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Taun

The Girl Scout Camp Murders

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I'm still rolling around questions in my mind about the counselor Wilhite. It just seems odd to me that she was up so late and hearing all this stuff, and she's also up at 6AM and finds the bodies. It's almost like what she was hearing gave her a sleepless night and she was walking through the camp almost as soon as it got light out. Could be just coincidence but I can't help but wonder if she really told all she experienced that night.

Is what I'm saying making any sense to anyone?

Edited by susieice
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According to that documentary (@ 5:01), it was "a counselor from the Comanche unit who noticed a dim light in the woods that appeared just beyond the treeline surrounding the camp."

The danged doc is confusing because it mentions the light, then Wilhite comes on to describe the sound she'd heard, then the narrator comes back on about the light again!

This is one thing I find intriguing because as we know, the flashlight found with the bodies had plastic covering the lens, which explains why the light "the counselor" saw was "dim". It wasn't just a light, and wasn't just far away...it was a dim light just beyond the treeline.

Since I think the lack of the investigation of this event would be among the most blatantly negligent of the allegations brought about in the civil suit, I would have expected to read about it in the article covering the civil trial, but it wasn't mentioned.

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I want to point out that- according to what was reported missing, the movement of the perp(s) within the camp was in the Kiowa, Quapaw, and Choctaw units.

I've read that the tents within the Kiowa unit were 75' apart. A map showing the Kiowa unit shows a distance of 50 yrds. between the counselor's tent and tent 8.

That the bodies were where they were discovered is still a very, very interesting aspect to me. The bodies weren't on the road- they were off the road.

In the doc, OSBI agent Larry Bowles, described a flashlight stuck between the legs of Lori Farmer. He said it was as though Lori wanted to know where to find it if she needed it, but certainly, if Farmer was sexually assaulted, the flashlight wouldn't have been there for that reason. I don't know why he said that, but surely he knew that that couldn't have actually been the reason.

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Correction: The Kiowa unit map showed 50 yards between tent 8 and the staff house.

http://www.girlscout...9-07_003135.jpg

I'm having problems correcting another link to that same site, but there's another map there that's the most detailed I've seen.

Edited by regi
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Thanks for the map regi.. that gives me a scale to work on...

susieice mentioned that she had doubts (at one point at least) about Wilhite... I also had doubts about her originally, she just seemed to be the one who saw, heard and found everything... But as conflicting reports came in later in other threads, i'm pretty much convinced that she had nothing to do with the crimes - other than not investigating the first reports...

Interesting note in the book "Tent Number Eight"... At first I was confused by the constant comments about glasses being taken and then found... it made no sense, until the author mentioned that Hart was well known for wearing women's glasses - particularly the old 'cats-eye' glasses from the early 60's and late 50's...

In his earlier crime of kidnapping and rape, one of the weird things he did was to take the glasses off of one of his victims and put them on then wear them throughout the commision of the rape... - and keep them... The taking of the purses was (IMO) just the perp trying to get some cash...

I still believe that Hart was guilty - though he may not have been the only perp... I haven't seen anything yet that convinces me that there was another, but it is possible...

edit to add: my two projects are not going so well... every time I sit down and start to work on it something happens to take me away from it... Not making much headway yet, but I am determined to do it to the best of the info that I can find...

Edited by Taun
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Amazing...

I had just finished posting comment #55 and had a quiet spell at work, so i decided to do a search for any time-lines out there, to save off and look over... Lo and behold I found this:

map_timeline.jpg

at this site: http://girlscoutmurd...9/Time-Line-Map

I owe some poster named SKAB a big tip of the hat!

Edited by Taun
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Wow, Taun. That's the only map I've seen that shows the location of the bodies, and maybe the gate, too. I think one of the things for me is that I'm having a hard time grasping how expansive Camp Scott actually was.

The map correlates with what Wilhite said in the documentary.

When Wilhite said she'd noticed something out of the corner of her eye, she indicated that it was to the right (east), and she motioned with her right hand in the same direction, which would also indicate an easterly direction.

The report that the perp(s) passed seven tents appears to be accurate, at least according to that map and Wilhite's descriptions/indications.

I wonder how the map was put together.

