Director names alleged Girl Scouts killer in movie
12/15/2011 7:28:02 AM
 
Writer/director John Russell directs actress Nicole Fancher during the filming of the “Candles” movie trailer near Locust Grove, Okla. Fancher played the double for Megan Ellis, who is playing the lead character Patricia Evans. JAMI CUSTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
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Writer/director John Russell directs actress Nicole Fancher during the filming of the “Candles” movie trailer near Locust Grove, Okla. Fancher played the double for Megan Ellis, who is playing the lead character Patricia Evans. JAMI CUSTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
By JAMI CUSTER Reporter LOCUST GROVE, Okla. – The writer and director of the upcoming movie “Candles” said that convicted murderer Karl Lee Myers is the killer of the three Girl Scouts who were raped and murdered at Camp Scott in 1977. John Russell said that Myers confessed to him about the murders of Lori Lee Farmer, 8; Michelle Guse, 9; and Denise Milner, 10, who were found dead June 13, 1977, at the camp near Locust Grove, Okla. Gene Leroy Hart, a Cherokee man from the Locust Grove area, was charged with killing the girls but was acquitted of the crimes in 1979. He died in prison of an apparent heart attack three months later while serving an unrelated sentence. Russell said Myers confessed to him about the murders while each served time in the Ottawa County Jail in 1979. “He confessed three times to six murders in the northeast Oklahoma area. He also confessed once to the Camp Scott murders,” Russell said. The movie “Candles” is about the Girl Scout murders, and in it Russell said he would name Myers as the murderer. He said he also plans to name local and state officials from that time period who he believes were complicit in covering Myers’ involvement with the murders. Myers is currently serving a first-degree murder conviction on death row in the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. In 1998, he was convicted of murder in Rogers County and sentenced to death. Myers has also been convicted of burglary in 1969 and for assault with intent to commit rape in 1979. Russell said he has attempted to give his information to authorities regarding Myers’ alleged confession of the Girl Scout murders, but has not been successful. He added that he felt making a film was his only avenue of getting out the information. A Tulsa media outlet recently interviewed a family member of one of the murdered Girl Scouts. The family member preferred to remain anonymous, but said she didn’t disagree with the movie being made, but wished someone with more credibility was making it. Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation officials said John Russell is someone the bureau has communicated with regarding the Camp Scott murders. But with regards to his credibility, they said they get “many, many tips on cases, many of which are not credible.” “But we will not say which are credible and which are not credible tips, sources,” Jessica Brown, OSBI public information officer, said. Russell does have a criminal record, which consists of passing bogus checks, embezzlement and defrauding an innkeeper. Russell said he isn’t proud of his past, but added that if it were not for his background he would not have the knowledge he does about the Camp Scott murders. The OSBI would also not comment about the possibility of Myers being a suspect. “Legally, all I can say is that the murders at Camp Scott are still under investigation,” Brown said. The Cherokee Phoenix requested an interview with Myers through the Oklahoma Department of Corrections but was denied. Russell said that he’s been told that Myers’ health was failing and that he probably wouldn’t see an execution date. “If he dies, then we won’t be able to get his confession of the three Girl Scouts or any of the numerous others that he has killed in the past. Then it’s just my word that he confessed. His death protects the reputation of the OSBI and the state of Oklahoma from future prosecution of those involved,” Russell said. He said his movie would still be filmed but that he would just have to be more creative in filming without a Myers interview. “I have to use my creative abilities instead of using an interview, and I fully expected to be denied the interview with Myers.” Russell said Cherokee actor Wes Studi has sent a letter of intent to play the part of Gray Hawk, a medicine man.
jami-custer@cherokee.org • 918-453-5560
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