On June 13, 1977, eight year old Lori Lee Farmer, nine year old Michelle Heather Guse, and ten year old Doris Milner would arrive for their first day of camp not knowing that they would never leave alive. The three young girls were murdered that night at their Girl Scout Camp (Camp Scott) in Mayes County, Oklahoma.
The following morning around 6AM, a camp counselor would make the gruesome discovery. The three girls battered bodies were found stuffed in sleeping bags not far from the road that lead in to camp, known as the Cookie Trail.
While the youngest of the three (Farmer and Guse) had been bludgeoned to death, Milner had been killed by strangulation. Two of the girls had been raped, while the other had been sodomized. Their bodies were found on the trail approximately 150 yards from the tent that the girl’s had shared their first night at Camp Scott.
Months before Farmer, Guse, and Milner would ever arrive at the camp, in April of 1977, a training session was held for camp counselors. The weekend ended prematurely, after a counselor’s cabin was broken in to. A disturbing note was later discovered in an empty box of doughnuts. The hand written note stated “we are on a mission to kill three girls in tent one.” Someone had also hung an effigy of a man from a tree by his neck nearby. This was investigated at the time, and determined to be a prank.
Soon after the murders, an escaped convict named Gene Leroy Hart became the investigator’s prime suspect. Hart was previously found guilty of kidnapping two pregnant women, and raping one of them. He had escaped from police custody in 1973, four years before the the girls were murdered. Law enforcement immediately began looking for Hart. Several agencies joined forces to conduct a massive search of the area surrounding the camp, in an effort to apprehend him.
Hart was arrested on April 6, 1978. He was tried for the murders of the Girl Scouts, but the jury found him not guilty. He died of a heart attack while in prison on June 4, 1979. He was serving out his previous sentence for kidnapping and rape.
In 2008, new tests were performed on a DNA sample collected from a pillowcase found at the crime scene. The DNA shockingly revealed a partial female DNA profile. Unfortunately, while experts were able to determine this female DNA profile didn’t come from two of the murder victims, they could not conclusively exclude the sample as being from the third girl.
Camp Scott was opened in 1928. After the discovery of the bodies, the camp was immediately evacuated, and never reopened. According to property records, the camp was sold in the 1980’s, though locals and ghost hunting enthusiasts alike say the new owners have not done anything with the property.
The murders of Lori Lee Farmer, Michelle Heather Guse, and Doris Milner sadly remain unsolved.
If you have any information regarding this case please contact the Mayes County Sheriffs office at (918) 825-3535.