Camp Scott

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City/Town: Locust Grove
Location Class: Ghost Town
Year Built: 1920's
Year Abandoned: 1977
Status: EndangeredNational Register of Historic Places
Photojournalist: Cody CooperJustin Tyler MooreBilly DixonDavid LindeJohnny Fletcher

SPECIAL THANKS

First we want to give a huge thanks to Kevin Weaver over at GirlScoutMurders.com for giving us a personal tour and his help researching. Head over to his site to read EVERYTHING about the Camp Scott story.

BACKGROUND

The Oklahoma Girl Scout Murders is still to this day an unsolved crime in rural Mayes County, Oklahoma. On a rainy, late-spring night in 1977, three girls—ages 8, 9, and 10, were murdered and left in the woods near their tent at Camp Scott Girl Scout summer camp. Although Gene Leroy Hart, a local jail escapee with a history of violence stood trial for the crime, he was acquitted. Thirty years later authorities conducted new DNA testing, but the results of these proved inconclusive, as the samples were too old.Camp Scott Map

HISTORY

In 1977, Camp Scott was in its 49th year as a keystone of the Tulsa-based Magic Empire Girl Scout Council. Situated along the confluence of Snake Creek and Spring Creek near State Highway 82, the 410-acre compound is located between Locust Grove and Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

Gene Leroy Hart had escaped from prison four years prior to the murders, and had been convicted of raping two pregnant women previously. Hart was born 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. Because summer camps are rife with ghost stories, the note was treated as a prank and discarded.

June 12, 1977 was the first day of camp. Around 6pm a thunderstorm hit, and the girls huddled in their tents. Among them were Lori Lee Farmer (8 yo), and Doris Denise Milner (10 yo), both native Tulsans, along with Michele Guse (9 yo) of Broken Arrow. The trio were sharing tent #7 in the “Kiowa” camping area.Kiowa Map

THE KILLINGS

The following morning, a counselor made the frightening discovery of three girls, found dead in their sleeping bags at a fork in the trail. Soon, it was discovered that all three girls in tent #7 had been bludgeoned, and strangled to death.

AFTERMATH

June 13th, 1977 was the last day that Camp Scott was open. After nearly 50 years of hosting Girl Scouts, Camp Scott closed it’s doors and never reopened.

Gene Leroy Hart, a Cherokee, was arrested 10 months later at the home of a Cherokee medicine man and later tried in March, 1979. Although the local sheriff pronounced himself “one thousand percent” certain Hart committed the crimes, a local jury acquitted him.

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 #7 lay 86-yards 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. In June 1979, during a jog inside the jail, he collapsed and died of an apparent heart attack.

Richard Guse, the father of one of the victims, went on to help the state legislature pass the Oklahoma Victim’s Bill of Rights. Another parent, Sheri Farmer, went on to found the Oklahoma chapter of support group Parents of Murdered Children.

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Calvin Glenn
Guest
Calvin Glenn

No matter your percent that Hart was guilty,the articles found in the cave were left at the prison when he escaped,they did not hand them to him when he sneaked away.

Barbie
Guest
Barbie

I worked at the Girl Scout office when the murders happened. I was only in my 20's but I remember the tour of the camp I was given as a new employee. Even as a young adult I was struck with how dangerous the camp layout felt to me. I thought, "I would not let a child of mine come here." There was a haunting uneasiness about the place before the murders. I have always felt Hart did not commit the murders and it was someone who lived close around the area. My hope is that they are not there… Read more »

Nathanael
Guest
Nathanael

Ma'am they live one property North at the Cavalier ranch. I dated Brandy Michelle Halsted and she admitted her uncle raped and molested her. He was the one that committed these acts I know it! Her uncle's name is Jim Cavalier,it either him or John. Not Jon Cavalier the grandfather but John Cavalier the uncle. Her mom Jacque Cavalier/Easton owns 10 acres and a historic ranch home her father Jon Cavalier died left her. Jacque said she doesn't want to come to her own property/home because of the "Memories." Jim Cavalier and Jacques's brothers need to be tested for DNA… Read more »

Renee Cypert
Guest
Renee Cypert

It's a small world. I met the cavaliers including daisy years ago. I was married to her great nephew. Wow, never thought about that. They were such nice people. He had fought in WW2.

