Producers and photographers from the A & E cable channel are in Claremore, doing a segment for their Cold Case segment. This case has actually been solved, but it took 9 years and was an amazing journey for one detective.
It's a case, KOTVâ€™s Lori Fullbright aired back in 1995. Arts and Entertainment chose the murder of Frank Ross because it's a case of twists and turns. He disappeared in 1986 when he came to Claremore to visit family. A few months later, when divers were looking for an old model-T in Claremore Lake, they found a body instead; it had been weighted down and had a crushed skull.
It wasn't until years later, after DNA, did officers learn the body in the lake was Ross, his skull had been crushed. Mike West, Cold Case Producer: "It took new DNA, emerging technology and new witnesses coming forward now willing to talk. Sometimes is on the side of the detectives and helps them solve 'em." KOTV interviewed Frank Ross' sisters in 1995, hoping to get some leads on a killer. And sure enough, tips came in and officers arrested James Hill, they say he later confessed, but said, he killed Ross in self-defense.
A& E is interviewing everyone connected to the case, including the divers who found the body. Mike West, "People are very curious about detectives and how they do their work. They are heroes many times who are persistent and this in many ways is a heroic story." West believes the cold cases are so fascinating because whenever people hear about a horrible crime, they want some resolution, a sense that if it ever happened to them, someone would keep working the case until they found the truth.
The cold case story on Frank Ross will air sometime in October or November on the Arts and Entertainment cable channel.