In the early 1900s the Osage living in Oklahoma were among the wealthiest Native American tribes, owing to successful oil drilling on their government-granted lands. When several dozen Osage were murdered in the early 1920s, their special status as wards of the federal government brought the FBI in on the case. Working largely without the cooperation of Oklahoma state and county officials, the bureau launched an investigation that eventually identified the murderers and secured their lifeterm convictions in state and federal courts. The file on this investigation and prosecution effort reflects much about white-Indian relations in the 1920s, the impact of oil wealth on the Osage, and the perseverance of young FBI Director Edgar Hoover in the face of a difficult and locally unpopular case.
Number of reels: 3