Tiger
Guest
Tiger

I can vouch for Nathanael. Jim Cavalier IS responsible and he didn't act alone.

Calvin Glenn
Guest
Calvin Glenn

Never did believe Hart commited this crime,everything found linking him to the scene,photos and drivers license were left at prison when he escaped.

antique
Guest
antique

Good Job Kevin Keep me updated .

Guest
Guest
Guest

If those photos are suppose to be of Camp Scott in Locust Grove, Okla the Rangers house is wrong! That is not the house I grew up in!
Teresa Woodward

Kevin Weaver
Guest

Teresa, Could you contact me? I am Kevin Weaver. I maintain the site girlscoutmurders.com My friend Susan and I took the abandonedok crew out to the camp the day that they took these pictures. Would you consider contacting me? I would love to ask you some questions about your memories, growing up at the camp. I think I can clear up the problem with the labeling of the ranger house. What they have labeled as the Ranger House would better be called the Director's House. This is where Barbara and Richard Day were living during this final camp session in… Read more »

Donna
Guest
Donna

Teresa…hope this gets to you…I was very close to your dad…Uncle Benny….and think of him often and never had the chance to tell you what a great person he was…it is sometimes later than it should be when we express such sentiment…He is greatly missed and greatly remembered. Donna

L.J. Wheeler
Guest

Don't see a way to contact the webmaster of the Girl Scout Murders site so thought I would post here that many of the links on that site need to be fixed as they point to the local machine where the site was/is being developed. Although there are some issues, the new site seems much cleaner than the previous site if memory serves me. If someone with this site has contact with the Girl Scout Murders site, you might mention their link problems. Having family in the Locust Grove, Mazie and Murphy, I remember driving through area and seeing more… Read more »

betrumka
Guest

I run the site and I am in the process of re-linking many of those article and photos. I have been doing further research and I haven't been looking after the site as much as I should.

Suz
Guest
Suz

Respectfully, the murder of the three girls was horrific, to say the least, but I wish they would reopen the camp. Long before these murders took place, Camp Scott was a place filled with gaiety and laughter, not to mention, it was an educational experience. Friendships were made, such camaraderie around the camp fires, and when hiking, there was always the possibility of seeing one of the boys from the nearby camp. The photographs I see on the many websites about Camp Scott, I have those same photographs, but mine contain my camping buddies standing beside me, and that's how… Read more »

Kevin
Guest

Well said Suz. If you are the Suz I think you are you know already that I am a fan of the way in which you express your feelings about this special place. Thanks for putting things in perspective for me again. – Kevin

drew
Guest
drew

how do i get there?

William
Guest
William

You and Bootsy totes hooked up.

Dani
Guest
Dani

They need to reopen this. The past is the past. Just saying…

christian
Guest
christian

I will check it out

Robbie
Guest
Robbie

I am Bootsy. We stayed in Kiowa tent and had so much fun. We got kicked out after our second trip to Camp Scott. I told my friend to call the Camp Leaders husband a sonofabiscuiteater. She had never heard any kind of cuss words and didn't know she was doing anything wrong. We went on to stay friends for many years after that. That would have been 1968 or 69.

Robbie
Guest
Robbie

P.S. Suz, if I had only known my go go dancing was that impressive I might have gone into it professionally…lol.

Brenna Haus
Guest
Brenna Haus

I have so many wonderful memories of Camp Scott both with my Girl Scout troop and also from a summer camp experience. Such great memories that I am sad that it was closed after the horrible event that occurred. I understand the concern for safety and the traumatic event were the cause. With respect for the three girls, their families and friends it is understandable but still very sad that a plan could not be developed to reopen the camp.

