An Oklahoma minister is trying to convince authorities he
can name two of four men he says participated in the killing
of three Girl Scouts in Locust Grove 13 years ago.
The man who headed the investigation for the Oklahoma State
Bureau of Investigation, Ted Limke, says he remembers when
the minister brought the story forward years ago and, "there
was nothing to substantiate it."
OSBI spokesman Paul Renfrow says he can not discuss specific
names. He says a lead brought forward by a man last summer
was checked out "and we found nothing whatsoever to indicate
there was anything we needed to continue investigating."
Ted LaTurner, a former private investigator who assisted
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officials in investigating the slayings, says he believes
the story of the Rev. Gerald Manley.
LaTurner says Manley has passed a polygraph test and told
the same story under hypnosis.
"I've watched him quiver and cry. The man is not making
this up," LaTurner says. "The more you get to know him,
the better you see the picture."
LaTurner says Manley claims to have been in the tent the
night Lorie Lee Farmer, 8, and Doris Denise Milner, 10,
both of Tulsa, and Michelle Guse, 9, of Broken Arrow were
The three girls were found molested and bludgeoned to death
or strangled at Camp Scott south of Locust Grove on June
They had left Tulsa with about 140 other Girl Scouts the
Manley could not be reached for comment. LaTurner says Manley
contacted him a year ago after seeing LaTurner's name and
photo in a newspaper. LaTurner says Manley asked him to
help get people to listen to Manley's story.
LaTurner says Manley is a United Methodist pastor at churches
in Paoli and Wayne, south of Oklahoma City.
He says Manley claims that at the time of the killings,
he was living near Chouteau, 11 miles west of Locust Grove.
Manley told him he had made friends with some young men
who he thought needed a Christian influence.
On June 12, 1977, LaTurner says Manley claims that he was
driving and ran out of gas, and some of the young men drove
up to help him. The men, who had been drinking, drove Manley
to get gas, LaTurner quoted Manley as saying.
Manley claims the men were discussing a purse they had stolen
from a counselor's tent at the camp, LaTurner says. After
Manley was returned to his car with gas, he says he went
to Tulsa to see a friend.
He claims he drove back to Chouteau, searching for one of
Because it was late at night, he pulled over to the side
of the road and went to sleep, LaTurner says Manley claims.
One of the men woke him and wanted him to go with him to
see some of the other men.
Manley claims the man led him to a tent in the Girl Scout
camp, where two men were standing outside the tent. Manley
told LaTurner he did not recognize the men.
LaTurner says Manley did not want to go into the tent, but
was assured by one of the men there was nothing inside.
In the tent, Manley claims he saw one of the dead girls
lying on the floor, and two zipped-up sleeping bags that
appeared to contain bodies, LaTurner says.
One of the large men picked up both sleeping bags and two
other men picked up the girl and left the tent, Manley says.
The sleeping bags were dropped when the men heard a noise,
LaTurner quoted Manley as saying.
Manley went to a coffee shop "to regroup," LaTurner says.
"He was scared."
Manley went to a second restaurant, where he saw a nervous
man whose boots seemed to be covered with blood. He claims
the man looked similar to one of the men at the tent.
LaTurner says after several weeks, Manley took his story
to the Locust Grove Police Department, as well as other
authorities. "No one would listen to him."
LaTurner says he and Manley do not want to release the names
of the two men Manley accuses of the crime for fear of lawsuits.
One of the men is in prison for another murder and another
is in the Chouteau-Locust Grove area, LaTurner says.
Lt. Harry Wakefield of the Tulsa County sheriff's office
says Mayes County Sheriff Wiley Backwater requested him
to conduct a polygraph examination of Manley. Wakefield
says he cannot release results because it is a Mayes County
Wakefield says he gave the results to LaTurner. LaTurner
says Manley passed the test, which he turned over to the
OSBI. Renfrow says he could not discuss results of the polygraph.
LaTurner says he thinks officials do not want to believe
Manley's story because Manley does not name Gene Leroy Hart.
He says Manley says Hart could have been one of the two
men he did not recognize, but he does not know.
Hart, who died in prison on an unrelated charge, was acquitted
of the killings by a Mayes County jury.
"They don't want anybody to prove them wrong," LaTurner says.
Genetic tests conducted by the FBI and released last fall
indicated 1 in 7,700 American Indians could match the sample
of body fluids taken from the crime scene as Hart did.
Hart's attorney contended the tests are subjective and he
is sure his client is innocent of the Camp Scott slayings.
Limke, who retired as director of the OSBI in 1989, says
"we never denied the fact that more than one person could
Renfrow says Robert Hicks, the new OSBI director, and the
current staff of the OSBI have no reason to be biased in
He says when the story was brought to the OSBI last summer,
agents were assigned and laboratory tests were performed
on evidence that was submitted. Nothing indicated the investigation
needed to be continued.
Renfrow declined to say what the evidence is. LaTurner says
it is a plastic glove that Manley got from one of the men
he accuses. He says the glove had what appeared to be blood
on it, and that the men Manley accuses were eager to find
LaTurner says the OSBI has not returned the glove to him.
"If it isn't important, why don't they give it back?"
A few months went by and allegations were made that "perhaps
our people were too close to the case," Renfrow says. So
Hicks assigned a second team to look into the story. The
result was a report submitted to Mayes County District Attorney
Patrick Abitbol in the spring.
There was nothing to warrant further investigation, Renfrow says.
He says the OSBI has received no official word from Abitbol
on the investigation.
Abitbol says he is reviewing the report and had no comment
on it today.
LaTurner says he is not satisfied with the OSBI's investigation
and wants a special task force appointed with people from
the Mayes and Tulsa county sheriffs' offices and the attorney