Camp Scott

221
City/Town: Locust Grove
Location Class: Disappearing Town
Year Built: 1920's
Year Abandoned: 1977
Status: EndangeredNational Register of Historic Places Disappearing Town
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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Mike
Guest
Mike

This looks used since 1977. Those trusses in the great hall kitchen look brand new and cigarettes weren't $4.40 in 1977… (also, that Gatorade cooler looks newer than 30+ years).

BecDean
Guest
BecDean

The pool was opened to the public by the landowners about 15 years back.

InactiveOkie
Guest
InactiveOkie

In order to believe Hart did NOT commit these murders, you have to be willing to believe all the evidence was fabricated. As to the evidence supposedly left behind when Hart escaped, the Sheriff produced signed property receipts showing Hart took these items with him one of the few times he got out of jail by not escaping. Multiple items tied Hart to the nearby caves, and he had connections in the area. I've never heard anyone say that the perpetrator's hair that was bound up in the tape used to bind the girls was planted. That hair was as… Read more »

OldNews Boy Scout
Guest
OldNews Boy Scout

In response to your post, I personally know that the medicine man was falsely accused of these horrific murders. If anyone disputes his innocence feel free to look up the story of a little known serial killer named "KIller Karl" Myers. Specifically a search for a Claremore, OK newspaper publication called the "Daily Progress" No. 180-March 11, 1998.by editor Lisa Willhoite. The article describes the arrest and conviction of the serial killer Karl Myers and how he committed a few of the crimes but its documented now that he killed atleast 5 people 3 being the girls at Camp Scott.… Read more »

Cari
Guest
Cari

My issue is that from a psychological perspective, his actions make little sense. He had raped pregnant women before. Moving from grown women to children is odd. Sexual predators have their "thing" that gets them going, its very rare for it to be more than one thing. Especially when we're talking adults vs. children. I'd be willing to bet it wasn't him.

Gene
Guest
Gene

I've wondered the same thing. If Hart was an adult female predator, then why was he considered also a child predator. Some child predators kidnap and keep under lock and key, a child to which he does unspeakable things year after year, but when they start getting too old, they search for another victim. Hart simply didn't fit the pattern although he was certainly not a person one would want to be buddy buddy with.

Jamie
Guest
Jamie

It's not really that odd if he was an escaped convict he had access only to certain things and some people's 'fetish' is simply sadism, which doesn't always hold boundaries the way you think it does.

Kim
Guest
Kim

And the question that always haunted me from the time the crime happened is why would you risk committing another crime when you spent the energy to escape prison and risk getting caught doing something and be put back inside. Why risk that after 4 years of freedom, why not commit an act much earlier than that?

Kevin
Guest
Kevin

Measures of central tendency. That's why.

Josh
Guest
Josh

I'm looking for the exact location, can someone please email me.

Mark Ruffin
Guest
Mark Ruffin

I wonder why was the 3 little girls so seperated away from everybody else. That's why they was easy prey

none
Guest
none

Easy to molest by those they trusted.

Liz Troop 157
Guest
Liz Troop 157

If an adult had been there, one more body would probably have been found. This was just an isolated incident by a crazy person.

Dawn
Guest
Dawn

Check this out…a friend sent it to me today…
http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2011/07/06/e

Victoria
Guest
Victoria

This story intrigued me after seeing the headline about the movie being made. I have one question after looking at the pictures. What is with the bones in the picture that is listed under the "red barn" heading? I found that strange and nobody here mentioned it.. Maybe I'mmissing something??

big country
Guest
big country

they are horse bones

Lelouch
Guest
Lelouch

I thougt they were human too at first. But they're too large.

monika
Guest
monika

How sad, and it hits a nerve with me because I used to go to sleep away camp in New york from the time i was about 6 to 17 but we slept in bunks (cabins) and there were four counselors to 8 campers in the same cabin. and growing up I never once thought something like this could happen. Camp is supposed to be a safe and fun place for children to experience nature and make new friends. Looking at the layout of the camp I am wondering why on earth would parents send their kids here? did the… Read more »

Mark Ruffin
Guest
Mark Ruffin

Good saying because i agree 100%.Why was it layed out like that.

Ken
Guest
Ken

It looks as if some utilization of the campsite went on (for storage) and the phone in one of the pictures was not vintage 1977. I don't know if the upcoming film is going to be done by a legitimate person or not; there is so much controversy. The campsite could be used for adults but that would sensationalize these murders. I say leave it as it is. As for the civil suit against the Girl Scout entity I wonder if there wasn't some backwoods justice going on given that the plaintiffs lost.

Tery
Guest
Tery

I remember all of this because I was a girl scout at the time it happened.After this happened we camped out near Moore ,Oklahoma with fathers of the girls acting as armed guards—basically this event ended the "sweet and innocent" childhood part of my life. I would love to see this "cold" case solved once and for all.

Nicole
Guest
Nicole

About 10 years ago my husband and I rented the Ranger house. We didn't last there long nor did I know as much about what happened there as I do now after visiting your site or I would never have lived there. So creepy and very sad. I also use to swim in the pool when I was younger.

Suz
Guest
Suz

I love looking at the old photographs. Boy, do I remember the great hall. It was filled with such sounds of happiness and giggles.

I'm going to look for my old photos of my camping experiences at Camp Scott. I should find some of my fellow campers so we can come up with more "scathingly brilliant" ideas to torture camp counselors It was always so much fun. ((((Cheshire grin)))

Terri
Guest
Terri

Having spent much of my formative youth at Camp Scott in the mid 1960's, I remember the layout of each encampment to be the same with one tent quite far away from the rest. And none of us campers ever wanted the "isolated" tent.

