Ada's Cast of Characters
If you have listened to our podcast consistently, you will have noticed names we mention over and over again when talking about Ada and surrounding counties cases. We want our listeners to be able to know at the drop of a hat who we are talking about at any given moment. Think of it like your favorite TV series. Characters come and go, but our mains usually remain the same. The District Attorneys. The OSBI agents and local officers involved. The City of Ada likes to stick with its heavy hitters, whether they are right or wrong, corrupt or classic heroes, these are some of the names you may hear a trend with in our episodes, and we also know that you will, undoubtedly, hear again in the future.
Sometimes referred to as "The Liars Club"
District Attorney Bill Peterson: The lead prosecutor in the Denice Haraway and Debbie Carter cases. Began his Ada District Attorney career in 1980, and retired in 2008, spending 28 years as the D.A. for Pontotoc County, Seminole County, and McClain County. Bill Peterson’s grandfather, P. A. Norris, had been one of the wealthiest men in the region, had owned the First National Bank on Main Street, had donated the land for the football stadium at the college, which bears his name: Norris Field. Some of this wealth had been passed along to his grandson, William Norris Peterson. He sued John Grisham for libel, but lost. Peterson was also involved with the Daniel Fur and Rachel Woodall cases, and you are almost guaranteed to hear his name in our podcast again. He was included in the Bennett Law Firm’s Top 10 Worst Prosecutors in 2007.
Gary Rogers: Former OSBI agent. Involved in the Haraway Case, the Carter Case, and many more. Also sued John Grisham and lost.
Gary Perkinson: Former OSBI agent and Head of the Cold Case Division. Worked on cases like Judie Hanson, Daniel Furr, and more. He is a guest in Season 4 on the show.
Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation or OSBI: It’s like the FBI, but only for Oklahoma.
Dennis Smith: Detective Captain, usually lead investigator for homicide cases back in the day. Worked the Debbie Carter Case and the Haraway Case, and many more.
Chris Ross: Assistant District Attorney to Bill Peterson. Ross graduated from college, went to law school, did an internship, worked briefly as an assistant prosecutor in Lawton and then started working in the Ada office on Feb. 1, 1983 and retired Jan. 1, 2017 with a 35 year career. Ross was appointed district attorney by Gov. Brad Henry in 2008, and was re-elected unopposed twice thereafter. As an assistant DA, he was the supervisor of the Narcotics and Violent Crime Task Force. He served as the drug court prosecutor for Pontotoc County, which was twice named the state’s outstanding drug court. Ross prosecuted all homicides that occurred in Pontotoc County from 1989 until 2010. In 2008, Ross was awarded the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation’s Award for Law Enforcement. In 2009, he was named the outstanding district attorney for the state of Oklahoma. In 2012, he was one of a handful of prosecutors from across the country brought to Virginia by the FBI to participate in writing a manual for the investigation and prosecution of murder cases in which the victim’s body has not been found. In 2014, Ross was chosen by his fellow district attorneys of the state to serve as president of the Oklahoma District Attorneys Association and chairman of the Oklahoma District Attorneys Council.
Jeff Crosby: City of Ada Emergency Management Director, 3 decades with Ada Police Department where he also served as Assistant Chief. Crosby held a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from East Central University, and he joined the Ada Police Department as a patrolman in 1986. He remained with the police department for most of his career, except one year when he took a leave of absence to serve with the Iraqi police force. After returning from Iraq, he rose through the ranks at the Ada Police Department until he became assistant police chief in 2011 — a position he held for the next four years. In 2018, he was supposed to testify in the Perry Lott (an innocent man) case. 2 days before his testimony, he took his own life. Perry was released upon DNA evidence.