Criminal profiling was being used within the FBI as early as 1972 with the establishment of their Behavioral Science Unit, however it was still in its infancy. It was not until after 1986 that law enforcement began routinely relying heavily on the assistance of criminal profilers.
In the July 9th, 1977 issue of the Tulsa Tribune newspaper Oklahoma Clinical Psychologist Dr. Robert Phillips, offered his views on what sort of person would be capable of murdering the three Girl Scouts.
Today we would call this kind of analysis of the evidence at hand, criminal profiling. Dr. Phillips spent 25 years of his professional life treating criminals and the criminally insane. He was a member of a private organization called the Barkouras Foundation, and over time Oklahoma's criminal courts came to rely on the "profiles" this foundation produced.
1. The perpatrator suffers from an overwhelming infeiority complex. He hates himself and he hates the world. He fears rejection; especially rejection by women. He is a very depressed and angry person. The killer hates being alive and murdering is his way of taking revenge on a world that he believes has mistreated him.
2. He is a sexual sadist and he will strike again if he is not caught. His sadism is expressed in his anger at life. Sex symbolizes something to him but something very different than what it means to people in normal society. Because the killer hates happiness, innocence and decency, the killer uses sex to degrade these things and himself. Usually sex is "life giving" but in his case sex is "life taking".
3. Despite modern psychiatric medicine and therapy, his kind of mental illness can not be cured. He does not have a chronic psychosis.
4. While he is not legally insane, he survives on such a savage, animal level that all efforts to rehabilitate him would be in vain.
5. He was methodical and calculating in the carrying out of this crime. Dr. Phillips believes that he may have come only to kill one girl but then passion took over and he kept returning to the tent for another and yet another victim. He could not leave the bodies alone.
6. He became completely caught up in his deed. He carried the girls beyond the unit area and continued to violate them.
7. At that moment, right outside of the Kiowa Unit, the perpatrator was a madman, an animal, a monster.
8. At some point though, something abruptly happened which brought him "back" and/or alarmed him.
9. Suddenly the killer, like an animal covering his tracks, begins to try and cover his tracks. He stuffs two of the small girls deep into their sleeping bags. He takes sleeping bags, towels, whatever he can find and begins trying to wipe up the blood. This is a man with complete disorder in his life trying to create order.
10. Some kind of severe trauma occurred in this man's life to make him feel extremely inferior and to build up such a passionate hatred in him.
Another independent profiling and criminal analysis group called Signature Profiling Associates (headquartered in South Carolina) did some work on this case. They specialize in the analysis of violent occult and ritual crime. They call this kind of work OVRCR, Occult and Violent Ritual Crime Research.
They have also done research in the case of The West Memphis Three and The Zodiac Killer. They analyze cases that involve satanism, ritual murders, crimes that involve syncretic religions, and any kind of subculture crimes
Events Leading Up To The Crime
Strange events were taking place around Camp Scott leading up to the murders.An effigy in the form of a man was found hanging from a tree by its neck, with its genitals showing, and personal items were disappearing from tents. The most interesting event was the discovery of a note in April which read "we are on a mission to kill 3 girls in tent 1". The note was considered a prank and never given to police.
A storm hit the area around 6PM, causing heavy rain. Because of the weather, the campers were sent back to their tents.At approximately 1:30AM, moaning was heard near camp Kiowa. Carla, a counselor at the camp, checked out the noise and described it as a low guttural moaning. It would stop whenever the beam of her flashlight came near.
Carla was standing at the intersection of the trail, 150 yards from Tent 8 and a dirt road leading to the main camp.At approximately 2AM, the tent flap of #7 was opened. Three of the girls inside were sleeping. The fourth girl stated that she noticed a beam of light moving about the interior from outside, with the silhouette of a large figure behind it. The figure moved off toward Tent 8. Moaning sounds were heard throughout the night, not just by those in the Kiowa section but in four other units of the camp.At approximately 3AM, a girl in the Cherokee section across the woods heard a scream come from the direction of Kiowa, located about two city blocks away. A girl in Quapaw also heard a scream. The scream seemed to be cries of "momma! momma!"The girl thought it may have been the voice of Lori Farmer.
At approximately 6AM, Carla found sleeping bags under a tree near the intersection in a pile.
Doris Milner was found nude from the waist down with her pyjama top pulled up underneath her arms. Her hands had been tied behind her back with duct tape and she had been beaten around the face.Around her neck a cord and an elastic bandage were visible. A round cylinder shaped object about four inches long made of terrycloth was attached to the cord. The elastic bandage had been used as a blindfold; the terrycloth object as a gag.Michele Heather Guse and Lori Farmer were found inside their sleeping bags. Both bodies had been bound into a tight, compact, fetal-like position.
Guse's and Farmer's sleeping bags contained bloody bed sheets that had been used by the killer to wipe down the blood found on the wood floor of the tent. Also found was a roll of black duct tape and a flashlight the murderer had discarded.
Jack Shroff was the owner of a farm 1 miles west of Camp Scott whose house had been broken into. Some of the items taken from his home were a sash cord, a roll of duct tape, 3 bottles of beer and 3 identical crow bars. The beer bottles were later found empty on the camp grounds.
Outside Shroff's door a jungle boot style print was found. It matched other boot prints found near the crime scene.
Another print had been found on the blood soaked floor of Tent 8.
*Boot Print Size 10
*Shoe Print (possible tennis shoe) size 7
Cause of Death
Guse and Farmer were killed inside the tent. They were struck by a heavy blunt object in the back of their heads while they slept.Milner may have been led out of the tent, raped, and then killed. When found, her face had been beaten with such force that the object responsible had left behind its shape. She had died on the trail. Her cause of death was strangulation, not blunt force trauma.At autopsy it was revealed that two different types of knots had reportedly been used; head wounds on two of the victims indicated two different blunt instruments.
Physical evidence left behind at the crime scene and evidence recovered during autopsy indicates that two offenders were involved in the crime.The nature of the crime scene was a mixed scene, all of the equipment necessary to commit the crime was brought along, yet no steps were taken to conceal the crime after it was committed. This indicates that two offenders were involved. The offenders would have left the area immediately after the crime.This crime is one that would have been planned months, possibly years in advance. The killers were probably good friends, given the nature of the crimes.
Because of the remoteness of the crime scene, the offenders knew the area well; they were probably either avid hunters or lived in the area.
Only one of the girls was the intended target.The other two girls were most likely murdered because they could identify the offenders.
One or both of the offenders may have had a history of sexual assault, possibly involving children.
This may not have been the first murder for one of both of the offenders. The level of violence indicates that these offenders were not new to murder and had been involved in some type of violent crime previous to this one.
However, the crime itself was sloppy and excessively violent so this may have been the offenders' first murder.The girls could have been led out of the tent, or tied up and dragged out of the tent, and killed in another location that would have been more difficult to find, therefore concealing their identity. Instead, the victims were murdered inside of the tent, leaving behind shoe prints and blood.
The victims were all young girls that were surprised in their tent late at night while probably sleeping. They were badly beaten and raped.
This was the first step in the escalation of violence, leading to murder.
Dr. David Canter
Dr. Chris Hatcher
Dr. James Brussel
The people below are the pioneers in the field of criminal profiling and criminal behavioral psychology. Many of these gentlemen are regular guests on network and cable news shows Click each photo to learn a little more about each one.
Click the image to see the entire preliminary hearing transcript and associated court documents.