There's no indication to me that Wilhite had anything to do with what happened, or knows more than what she testified to. I understand sleep would be scant on the first night of camp...and/or that it might not be too deep at first.

In the doc., she was clearly, profoundly impacted by the horror she'd experienced.

Most importantly, her testimony correlates with Elders. Wilhite and Elders both testified that the children were noisy numerous times late into the eve./night, so that they both had to quiet them on several occasions.

Both later heard what sounded like the banging/slamming of (or on) a door, and Wilhite volunteered to check it out... at which time she met the children on their way back from the latrine (where's the latrine?) and escorted them to their tent.

Wilhite had more experience than Elders, and I think that's why she was proactive and took the lead. She was also closest to the tent door.

Some of the problems I see with Hart as the perp are:

Hart was said to have been first linked to the murders by those photos, but why would he have had those photos for all that time, and then discard them in the way they were found? They were "crumpled" on the ground near one of those caves.

If Hart did have them all that time, it doesn't make sense to me that he would have treated his property like that...property that he'd apparently held onto since the late 60's.

If anything, it sounds more to me like something someone else might have done after coming across them. I think the most important point though, is that nothing else there- at that particular cave- linked Hart to the crime scene.

A newspaper reported that the sheriff testified that Hart entered into the Mayes Co. jail with only a belt and nail clippers...that those photos had never been in the jail he'd escaped from.

Now, that's a head-scratcher.

It was stated in the doc. that there was a burglary at the nearby farmhouse, and that those items were linked to the crime scene.

Others had knowledge of those caves.

The only evidence that linked Hart to the items reported stolen from the camp were those that investigators recovered on their second search of the cabin in Cherokee Co.

That the items weren't found on the first search could have been just a very unfortunate boo-boo by the investigators, but... that sort of thing just doesn't look good.

If Hart knew he was accused of the murders, then why would he have still have those items seven months later? This was someone who'd successfully remained a fugitive for years...

Authorities had seven months to know precisely what to look for in the event of a search, and there's no acceptable reason that they wouldn't have- and didn't- find them the first time.

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From the profile link I posted in #45...They said two different blunt instruments were used to strike the two girls whose bodies were found in the sleeping bags. Two different knots were used. Three beer bottles were found in the campsite and two different size bloody footprints were found, one a size 7 and one a size 12. I don't think Hart could have acted alone. Aside from the tape and the flashlight that were found at the scene, someone would have had to carry all this stuff into the campsite (wearing two different size and type of shoe) and also move all three bodies to the site where they were found quickly and carry everything back out again. I'd also like to know if police found that the sleeping bags containing the little girls were carried or were there marks on the ground were they had been dragged. The link says they were rolled up into a tight fetal position.

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Yeah, re: that link, that same info came from Sheriff Smith. He was quoted saying that that's what the autopsy findings showed...two instruments, two different types of knots.

There are two causes of death; blunt force trauma to two victims, and strangulation by ligature to the third victim. I think that's what accounts for the two instruments.

I think the two types of knots is the best indication of more than one perp.

Re: the beer bottles, I've read that those were among the items stolen from the farmhouse, and I'd have to know more about that whole incident, but regardless, it's a display of careless behavior that I wouldn't expect from a man who'd alluded authorities for four years before the murders, and then continued to allude them for seven more months after the murders, during what was an extremely intense manhunt.

Re: the footprints, I've only known of one print spoken of, and it was size 10, which I think is an average size for an adult male.

I'd be nice to know precisely where the prints were found.

Elders checked the tent that morning, and she was wearing tennis shoes, so if her shoe wasn't compared to the print, then I think it's possible it was hers because the size sounds appropriate, She said she never entered the tent, but depending on where it was found, I think she could have entered the tent just enough to make it.

Anyway, I think size 7 would be considered small, even for a young male.

According to the doc. (@2:29)..."The bags were then carried to the location where they were found."

There's something about the discovery site that I can't put my finger on. Mainly, it just doesn't make sense to me that the perp went to the trouble of moving three bodies for the reason of a quick discovery. Why go that distance? Why risk detection?

The scene wasn't created for shock value because two bodies were essentially hidden in the bags. (Indeed, it was first thought there was only one victim.)

