Camp Scott (Site of the Camp Scott Girl Scout Murders) -
Camp Scott opened in 1928 as a Tulsa-based Magic Empire Girl Scout Council. Situated along the confluence of Snake Creek and Spring Creek near State Highway 82, the 410-acre (1.7 km2) compound was located right outside of Locust Grove and is most famous due to the unsolved murders that took place here in the late '70s.
The Oklahoma Girl Scout murders is an unresolved crime that occurred on June 12, 1977 at Camp Scott in Mayes County, Oklahoma. The victims were three Girl Scouts, between the ages of 8-10, who were raped and murdered and their bodies left in the woods near their tent at summer camp. Although the case was classified as "solved" when Gene Leroy Hart, a local jail escapee with a history of violence was arrested, and stood trial for the crime, he was acquitted. 30 years later authorities conducted new DNA testing, but the results of these proved inconclusive, as the samples were too old.
Gene Leroy Hart had been at large since 1973 after escaping from the Mayes County Jail. He had been convicted of raping and kidnapping two pregnant women as well as four counts of first degree burglary. Hart was raised about a mile from Camp Scott. Less than two months before the murders, during an on-site training session, a camp counselor found her belongings ransacked, her doughnuts stolen, and inside the empty doughnut box was a disturbing hand-written note. The author vowed to murder three campers. The director of that camp session treated the note as a prank and it was discarded.
Sunday, June 12, 1977 was the first day of camp. At around 6:00 PM CST, a thunderstorm hit the area, and the girls huddled in their tents. Among them were Tulsans Lori Lee Farmer, 8, and Doris Denise Milner, 10, along with Michele Guse, 9, of Broken Arrow, a suburb of Tulsa. The trio were sharing tent #8 in the camp's "Kiowa" unit.
On Monday morning, a camp counselor made the discovery of a girl's body in the forest. Soon, it was discovered that all three girls in tent #8 had been killed. Subsequent testing showed that they had been raped, bludgeoned, and strangled.
Camp Scott was evacuated and was later shut down. It is still abandoned to this day.
Gene Leroy Hart, a Cherokee, was arrested within a year at the home of a Cherokee medicine man and tried in March, 1979. Although the local sheriff pronounced himself "one thousand percent" certain the man on trial committed the crimes, a local jury acquitted Hart. Two of the families later sued the Magic Empire Council and its insurer in a $5 million alleged negligence action. The civil trial included discussion of the threatening note as well as the fact that tent #8 lay 86 yards (79 m) from the counselors' tent. The defense suggested that the future of summer camping in general hung in the balance. In 1985, by a 9–3 vote, jurors sided with the camp.
By this time, Hart was already dead. As a convicted rapist and jail escapee, he still had 305 of his 308 years left to serve in the Oklahoma State Penitentiary. On June 4, 1979, he collapsed and died after about an hour of lifting weights and jogging in the prison exercise yard. An autopsy report concluded the 35-year-old Hart died of a heart attack (acute cardiac dysfunction).
Richard Guse, the father of one of the victims, went on to help the state legislature pass the Oklahoma Victim's Bill of Rights. Guse also helped found and then chaired the Oklahoma Crime Victims' Compensation Board, which would later gain prominence for its "Murrah Fund" in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing. Another parent, Sheri Farmer, went on to found the Oklahoma chapter of the Parents of Murdered Children support group.
Camp Scott (Site of the Camp Scott Girl Scout Murders)
Locust Grove, OK 74352 US