It was in the sticky summer of 1977 in Smallville Oklahoma U.S.A, when three young Girl Scouts - Lori Farme - 8 , Michelle Guse - 9, and Doris Milner - 10, after spending the year selling Girl Scout cookies to pay for it went on their first Scout trip but tragically it would turn out to be their last.
After arriving at Camp Scott late (about 7:30) delayed by heavy rain, traffic and a flat tire the Scouts had a quick dinner and went strait to their allocated tents after a few mandatory scary stories and girl chat the girls were told by councillors to quite down and go to sleep in preparation for a full day of activities.The following morning around 6 a.m. a counsellor on the way to the showers discovered the lifeless bodies of Farmer, Guse, and Milner: all three girls had been sexually assaulted and badly beaten. While Farmer and Guse had been bludgeoned to death, Milner had been strangled; two of the girls had vaginally raped, while the other sodomized. After the Girls were murdered, their corpses were shoved into sleeping bags and zipped all the way up and left on a trail approximately 150 yards from their tent.
The night before the girls were discovered, counsellors at the camp heard unsettling noises. At around 1:30 a.m., multiple people heard moaning sounds coming from the direction of the murdered girls' sleeping quarters, tent number 8. A counsellor investigated the noises, but couldn't find the source, so she went back to sleep (although whether she actually did check or not has always been questioned as they said they were terrified).
Approximately 30 minutes later, a camper in tent number 7 was awoken when someone with a flashlight opened the flap her tent but the zipper got stuck. At around 3:00 a.m., a Girl Scout heard a scream come from the section of camp where tent number 8 was located. At approximately the same time, another camper heard a scream, followed by someone crying, "Momma, Momma." Unsure of what to do and obviously terrified stayed in her tent.
In April, two months before the fateful trip a training session was held at Camp Scott. However, the weekend ended prematurely when a counsellor's cabin was ransacked, and a disturbing note was discovered in an empty box of doughnuts. The handwritten note warned, "We are on a mission to kill three girls in tent one." Someone had also created an effigy of a man, which they hanged from a tree by its neck. The camp administrators dismissed the entire series of events as a tasteless prank.
At the time the three children were murdered, an escaped convict, Gene Leroy Hart, was on the loose in Mayes County and was living near by. Hart had been convicted of kidnapping two pregnant women and raping them. He had escaped from prison in 1973, four years before the three Girl Scouts were murdered. After the girls were killed, law enforcement immediately suspected Hart , and conducted a massive search of the area surrounding Camp Scott in an effort to capture him. When they arrested Hart (April 6, 1978,) his he had a newspaper clipping of the crime, many advocates for native rights felt that his arrest was too convenient because he was an Indian and rallied for his release.
Hart was tried for the murders of the Girl Scouts despite huge protests from the native community, but a jury found him not guilty as DNA evidence was too mishandled to tell. However, he did return to prison for his original crimes, where he died of a heart attack on June 4, 1979.
In 2008, DNA tests were performed on Cum and Sylvia collected from a pillowcase found at the Camp Scott crime scene, revealing a partial female DNA profile. Experts determined this female DNA profile didn't come from two of the murder victims, although they were unable to conclusively exclude the third girl as the source of the biological evidence.
While the sample recovered from the pillowcase may belong to one of the murder victims, it's possible it came from a woman who may have been present at the time of the killings. One of the victim's mothers, Sheri Farmer, told a newspaper: "I've always felt in my gut that there was a girl present. Given the DNA results, you have to wonder if there wasn't also a female who took part in the murders."
The day after the girls were murdered, Camp Scott was evacuated and shut down. The camp - which had opened in 1928 - remains closed to this day, though the site is frequently visited by ghost hunters and paranormal enthusiasts who claim the area is haunted by the three girls. In the 80s, the Scouts sold the camp and the new owner has left it derelict. A picnic table, a stone fireplace, and multiple wood tent platforms remain at the site over run by weeds and other vegetation.
Decades later, people all around the world are still fascinated by details of the Oklahoma Girl Scout murders.
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