Cautionary Tales Oil and Blood: The Osage Murders

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Minnie Smith grew sick quite suddenly. She had been young, fit and healthy – and the doctors were baffled when she died. “A peculiar wasting illness,” they called it. Then, her sister Anna went missing. Her rotting corpse was found a week later, a bullet hole through her skull. When a third sister, Rita, was blown up in her own bed, a grim pattern was clear: the family was being targeted.

Lawman Tom White strode into town to investigate – and uncovered a vicious plot that chilled him to the bone…

This episode is based on David Grann’s book, Killers of the Flower Moon, and is the first of two cautionary tales produced in association with Apple Original Films. The film of the same title is in movie theaters now. It’s directed by Martin Scorsese and stars Robert DeNiro, Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone.

Next week, we’ll hear more on this story from former Principal Chief of the Osage Nation Jim Roan Gray.

The Host

Tim Harford

Tim Harford’s long-running column in the Financial Times, “The Undercover Economist,” reveals the economic ideas behind everyday experiences. His first book, The Undercover Economist, was published in 30 languages and sold…