Killers of the Flower Moon
David Grann
Contributed by Shemika Thormahlen
Chapter 9

White took over the office in Oklahoma during the month of July in 1925. Immediately. he starts going through the hefty evidence looking for clues that will help him crack the case. He realizes that the murders must have been performed by different people, potentially henchmen working for an intelligent individual who understands the deployment of the plot. He also establishes that the murders of Anna, Lizzie, and Rita are connected due to their blood relations. Finally, he talks to Mollie, being the only surviving family member. It is clear that corruption has flawed the case, and the previous agents had failed to establish and follow different clues to the end. Therefore, he wants to separate the data that seem incorrect from the facts he can prove.

White likes to work alone, but the Osage case requires a team. Therefore, he assembles a group of men who can work undercover by infiltrating a wild country, shadowing suspects, working for days without sleep, maintaining cover under duress, and handling deadly weapons, if necessary. Among the team members are: a fifty-six-year old former New Mexico sheriff; a stocky, garrulous, and blond-haired former Texas Ranger; an experienced deep-cover operative who looks more like an insurance salesman; John Burger, an agent from the previous investigation; Frank Smith, a Texan whose interests include “Pistol and rifle practice—Big game hunting—Game fishing—Mountain climbing—Adventures—Man hunting”; and John Wren, a onetime American Indian spy for the revolutionary leaders in Mexico. He fails to recruit his brother, Doc, for they always avoid working on the same cases to avoid getting killed at the same time.


White is experienced, and he knows how to work in different cases. His decision to first go through the tones of evidence portrays an individual who deems attention-to-detail to be of great importance, as well as his commitment towards solving the case. He can separate the worthless information from the useful data using his experience, and he establishes various facts about the case that previous agents failed to pursue (e.g. by talking to Mollie).  He also understands the weight of the case, since he decides to create a team rather than work alone. Although, according to Hoover, the individuals are untrained, White understands their field capabilities and he knows that they can deliver. His decision to avoid recruiting his brother signifies the value he upholds for family and the respect he has for the agreements and bonds he makes.

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