We have new information about the 1977 Girl Scout Murders that shocked Green Country and the nation.
No one has ever been convicted, but Investigators say recent DNA testing has ruled out every single possible suspect, except one. Three young girls, Lori Farmer, Michelle Guse, and Denise Milner were raped and murdered at camp in Mayes County.
Evidence was re-tested and tested for DNA a few years ago and the results are now being made public for the first time. Mayes County Sheriff Mike Reed has spent the last nine years digging into this case after Lori Farmer's parents asked him to give the case a fresh look. He says every single piece of DNA evidence has been accounted for and he says there's no doubt in his mind, the evidence shows, Gene Leroy Hart is the killer.
Hart was arrested, then tried and acquitted for the brutal murders, in 1978. Sheriff Reed says DNA evidence wasn't available to the jury in 1978, but if it was, Reed has no doubt, Hart would have been convicted.
"I pray that there's something that we've done that gives the family a second of something that even resembles closure or acceptance or something I pray that. But as far as peace, there is absolutely nothing about this case that has given me one second of peace. Period. From watching the pain on the family to having to go through the crime scene before during and after, from watching the legal system to watching the parole board, to watching how this whole thing played out, to watching how people would use this to springboard their own personal agendas, there ain't nothing about this whole thing that is peaceful. It is evil."
Reed says the facts go far beyond DNA evidence. He says Hart was a textbook serial rapist who had been convicted of kidnapping and raping two pregnant women, ten years before the Girl Scout Murders. Hart was given parole after serving just two and a half years in prison for that crime. Sheriff Reed says the conspiracy theories surrounding this case over the years have been endless and he agreed to look at this case for one reason: the families.
Lori Farmer’s mother, Sheri Farmer, has felt the pain of this crime for 45 years. She says she and her husband Bo have some peace, but there will never be closure.
"It's a journey I wouldn't wish on anyone. It's shocking. It's different than a death. It's different than a loss because our daughter was murdered. It was intentional and she died with two other little girls that we don't want to forget either."
Gene Leroy Hart died in prison just a few months after he was acquitted of these murders. He was in prison for another crime.