Tony-winning actor Kristin Chenoweth has revealed she almost went on the camping trip in which three girl scouts were murdered.
The revelation comes ahead of the release of Hulu docuseries Keeper Of The Ashes: The Oklahoma Girl Scout Murders – set to air on 24 May – and the 45th anniversary of the tragedy.
***WARNING: Content of a disturbing nature ahead***
Oklahoma Girl Scout murders
In June 1977 three girl scouts – eight-year-old Lori Lee Farmer, ten-year-old Doris Denise Milner, and nine-year-old Michele Heather Guse – were attending an Oklahoma summer camp.
The Tulsa World reports the girls were sharing tent number 8 in the camp’s Kiowa unit, which was the farthest from the camp counsellor’s tent and partially obscured by the camp’s showers.
On 12 June there was a thunderstorm and the next morning the camp counsellor, on her way to the showers, found the youngsters’ bodies.
A man named Gene Leroy Hart became the only suspect, was arrested by police and tried for the murders. Hart had been at large since 1973 after escaping from the Mayes County Jail. He had being convicted of kidnapping and raping two pregnant women as well as four counts of first-degree burglary.
The investigating sheriff claimed evidence linked Hart to the crime but DNA proof wasn’t available at the time. Hart was acquitted of the murders but was sent back to prison for his previous offences. In 1979 he died of a heart attack.
‘I could have been one of them’
Through the true crime docuseries it has been revealed actress Kristen Chenoweth has a haunting connection to the murders – she should’ve been with the other girls on that trip.
In the recently released trailer, the 53-year-old heads back to her home state, Oklahoma, and explains she was meant to go to the summer camp but couldn’t because she was ill.
She said: “I should have been on that trip but I had gotten sick. My mom said, ‘You can’t go.’ It has stuck with me my whole life. I could have been one of them.”
Chenoweth goes on to explain her drive to investigate the tragedy is down to the fact it still haunts her. She said: “This is a story I wish I never had to tell. It haunts me every day, but this story needs to be told.”
Hulu docuseries Keeper Of The Ashes: The Oklahoma Girl Scout Murders premieres on 24 May.
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