Killers of the Flower Moon
David Grann
Contributed by Shemika Thormahlen
Chapter 24

In May 2013, Grann visits Constantine Theater in Pawhuska to view the Osage ballet Wahzhazhe. He meets Kathyrn and tells her that he is looking into H. G. Hurt and she asks him to meet her the next day at the museum. They meet, and she shows her a letter that was written by Hale while in prison, saying that he would always be the tribe's true friend. Kathryn also asks Grann to look into her grandfather, who was slowly poisoned by his second white wife until his death. She adds that there were more deaths than people actually realized. Grann continues to collect information and discoveries, and he believes that he can solve the case on the murders that were never solved.

Looking into Charles Whitehorn’s death, Grann thinks that Hale might have been involved. But it seems that Whitehorn’s wife might have been the one who killed him for his fortune. The widow had remarried, but the man had run away to Mexico with part of the wealth. A third man had begun to blackmail her by using the information she told him (about the murder), and she started ailing from a peculiar disease from which she recovered almost immediately after going to the hospital. It seems that the Bureau dropped the Whitehorn case as it did not fit their theory of Hale being the mastermind, and indicating that there were more murders in the Osage tribe.


Many murders remained unsolved after the conviction of Hale. It seems that the bureau needed a win — and after getting the triumph, they forgot all about the other cases. Whitehorn’s case was dropped even before Tom White joined the Oklahoma division due to it not fitting the theory they had on Hale. Such, among numerous other murders, were assumed and ignored, leaving different families without justice. The killing of Kathryn’s grandfather shows that, even after Hale’s conviction, the killings continued, and the Osage Indians continued to suffer at the hands of white individuals. It is possible that Whitehorn’s widow had killed him for the wealth, but investigators had not found any evidence on her during the initial investigation. Nonetheless, it is clear that the Bureau manipulated the case files so that they could appear as if they had delivered a neat justice to the Osage Indians.

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