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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Joli Farmer
Guest
Joli Farmer

I am Lori's sister. It is interesting to read all these comments. While many of the things posted here are not true, I am deeply touched by the overriding theme….that you all remember my sister and the two other girls, that after all these years your hearts are still tender toward the victims and their families, and that your lives were also changed in some way on that fateful June night. I have never seen this website before. It amazes me that people are still so intrigued by this case. Why is that?

Jayne
Guest
Jayne

I have a troop of high school aged Girl Scouts in Indiana. We did a program on Girl Scout history and some of them found this story. They actually wanted to name a garden they want to work on as a project in memory of the girls since it will take about two years to raise the funds and get it organized and that will be the 40th anniversary, but I told them the families probably wouldn't want a gesture like that from strangers so far away. But yes! Yes! The girls are not forgotten by their GS sisters even… Read more »

Shaun Jones
Guest
Shaun Jones

I think the families would appreciate the gesture that their girls have not been forgotten

Maggie
Guest
Maggie

Joli, I was pregnant with my first child when this heinous crime happened. I remember watching the news reports with tears in my eyes. I have so many great memories of Camp Scott and all the fun that my girlfriends and I had. My heart ached that those 3 innocent girls died at the hands of a devil(s). I believe many women my age lost hope of ever sharing and experiencing the great times as a Girl Scout leader with their daughter (like I had had with my mom), or ever allowing their daughter to go on a camp out… Read more »

Billie Erickson
Guest

I think people have alot of curiosity about this tragedy. I also think many people feel as though it’s a shared tragedy because while you lost your sister they lost a beautiful time shared in their lives, wonderful memories and neverending friendships. It was all gone suddenly without warning. also I think for the most part people believe GLH was the killer others think there were 2 killers and so people feel unsure like it’s not settled.

Leslie B.
Guest
Leslie B.

Went to Camp Scott every summer from 2nd grade through my senior year in H.S. as a counselor. Great time of my life. Beautiful, well run, wonderful facilities, good group of kids and counselors. No ghosts, no fears. Snakes, tarantulas, scorpions, animals. Expected in an Oklahoma summer in a primitive environment. My father designed the new Great Hall in the 60's. the tragic events occurred several years after my summers at Scott had ended. Looking back, I still feel a fondness for the many years of happiness spent there; but I also share the tragic memories created a decade later,… Read more »

love the pics
Guest
love the pics

I love the Pics of your site bring back memories of when i was going to camp garland as a boy scout. I'll never forget the time i first went to the site and some scout leaders pointed down a hill and said "down there is where 3 girl scouts were murdered". I don't remember sleeping more than 3 hours total the first few days there. After growing up and now living closer to the area i have stumbled on some important information i believe will be useful to you and people reading this site. A publication from the newspaper… Read more »

Jonathan Jett
Guest
Jonathan Jett

I grew up in Stillwater Okla.and now live in Tulsa and was 10 when this happened and remember hearing My parents and family talk about it and how horrific it was….I have been a professional Psychic 20+ years and would love to walk through and see If I pick anything helpful up…I do hope the families have found whatever Peace they have been able and allowed to find. Open to discuss the lingering effects via the paranormal aspects of the area etc. jjettfanpage@yahoo.com

Amy
Guest
Amy

My mother has known and worked with the father of Lori Farmer, and knew him when this happened. I was not yet born. She tells me that to this day, he just isn't the same person anymore, that he looks so sad all the time 🙁 I watched the documentary and it was so sad. How do you move past the loss of your child? I can't even imagine.

Potablewater
Guest
Potablewater

I have lived in Muskogee most of my life and was 9 when this happened. I work at CN and took a different position last year. Part of my job is to audit cash accounts aroung the 14 county CN area. 2 are in LG. I've driven right past this several times now. Went to google earth and located it. Drove past it last week. The Rowland Ranch sign is still there.

mertgrrl
Guest
mertgrrl

Although I was too young to remember this (I was 2 at the time), I grew up hearing about this case. We lived very close to Camp Scott and in fact some of Gene Leroy Hart's possessions were found on our property. A few years back I found a copy of Someone Cry For the Children and read it. I remember the part about an accomplice of Hart's (can't remember his name at the moment) talked about Hart watching a woman with two small children hanging laundry outside, and how she never knew how close she came to being raped.… Read more »

wonering wanderer
Guest
wonering wanderer

If it was up to me Id reopen this case.Theres far too many loose ends.Its sounds to me this was pinned on the closest crazy guy.Its all a little too neat.Im a dad,hunter,and spent many years in the scouts.And went on numerous campouts.So yes kids do sleep very soundly at times.But were talking scout camp here in the middle of the woods at night.No one heard anything?Everyone was asleep?We hardly ever slept much at scoutcamp.We were to busy talking and eating our smuggled in junk food stash.I swear my scout leader could hear our tent being unzipped at night a… Read more »

