The Charlie Chaplin Mustache Mystery

A audio-drama inspird by America’s historic newspapers, featuring the Past Tense Players.

Chicago, Illinois

January 21, 1916

“The Charlie Chaplin Mustache Mystery” tells the tale of a daring rush hour robbery, the cold-blooded murder of a police officer, and the hunt for the killer and his blonde accomplice.

The Past Tense Players are Emily Simer Braun, Suzanne Beckner, Chris Laycock, Tim Spoonster, Rachel Michelle Jones, Sean R. Jones, Benjamin Miller, Barry Price, Steve Colwell and Terrance Huff.

Musical direction by Chuck Wiggins.

Recorded at Cortelyou Studios and the studios at TVHamilton.

Sound effects courtesy freesfx.co.uk and freesound.org.

Sources:

 

Chicago Tribune, January 22, 1916
Chicago Tribune, January 22, 1916
Chicago Tribune, January 23, 1916
Chicago Tribune, January 23, 1916
Chicago Tribune, January 24, 1916
Chicago Tribune, January 24, 1916
Chicago Tribune, January 24, 196
Chicago Tribune, January 24, 1916
1916 0126 tribune
Chicago Tribune, January 26, 1916
1916 0127 trib
Chicago Tribune, January 27, 1916
1916 0129 trib
Chicago Tribune, January 29, 1916
1916 0131 decauter daily review
Decauter (Illinois) Daily Review, January 30, 1916
1916 0209 trib
Chicago Tribune, February 9, 1916
1916 0215 trib
Chicago Tribune, February 15, 1916
1916 0219 trib
Chicago Tribune, February 19, 1916
1916 0228 trib
Chicago Tribune, February 28, 1916
1916 0307 trib
Chicago Tribune, March 7, 1916
1916 0417 trib
Chicago Tribune, April 17, 1916
1916 0514 trib
Chicago Tribune, May 14, 1916
1916 0731 trib
Chicago Tribune, July 31, 1916
1917 0826 trib
Chicago Tribune, August 25, 1917

UNSOLVED: The Girl Scout Murders

Please welcome April Atkinson of Adairsville, Georgia, as a new contributor to True Crime Historian.

By April Atkinson
True Crime Facebook Group

On June 12, 1977, a group of Girl Scouts were camping in Mayers County, Oklahoma, at a well known camping ground known as “Camp Scott.”

On the first night a vicious storm forced all the campers to huddle inside their tents, waiting for it to pass. The following day the bodies of three Girl Scouts, aged between 8 and 10 were found dumped in the woods not far from their camp, sexually molested and murdered.

A few months earlier, a camp counselor attending a training session had returned to her tent to find all of her things messily strewn about and her doughnuts had been taken. There was a handwritten note inside the doughnut box which stated that the writer would murder three campers in one tent. The counselor was not concerned. It was a place of scary campfire tales after all, and pranks were very common. She threw the note out, but just two months later, the note seemed to have been a real  warning.

On June 13, Carla Emery, an 18-year-old camp counselor, was on her way to the showers when she discovered the dead body of 10 year old Doris Denise Milner. There was a towel and a rope wrapped around her neck and she was naked from the waist down. Nearby she found the bodies of 8 year old Lori Lee Farmer and 9 year old Michele Guise. Both of these girls had black electrical tape over their mouths, and their bodies had been put inside their sleeping bags. Doris had been strangled to death. Michele and Lori had been bludgeoned to death. All three bodies had been removed from the tent and carried more than 100 yards away from the camp ground.

The hunt began to find the killer. The floor of the tent, a wooden board, was airlifted to a crime laboratory due to the apparent unsuccessful attempt of someone who tried mopping up all the blood with towels and mattresses. A red flashlight which had a piece of newspaper inside it, a nylon rope and a roll of electrical tape was found near the bodies, and several pairs of prescription glasses were also found lying around.

K-9 police dogs were called in and tracked the area. It was found that the murderer had passed by a counselor’s tent to get to the girls. A cave was found nearby which had a newspaper in it, the same newspaper that fitted the scrap in the flashlight. Photographs of two women were also in the cave. It was discovered that the pictures were taken by a prison guard who was an occasional photographer, and had been developed by prison escapee Gene Leroy Hart.

Gene Leroy Hart had kidnapped two pregnant women (both who wore spectacles), driven them to a wooded area where he bound and raped both women. He put duct tape over their nostrils and left them to suffocate to death. The victims were able to free themselves and escape, which lead to his arrest.

Gene Leroy Hart was tracked down and arrested (and found wearing women’s glasses). He was charged with the murder of the three girls but the jury of his peers, six men and six women, could not find irrefutable evidence and Hart was acquitted.

As he was an escaped prisoner, he was thrown back in prison, and a year later collapsed and died of a heart attack. He proclaimed his innocence up until his death.

In 2008 a DNA test was performed using material from the crime scene. The investigators stated the results were “inconclusive.”

The case is officially still open, although inactive. Camp Scott had served Girl Scouts for almost half a century but has never re-opened since this tragedy.