Glen Gore: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Glen Gore was convicted of the 1982 rape and murder of Debbie Carter in 2003. His conviction came two decades after two other men had been charged with the murder of Carter, who was a cocktail waitress in Ada, Oklahoma at the time of her death.
Ron Williamson and Dennis Fritz were both charged, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison for the death of Carter; Williamson was even given the death penalty, though it was later commuted. In 1999, Williamson and Fritz were exonerated of any wrongdoing, after DNA evidence proved incontrovertibly that they were not at the scene of the crime.
The story of Carter’s murder was eventually adapted into a nonfiction book by John Grisham, titled The Innocent Man: Murder & Injustice in a Small Town. Now, it’s been re-created as a six-part docu-series on Netflix under the same title: The Innocent Man.
Gore was seen with Carter the night of her death. He would not be a prime suspect for over a decade. Here’s what you need to know:

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1. Glen Gore Grew Up in Ada, Oklahoma & Knew Debbie Carter
Debbie Carter
Glen Gore was born on April 27, 1960; he is an American Indian, according to his prison record. 
Gore grew up in a poor household with a single parent; his mother, Louise Gore, would eventually detail Gore’s upbringing at his murder trial. To The Oklahoman, she said in 2003, “[Gore’s father] never provided for us. Sometimes he was mean to me. He’d slap me around. There was never any food in the house.”
Glen Gore and Debbie Carter attended high school together and had been seen together the night of Carter’s death, The Oklahoman reported: multiple witnesses saw Gore and Carter speaking and having some kind of argument in the parking lot of the Coachlight. Grisham wrote, “As [Tommy Glover] was getting in his pickup truck to leave, he saw Debbie open the driver’s door of her car. Gore appeared from nowhere, they talked for a few seconds, then she pushed him away.”
What’s more, Grisham writes that Gore got a ride home with a friend, then asked to get out in a part of town that was a mile from Carter’s apartment; he said he was walking to his mother’s house, but her house was across town from where he was dropped off.
Lastly, at two in the morning on the night Carter died, Grisham writes that Carter’s friend, Gina Vietta, received a call from Carter asking her to come over because someone was in her apartment and she was uncomfortable; then Carter said that she was fine and Gina didn’t have to come over.
Carter’s body was found on the morning of Dec. 8 by her friend, Donna Johnson Palmisano. During the retrial for Gore in 2006, Palmisano shared her experience of walking into Carter’s apartment and finding her facedown and nude on the bedroom floor, with blood everywhere and a message written on her back.

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In his book, Grisham notes the three messages found in the apartment: the first, on an apartment wall written with nail polish: Jim Smith next will die.” The second, written on a table with ketchup: “Don’t look fore us or ealse.” And the third, written on Carter’s back in ketchup: “Duke Gram.” The coroner would later find a third message written on her chest: “Die.”
Duke Graham and Jim Smith were both well-known individuals in Ada. Graham owned his own nightclub, and Smith was a local man described by Grisham as a “thug” and “small-time criminal.”
In her account, Palmisano said, “She needed help,” Palmisano said. “I saw what was written on the formica table, ‘Don’t try and find us or else’ and I thought ‘Where are they? Are they going to hurt me?”
Palmisano ran for help and called Carter’s parents, who eventually notified the police. Authorities determined that Carter had been strangled to death, but they also noted head trauma, bruises on her sides and arms, and a washcloth stuffed into her mouth.
Via Grisham, the medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Carter found bruising in her vagina, presence of sperm in her vagina and anus, collapsed lungs, a dilated heart, but no sign of brain injury. It was later determined that she had been raped and sodomized with a ketchup bottle.

