9:01 AM PDT, May 20, 2022
Actress Kristin Chenoweth shared with E! Online that she was originally supposed be on the camping trip in 1977 where three young girls were assaulted and murdered.
Forty-five years after the gruesome incident, Chenoweth is returning to her home state of Oklahoma for the ABC documentary “Keeper of the Ashes: The Oklahoma Girl Scout Murders,” where she and investigators look deeper into the unsolved case.
On the camping trip, Lori Lee Farmer, 8, Doris Denise Milner, 10, and Michele Heather Guse, 9, were sexually assaulted and murdered as the other campers slept nearby.
According to Chenoweth, she was supposed to be on the trip to Camp Scott with her fellow Girl Scouts in June 1977.
“I should have been on that trip, but I had gotten sick,” Chenoweth explains in a trailer released May 16.
“It has stuck with me my whole life. I could have been one of them … It haunts me every day, but this story needs to be told.”
According to the St. Petersburg Times, authorities originally arrested and charged local Gene Leroy Hart for the girls’ murders.
A jury acquitted him of all crimes in 1979, but having escaped prison in 1973, Hart was re-incarcerated to finish his sentence for his other crimes, and died two years after his acquittal, according to the outlet.
According to CBS local station KOTV-DT, in May 2022, Mayes County Sheriff Mike Reed said that investigators conducted new DNA exams, indicating that Hart was indeed likely responsible for the girls’ murders.
“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,” Reed said to the outlet.
“But as far as peace, there is absolutely nothing about this case that has given me one second of peace. Period.”
According to Hulu, the series “explores the murders’ impact on those close to the tragedy, details the search for and trial of the alleged killer, and examines the mysteries still surrounding the case.”
The four-part series premieres May 24 on Hulu.