Department of Justice
Bureau of Investigation
- O. Box 1535,
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
June 5, 1926
Mr. J. Edgar Hoover, Director
Bureau of Investigation,
Department of Justice,
PERSONAL & CONFIDENTIAL
I have just this minute received your personal confidential letter in reference to my advising you as to the status of the Osage Indian Murder cases, as requested in your telegram of June 1st.
Will state in this connection, that I am very sorry indeed if I caused you any embarrassment by delaying the transmission of this information to you and it was far from my intention to embarrass you in any way in this or any other case which I am handling.
The principal reason why I did not telegraph you from Pawhuska was that in my hurried departure from Oklahoma City to Pawhuska I failed to take my code book with me and, having no code book to transmit a telegram to you, I did not think it advisable to send the information in an open telegram, nor did I think it advisable to call you over the telephone. I knew when your telegram came on June 1st that I was to return to the Oklahoma City office in the next day or so and I thought I could delay the matter until my return. Upon my return to the office on June 3rd, I sent you the following telegram in reference to these cases which I trust covered the matter to your satisfaction:
“Just returned to Oklahoma City from Pawhuska where have been attending trial Ernest Burkhart which is still in progress with excellent chances for conviction. Most we can fear for is a hung jury. Do not expect Hale and Ramsey trials to follow Burkhart’s in State Courts and will be passed pending Federal action. Bryan Burkhart was arrested and had preliminary hearing, held without bond for killing Anna Brown, but upon habeas corpus was released twenty five thousand bond. This action caused by not having Kelsey Morrison as a witness who confessed his part this killing and implicated Bryan Burkhart. No action taken in State Courts in Roan case and we are ready trial in Federal Courts this case at any time. Since our success obtaining Federal jurisdiction Roan case and success trial of Ernest Burkhart killing Bill Smith in State Courts and holding Hale and Ramsey without bond have been informed by Attorney General Short, Oklahoma that attorney for Ramsey is planning to have Ramsey testify. Advise if I should file on Ernest Burkhart in Henry Roan case and if opinion Supreme Court will allow us Federal action against Morrison and Bryan Burkhart for killing Anna Brown.”
I cannot begin to tell you and describe to you what the agents went through at Pawhuska in preparing this case for trial. I was short of agents and, therefore, I assisted in the investigation myself and was busy from the early morning hours until midnight and after. Sometimes we worked all night in order to have our case in shape for the next morning’s session. The first sixty jurors drawn from the box were dismissed due to the good work of the agents handling this case, as it was found by our investigation that there were not, out of the sixty, the good men, the rest of them being the worst kind of characters. An additional sixty men were drawn from the box and they were investigated by our agents, who worked day and night to do so. Out of these men I think we secured three jurors. Then a hundred men were drawn from an open venire and, of course, we had to look into these also. From this number we secured what looks to me like a good jury and went into the trail of the Ernest Burkhart case.
In trying this case in the State Courts at Pawhuska we met every conceivable means of opposition. We succeeded in offsetting the most of it and were able to get a case against two parties of Bill Hale’s gang and they were arrested for interfering with witnesses and both released on a $5000.00 bond. Besides all of the above and many other obstacles that we had it was necessary that we guard most of our witnesses and keep them from being harmed personally or interfered with otherwise by Bill Hale’s faction.
As I advised you in my telegram, we have an excellent chance to convict Ernest Burkhart. The worst we can look for is a hung jury. The State authorities in Oklahoma have assisted us in every way possible in these cases and through their help we have been able to keep Hale, Ramsey, and Ernest Burkhart in jail without bond. Bryan Burkhart secured bond in the amount of $25,000.00, due to the fact that at the habeas corpus held he brought forth some witnesses that swore to having been with Katherine Cole, one of the witnesses in the preliminary, at a tent show in Fairfax the night that Anna Brown was killed and that it would have been, therefore, impossible for Katherine Cole to have been out with Kelsey Morrison and Bryan Burkhart when they killed Anna Brown. We have since been able to find out that there was no tent show on the night that these witnesses claimed to have attended one in Fairfax the month that Anna Brown was killed, the month before or the month afterwards. If we could have been able to use Kelsey Morrison’s testimony in the preliminary hearing of Bryan Burkhart, I believe that he would have been held without bond. Since he is released on bond I am told, according to the laws of Oklahoma, that he cannot be reconfined without bond. We secured Morrison’s confession several days after Bryan Burkhart was allowed bond. Morrison has recently testified for the state in the case of Ernest Burkhart.