The tape was there at the scene, and since one body wasn't in a bag and wasn't taped the way the other two were, I wonder if the perp had intended to use the tape the same way but for some reason, the intention wasn't carried out.

The scene had a gathered appearance, and that the site was located at a fork in the road, but on the side of the road is a very perplexing aspect to me.

Edited by regi
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Something to consider regi... It was a very dark night (I'm sure you know how dark it gets in this part of the world during a stormy night - unless you are a city slicker :whistle: )... Perhaps the perp(s) stayed near the trails to make better time and less noise...

A bit that has puzzeled me is that even though he/they took the girls from the most distant and secluded tent, he/they brought them back - essentially through the camp site... Why not go off to the NW away from everyone to do the disgusting things that were done?

Unless that route was extremely difficult terrain for moving by night (?), the only thing that comes to mind is that he/they wanted them to be found early on... Maybe so he/they could stand back and 'watch the fun' after the bodies were discovered?

I guess the main thing that says to me 'single perp' is, I have no earthly idea how two adults could even discuss doing something like this, much less discuss it, decide to do it, do it and never leak a word of being in on it... I mean - how does it even come up in the conversation? How do you really know that the lunatic you're talking to is that insane?...

I guess I'm not enough of a psycho to even comprehend how that happens...

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I'm not a city slicker (I'm not a cowgirl either), but I admit I'm afraid of the dark. :passifier:

And, yeah, under those canopies of trees, that camp would have been pitch dark at night... which causes me wonder if there was some sort of an outdoor light on permanent buildings such as the staff house.

But you know, even if the staff house did have a light, it would still be very dark within the units.

Authorities said the blood evidence indicated that two victims were killed in the tent, and I see no reason to question that, but I'm not sure that the third victim was assaulted and/or murdered at the discovery site.

For the reason you pointed out, it makes no sense.

What you've suggested....that the perp intended to watch as events unfolded, has crossed my mind. That's actually a very interesting theory to contemplate.

You know, I've experienced info overload, and I'm still trying to process what I've learned so far.

I don't know how a person could comply, or find themselves as an accessory in any horrific crime, but I know they have, and because I know so little of the evidence, I can't discount that it was a possibility in this case. At the same time, I do think one person could have done it.

Edited by regi
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I've gone over my notes from newspaper articles, the pretrial testimony, and the doc.

At least one newspaper report was that among the items reported stolen from the farmhouse were "a sash cord, duct tape, 3 bottles of beer, and 3 identical crowbars."

I don't know when the break-in occurred, but apparently, the scent dogs led to that property.

The doc info (part 2 @ 11:40) was that the "nylon rope and duct tape used to tie up the children were stolen from a farmhouse...".

My first thought is that those are a very strange assortment of items that anyone would break-in to steal. I don't know if anything else was reported stolen, or what was available to steal. (One article described a deserted house on a 110 acre ranch that adjoins Camp Scott.")

If the newspaper reports were accurate about all that was reported stolen, I can see one person taking three bottles of beer, maybe more-so if there was only 3 to begin with, but 3 crow bars? Why the heck would any one person take 3 crowbars?

So, 3 bottles of beer...3 crow bars.

I don't think those items were mentioned in the doc., but an article reported that the empty bottles were found on camp grounds.

I don't know if a reporter was present in court to follow the day-to-day trial proceedings.

If there was, I don't know which paper the reporter was from; it doesn't appear that was Tulsa World, or Tulsa Tribune

Pryor is the county seat, so I would think that if any reporter was present daily, they would have likely been out of Pryor.

Edited by regi
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I'm still (slowly) making my way through Tent #8... He mentions that during the trial (which is what the book seems to mainly be focusing on - not the actual murders - darn it) the hotel/motels in the Pryor area had a huge influx of business - largely from the media... The New York Times even had a reporter there...

The pre-trial hearing was televised (I don't know if it was recorded as well) because they had so many 'spectators they had to use an auditorium as well as the courtroom (the courtroom could only seat ~96 people)... They opted to not televise the actual trial for various reasons...

The book is frustrating because so far (I'm on page 150 out of 226) it focuses mainly on the prosecutors, defense teams and the judge... It's almost like the crime was second to the trail... I'm not fond of this author....

edit to add: Yes the 'threeness' of those items would indicate that there may well have been more than 1 sick twisted evil @%$^&*@+!!!! involved...

