‘Keeper of the Ashes: The Oklahoma Girl Scout Murders’ on Hulu is a four-part docuseries that focuses on the murders of Doris Milner, Lori Farmer, and Michele Guse at a Girl Scout campsite in Locust Grove, Oklahoma. The 1977 incident sparked national headlines and had the authorities searching far and wide for the suspect, Gene Leroy “Sonny” Hart. Doris’ mother, Bettye, is featured in the docuseries and recounts her ordeal upon finding out what happened to her daughter. So, if you’re wondering where she is today, here’s what we know!
Who is Bettye Milner?
Doris Denise Milner was Bettye’s eldest daughter. The 10-year-old was described as an intelligent kid already enrolled in a school for gifted students. At the time, Doris sold enough Girl Scout cookies to go to the two-week camp. When her friends backed out at the last minute, she was apprehensive about going but eventually decided to head out alone. Nevertheless, Doris was excited about the prospect of making new friends.
However, during the early hours of June 13, 1977, Doris, along with Lori and Michele, were molested and brutally murdered. The 10-year-old was strangled to death in addition to being hit in the head. The authorities zeroed in on Sonny as the suspect, given his previous criminal history. Furthermore, he had been dodging the police after escaping from prison. However, Sonny was ultimately found not guilty of the murders, leading to widespread disappointment among the victims’ families.
Many years later, Bettye talked about how the OJ Simpson trial and its events were a reminder of Sonny’s case. She added, “I remembered what had happened to us – how the people cheered. All they cared about was Hart going free; it was like they didn’t care about what happened at Locust Grove.” Over the years, Bettye also had difficulty coming to terms with what happened.
Bettye said in 1997, “Everybody reacts to grief differently, and we tend to think that there’s something wrong with the way we feel. If we can talk to and be with people that are experiencing the same thing we’re experiencing, we’re free to talk about the person we’ve lost. With family and friends, it’s hard to talk because they don’t want to hear.” She added that Doris’ friends helped her immensely during those times, often visiting her and spending time with her.
Where is Bettye Milner Now?
Bettye Milner, who was the granddaughter of a Baptist minister, said that faith helped her a lot when it came to dealing with Doris’ loss. She hadn’t visited her daughter’s grave until 2016; it finally happened with the help and encouragement of loved ones. While Bettye initially expressed reluctance to have grandchildren because of what happened with Doris, things have since changed.
At present, she doesn’t let go of any opportunity to spend quality time with her grandchildren and her two daughters, Kathy and Kristal. Bettye previously worked at a hospital and a retail company but is now retired. She moved to Mansfield, Texas, to be closer to her daughters and now lives in a senior citizen apartment there.
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