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Why Being Awkward Is Awesome, And Oil Money And The Osage: A Tragedy

Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoman Collection
Married in 1907, Ernest and Mollie Burkhart were part of a plot to embezzle the oil wealth of Osage families in Oklahoma.

Even suave people blunder a bit here and there, but research suggests those weird traits have some advantages. Today, we look at the science behind social awkwardness. Then, we learn how vast new oil wealth among Oklahoma's Osage tribe engendered a heart-rending greed that led to a series of murders in the 1920s, and helped the fledgling FBI make a name for itself.

David Grann discusses his new book, 'Killers of the Flower Moon: the Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI,' at Kansas City Public Library's Plaza Branch at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 9. Visit KCLibrary.org for more information.

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
The Kansas City region has long been a place where different ways of life collide. I tell the stories of people living and working where race, culture and ethnicity intersect. I examine racial equity and disparity, highlight the area's ethnic groups and communities of color, and invite all of Kansas City to explore meaningful ways to bond with and embrace cultures different from their own. Email me at luke@kcur.org.