White Hair, pt. 5


Once arrested, John Ramsey confessed to participation in the murder of Roan. He said that Hale had promised him five hundred dollars and a new car for the killing.

Ramsey said he met Roan outside of Fairfax, where they drank whiskey together. Then Ramsey shot Roan in the head, though he later claimed that the actual killer was Curly Johnson.

Johnson died before he could testify.

Ernest Burkhart was sentenced to life and sent to the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. He was released in 1959, receiving a pardon in 1966 from Governor Henry Bellmon.

Bryan Burkhart turned state’s evidence in state court and was never convicted.

Oklahoma Governor Jack C. Walton ordered an investigation into the deaths of Bigheart and Vaughan, assigning Herman Fox Davis to head the investigation. After being appointed, Davis was convicted of bribery and later pardoned by Walton.

The investigation was left incomplete.

Osage County officials sought revenge against Pyle for bringing attention to the murders. Fearing for his life, Pyle and his wife fled to Arizona.

In 1925, to prevent further criminal activity and protect the Osage, Congress passed a law prohibiting non-Osage from inheriting rights. The government continued to manage the leases and royalties from assets.

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