In the summer of 1977, three young Girl Scouts - Lori Farmer, Michelle Guse, and Doris Milner - were brutally assaulted and murdered on their very first night at Camp Scott in Mayes County, OK. Just hours after they were killed, a counselor discovered the girls' battered bodies, stuffed in their sleeping bags and dumped not far from Cookie Trail, the main road into the Girl Scout camp.
Decades later, Oklahomans and people all around the world are fascinated by details about the Oklahoma Girl Scout murders. Many people - including ministers and convicted criminals - have contacted law enforcement and the media to provide the names of the people they believe killed the girls. While some people think they know exactly who killed the Oklahoma Girl Scouts, no one has ever been convicted of the crimes. The unsolved Girl Scout murders remain some of the state's most disturbing unsolved cases.
On June 13, 1977, Lori Lee Farmer, age 8, Michelle Heather Guse, age 9, and Doris Denise Milner, age 10 arrived for Girl Scout camp at Camp Scott in Mayes County, OK. That evening around 6 p.m., the three girls - who had met for the first time earlier that day - sought shelter from a thunderstorm in tent number 8.
The following morning around 6 a.m., a counselor discovered the lifeless bodies of Farmer, Guse, and Milner: all three girls had been sexually assaulted and badly beaten. While Farmer and Guse had been bludgeoned to death, Milner had been killed via strangulation; two of the girls had been raped, while the other had been sodomized. After the Girl Scouts were murdered, their corpses were shoved into sleeping bags and left on a trail approximately 150 yards from the tent the three of them had shared.
In April - two months before Farmer, Guse, and Milner were murdered - a training session was held at Camp Scott. However, the weekend ended prematurely when a counselor's cabin was ransacked, and a disturbing note was discovered in an empty box of doughnuts. The handwritten note warned, "We are on a mission to kill three girls in tent one." Someone had also created an effigy of a man, which they hanged from a tree by its neck.
While both the effigy and the note were strange and upsetting, the letter also mentioned Martians. The camp administrators dismissed the entire series of events as a tasteless prank.
When Farmer, Guse, and Milner were murdered at Camp Scott, an escaped convict, Gene Leroy Hart, was on the loose in Mayes County, OK. Hart had been convicted of kidnapping two pregnant women and raping one of the expectant mothers. He had escaped from police custody in 1973, four years before the three Girl Scouts were murdered. After the girls were killed, law enforcement immediately suspected Hart, and conducted a massive search of the area surrounding Camp Scott in an effort to capture him.
Approximately 10 months after the girls were murdered, a tip led police to a cabin in Cherokee County. There, Hart was arrested on April 6, 1978. Hart was tried for the murders of the Girl Scouts, but a jury found him not guilty. However, he did return to prison for his original crimes, where he died of a heart attack on June 4, 1979.
In 2008, DNA tests were performed on biological evidence collected from a pillowcase found at the Camp Scott crime scene, revealing a partial female DNA profile. Experts determined this female DNA profile didn't come from two of the murder victims, although they were unable to conclusively exclude the third girl as the source of the biological evidence.
While the sample recovered from the pillowcase may belong to one of the murder victims, it's possible it came from a woman who may have been present at the time of the killings. One of the victim's mothers, Sheri Farmer, told a newspaper: "I've always felt in my gut that there was a girl present. Given the DNA results, you have to wonder if there wasn't also a female who took part in the murders."