Edited by Taun
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I know what you mean Taun. It's a lot easier to find references to the trial than it is to the actual case.

I do think that there's at least one other person that's getting away with this. I don't doubt that Hart was there. From what I read 3 of the 5 DNA samples that did turn up results tested positive for him.

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I found an interesting thing last night...

Dr (?) Janice Davis testified about the forensic evidence of this case which she was in charge of.... She later became infamous here in Oklahoma for the poor handling of evidence under her watch... She later committed suicide - not sure if it was related to her 'fall from grace or not' but it ruined her professional live and had to have influenced her private life...

The poor quality of forensic evidence doomed this case from the start... I do wonder if the case would have ended differently had the evidence been better handled...

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What the heck?! :cry:

I recall a lot of controversy re: the Oklahoma State Crime Lab, specifically, she was the supervisior and/or a lab tech who were not only inept and improperly handled evidence (including mixing up samples), but most appalling, repeatedly provided trial testimony of phoney results favoring the prosecution's case which led to wrongful convictions.

Even if I had confidence in the DNA evidence in this case, in my mind those results are inconclusive because they said two probes didn't match. (Actually, I don't know why it's not considered a exclusion for that reason.)

Regardless, inconclusive results must be supported by other evidence because it's certainly not enough on it's own to determine guilt.

Taun, a review on the book you're reading stated that the book includes "a full account of the prosecutor's and defense's closing arguments", and that they're "both quite revealing". (The author wasn't in the courtroom during the trial, was he?)

I'm also interested in the testimony of the state pathologist.

Edited by regi
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What the heck?! :cry:

I recall a lot of controversy re: the Oklahoma State Crime Lab, specifically, she was the supervisior and/or a lab tech who were not only inept and improperly handled evidence (including mixing up samples), but most appalling, repeatedly provided trial testimony of phoney results favoring the prosecution's case which led to wrongful convictions.

Even if I had confidence in the DNA evidence in this case, in my mind those results are inconclusive because they said two probes didn't match. (Actually, I don't know why it's not considered a exclusion for that reason.)

Regardless, inconclusive results must be supported by other evidence because it's certainly not enough on it's own to determine guilt.

Taun, a review on the book you're reading stated that the book includes "a full account of the prosecutor's and defense's closing arguments", and that they're "both quite revealing". (The author wasn't in the courtroom during the trial, was he?)

I'm also interested in the testimony of the state pathologist.

There was also a woman named Joyce Gilchrist - who got the most 'ink' and actually was involved in more 'controversy'... She was dismissed for falsifying evidence to match the suspect and 1700 of her 3000 cases had to be reviewed. 23 people were sent to death row on her evidence.. 11 of which were executed... I don't think she was part of this case, but she and Davis are often 'lumped together' in peoples memories of those times... Davis worked with the state while Gilchrist worked with the city...

Haven't got to the closing arguments yet... I'll let you know when I do...

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This isn't sounding good for those DNA results I mentioned before. Wow. What I don't get is why didn't they try to convict Hart using phoney proof? I forget what year those tests were done, but I think I recall it as 2007 when the results were announced. It's up there in one of the links. If two didn't match, then they must have come from someone else.

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This isn't sounding good for those DNA results I mentioned before. Wow. What I don't get is why didn't they try to convict Hart using phoney proof? I forget what year those tests were done, but I think I recall it as 2007 when the results were announced. It's up there in one of the links. If two didn't match, then they must have come from someone else.

I think it was partially a case of the Defense being more aggressive and up on current technology than the Prosecution... Quite a lot of evidence and testimony was successfully blocked by the defense - according to the book... The author paints glowing word pictures of the defense team and their strategy.. but to me they just come off as smug, annoying, whiners.... I'm all for giving the accused the best defense possible... but I have always despised certain tactics by defense lawyers (as well as prosecutors i must say)...

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There was also a woman named Joyce Gilchrist - who got the most 'ink' and actually was involved in more 'controversy'... She was dismissed for falsifying evidence to match the suspect and 1700 of her 3000 cases had to be reviewed. 23 people were sent to death row on her evidence.. 11 of which were executed... I don't think she was part of this case, but she and Davis are often 'lumped together' in peoples memories of those times... Davis worked with the state while Gilchrist worked with the city...