Joe
Guest
Joe

he was familiar. He was in the woods for years after escaping

blueheroncommunications
Guest
blueheroncommunications

This case was never closed. OSBI (Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations) still considers it open. DNA testing was performed about 10 years ago, and a private donor just donated funds for the biological evidence to be tested again. Hoping that advancements will give some answers.

Grover
Guest
Grover

Is anybody else as suspicious as I am of Carla Wilhite? She heard scratching on a screen door during orientation week. She was the counselor to investigate the light out in the woods. She was the first to find a body on her way to the shower, even though she took an interesting route to the shower. She only found one of the bodies. The other two were way to close for her to see and her answers are squirrelly. Then finally, her eyeglasses were photographed with the bodies. She sure was a big part of this whole thing. I… Read more »

@PreciousLambKni
Guest

I watched the documentary, and I too felt something just wasn't right with her, something just does not sit well, her actions aren't logical, it just doesn't add up, still bothers me all the time.

Liz Troop 157
Guest
Liz Troop 157

That is a terrible thing to say. She was just a kid herself. She's had to live with this for the rest of her life. I am SURE she didn't intend for this to happen.

bartley residences
Guest

Howdy very cool website!! Man .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your website and take the feeds also?I am glad to search out numerous helpful information here in the post, we want develop extra techniques on this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

Tracey
Guest
Tracey

inside job! I too was a girl scout camping at nichols park in Henryetta ok. at the same time this happened ,I remember this well.

jolie martin
Guest
jolie martin

I was 11 years old that summer,AND THE SAME WEEKEND, at camp DACKATII, CAMPFIRE CAMP in okc,,,,, my parents showed up out of Nowhere at camp to pick me up,,,,,, They told me what happened,,, and ive been fascinated about this my whole life,,,, i went to the Library last weekend and picked up this new book,"TENT NUMBER EIGHT " WHAT I DONT UNDERSTAND, IS WERE THE GIRLS IN A REAL "TENT" ? MY Dad said HART had several womens eyeglasses that he took,,,, including one of the girls glasses,,,,,,,, jolie

okieprincess
Guest
okieprincess

They would have been in Platform Tents, raised wooden platforms off the ground ( of varying heights) w/ a ridgepoles running front to back, draped in heavy Canvas Frabic attached to framing outside w/ cordage & w/ flaps that could be tied down to bolts in the platform , or tied together, or tied open during the day.(from what I've heard & pics I saw).. those are the kind I slept in during my 8 ys at GS Camp in OKC, our layout was diff tho, each of our units held 8 tents arranged in a senicircle facing the Counslers… Read more »

skelkeylvr
Guest
skelkeylvr

I have read multiple articles and comments regarding this horrific crime. The strange thing is some articles are stating it was tent #8 yet more recent ones are reporting tent# 7. Also, maps of the camp site differ. I wonder why this is.

okieprincess
Guest
okieprincess

It was Tent #8, that's what I've always heard

Lacy
Guest
Lacy

It was tent #7 but in some reports they had counted the counselors tent as tent #1. To the campers and staff the campers tents in Kiowa were 1 thru 7. Counselor tent had no number.

LBG
Guest
LBG

Tent #8. There is also a book available called tent #8. Roughly $30 bucks on Amazon basically an updated version of someone cry for the children.
LBG…born & raised in locust grove
Citizen of Locust Grove Okla.

Willow
Guest
Willow

While I am no sleuth, and don't care to get into the debate over who murdered those innocent girls, I would like to put my two cents in about the camp itself. Being a former Girl Scout, both as a Brownie/Junior and a Leader in a troop, I recall the one camping experience I had. Looking back, I am glad I live in Virginia and did not know about the murders until many years after they were committed and after my Scouting days were done. It would have scared me silly, despite the fact I was made to sleep in… Read more »

Friend
Guest
Friend

I have good friends who live on site now…their house is just 20 yards from where the bodies were found. No, the place isn't haunted. It's run wild with hogs and deer and beautiful-ness. One of the most beautiful places I've been to. Many of the outhouses and shower houses still stand, the red barn still stands, though it is in very rough condition. The lodge is currently under renovations, the current owner is going to rent it out. After visiting them and staying the night there last night I had to do some research on the subject, and found… Read more »