2. Gore Was Was Seen With Carter the Night of Her Death; He Was Not Considered a Suspect by the Police
Oklahoma State Prison SystemGlen Gore, 2000
Despite the fact that Gore was seen by several witnesses to be having a conversation with Carter the night of her death, he would not be considered a suspect for just under two decades. Instead, police apprehended two men who claimed they didn’t know Carter, let alone do the crime: Ron Williamson and Dennis Fritz
In May 1987, 37-year-old Dennis Fritz and 34-year-old Ronald Keith Williamson were arrested and charged with first-degree murder, first-degree rape, and rape by instrumentation, per an archived article from The Daily Oklahoman. The charge was delayed five years because of incorrect analysis of fingerprints at the scene, per The Innocence Project.
At the time of Carter’s death, Fritz was a middle school teacher in the Noble, Oklahoma public school system. He had just moved home to live with his mother in Kansas City three weeks prior. As for Williamson, he was a failed professional baseball player who had returned to Ada and was mowing lawns.
Glen Gore, 2003
Fritz and Williamson both denied ever having been in Carter’s apartment, or even knowing her. By July, both Fritz and Williamson sought to have rape charges against them dismissed, citing the statute of limitations, per The Oklahoman. By that point, though, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said that “hair found in the victim’s home and on the body were…consistent with those of Fritz and Williamson.”
Ultimately, Fritz and Williamson both went to court as a result of information given to investigators by informants, per The Innocence Project. For Fritz, an inmate who was paired with Fritz said he had confessed to the murder; this alleged confession came a day before prosecutors were going to have to release him. As for Williamson, an informant claimed that Williamson had told her he was going to hurt her the way he hurt Carter; additionally, police said Williamson had spoken to them about having a dream of committing the crime.
Williamson was sent to death row. Fritz received life in prison.

3. Gore Was Serving Time in Prison & Tried to Escape When He Found Out He Was a Suspect in the Carter Slaying
Glen Gore
Throughout the years from 1982 to the early 2000s, Gore was arrested several times. In 1999, Gore was serving time in prison for a firearm-related conviction when Williamson and Fritz were exonerated. Shortly after, he was working with a prison crew when a television crew approached him and asked him questions about being a newfound subject in the Carter murder. According to News Oklahoma, Gore walked away from the work crew and returned to prison with his attorney later that day.
It was soon revealed that Gore was the prime suspect in the Carter investigation; the same DNA results that exonerated Williamson and Fritz had implicated Gore, specifically through the semen traces found in Carter’s apartment.
Shortly after, Gore was arrested and charged with the murder of Debbie Carter. He pleaded not guilty.

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4. In 2003, Gore Was Sentenced to Death for the Murder of Carter
Glen Gore, 2012
In 2003, Gore was convicted of the first-degree murder of Debbie Carter, in a unanimous decision by a twelve-man, two-woman jury that took only two hours of deliberation, per an archived article from The Oklahoman. 
In that article, lead prosecutor Richard Wintory said, “To have 12 people agree, with this difficult of a case, that he should suffer the same penalty he inflicted on an innocent woman shows that just because the system can make a mistake doesn’t mean we’re afraid to impose justice.”
Gore’s trial included witness testimonies by an ex-girlfriend and his ex-wife, both of whom attested to his violent behavior; his ex-wife, Gwen, had stated that she left him after eight months of marriage because he’d become too violent. Another woman testified that she dated Gore in the months after Carter’s death, and that one night he raped her on the side of the highway while her young son was in a nearby car. Gore has a daughter with this woman; their names were not identified.
Gore’s murder conviction marked the third and last time a person was tried and convicted for the death of Debbie Carter. To The Oklahoman, Carter’s father, Charlie Carter, said, “Hopefully, we don’t have to do this again.”

5. READ: Gore’s Full List of Arrests & Misdemeanors Over the Course of His Life
Glen Gore, 2014
Gore’s full rap sheet includes a number of felonies and misdemeanors. He currently resides at the Mack Alford Correction Center in Atoka, Oklahoma, on a life sentence without parole; his death sentence has since been commuted. He is 58 years old.
Here is what the prison entry for Gore says:
Gender: Male
Race: American Indian
Height: 5 ft 6 in
Weight: 170 lbs
Hair Color: Blond
Eye Color: Brown

Here is his full list of offenses:

5/21/1986– ASSAULT &/OR BATTERY W/DANGEROUS WEAPON

5/21/1986– BURGLARY – FIRST DEGREE

5/21/1986– BURGLARY – FIRST DEGREE

5/21/1986– ASSAULT &/OR BATTERY W/DANGEROUS WEAPON

6/18/1987– USING OFFENSIVE WEAPON IN FELONY

6/18/1987– BURGLARY – FIRST DEGREE

6/18/1987– POINTING FIREARM

11/19/1999– ESCAPE FROM CONFINEMENT

6/18/1987– KIDNAPPING

6/18/1987– BURGLARY – FIRST DEGREE

6/18/1987– ASSAULT &/OR BATTERY W/DEADLY WEAPON

6/24/2003– MURDER FIRST DEGREE

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