Sylvia Scott
Guest
Sylvia Scott

I made a post earlier about this. The property was sold-Camp Scott could never be again since the Council sold the land. They also tried to sell the parcels that HJ Scott deeded to them as long as they wanted to use the land for the samp. Also, it was not an eerie place and I was in the Kiowa unit when I attended in the 60's. By the way-whoever got onto the property to commit the murders knew it quite well and would have known how to enter it. It was not that easy to get to it without… Read more »

A M H
Guest
A M H

Since Boy Scout Camp Garland is well east of OK 82 and the site of Girl Scout Camp Scott is just west of OK 82, it doesn't seem at all that someone would come from Camp Garland to commit these heinous murders which happened on the far west part of Camp Scott. Also, since the three caves and the burglarized farm house were just west and southwest of Camp Scott and closest to the Kiowa area where the three girls' tent was, it is more likely that the perp(s) came through the back gate on the west side of Camp… Read more »

Guest
Guest
Guest

First of all, I find white on black with this website, very hard to read. Also, I can barely see when these comments were written. That being said, I just heard about this. I probably read about it, or heard about it, when it happened, but just re-read it this year 2011. I am commenting because I have noticed when reading lately and from inside information into the Jon Benet murder, plus reading for the first time the Keddie murders, and then this one, that I realized all of them have different stories. The scenes at each of these cases… Read more »

Guest
Guest
Guest

Really? Prince of Darkness? There may be some kind of cover-up going on here, but don't polarize "non" christians as murders and devil worshipers, and the good people as christians. This kind of thinking is ridiculous.

Guest
Guest
Guest

Mr. Ramsey's older daughter died in a car accident, while in another state nowhere near him. You say he was "told" to shut her up about his own alleged molestation? That doesn't even make sense.

Guest
Guest
Guest

You're kind of a schmuck, aren't you?

Lelouch
Guest
Lelouch

Hart did kill those girls. It's obvious he did. One of the reasons he got off was because the prosecutor(sp?) couldn't find anyone better to testify against him than an indian medicine man.

Frost
Guest
Frost

Actually in ritulistic killings things are very controlled, and not easily figured out, unless you know what you're looking for. To the girl scout murders, it wasn't ritulistic at all. These three girls were killed by a sick sadistic person. People who practice Shamanisem (sp?) usually do it for good. There first rule like with Wicca is harm none. Native American medican used to harm people always comes back to desstroy the person who weilded it for wrong. And if you want to talk about vicious crimes, take a look at some other murderers. Not all of them were invovled… Read more »

annalise
Guest
annalise

Agree completely. You will not find a more benign way of faith than Wicca. Harm none…how that supports the claims made above are beyond me. Maybe this person should actually do some real research in Shamanism and Wicca before they smear them.

notalwaysobvious
Guest
notalwaysobvious

The killer of these poor souls is "Killer Karl Myers". I know this because i have a newspaper clipping from 1998 telling me about his serial killing self getting put on the stand and found out by a friend of mine who was in jail with him at the time. Karl Myers died last December of 2012 of a heart attack while on death row. he was tried and convicted of killing two woman unrelated to this case. A website serialmurderers.com tells of his story and identifies that he also killed the 3 girls scouts in camp scott. The same… Read more »

TDoug
Guest
TDoug

More importantly, it would be dangerous. Camp Scott was designed in the 20s, and what was safe then is not safe now. As Barbie also points out, the layout was bad. I noticed this looking at the map on this site. Each section was pretty isolated, and the individual tents were not that close to each other or the counselor. With "copycat" criminals so common these day, I don't think it's a good idea. At the risk of sounding trite or insensitive, the old camp seems oddly peaceful and I truly do believe these 3 girls are in a much… Read more »

TDoug
Guest
TDoug

I posted once about how these pics don't have a creepy feel, and Hannah hit it on the nail; the old campgrounds don't seem angry or scary, but sad, as if they regret what happened here as much as anyone and miss the old days. But as Barbie points out, there was a different vibe shortly before the murders. There were definitley warnings. Stolen articles, ominous warning notes, an effigy of a man found hanging by his neck, shadowy figures… But while the place may not seem menacing now, I hope it is NOT reopened. There is obviously still a… Read more »

paul
Guest
paul

I agree I remember I was camping out in the back yard when this happend even though I was 45 miles away it was still scary for a 13 year old .
I do feel that to re open the camp would cause a media circus that would cause more harm than good besides would you want to send your kids to a camp that a horrific murder took place I know I wouldnt

Regina Martin
Guest
Regina Martin

This website has a lot of great work put into it. Thank you.

Hannah
Guest

Also, I agree that these photos don't bear the same creepy vibe as some other photos of abandoned places do. They seem to be sad and saying, come back, please enjoy the area again.

Hannah
Guest

While what happened to the girl's is horrible and tragic, I do agree that the camp should be reopened. The facilities and area is beautiful, and it's a shame it's sitting there wasting away. It was a place for many years before of joy, learning and laughter. If we keep it closed, it lets Gene Leroy Hart (as he in all likelihood murdered the girls) and what he did win, and stands as a monument to that, and not the girls themselves, who are what should matter in this. The girls I think would want this place reopened as such,… Read more »

Abby
Guest
Abby

I agree completely!!! He wins if nothing is done with this great property,

Shawn Volkmann
Guest
Shawn Volkmann

I have done some reasearch into this case with everything available to me. Has anyone ever checked out the recovered photo a little closer. I believe this picture to be of Betty Crawford, or a close relative thereof. The forground may be one of her daughters, I am going on memory here now as I have not been able to locate a photo of Betty, all of my originals were destroyed in a fire several years back. I spend a lot of my time looking at cases like this due to my mothers dissappearence over 20 years ago. If anyone… Read more »

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