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.

Great Hall

Kiowa Camp

Arts and Crafts

Choctaw Camp

Pool

Quapaw Camp

Red Barn

Seminole Camp

Miscellaneous

211
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Katie
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Katie

I know that all the accounts of the discovery of the bodies state that camp counselor Carla Wilhite found them on her way to the showers. However, if the map shown at the top of this page is accurate, that is either impossible or at least HIGHLY unlikely. The counselors' tent is shown on THIS map right next to a building labeled as housing the shower facilities. Even the most cursory glance at the map quickly shows, therefore, that Counselor Wilhite would have had to CROSS the camp all the way over to the area of the murdered girls' tent… Read more »

Mike
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Mike

This may be explained somewhere on the site or in these comments, but I read that the camp was abandoned in 1977, yet there are pictures of a rack for cigarettes with prices that are very much from the 2000s?

LaGena
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LaGena

The land which the camp was on was bought by one of my friends & her husband & was reopened the pool & concession area in the late 90's & later closing it in the the early too mid 2000's.

your life develop
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Excellent

Renee Cypert
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Renee Cypert

Joli, I went to that camp 5 years before your sister was murdered there. I'm originally from Tulsa, and I don't remember how many times my Girl Scout troop went camping there, but I had so much fun there! It was so shocking and so horrifying about the murders. The fact that it is still unsolved only adds mystery. Bless you!

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[…] all I found were stories about the three Girl Scouts from Oklahoma who were murdered that year at Camp Scott. And, who could forget? Doris was 10. Michelle was nine. Lori was […]

KimPEMA
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KimPEMA

When we went to camp we always took the furthest tent.. There is nothing unusual about that.. We have spent more than a month at this point going over the pre-trial testimony and WOW! The police did NOT do a proper job.. Those poor babies need justice! I remember when this happened even though I was in another state.. My last name was also Farmer, (no relation that I know of).. Almost sickening that it is still not solved.. We are looking into finding someone who may be able to reopen this and get it done properly

Elizabeth
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Elizabeth

The best site for information on this is http://www.girlscoutmurders.com/
I know they recommend this site but it irritates me in a way because the camp was not abandoned. It was sold and has an owner and people still live there, at least they did last time I researched it. Someone Cry for the Children is a good book, but Tent Number 8 is not.

J Cole
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J Cole

I lived in Chouteau, OK (not far from Locust Grove) as a child and remember the area well. After graduating high school, I lived in a Dallas, TX suburb – married with two daughter both of whom were Girl Scouts and I was troop leader for both. When my troops went camping – it was troop camping only. I had a large troop of 21 girls, an associate leader and a first aider – both had girls in my troop. Our troop camping consisted of a weekend in the fall and spring in fully enclosed buildings I never took them… Read more »

Lara Kalen
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Lara Kalen

How wonderful and rewarding your scouting years sound with your daughters.

I am so sorry about the loss of your daughter and 2 grand children. May they remember your love as they are looking down from the heavens at you!

Keriann
Guest

I don’t think it looks scary and it would be a fun camp only f the girls didn’t die there

Alex
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Alex

Hey I came out to the old camp Scott property but couldn't find building like the great hall or anything like that… while walking down by the creek there was a ridge and my co-adventurers thought it all might be up there but didn't have a change to go look because it was dark.. does anyone know if all those buildings are low by the creek or up off the ridge?

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