|About the Book|
A dead body discovered in an abandoned house on Southeast 29th Street in Oklahoma City. In a city and a state where crime and violence were common, it might have seemed routine.But death—especially murder—is never routine, and the investigation ofMoreA dead body discovered in an abandoned house on Southeast 29th Street in Oklahoma City. In a city and a state where crime and violence were common, it might have seemed routine.But death—especially murder—is never routine, and the investigation of this particular death led young Oklahoma City detective Walter Gage on a journey he could never have imagined.1920’s. Oklahoma. Oil. Boomtowns spring up almost overnight. Drillers, roughnecks, landmen—and gangsters, prostitutes, con-men, all following the money. And there was a lot.When the American government moved members of the Osage tribe into northern Oklahoma, it had no intention of making the Osage, as a group, the wealthiest people in the world.The land itself was wonderful for cattle, covered as it was with Big Bluegrass, Little Bluegrass, and Switchgrass, some growing to four or five feet in height and highly nutritious.But it wasn’t what was on top of the land that made the Osage rich- it was what was beneath it: oil.Oklahoma, not long a state, was booming. Oil wells were popping up in many areas of the state. Towns that had existed only as small farming communities or had not existed at all were suddenly bustling cities.Many of the huge oil companies that were familiar names in America for most of the twentieth century got their starts in the Oklahoma oil fields. So lots of people got rich.The Osage tribe was in a rather special position. Their treaties with the United States government meant that royalties from oil taken from Osage land went, not to the landholder, but to the tribe as a whole. That royalty money was then distributed to all tribal members equally.That meant, in a way, that although a few landholders might have actually received less royalty money than they would have under the usual circumstances, it also meant that every adult member of the Osage tribe rather quickly became wealthy.Wealthy? Millionaires, each and every one.What did this mean to people who were, by American standards, scarcely “civilized”?In simple terms, it meant that they were prey.A Few Dead Indians is the story of the long delayed investigation into the murders of at least twenty members of the Osage tribe, the beginning of the Oklahoma Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, and the life and involvement of young agent Walter Gage.