***WARNING: Content of a disturbing nature ahead***
A high-profile case dubbed The Oklahoma Girl Scout Murders remains ‘unsolved’ as three girls were brutally killed while at a summer camp in Locust Grove, Oklahoma.
Mayes County sheriff Mike Reed has been re-examining the case for the past nine years. After using DNA testing that wasn’t available during a 1979 murder trial, investigators now claim they can link the murder to main suspect Gene Leroy Hart, as reported by KOTV-DT.
Read on to discover more about the mystery behind the Oklahoma Girl Scout Murders.
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Mystery remains an ‘unsolved’ tragedy
In June 1977, three girl scouts were found dead at Camp Scott by one of the camp counsellors. The victims were Lori Farmer, eight, Michelle Guse, nine, and Doris Milner, ten.
Sheriff Reed claims DNA would have convicted Gene Leroy Hart of the murders had the evidence been available during the 1979 trial in which he was acquitted. Although the results remain officially inconclusive, Reed claims they point to Hart.
However, the new evidence does not mean the sheriff will declare the case closed. “I will clarify some misinformation,” Reed posted to Facebook. “The case will not be closed unilaterally by any one investigative agency and will only be closed when, and if, the families, OSBI, Sheriff’s Office, and District Attorney’s Office all agree to do so.”
Who is Gene Leroy Hart?
Hart was a convict who had escaped from a local jail in 1973 but was recaptured before escaping again on 16 September 1973. He was found in a forest 45 miles from Camp Scott on 16 April 1978, almost a year after the young girls’ deaths. Hart was sent back to jail to continue serving his previous sentence but died of a heart attack in June 1979 aged 35.
According to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, Hart had been serving a sentence of more than 300 years for a series of burglaries he committed while on parole after being convicted of kidnapping and sexually assaulting two pregnant women in 1966.
Hart was then arrested for the Oklahoma Girl Scout murders and tried but found not guilty due to lack of evidence.
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Hulu launches docuseries on Oklahoma Girl Scout Murders
ABC News Studios’ Keeper Of The Ashes: The Oklahoma Girl Scout Murders will explore the killings further in a four-part docuseries that premieres on 24 May on Hulu. The series will examine the unsolved mysteries that surround the case and its recent reopening.
Emmy-winning actor Kristin Chenoweth recently opened up about how she was meant to be attending the camp the night of the murders and how the case still haunts her.
Chenoweth told People: “I remember I should have been on that trip but I had gotten sick and mom said, ‘You can’t go.’ It stuck with me my whole life. I could have been one of them.”
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If you have been affected by this story, you can contact RAINN. (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, National Sexual Hotline. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 1 (800) 656-4673. You can also contact the Department of Defense Safe Helpline for Sexual Assault on 1 (877) 955-5247.