Oklahoma's wind-swept plains have been the scene of many baffling crimes. While every town possesses their own creepy unsolved mystery, the state of Oklahoma has some especially alarming ones. Whether cold cases or open investigations that leave everyone stumped, these crimes are both chilling and tragic. Horrific crimes like kidnapping and murder, though, gain a layer of mystery when the killer remains at large.
Many unsolved Oklahoma murders appear on television shows like Unsolved Mysteries or circulate as stories among true crime enthusiasts. People losing their life is always tragic, but perhaps spreading their stories will help authorities discover clues and bring the victims' families closure.
After only one day at summer camp, a counselor discovered the bodies of Girl Scouts Denise Milner, Michele Guse, and Lori Farmer in the early morning on June 13, 1977. The perpetrator beat and raped the girls, and left their bodies under a tree just feet away from their tent. Questions arose over why no one heard the violent events, especially since evidence proved a struggle went on inside the tent close to where the other Scouts slept.
The camp sent the rest of the girls home as authorities began searching the area. They named Gene Leroy Hart, a convicted rapist who had escaped from prison four years earlier, as a prime suspect. Authorities discovered physical evidence, such as sperm and hair samples, at the crime scene. DNA testing wasn't available at the time, however, so the evidence was only circumstantial.
After a massive search, police captured Hart. A jury found him not guilty, and the case remains unsolved. Investigators deemed the samples discovered at the scene inconclusive; three of the five tests matched Hart, but it wasn't enough to definitively prove he killed the girls.
In October 2009, Eufaula residents Bobby and Sherilyn Jamison, along with their 6-year-old daughter Madyson, disappeared. The family spent their last moments traveling about 30 miles from their home into the Red Oak mountain range where they planned to check out 40 acres of land.
Several days after police began investigating the missing family, they located the Jamison's truck, undamaged and abandoned in the woods with the doors locked. Inside, police found their malnourished dog along with the family's cell phones, wallets, IDs, and $32,000 in cash. Four years later, hunters discovered the remains of a child and two adults lying face down next to one another, but forensic testing didn't positively identify the remains as the Jamisons until over six months later.
Numerous theories exist about what happened to the family - one posits a murder-suicide, while another suggests a murder at the hands of Bobby's father, with whom he allegedly had an unstable relationship. Additionally, police discovered a long, angry letter Sherilyn wrote to Bobby, and couldn't uncover the pistol she owned. Because the family was carrying a large sum of cash, some suspect the death of the Jamison family involved drugs.
A local pastor revealed Bobby once sought his advice about an alleged haunting in his home - Bobby and Sherilyn may have believed in the occult. Sherilyn owned a "witches' bible," though she claimed it was only a joke. The night the Jamisons left, home security footage recorded them loading items into their truck in a trance-like state.
A massive F5 tornado ripped through Woodward on April 9, 1947. It became the state's deadliest tornado after it injured over 1,000 people and killed 185. Four-year-old Joan Gay Croft lost her mother in the tragedy, and her stepfather suffered serious injuries. Joan, meanwhile, ended up in the hospital when a piece of wood pierced her leg, while her sister sustained minor injuries.
As Joan and her sister recuperated in a hospital basement room, two men in khaki-colored military outfits entered and took her with them. Joan didn't want to leave her sister, and when the staff tried to intervene, the men claimed they were taking her to another hospital. No one ever saw her again.
A large-scale manhunt for both Joan and her kidnappers failed to turn up any clue of what happened to the little girl. Since the incident, many women have claimed to be Joan, including one who believed she remembered the aftermath of the tornado while under hypnosis. The woman saw an episode of Unsolved Mysteries that led her to think she may be the missing girl. A scar on her leg lent veracity to her story, but blood tests proved she wasn't Joan.
In December 1999, Ashley Freeman turned 16, and her best friend Lauria Bible slept over to celebrate. Sometime during the night, the Freemans' home caught fire and burned to the ground.
When firefighters found the remains of Ashley's mother, they discovered she died from a gunshot. They couldn't locate either of the girls, although Bible's car was still parked outside the home. Authorities suspected Ashley's father in their disappearance until they discovered his body inside the burned home, shot in the head. Investigators labeled the fire an arson and began a nationwide search for the girls.
Police finally made an arrest in April 2018. They suspected three men of the crime, though two of them have passed away since the girls disappeared. They charged Ronnie Busick with murder after learning several different people witnessed the three men talking about and sharing photos of the girls tied up and held against their will. Investigators also realized an insurance card found at the crime scene tied one of the accused men to the fire - it belonged to his girlfriend at the time.
The whereabouts of Freeman and Bible remain unknown, though one person close to the three men says they threw the girls' bodies into a pit.