Camp Scott

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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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SBW
Guest
SBW

If anyone has any information they think would be vital to the case, we run a Cold Case Podcast and would love to speak with you. Speculation or not, Any information is helpful.

9185579378

Patty Beal
Guest
Patty Beal

I purchased a beautiful, rustic, 2 room, 16×16 foot cabin approx. 25 years ago from the Locust Grove area and had it relocated to a south Tulsa hill. I was not aware of the connection to Camp Scott until one of the house movers who assisted in the relocation of this structure informed me that it had , in fact, come from that campsite. It looks very much like the Ranger House..but it did not have a front porch. There were bunk beds inside and an antique couch. It has been utilized as a peaceful retreat for prayer for many… Read more »

Chris Moyers
Guest
Chris Moyers

I would just like to say, I went to see this place off of 82 and was overwhelmed by the feeling I got as I got close to the Camp. It actually surprised me how evil and scary this place really is. I turned around and left.

Trev62
Guest
Trev62

Here’s at least half of the case solved : piece of cake if you know anything about crime solving and body language and accessibility and motive etc etc etc https://youtu.be/GWRKbOL7lhI

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