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The Osage Murders & "Killers of the Flower Moon"

Updated: Feb 29

The Osage Murders & "Killers of the Flower Moon"

It does not take much comparison to see how Killers of the Flower Moon, The Osage Murders is very much like the "Black Wall Street Massacre" that took place in Tulsa Oklahoma in 1921.

Native Americans and Black Americans have long been the targets of evil and greed in America. The plight of Native Americans even today is tragic. Black Americans continue to die in police shootings and other violence.

The Osage Murders are yet another sad and tragic incident of Americas sins. Like Slavery America has committed many deeds of death & destruction.

Let us remind ourselves then that we are accountable for how we treat and serve God's image bearers that we live with and among!

The Osage
The Osage

The Forgotten Murders of the Osage Indians

By Chris Vineis Fall 2017

"Have you ever started a scrapbook for a vacation, but never finished it? The FBI archive for the Osage Indian Murders seemed a lot like that to me. Today the FBI is one of the most well-respected investigatory organizations in the world, but its effort to document its first major investigation of a homicide was disappointing. This paper provides a cursory view of this tragic event and a more in-depth examination of the FBI’s Osage Indian Murders archive, including discussion of the archive’s purpose, presentation, and how the technology and perspective of the time resulted in a less-than-comprehensive view of this tragic event.

Examination of this tragic event reminds me of the saying that money is the root of all evil. That may or may not be true, but what is true is that money can make the greedy among us commit the most evil of acts. The Osage Indian murders, which occurred from 1918 to 1925, were such acts. During this period, innocent Osage Indians were mercilessly targeted for their newfound and extraordinary wealth, which was generated from the royalties on the headrights to the crude oil under their land. By 1920 the Osage people were among the richest per capita in the world. According to the FBI, by the mid-1920s, no fewer than 24 members (some sources put this number closer to 60) of the tribe had been either shot, poisoned or blown up in what is best described as a “Reign of Terror” to extract such wealth from the Osage people (Jefferson, “Digging Up a Tale of Terror Among the Osages”).

It was and is widely believed that the Reign of Terror was orchestrated by William F. Hale, perhaps appropriately self-proclaimed as the “King of Osage Hills.” Resources in addition to the archive reinforce that Hale was indeed a very evil man. Despite allegations and evidence of Hale’s involvement in several murders, the FBI’s investigation resulted in his murder conviction for arranging “only” the murder of Henry Roan, and this only after numerous trials with deadlocked juries, appeals, and overturned verdicts. Hale and his accomplices were sentenced to life imprisonment but were later paroled despite protests from the Osage (May, “Osage Murders”)..." from the article: The Forgotten Murders of the Osage Indians

The Osage Murders: The True Story Behind "Killers of the Flower Moon"

Video from The1920sChannel

"Jan 9, 2022

Throughout the mid-1920s, the Osage Nation suffered a series of mysterious murders, and the body count kept piling up until the federal investigators got involved. But who was killing all of these people, and why? 0:00 Introduction & Background 3:25 The Murders 8:26 The Federal Investigation 16:33 The Trial 19:32 Epilogue 23:54 Conclusion" from video introduction

Best Selling Author, David Grann, Talks About "Killers of The Flower Moon"

"In this edition of First Person One on One, best selling author David Grann talks about how he found the story of the forgotten Osage murders that became the basis for his book, "Killers of the Flower Moon," and who is making it into a movie." from video introduction

Killers of the Flower Moon — Official Teaser Trailer

Video from Apple TV

"Killers of the Flower Moon. In theaters October 6. Based on David Grann’s broadly lauded best-selling book, Killers of the Flower Moon is set in 1920s Oklahoma and depicts the serial murder of members of the oil-wealthy Osage Nation, a string of brutal crimes that came to be known as the Reign of Terror. Directed by Martin Scorsese and Screenplay by Eric Roth and Scorsese, the film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone, Jesse Plemons, Tantoo Cardinal, Cara Jade Myers, JaNae Collins, and Jillian Dion. Hailing from Apple Studios, Killers of the Flower Moon was produced alongside Imperative Entertainment, Sikelia Productions and Appian Way. Producers are Scorsese, Dan Friedkin, Bradley Thomas and Daniel Lupi, with DiCaprio, Rick Yorn, Adam Somner, Marianne Bower, Lisa Frechette, John Atwood, Shea Kammer and Niels Juul serving as executive producers." from video introduction

Killers of the Flower Moon – Press conference – EV – Cannes 2023

Video from Festival de Cannes

"Press Conference of KILLERS OF THE FLOWERS MOON of Martin Scorsese, starring Leonardo Dicaprio, Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone, Jesse Plemons, Cara Jade Myers, Janae Collins, Jillian Dion, Tantoo Cardinal." from video introduction

Killers of the Flower Moon Review – Scorsese’s Remarkable Epic About the Bloody Birth of America

"Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and Lily Gladstone star in this macabre western about serial murders among the Osage tribe in 1920s Oklahoma, which reflects the erasure of Native Americans from the US

Killers of the Flower Moon
Killers of the Flower Moon

Martin Scorsese’s western true-crime thriller is about the US’s Osage murders of the early 1920s, based on the nonfiction bestseller by David Grann. With co-writer Eric Roth, Scorsese crafts an epic of creeping, existential horror about the birth of the American century, a macabre tale of quasi-genocidal serial killings which mimic the larger erasure of Native Americans from the US. It places in the drama’s foreground a gaslit marriage of lies and poisoned love. It echoes Scorsese’s earlier work about mob violence, mob loyalty and the final, inevitable sellout to the federal authorities, whose own bad faith gradually emerges. But in the end, this film is about what all westerns are about, and perhaps all history: the brutal grab for land, resources and power. Lily Gladstone gives a performance of tragic force as Mollie Burkhart, a Native American woman from the Osage tribe who, like all her people, has become unexpectedly wealthy because the apparently stony and unpromising land in Oklahoma on which the authorities allowed the Osage to settle turned out to have huge reserves of oil. But they are still subject to a racist and infantilising condition of “guardianship”: to claim the income and spend it, Osage individuals need a white co-signatory. And there is something else: Mollie and her family are deeply disturbed by mysterious illnesses which have been killing off Osage people, one by one. Later the bodies of Osage murder-victims are found, including Mollie’s wayward sister Anna (Cara Jade Myers), whose autopsy is bizarrely carried out in the open air, at the crime scene itself. Into this situation arrives a slippery, venal individual called Ernest, played by Leonardo DiCaprio; an ambitious but also submissive and fundamentally inadequate man: greedy, stupid and biddable. He has returned to the US after service in the first world war, and comes to the vast estate of his wealthy uncle, who has offered him a job working alongside his hardfaced brother Bryan (pronounced “By-ran”), played by Scott Shepherd, who has clearly been extensively normalised in the violence and corruption over which the uncle presides.." from the article: Killers of the Flower Moon review – Scorsese’s remarkable epic about the bloody birth of America

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