J.Rowe
Guest
J.Rowe

Suz, I'm 62 now, and I remember going to Camp Scott every fall and spring in the mid 60's with my Tulsa troop just for a weekend holiday. I loved it. At night we slept in the tents, 4-6 girls each and there was no adult with us. There were few lights at night. I can remember having been assigned a "bathroom buddy" who was supposed to accompany me (and I her) to the outhouse after dark. Well, I woke my "bathroom buddy" up to walk with me, and she promptly refused and fell back asleep. I made the walk… Read more »

Kawee
Guest
Kawee

My father worked the case against Hart. Speaking with him about the investigation and reading about it over the years, I'm 100% sure Gene Leroy Hart commited these murders. He was an evil spirit of a person. I was never allow to go to girl scout camp growing up even though I was a Brownie and Junior because my father wa so traumitizsed. The camp my girls go to looks just like this one, but of course it's not delapitated. This doesn't give me the creeps like the other properties. Its just very very sad. It's so strange how some… Read more »

Terri
Guest
Terri

"Someone Cry For The Children" is a very intense, very well-written book that is available on Amazon. I highly recommendthe book. If you didn't think Hart was guilty before reading this book, you will have no doubt of his guilt after reading the book. I was a frequent camper at Camp Scott in the early to mid 1960's. Many great memories!

Gene
Guest
Gene

"Tent Number 8" will certainly bring doubts to your intellect about Gene Leroy Hart being the sole perp, if even guilty at all. Even though "Someone Cry For The Children" was a good book there are some facts it just simply seems to ignore, like the simple logistics of how the crime went down. Lori Lee Farmer and Michele Guse were murdered in the tent and then carried 150 yards in their sleeping bags. Doris Denise Milner was led with her sleeping bag, or carried to the same location and then killed. I don't believe one person could have done… Read more »

@PreciousLambKni
Guest

I certainly agree, from day one I've always thought this does not look like a crime that could be committed alone, how would you possibly wrangle three girls by yourself? You'd be liable to have one get free for sure….

Joe
Guest
Joe

you're disgustingly massive used to play a physical sport and you basically have demonic powers. You could strangle two of them at the same time with one hand rather quickly before the 3rd would wake up. I would say it was all Gene.

R. barr
Guest
R. barr

They were also bludgeoned so I supposed one person could do that at the same time too? The foot print did not match, nor did the fingerprint. He was guilty of raping not murder nor were they children that he raped. Criminals tend to have a certain type as their victims and rarely stray from that preference. Hard to believe he would change course and target children.

Sylvia Scott
Guest
Sylvia Scott

Kawee, are you in CA or was your father in later years. My cousin mentioned to me last night she had met someone who's father worked the case. My cousin is about 75 years old and attended the camp. Her sister was a counselor also-anyway-we're looking for a copy of the book if ever find one please let me know.

Laygoon
Guest
Laygoon

My sister was at the camp the week before the murders. My family followed the investigation and trial closely. I was very young at the time, but it all made a huge impression on me. I read the book when I was in college and had a hard time sleeping after that. I will never forget the faces of those girls in the newspaper. I never let my girls go to G.S. camp and I thoroughly inspected the safety of their church camps before allowing them to attend. Hart definitely committed the murders. Even though he is gone, the horrific… Read more »

Okie-D
Guest
Okie-D

I just finished reading "Someone Cry For The Children" (Jan 2013)….had looked & looked everywhere – found it on ebay ("Tent #8" is there as well) but as a Tiak Council GS out of Seminole, that sadly, was my last year in GS's…but as an adult I was involved in Law Enforcement, so in reading the book…I was familiar with the terminology used & I must say the authors Michael & Dick Wilkerson, and all involved – I wouldn't have been able to sleep at night until I had the killer in custody, which Gene Leroy Hart had priors against… Read more »

Jeremy Cummings
Guest
Jeremy Cummings

Thank you for your words.

