Were it not for a minor illness, Kristin Chenoweth's life could've looked a lot different.
The Tony Award winning actress reveals she was supposed to go on a camping trip to Camp Scott with her fellow Girl Scouts in June 1977. On the expedition, three young girls, Lori Lee Farmer, 8, Doris Denise Milner, 10, and Michele Heather Guse, 9, were sexually assaulted and murdered as the other campers slept nearby.
Now, 45 years later, Chenoweth is returning to her home state of Oklahoma in the ABC documentary Keeper of the Ashes: The Oklahoma Girl Scout Murders, in which she and investigators look deeper into the unsolved case.
"I should have been on that trip, but I had gotten sick," Chenoweth explains in a trailer released May 16. "It has stuck with me my whole life. I could have been one of them."
The actress adds, "It haunts me every day, but this story needs to be told."
Authorities arrested and charged local Gene Leroy Hart, who escaped prison in 1973, with the girls' murders. However, a jury acquitted him of all crimes in 1979, according to the St. Petersburg Times.
Having previously escaped prison, he was returned to the state's custody to finish out sentences for other crimes and died two years later.
In May 2022, Mayes County Sheriff Mike Reed said that investigators conducted new DNA exams, which indicated that Hart was likely responsible for the girls' murders. "I pray that there's something that we've done that gives the family a second of something that even resembles closure or acceptance or something," said Reed, according to CBS local station KOTV-DT. "But as far as peace, there is absolutely nothing about this case that has given me one second of peace. Period."
Likewise, Chenoweth says she's forever been shaken by her near-death encounter. "There's no closure," she said. "There's no pretty red bow at the end. "
The four-part docuseries premieres May 24 on Hulu.