When Sheri and Dr. Charles “Bo” Farmer sent their oldest daughter, Lori, off to a two-week summer camp about 45 minutes from their home, the parents could have never imagined her not coming back home. But sadly, that’s what happened because Lori and two other girls were savagely murdered the same night. Hulu’s ‘Keeper of the Ashes: The Oklahoma Girl Scout Murders’ focuses on the decades-long journey that the case has taken and features interviews with Sheri and Bo, who share their story. So, let’s find out more about the parents then, shall we?
Who Are Sheri Farmer and Bo Farmer?
Sheri and Bo Farmer had five children, with Lori being their oldest. When the little girl went on her trip, she was just days away from her ninth birthday. On the night of June 12, 1977, Lori, a Girl Scout, was assigned to a tent at the campsite in Locust Grove, Oklahoma, with Doris Denise Milner and Michele Heather Guse. The night seemed to be the perfect start for their trip, and Lori even wrote a letter to her family, talking about the two new friends she had made.
Reminiscing about her daughter, Sheri said, “She had just finished the fourth grade. Being the oldest of five, she was very mature, smart, so really, really pretty. She was just a really good oldest sister.” In a terrifying turn of events, Lori and her two new friends were murdered during the early hours of June 13, 1977. Bo was told about his daughter’s death the next day, but the couple faced a tough time getting information, only learning about what happened through news reports.
The authorities eventually arrested Gene Leroy “Sonny” Hart, a convicted rapist, for the murders, but he was acquitted by a jury in 1979. Understandably, the verdict left Sheri and Bo devastated. Both of them felt that Sonny was guilty, with Sheri considering the possibility that he had help. Over the years, the Farmers were instrumental in keeping the case alive and pushing for answers. This led to a 2013 meeting with Mike Reed, the Sheriff in Mayes County, Oklahoma. Sheri and Bo urged him to take another look at the case.
The parents’ effort resulted in DNA testing of the evidence in 2019, with the results being made public in May 2022. The analysis showed that Sonny was the only suspect who could not be ruled out as the person responsible. This development only reiterated Bo’s belief that Sonny was guilty. He said, “Every bit of information we’ve gotten over the last 40 years has just continued to nail it down more and more.” Even Sheri believed that Sonny was the only direct participant in the murder. However, the couple and the authorities have not ruled out the possibility of Sonny getting help after the crime.
Where Are Sheri Farmer and Bo Farmer Now?
In the years after Lori’s death, Sheri and Bo strived to bring awareness to victim rights. The couple founded the first Oklahoma chapter of Parents of Murdered Children, leading it for a decade and a half. Sheri even traveled and spoke at various events to share the story and raise awareness about a family’s needs in light of the murder of a loved one. Her contribution led to Marsy’s Law being passed in 2018. It provides resources to surviving family members to help with court processes.
Sheri has continued to advocate for victim rights and has maintained she would keep doing it. Bo, who was the Emergency Room Director at a hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma, when his daughter died, seems to have worked as a doctor until a few years ago. Now great-grandparents, they still live in Tulsa with their three daughters close by.
From what we can tell, Sheri and Bo Farmer spend quality time with their family but still miss Lori. Talking about her, Sheri once said, “I’m at peace, but that does not mean closure. When I sit down for my birthday with my daughters, you’ll see me laughing — and yet I am aware we’re not all there. And that’s still real. There’s no closure that will change that.”
Read More: How Did Gene Leroy “Sonny” Hart Die?