Will our obsession with true crime ever end? Probably not. Will Netflix keep producing amazing true crime content every month to keep us happy? We sure hope so. Will our latest Netflix true crime obsession, The Innocent Man, return for a second season? For the moment, this question remains unanswered, but if this six-part docuseries follows in the footsteps of Making a Murderer — which continued the story of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey in its second season — then this story (or at least part of this story) might just have enough fodder for a second instalment.
Based on John Grisham's 2006 book, The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town, this latest series recounts two murders that took place just a few years apart in Ada, OK, in the 1980s and the controversial chain of events that followed. The story that initially caught Grisham's attention was that of Ron Williamson and his friend Dennis Fritz, who were falsely convicted of killing 21-year-old Debra Carter in 1982. After more than a decade in prison, the two were exonerated thanks to the Innocence Project, and they were awarded settlements after filing civil suits against former Pontotoc County District Attorney Bill Peterson and other parties. For all intents and purposes, the story of these two men has reached its conclusion — especially since Williamson passed away from liver disease in 2004.
However, Williamson and Fritz are not the only subjects of the series. Just two years after Carter's murder, Ada resident Denice Haraway disappeared from her night shift as a cashier at a gas station and convenience store, which led to the convictions of Tommy Ward and Karl Fontenot. It later came to light that Haraway was killed with a gun (Ward originally claimed in his confession they had stabbed her to death) and Ward appealed to be retried in a different county, but Bill Peterson convinced the jury that Ward simply remembered incorrectly and that he and Fontenot had killed Haraway with a gun rather than a knife. Both men remain in prison today, despite recanting their confessions and still proclaiming their innocence.
Netflix's final episode noted that Fontenot's legal team is now pursuing a federal appeal, and Ward's latest post-conviction filing is set to be reviewed by the state at some point in 2019. Netflix and Grisham have not yet confirmed or denied whether a second season is in the works, but with Ward and Fontenot still fighting for freedom, we think we haven't heard the last of this ongoing story.