Pete Rose's bookie, Ron Peters, dies poor and alone

Posted at 5:52 AM, Dec 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-03 08:36:13-05

FRANKLIN, OHIO - A Franklin man best known as Pete Rose’s former bookie was found dead in his apartment last month.

Ronald Peters' body was found in his bedroom on Nov. 19 during a welfare check by Franklin police, according to the Warren County Coroner’s Office.

Peters was last seen alive on Nov. 8,  according to Coroner’s Investigator Doyle Burke. He said there were no signs of foul play and that an official cause of death is pending until toxicology tests are completed.

WATCH Peters talk about Rose in 1989 in the video player above.

Burke said Peters received an indigent cremation, and the remains were turned over to his family. 

“The last few years were really tough on him,” said David Chicarelli, a Franklin attorney who represented Peters over the years. “He had a lot of major illnesses and tried to work … The last time I saw him was six to eight months ago.”

Chicarelli said Peters traveled setting up car auctions for dealerships and had always kept a place in Franklin.

“He was very personable and was a very good, confident golfer,” Chicarelli said. “Everyone liked him.”

In the 1980s, Peters had owned Jonathan’s Cafe, a Franklin bar that has since been razed. It was at that bar where Rose, baseball’s hit king, has admitted to placing bets on the Reds, baseball and other sports with Peters through Thomas Gioiosa and Paul Janszen, who were Rose’s associates.

The three were the primary witnesses in the 1989 investigation by baseball lawyer John Dowd that led to the agreement in which Rose accepted a lifetime ban. Peters told Dowd that he took more than  $1 million in bets from Rose during a two-year period.  

READ more about Peters at WCPO's media partner,