Yeah, that's the one I was remembered. I came across an article yesterday which reported that Gilchrist started work in the crime lab in 1980 under Janice Davis! (I can't link the article :td: ), but there's lots of articles online about that whole deplorable disgrace.

Gilchrist knowingly misrepresented the strength, probability, and reliability of analysis results, and surely, in at least one case, had to have knowingly presented completely false results. Her analysis excluded the guilty perp, while her testimony of the same analysis helped convict an innocent man!

11 men already executed...I wonder how many were innocent. Lord have mercy.

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I think it was partially a case of the Defense being more aggressive and up on current technology than the Prosecution... Quite a lot of evidence and testimony was successfully blocked by the defense - according to the book... The author paints glowing word pictures of the defense team and their strategy.. but to me they just come off as smug, annoying, whiners.... I'm all for giving the accused the best defense possible... but I have always despised certain tactics by defense lawyers (as well as prosecutors i must say)...

I seen both sides use what I consider unethical tactics.

In this case, the jury didn't believe the states evidence. It sounds like they made the right decision.

Example, Sheriff Weaver testified that Hart DID NOT have those photos in his possession when he was booked into the jail which he'd later escaped from.

There was other testimony that the photos were seen in Weaver's possession.

Weaver's testimony served WEAVER, but at the same time, discredited a physical link to Hart.

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I seen both sides use what I consider unethical tactics.

In this case, the jury didn't believe the states evidence. It sounds like they made the right decision.

Example, Sheriff Weaver testified that Hart DID NOT have those photos in his possession when he was booked into the jail which he'd later escaped from.

There was other testimony that the photos were seen in Weaver's possession.

Weaver's testimony served WEAVER, but at the same time, discredited a physical link to Hart.

True... While I still believe that Hart was involved, I do feel the jury made the only decision they could with the evidence that they were presented...

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True... While I still believe that Hart was involved, I do feel the jury made the only decision they could with the evidence that they were presented...

Do you believe that primarily because of the testimony of the previous victim...what she said about Hart's behavior with her glasses?

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Do you believe that primarily because of the testimony of the previous victim...what she said about Hart's behavior with her glasses?

That's part of it... It's also the fact that his mother lived just 'outside the wire' of the camp and he had been hiding in that area for a couple years (going from house to house) - she had to know he was there and he had to of stayed there for a while... That puts him in the immediate area... That is a lightly populated area. What are the odds that two (or three or four) homicidal, sexual perverts would not only live in that small a population, but get together and plan/execute something like this? Leave no usable evidence, get away with it and then never do it again? Also the trial Judge's (who everyone involved in the case - Prosecution, Defense, law enforcement and spectators all agree was above any form of reproach in this trial) remarks to the parents of the children after the trial "Sometimes for our system of law to work, the guilty must be set free", says something...

I just get a very bad vibe about Gene Leroy Hart in this case... maybe it's just my feelings, maybe deep down I just want to think that the evil so-and-so who did this was caught and died in prison... I don't know...

The whole thing about the two wedding pictures is still odd to me... It's odd that he would have carried around two meaningless photos (unless he had a 'thing' for one of the women in them ?) for all that time, and it's just as odd that the Sherriff might have hung onto them in the hopes of framing him.... neither one adds up...

Edited by Taun
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Re: Hart having lived in the area his entire life, or that he might have been in the area, it's not evidence that he did it or had anything to do with it.

One of the things that bothers me the most is that it doesn't appear that anyone else was seriously investigated.

Hart was the sole focus early on, and from there on out, they looked no further.

I think you've set your scope a little too narrow re: who could have been capable of these murders.

Of course, I don't know. Hart could have done it, whether or not there was any credible evidence of it.

Re: the photos, they were said to be from a prison worker's daughters' wedding; it seems to me that Weaver could have had an interest, or connection to them that's unknown to us.

I doubt the sheriff would have had them for the purpose of framing Hart, but I think he could have had the knowledge that Hart had developed them.

One thing (among others) that I can't figure out is how Hart could have had possession of the photos after his escape. Where were the photos when he left the prison and then booked into the jail where Weaver said the photos NEVER were?

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