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So this was the area where Gene Leroy Hart chose to commit the crime of kidnapping and rape. He was convicted on one charge of first degree and two charges of kidnapping.
These were the first crimes he committed that are known to law enforcement and he chose his starting point to be on the "Corner of Dreams" in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
In June of 1966 Hart didn't go into work at his job in Tulsa at Flint Steel. Instead he abducted two, young, pregnant women from the parking lot of a Tulsa night club. He eventually drove them into Mayes County, then deep into the woods, where he brutally raped and sodomized his two victims.
During the trip to the location where he would eventually rape these two women, Hart would force one or both of them to ride in the trunk of the car. Both of the victims wore eyeglasses. When one of the two women would be riding in the car with Hart, he would try on their glasses to see if the perscription was right for him.
Hart was caught and he later plead guilty to rape and kidnapping. In actuality he raped and sodomized the two women climaxing three times in a relatively short period
There is no doubt, if you read the section in the Wilkerson book about these rapes, that Hart completely intended these two victims to die.
This was at a time in Tulsa's history when Tulsa had a very vibrant and thriving music scene. Bands and performers like a very young Charlie Daniels, Leon Russell, J.J. Cale, David Gates of the band "Bread", "The Kandy Kanes" with lead singer Debbie Campbell and The Paragons ("Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?") were all performing very regularly at the various clubs on this corner and in other night clubs nearby.
This corner also played host on at least one occasion to Bonnie Raitt and another time to Jackson Browne. I even came across one report of a late night appearance by the great Eric Clapton (which doesn't sound all too unbelievable because in the early 70s Clapton spent a stretch of time in Tulsa, mainly due to his association and friendship with J.J. Cale)
So this was a hotspot in Tulsa, to put this in the proper context, of the late 60s and early 70s.
Again, this was not exactly the type of place or even area of town that one would expect Gene Hart to have frequented. Not to mention the kind of place he would go to find someone to victimize by practically beating and raping them to death.
The club where Hart abducted his victims was called the "Fondalite Club". What is interesting is where it is was located and what kind of place it was back in the 1960s.
In the case file there is a definite reference to this night club being located at 11th and Denver.
If you know Tulsa you know that 11th and Denver not the nicest or even safest area of our fair city.
The place where Hart went to look for women to abduct (which he had premeditated because he had fresh newspapers laid out in the trunk of his car where he put the two women to carry them out of town) was not a seedy bar, maybe located right in downtown Tulsa and he didn't choose a bar in his hometown of Locust Grove or even a club or bar in Mayes County. No, Hart came to what must have been one the busiest hotspots in the area at the time.
The corner of 11th and Denver, which is now fairly empty, has changed quite a lot in the past 25 years. The Broken Arrow Expressway, which cuts through this corner now making what was considered the 11th and Denver area, now the corners of 11th, 12th, Hwy 51 and Denver.
In the 1960s this area was referred to as "The Corner of Dreams" for night club goers, music lovers, musicians and those seeking lax drinking laws at a time when Tulsa did not serve "liquor by the drink"
If you're not from Tulsa or from Oklahoma then ask someone who is and they too will not be able to explain what liquor by the is vs. what the opposite of liquor by the drink is/was.... Club owners in the 1960s didn't really understand the ins and outs of the confusing laws either.
The Fondalite Club was originally known as The Tower Theater (which you can see in some of the photos posted here) until it was purchased by Jerry Osborn and renamed. The Fondalite was one of a number of these night clubs and after hours clubs that existed in the general area of 11th and Denver.
Sep.27th, 1966 -The Daily Times
Gene Hart's arrest and prison vital statistics. Enters prison on 10-15-1966 for the kidnapping rapes of the two Tulsa women. He was given two 10 year sentences to be served concurrently.
Hart's parole record: Hart was up for parole the next year in 1967 but was denied. He was granted parole in 1969.
Sep.27th, 1966 -TheTulsa World
In this now open field on the corner of 11th (Route 66) and Denver, was the Fondalite Club's parking lot where Hart abducted two pregnant women; one 18, the other 19 years old.
Hart plead guilty to the two rapes and to one charge of kidnapping.
Hart's mug shot from Mayes County after the rapes of the two women.