The Girl Scout Murders: A True Story of Violent Death and Indian Justice

Charles W. Sasser, Author Delacorte Press $17.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-385-29744-8
In 1977 at a Girl Scout camp in Oklahoma, in the foothills of the Ozarks, three girls, the oldest aged 10, were raped and murdered. Sheriff Pete Weaver was convinced that the crime had been committed by Gene Leroy Hart, a Cherokee Indian and an escaped convicted rapist. Finding him took almost a year, for various members of the fugitive's family hid him. Sasser, a former Oklahoma homicide detective, brings alive the frustration of the search, especially since the media treated the story as persecution of an Indian by rednecks. Brought to trial, Hart was acquitted, even though, the author suggests, he committed the crimes. But, ultimately, justice was to be satisfied, at least according to the book, with the fulfillment of a medicine man's prophesy that the Great Spirit would strike Hart dead if he were guilty. Returned to prison to serve out his earlier sentence, he died three months later, of a coronary. Mystical resolution notwithstanding, the Girl Scout case remains officially open in Oklahoma, as it will in the minds of many readers. Photos not seen by PW . Troll Book Club featured alternate . ( July )
Reviewed on: 12/01/1990
Release date: 12/01/1990
Genre: Nonfiction
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