Killers of the Flower Moon – In the early 1920s, the Osage Nation in Oklahoma was one of the wealthiest groups of people per capita in the world. This was due to the discovery of oil on their land. However, their wealth also made them a target for greedy white settlers.
One of the most notorious crimes against the Osage people was the murder of over 20 people, known as the Osage Murders. These murders were investigated by the fledgling Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the case is considered to be one of the most significant events in the FBI’s history.
The Osage Murders began in 1921 with the death of Anna Brown, a young Osage woman. Anna was shot to death, and her body was found in a remote area. Shortly after Anna’s death, her cousin, Henry Roan, was also found dead. He had been shot in the head.
In the following years, over 20 more Osage people were murdered. Some of the victims were poisoned, while others were shot or stabbed. The killings caused widespread fear and panic in the Osage Nation.
The FBI was initially reluctant to investigate the Osage Murders. The agency was still new at the time, and it was focused on other crimes, such as bank robberies and kidnapping. However, after public outcry, the FBI agreed to take on the case.
The FBI’s investigation into the Osage Murders was led by J. Edgar Hoover, the director of the FBI. Hoover assigned two of his best agents to the case: Tom White and Tom Love.
White and Love quickly discovered that many of the victims had been married to white men. They also discovered that many of the victims had been poisoned with a rare poison called strychnine.
White and Love eventually identified a suspect in the Osage Murders: William Hale. Hale was a wealthy rancher who was married to an Osage woman. Hale was also a member of a group of white men who were known to be hostile to the Osage people.
Hale was arrested and charged with the murder of Anna Brown. However, he was acquitted by a jury. The trial was widely seen as a miscarriage of justice.
After Hale’s acquittal, the FBI continued to investigate the Osage Murders. White and Love eventually uncovered a conspiracy to kill the Osage people and steal their land. The conspiracy was led by Hale and his associates.
The FBI arrested over 20 people for their involvement in the Osage Murders. Hale was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. He died in prison in 1942.
The Osage Murders were a tragic chapter in American history. They were also a reminder of the dangers of racism and greed. The FBI’s investigation into the Osage Murders is considered to be one of the most significant events in the agency’s history.
The Legacy of the Osage Murders
The Osage Murders had a profound impact on the Osage Nation. The murders caused widespread fear and panic, and they led to a decline in the Osage population. The murders also had a devastating impact on the Osage culture and way of life.
The Osage Murders also had a significant impact on the FBI. The case helped to establish the FBI as a leading law enforcement agency in the United States. The case also helped to develop the FBI’s investigative techniques.
The Osage Murders are a reminder of the dangers of racism and greed. They are also a reminder of the importance of justice. The FBI’s investigation into the Osage Murders is a testament to the agency’s commitment to serving justice.
The Book Killers of the Flower Moon
In 2017, David Grann published a book about the Osage Murders called Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI. Grann’s book was a critical and commercial success. It was also nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction.
Grann’s book is a meticulously researched and well-written account of the Osage Murders. It is also a powerful story of greed, racism, and justice.
The Movie Killers of the Flower Moon
In 2023, a film adaptation of Killers of the Flower Moon was released. The film was directed by Martin Scorsese and stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Tom White and Robert De Niro as William Hale.
The film has been praised for its acting, directing, and cinematography. It has also been nominated for numerous awards, including the Academy Award for Best Picture.
The film Killers of the Flower Moon is a powerful and moving story of the Osage Murders. It is also a reminder of the dangers of racism and greed. The film is a must-see for anyone interested in American history, crime, or justice.