The Osage Murders and the Conspiracy for Oil Money
The film "Killers of the Flower Moon" delves into the true story of the Osage murders, a dark and intricate conspiracy to seize the rights to oil on Osage land in Oklahoma. The Osage Nation, forcibly relocated to northeastern Oklahoma in the late 19th century, unexpectedly found themselves sitting on one of the largest oil reserves in the United States by the 1890s, making them incredibly wealthy. However, a group of unscrupulous businessmen, led by William Hale, sought to exploit and steal this wealth through a series of nefarious means, including murder.
A Conspiracy Revealed
Hale, portrayed by Robert De Niro in the film, orchestrated a scheme that involved marrying into the Osage tribe to gain access to the oil revenue. His nephew, Ernest Burkhart, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, was encouraged to marry Mollie Kyle, portrayed by Lily Gladstone, in order to gain control over the oil rights. As the conspiracy unfolded, a series of mysterious deaths plagued the Osage community, with family members turning up dead one after another under suspicious circumstances. The scale of the killings prompted one of the first murder investigations by what is now known as the FBI.
Convictions and Sentences
Tom White, portrayed by Jesse Plemons, led the FBI investigation, employing undercover agents to gather evidence, ultimately leading to the arrest and conviction of Hale, Burkhart, and another conspirator named John Ramsey. The extent of the conspiracy was staggering, with at least 24 Osage people estimated to have been killed as a result of Hale's scheme. The perpetrators were sentenced to life in the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, but Burkhart was later pardoned and Hale was paroled after serving two decades of his sentence.
Surviving the Conspiracy
The film sheds light on the resilience of Mollie Kyle, who survived the murderous conspiracy orchestrated by Hale and Burkhart. Despite being targeted for poisoning, she managed to recover and outlive her assailants, ultimately divorcing Burkhart and remarrying before her death in 1937.
How to Watch Killers of the Flower Moon
"Killers of the Flower Moon" stars Lily Gladstone, Jesse Plemons, Brendan Fraser, and John Lithgow, and is currently available for streaming on Apple TV+. Additionally, it can be purchased on major streaming platforms such as Amazon Prime Video. This gripping portrayal of a dark chapter in American history offers viewers a compelling and thought-provoking cinematic experience.