty shop and told her about Ron’s forgery. If she would reimburse the school the $300, no criminal charges would be pursued. Juanita quickly wrote a check for the money and went to find her son.
    The following day Ron was arrested for uttering a forged instrument, a felony that carried a maximum prison sentence of eight years. He was placed in the Pontotoc County jail. He could not post bail, and his family couldn’t help him.
    The murder investigation was proceeding slowly. There was still no word from the OSBI lab on the initial fingerprint, hair, and saliva submissions. Samples from thirty-one Ada men, including Ron Williamson and Dennis Fritz, were being processed. Glen Gore still had not been asked to provide hair and saliva.
    By September 1983, all hair samples were on the backlogged desk of Melvin Hett, an OSBI hair analyst.
    On November 9, Ron, while in jail, submitted to another polygraph exam, this one also administered by the OSBI agent Rusty Featherstone. It was a two-hour meeting, with lots of questions before Ron was wiredfor the polygraph. He continually and adamantly denied any involvement in, or knowledge of, the murder. The test was again deemed inconclusive, and the entire interview was videotaped.
    Ron adjusted to life behind bars. He kicked the booze and pills because he had no choice, and he managed to continue his habit of sleeping twenty hours a day. But without medication or treatment of any type, he continued a slow mental decline.
    Later in November, another inmate, Vicki Michelle Owens Smith, told Detective Dennis Smith an odd story about Ron. Dennis Smith made the following report:
At 0300 or 0400 hours Saturday morning, Ron Williamson looked out his window and saw Vicki. Williamson yelled that she was a witch and that Vicki was the one who took him to Debbie Carter’s house and now she had brought him Debbie’s spirit into his cell and it was haunting the hell out of him. Williamson

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