Was there ever a conviction in this case? No. The only person ever brought to trial was Gene Leroy Hart. He was found not guilty. There have been other suspects and early on in the original investigation there were a few other serious suspects. About one week after the murders occurred agents were looking almost exclusively for Gene Hart only.
Why was Gene Hart returned to prison after he received a “not guilty” verdict in his trial? He was an escaped convict at the time of the murders. He still had the remainder of a 305 year prison sentence to serve.
Who was Gene Hart? Mr. Hart was a resident of the nearby town of Locust Grove. He grew up only about one mile from the Girl Scout camp. He was a Cherokee Indian. He graduated from Locust Grove High School and was a good athlete.
(Some sources talk about him being a “star athlete” and an “All State” football player, but I can not find any evidence to back that up. As I researched Locust Grove’s football record for the years he was a student there, there is not very much that is all too impressive. My research though was limited to the two Tulsa papers, The Tulsa World and The Tulsa Tribune.)
**Thanks to another researcher I was given a handfull of articles that do in fact prove that Gene Hart was a standout athlete, particularly in football, but he was also very good in basketball. More info to come and I will post these articles here on the site. Gene Hart was married shortly after graduating high school and he had a son with his wife. She divorced him a few years later.
Who were the three victims who were murdered? They were Doris Milner (10), Michelle Guse (9) and Lori Farmer (8).
Doris Milner was from Tulsa and her father was a police officer in Tulsa. Michelle Guse lived in Broken Arrow, a suburb of Tulsa, and her father was a credit manager for a local department star in Tulsa. Lori Farmer was from Tulsa and her father was and is still a medical doctor. He is now an emergency room doctor at a large Tulsa hospital.
How could this have happened? When I went to Boy Scout or Girl Scout camp there was an adult in every tent or in every other tent. Then I would bet that you went to camp after these murders in June of 1977. The kind of arrangements that scouts have now when they go on camping trips or for summer camp, is a result of these murders.
What was Gene Hart’s criminal history previous to June 13th 1977?
Gene Hart was convicted of abducting (kidnapping) two young women from a Tulsa night club’s parking lot, forcing them to ride with him out east of Tulsa, just over the county line that divides Rogers county from Mayes county. So in Mayes county he raped these two women and basically left them for dead out in the woods, in a remote area. He stuffed rags in their mouths and put electrical tape over their nostrils and over their mouths. He bound their hands and ankles and covered them in leaves and brush. Somehow they escaped and were able to identify Hart as their attacker.
He was convicted but only served three years of a 9 years sentence.
A few months after he was released from prison he started burglarizing homes in Tulsa. He burglarized three homes that police know about. In all three instances the people who lived there were at home and asleep. Except for his last burglary. He made the mistake of trying to burglarize the apartment of one of Tulsa’a only female police officers at the time. Police arrived quickly and Hart was arrested.
Because of the terms of his release from prison, the fact that he violated his parole by committing other crimes and because Hart would not take a plea bargain offered by the DA in each of the three separate burglary trials, he was sentenced to 305 years in prison. How long was Gene Hart on the run from police after the murders occurred?
Gene Hart stayed on the lam for one week short of a full ten months.
What role did Cherokee or Indian Medicine play in the manhunt, investigation and trial?
Of course the answer to this questions depends on whether or not you believe in the spiritual world or in "medicine" to begin with.
To be sure though, genuine Medicine Men were being consulted on both sides. Gene Hart had at leats two Medicine Men and OSBI (Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation) agents were consulting one and maybe two Medicine Men for advice and help.
It seems that the longer Hart stayed a free man and alluded capture, law enforcement became more frustrated. The more frustrated law enforcement became, the more open they became to the possibility of Cherokee Medicine Men playing a role in the case.
One of the Medicine Men known to have helped law enforcement said that at the trial there were several other Medicine Men present in and outside the court house in Pryor trying to influence the outcome of the trial using Indian Medicine.
"Crying Wolf", the Medicine Man who assisted law enforcement (See him here).
Also read here about "Indian Medicine" and the possibility of Gene Hart shape shifting. What other resources are there where I can learn more about this case?
As of June 2011 there have only been two books published about this case. "Someone Cry for the Children" written by Michael and Dick Wilkerson. These two gentlemen are brothers and were both Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) agents who worked closely on this case. Mike Wilkerson was the second on OSBI agent to arrive at the crime scene. The book is an excellent read and is full of information. Since the authors were do closely involved in making the case against Gene Leroy Hart, the book has a definite slant towards Hart being guilty.
The Wilkersons also made a documentary based on their book. They seem to have had terrific cooperation from all parties involved. The documentary is difficult to find. It aired once on the Discovery Channel.
In June of 2011 Gloyd McCoy published only the second book about the murders. His book is titled "Tent Number 8" named after the tent in which the three girls stayed in the Kiowa Unit. McCoy is an Oklahoma City defense attorney and the book has some praise and much criticism for the way the case and the trial were handled.
In contrast to the Wilkerson book McCoy's book is not written in dramatic fashion. It is very factual and it is extremely well documented.
McCoy has a full account of the defense's and prosecution's closing arguments which are both quite revealing.
Another book was written in the mid 1980's by an experienced, local writer, Charles Sasser. Sasser has written and published dozens of other books before writing about the Girl Scout Murders. Sasser is a former Tulsa homocide detective and he was also persoanlly well acquainted with Sheriff Pete Weaver.
Good luck finding a copy! The book was never published. The Wilkersons took Sasser to court contending that Sasser's was too similar to their book and the judge agreed with the Wilkersons. The uncorrected manuscript is occassionally available on amazon.com but it sells for around $900.00 What other attempts have been made to find the party (parties) responsible for the murders?
At the end of the trial an investigator said that 'they would not be looking for anyone else. They already had the right man.' This statement was unprofessional even if the investigator believed it to be true.
After Sheriff Weaver lost his re-election bid, the next Sheriff, Sheriff Paul Smith, who had won in part promising to re-open the Girl Scout murders case. idence and attempted to assemble a grand jury to A private investigator working for the Mayes County Sheriff's office, Ted LaTurner, supposedly turned up new evidence and attempted to assemble a grand jury. The Sheriff and LaTurner did everything required but their efforts were thwarted by changed in the requirements for calling a grand jury investigation. After this LaTurner and Sheriff Smith did not attempt to get all of the sugnatures needed. See this section for more information and some articles: All Hart?
There have been two major attempts to test the DNA left at the crime scene to Gene Hart or any other suspect. One unsuccessful attempt in the late 1980s; the second attempt was in 2008 and the conclusion was that the DNA was too corrupted due to the way it had been stored over the preceeding 30 years.
The 2008 DNA tests were labeled "inconclusive" but they did show a female DNA link. The female DNA did not match that of the three girls.
Lori Farmer's mother was quoted in 2008 saying that she always felt that there was a female involved in the murders in some way.