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A Tragic Anniversary

It's been thirty years since a terrible crime shocked my home state and especially my hometown. I was soon to be in kindergarten, and I remember it vividly. It hit very close to home for a variety of reasons, and continues to do so for a variety of others. I just couldn't let this anniversary pass without noting it.

In June 1977, three young Girl Scouts (eight, nine, and ten years old) were found raped and murdered outside of their tent at Camp Scott near Locust Grove, Oklahoma. The case was complicated by racial/ethnic tensions, because the victims were white and black, and the only official suspect, Gene Leroy Hart, was Cherokee. After a complicated and dramatic manhunt, Hart was tried but eventually found innocent. Since then, the case has remained unsolved, the fodder for local legends, suggestions of bizarre occult and ritual connections, and various conspiracy theories. The Girl Scout camp remains closed to this day.

This week new DNA tests have been performed in the hope of determining once and for all if the now deceased Hart committed these crimes. I understand that the results are in, but it is unclear when they will be made public.

My heart continues to go out to everyone touched by this event.

Story: New DNA Tests Planned In 1977 Girl Scout Killings (from Tulsa's KOTV News)

Video: Girl Scout Murders Case Reopened (from Tulsa's KOTV News)

Discussion: The Girl Scout Murders Locust Grove 1977 discussion at A&E's Cold Case Files forums


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 20th, 2007 01:56 pm (UTC)
Woah, sad story. Thanks for sharing. If the results come out, I hope you drop a link about it for me to follow-up.
Jun. 21st, 2007 12:29 pm (UTC)
Very sad indeed. I'll definitely post a link when the DNA results are made public. Thanks for being interested.
Jun. 20th, 2007 02:09 pm (UTC)
my thoughts and prayers for closure go out to the families of both the victims and the suspect. sometimes, on both sides of the criminal coin, the worst thing is simply not knowing the truth. as you said, it remains local legend, which cannot possibly bring solace to the memories of those young girls. while it may seem an odd thing to hope for, i wish for the tests to bring a sense of completion, so everyone affected by the tragedy can mourn one last time and find the strength to move on.

and my love to you, for keeping this tragedy in your own heart for all these years. may you find peace as well.
Jun. 21st, 2007 12:31 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for your incredibly kind post. You're quite right: not knowing is difficult for everyone concerned. I'll be sure to post when the results are made public, and there is at last some closure to this story.

*huge hugs* My love back to you - and thanks again for your kindness and understanding.
Jun. 20th, 2007 02:13 pm (UTC)
What a terrrible and tragic story.

I do hope that the families of all concerned can find closure.
Jun. 21st, 2007 12:32 pm (UTC)
It really is terribly sad. I agree with you completely: my hope is for closure for everyone involved.
Jun. 20th, 2007 02:41 pm (UTC)
Oh, how horrible!
Jun. 21st, 2007 12:35 pm (UTC)
Very. :(

On a happier note, I just saw the cover for the PWD book. It is gorgeous. I think the layout really draws all attention to "Aslan," as it should. It's extremely striking. I hope you're pleased with it. My understanding is that it should be off the press next month, probably early in the month. There will be a publicity campaign then. I just can't thank you enough.
Jun. 21st, 2007 12:40 pm (UTC)
Oh, fantastic!!! I can't wait! I just read the reviews on your LJ, and the papers are getting a super reaction, hooray!
Jun. 20th, 2007 04:29 pm (UTC)
OMG. That is *beyond* horrible... OMG.
Jun. 21st, 2007 12:36 pm (UTC)
It was - and still is - the stuff of nightmares for our whole community. Today the camp remains locked up, overgrown and rotting away, like a ghost town.
Jun. 21st, 2007 03:38 am (UTC)
Oh, what a horrible crime that was. I wonder what the DNA test will say.
Jun. 21st, 2007 12:37 pm (UTC)
It was just unspeakable. I'm anxious to learn the DNA results; I'll post an update when they are made public. Thanks for being interested.
Jun. 21st, 2007 03:48 am (UTC)
How very sad. The families had lived with no justices for 30 years. And if the DNA did prove him to have done it, even if he was still alive they could not retrail him again. It falls under the 5th Amendment of "double jeopardy". (since he was found innocent)
Jun. 21st, 2007 12:49 pm (UTC)
Very sad indeed. And you're quite right about the families not having justice. If they learn it was Hart, they can't do anything about it. If they learn it wasn't Hart - well, they have to live with the fact that the real perpetrators have been at large for nearly thirty years, while the case was left uninvestigated. :( Still, I guess knowing one way or another is at least better than not knowing.
*hugs to you*
Jun. 21st, 2007 08:34 am (UTC)
I can't imagine what it must be like for these families...I can only hope that they can some way of closure that gives all of the victims, the girls and Mr. Hart, their dignity.
Jun. 21st, 2007 12:50 pm (UTC)
Oh, well said indeed. I couldn't agree more.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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