Jessica
Guest
Jessica

I've lived in the area all my life. This is a story that I grew up with. The camp is only about 6 miles from my home and I have visited many times. About 8 summers ago, the owners opened the swimming pool and placed a large sign out by the hwy promoting it (the sign is still there, but has been covered up). Of course, no one in the area was interested. Its sad to see what it has become. It hasn't changed in the last 15 yrs.

Mike
Guest
Mike

I would be very interested in contacting the owners. I live in Siloam Springs, Arkansas and I woud be very interested in paying the owners to let me and a group of my friends camp overnight in this place.

Abby
Guest
Abby

Mike,
Like you I also live in Siloam Springs, grew up here. Just wandering if we happened to know eachother. Like you this place is very interesting to me.

TDoug
Guest
TDoug

Even in its derilict state, you can see Camp Scott was a pretty cool and fun place. Some of the pictures on this site have a creepy feel to them but, strangely, not these. It's almost as though the goodness and innocence that dwelled here still pervades over the horrendous act that closed it. It Hart did in fact commit these crimes, he not only destroyed the lives of three little girls (bad enough!) but he also ruined what could have been a great life experience for other little girls who would have gone to this camp. What a sorry… Read more »

devri
Guest
devri

Is there any way of contacting the owner of the camp? My friends and I would like to walk through it. ( very respectfully that is) Would that at all be possible? Thanks! =)

Lazzaro
Guest
Lazzaro

I found your site via either TulsaGal of TTM and recently signed up for your rss feed. It’ll take a while to get through the archives here but I will eventually.

I got to thinking about the Camp Scott murders two or three years ago and did a web search to refresh my memory. It was a surprise to see you feature it a few days ago. Those three girls are hard to forget. And should be.

Photos of derelict buildings and areas have long interested me and this is the Oklahoma motherload. Nice work.

TulsaGal
Guest

Great post. I remember all of this very well. I turned 19 3 days after the murders (yes I'm OLD) and followed all of it closely. Fascinating photos.

dondi
Guest
dondi

I was a girlscout during this time…I remember it clearly! We were all afraid after this happened.

Tery
Guest
Tery

Me too—after this we had dads go on our camping trips with us and they were armed with guns–they took turns watching over us through the night—-it seemed then that the time of childhood innocence was over.I was a girl scout from the Moore,OK area.

Dana
Guest
Dana

My good friend Melody was there in tent 6 closest to tent 7 . She was scared her whole life over it

Danielle
Guest

NEAT!!!! Very informative. Looks like an eerie place!

I really like the layout of this post. The maps are great. And the pictures being separated helps as well!

Abby
Guest
Abby

Good job guys! I grew up hearing about these murders and this place but never even knew the name of the camp, only that it was close to Locust Grove. I really enjoyed the pics.

Thumper
Guest
Thumper

Good job on this! Kevin has done a great job on his site, but another site people should check out is http://girlscoutmurders.yuku.com, where Kevin has contributed some interesting things. It has been dedicated to these murders for a few years now and several members there have been dedicated researchers of the case for many years before the site was opened.

amanda
Guest
amanda

great job guys! very respectful and well researched. i did a research paper in college about camp scott and gene hart. i wish that he just would have admitted his guilt and let the families of the young victims have the peace they deserve.

Shawn Volkmann
Guest
Shawn Volkmann

Looking at the facts of this case, when studied for a bit it is kind of strange that one person could have pulled this off. Its my guess that there had to be a minimum of two perpetrators to make this possible. The boot print didn't belong to Hart. Now I am not trying to stand up for someone like him, but I don't think just one person could have done this. Hart would have written something more complex on the wall of the cave, more of an insult. Now I do have another person in mind that was in… Read more »

Kelly
Guest
Kelly

My parents told me this story when I was younger. I always thought it was something they made up. Definitely want to check this place out!

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