Magali
Guest
Magali

HI,
I'm French and i'm working on a documentary project about ghost towns around the world and more particularly about the Scott Camp. This story is as sad as fascinating and I would like to know if you can help me contact the owner on the site.
I would like to go there and shoot and tell the story of the place.
Are some buildings or landscapes that are still as they were in 77 ?
Thank you very much for your help.
Magali

lbg
Guest
lbg

Remember when The Rowland's decided too open the pool & concession area in late 90's early 2'000's?!!!
Juanita &Gary Rowland thought they would give it a run.
It didn't stay open long but still it was very popular even being a born & raised LG person I remember all the chatter so it was interesting.

Scotty
Guest
Scotty

If spirits lingered and "haunted" where they died then no one would ever go into a hospital. They would be so packed full of spirits the hauntings would be constant!

Joe
Guest
Joe

the camp was on sacred grounds 🙁

most likely 'inhabited'

LBG
Guest
LBG

so your saying that a "sacred area" or grounds decided too manifest into pure evil & make someone murder these girls??.. Please
Oh please..
Locust Grove oklahoma citizen
Born 1976

LBG
Guest
LBG

being born & raised & grown up including swimming & spending spring & summer in the original pool & concession areas it's not any more haunted than any other that being said you do get a dark unsettling feeling while being on the property.
LG oklahoma
Local citizen

droid
Guest
droid

Just a FYI… This place is not abandoned and has not been camp Scott since sold in the 80's!! It is privately owned and people live on the property and hunt on the property. The owner really has issues with people just showing up and walking around the land. So please call and talk to the owner first… His name and number is on the sign right before the old camps entrance..

Wolftrack Doğa ve Macera
Guest

obviously like your web-site but you need to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I in finding it very bothersome to tell the truth then again I will definitely come back again.

Grover
Guest
Grover

You found a grammatical error? Those are such a pain in the ass. Now I have no idea who did this murder. Come to think of it, you're last sentence was somewhat suspect. Do you live in Locust? Are you Native American? Things that make you go hmm.

Henry Kissinger
Guest
Henry Kissinger

Obviously I like your website, but you need to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I am finding it very bothersome to tell the truth. Then again, I will definitely come back again.

I just corrected all YOUR errors for you!

Lelouch
Guest
Lelouch

I can't believe I have been a girl scout all this time and I've only recently learned about this.
Also, is the ranger station still in use? Because that swing set does not look like it's been there since 1977. My granny had one just like that when I was a child. However, by the time I was a teen it was completly rusted through.

big country
Guest
big country

those are the pictures of camp scott but i do not understand why it is on aok as there are people liveing there to this date im sure they dont appreceate all the people comeing in and out wanting to walk around i went out there and there are no tresspassing signs everywhere

Old Reporter
Guest
Old Reporter

I just wonder who else may have had easy access to those tents, so easy that they would not have scared those youngsters in a thunderstorm like that one that night. I was never able to get Sheriff Weaver to give me an anwer to that question of anyone else.

Old Reporter
Guest
Old Reporter

There was never any hesitation in his mind that Gene Leroy Hart was the murderer, and I taked with him everyday for months afterward and his feeling never changed. But I still had those nagging questions; why were they all alone in the tent during a thunderstorm? Why no one checked on them all night? How would hart have sneaked into that tent which I believe had a wood floor, and not alerted any of the girls and no screams would have been heard by anyone.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Seriously…carried out by a swift demon

Sarah Burghart
Guest
Sarah Burghart

Sometimes people who are already frightened can become unresponsive to another horror happening when they are in this state. Imagine that dark cold rainy night, no lights in the tent and some bogeyman shows up! Horrible! I slept in platform tents many times in the summer. One time, my mother, who was a girl scout leader, dressed up in a halloween costume and looked in the tents. There was pandemonium, screaming and running girls everywhere. However, there were some who were literally paralyzed with fright. They neither moved nor made a sound. I knew it was my mother. I had… Read more »

Old Reporter
Guest
Old Reporter

I have never written about this before but having been a worker at day camp overnights back in the late 60's I always had to sleep between two tents to insure that city kids didn't get scared or out. But in a thunderstorm it seemed odd to me that no counselor was at theior tent or took then into a tent with other campers.

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