What were the Osage oil murders, and how are they an example of Native American discrimination? The Osage oil murders were a series of murders based on Native American discrimination that took place in the 1920’s, in order to steal the wealth of the Osage tribe. The oil murders took place against the Osage Native American population, and were orchestrated to steal the wealth from the Osage that the white residents of Osage, Oklahoma perceived as unfair. In order to understand the Osage murders, you have to first understand the discrimination against Native Americans that led to legal systems and
Who was Bill Smith in Killers of the Flower Moon? What did he have to do with the Osage murders? Bill Smith was a white man married to an Osage woman, and he was a victim in the murder conspiracy that lead to the deaths of many Osage.
Who was Martha Vaughan? What is her role in Killers of the Flower Moon? Though Martha Vaughan was not alive during the Osage Reign of Terror, she helped author David Grann gain perspective on the events and cases. Martha Vaughan pointed out that the Osage Reign of Terror was even bigger than the events Grann wrote about in the book.
What was the Osage reign of terror, and how did the FBI get involved? Did it impact the future of the FBI? During the Osage Murders, the FBI was brought in to solve the case. After the Osage murders, the FBI found itself at a turning point. Its director, J. Edgar Hoover, used the opportunity to point to the FBI’s success in solving the murders, and pushed his own agenda for the Bureau’s future.
What do you know about law enforcement in the old west? What was the legacy of law enforcement in the old west, and how did law enforcement change? In many places, law enforcement remained unorganized and was left to people who were criminals themselves. The legacy of law enforcement in the old west meant that in Osage, Oklahoma, the system was ill-prepared to solve the many murders that took place in the 1920s.
What is the FBI’s history? When did the FBI become the large, powerful federal agency we know today? What does the FBI have to do with the Osage murders in the ’20s? The changes in the FBI were due, in part, to the appointment of J. Edgar Hoover, the most well-known member of FBI director history. Another major event that changed the FBI was the investigation and prosecution of the Osage murders, events that the FBI used to prove its competency and gain publicity, and that would, in turn, change the course of FBI history.
Who was Henry Grammer? What was his role in the Osage oil murders? Henry Grammer was a bootlegger who worked in the Osage, Oklahoma area during the Osage Reign of Terror. Henry Grammer’s true role in the conspiracy remains unknown; he died suspiciously during the investigation, but he’s believed to have participated and recruited other participants.
Who was Asa Kirby? What role did he play in the Osage murders, and what happened to him? Asa Kirby was an outlaw and explosives expert that was responsible for the explosion that killed Bill and Rita Smith. However, before he was able to confess to the murders or offer additional information, Asa Kirby died, along with an associate, Henry Grammer, who was also involved in the murders.
Who was Dick Gregg? How did this outlaw contribute to solving the Osage murder cases? Dick Gregg was a member of the Al Spencer gang, and while he was in prison, he offered information to investigator Tom White that later lead to a huge break in the case.
What are headrights? How did the headright system work, and how did it lead to the Osage murders? The headright system was established when oil was discovered on the land of the Osage tribe. Read to find out how headrights became part of the Osage murder conspiracy, and lead to tragic deaths in the pursuit of theft from the Osage people.