Kristin Chenoweth on the Twist of Fate That Saved Her from Being a Victim in the 1977 Girl Scout Murders

·2 min read

Kristin Chenoweth is opening up about a tragic moment from her childhood.

The Tony Award winner, 53, is trying to help find answers to the brutal 1977 rape and murder of three Oklahoma girls on a camping trip that she was supposed to attend, in a new documentary.

"This is a story I wish I never had to tell," Chenoweth says in the trailer for ABC News Studios' Keeper of the Ashes: The Oklahoma Girl Scout Murders released Monday. "It haunts me every day. But this story, it needs to be told."

The four-part docuseries, which premieres May 24 on Hulu, explores the killings of Lori Lee Farmer, 8, Michele Heather Guse, 9, and Doris Denise Milner, 10, during a June 1977 Girl Scouts trip to Camp Scott. Local jail escapee Gene Leroy Hart was arrested at the time, and although he was acquitted in 1979, recent DNA evidence suggests his involvement. ‘Keeper of the Ashes: The Oklahoma Girl Scout Murders’ ‘Keeper of the Ashes: The Oklahoma Girl Scout Murders’


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"I remember I should have been on that trip, but I had gotten sick, and mom said, 'You can't go,'" Chenoweth recounts. "It stuck with me my whole life. I could have been one of them."

Utilizing advancements in technology that didn't exist at the time of the killings, investigators take another look at the evidence in Keeper of the Ashes. The docuseries also features interviews with Hart's counsel, a camp counselor and the sheriff who reopened the case, as well as the victims' families.


"When I think of those three girls, I wonder what's the best way to honor them," Chenoweth says. "That's why I'd come back home, to find answers once and for all."

Last week, Mayes County Sheriff Mike Reed released the results of some 2019 DNA tests at the request of the victims' families ahead of the docuseries' premiere, according to Tulsa World. Although officially inconclusive, the results point to Hart, who died in 1979 while in prison on unrelated charges.

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"Unless something new comes up, something brought to light we are not aware of, I am convinced where I'm sitting of Hart's guilt and involvement in this case," Reed said.

Keeper of the Ashes: The Oklahoma Girl Scout Murders premieres May 24 on Hulu.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to