By Jolie Shultz
Online Editor

History is one of the most complex subjects, especially when it comes to certain aspects of education.

Everyone seems to want to have a say in the topics that get taught.

However, certain subjects, like the topic of David Grann’s 2017 novel “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI”, seem to be strained out of the curriculum all over the country.

“There’s systemic reasons why this history wasn’t always told,” Grann said during the Dillon Lecture Series on April 16 at the Sports Arena. “Many of the powerful sources were complicit in these crimes, making money from these crimes and had access to much of the means of communication. They really didn’t have an interest in sharing this history.”

Grann, whose job description lies between journalist and author, started his research on the Osage Murders back in 2012.

“I made a trip out to Osage Nation,” Grann said. “At that time I wasn’t planning to write a book but I couldn’t find much written about the story or the history.”

Using his own funds, Grann went down to Pawhuska, Oklahoma and went straight to the Osage Nation Museum.

“I saw this photograph on the wall that was taken in 1924 of the members of the Osage Nation along with white settlers,” Grann said. “It looked very innocent to me when I was staring at it. Then I noticed that a far corner of the photograph was missing and I asked the museum director what had happened to it and she said ‘The devil was standing right there,’,” Grann said.

He accounts that moment as ‘the moment that jolted’ him into writing the book.

Grann visited Hutchinson for the second DLS of 2024, telling the story of the Osage Murders and giving a brief account of his book, which was turned into a blockbuster film in 2023.

The film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and Lily Gladstone, was directed by Martin Scorsese. It was nominated for a total of 29 awards from four different award institutions, including the Academy Awards, the Golden Globe Awards, British Academy Film Awards, and SAG awards.

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