The state authorities are anxious for Hale and Ramsey and probably both of the Burkharts to be tried in Federal Court, trying Hale, Ramsey, and Ernest Burkhart for the killing of Henry Roan and Bryan Burkhart for the killing of Anna Brown. The Hale and Ramsey case for their part in the killing of W. E. Smith will be passed until we get a chance to try them in Federal Court for the killing of Henry Roan; also, Bryan Burkhart’s case is to be passed up by the State for any Federal action that might be had against him for the killing of Anna Brown.
I had a long conference yesterday with U. S. Attorney Roy St. Lewis of Oklahoma City and we went over the case of the Henry Roan killing thoroughly and decided that probably the case would be in better shape if it were passed for trial at the fall term of Federal Court. At the time that Judge Cotteral held the Government had no jurisdiction, we had the case in perfect shape and had Ernest Burkhart in such shape that I am positive that he would have testified in Federal Court, but at this time if we went to trial with Hale and Ramsey, we would have to use the testimony of Matt Williams to connect up Bill Hale with the Roan killing. Williams, as you will probably recall from the reading of previous reports, had conversations with John Ramsey and Bill Hale in reference to the Henry Roan killing, in which conversations they admitted their participation in this killing. The passing over of this case in Federal Court until the September term will probably bring about John Ramsey coming in and testifying in the case, inasmuch as Attorney General George Short of Oklahoma told me before I left Pawhuska that Ramsey’s attorney, who had been employed by some of his friends, had come to him, Short, and had made a proposition in reference to Ramsey testifying in the State Courts but state that he hesitated in doing this due to the fact that he now had the Government to deal with and did not know whether arrangements could be brought about to have Ramsey testify for the Government in the case of Henry Roan. I discussed this matter with Roy St. Lewis so that he would be conversant with these arrangements, should Ramsey’s attorney see him with reference to testifying. If Ernest Burkhart is convicted, which I look for in the case he is now on trial for, for his participation in killing W. E. Smith, I believe that he will be willing to take the stand in the Hale, Ramsey case and testify. I think that he had his mind fully made up to testify at the preliminary hearing of Hale and Ramsey recently held at Pawhuska, but when he got on the stand and faced Hale and all of his relatives, old friends and cronies his nerve went back on him and, after he was allowed to see Hale and once more be placed under his domination, there was no hope of his testifying then.
I am having the place where Anna Brown was killed closely investigated to see whether or not, at the time she was killed, the property she was killed upon was restricted. It is my impression that it was restricted land at the time of the killing, but in reviewing the file I see that there is some question about this. I will notify you later as to what developments we have in this connection and would like to now, if we find this restricted land, as to whether or not we should seek to file a complaint or have Bryan Burkhart and Kelsey Morrison indicted.
I will keep you advised as to developments in the Ernest Burkhart case.
T. B. White
Special Agent in Charge
Department of Justice
Bureau of Investigation
P. O. Box 1535,
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
June 15, 1926
Bureau of Investigation,
Department of Justice,
PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL
In re: Osage Indian Murder Cases
With reference to the above matter, will state that I have been at Pawhuska, Oklahoma, almost continuously since May 23rd as a witness and to assist in the trial of Ernest Burkhart, who is being tried there in the State courts for his part in the murder of W. E. Smith, his wife and servant girl. Burkhart was only charged with the murder of W. E. Smith.
The Attorneys for Hale – S. P. Freeling, J. I. Howard, J. M. Springer and W. S. Hamilton – resorted to every conceivable means of deceit and unfounded malicious charges against all of the Agents to bring about the acquittal of Ernest Burkhart. Their object in doing so of course was to thereby defeat justice in the Hale Case, for they well knew that if Burkhart was convicted, that he would probably testify against Hale in not only the W. E. Smith case but the case involving the killing of Henry Roan.
In their efforts to succeed in this scheme to bring about the acquittal of Burkhart, they endeavored to exclude from the Jury the statement which was taken from Burkhart by Special Agent Frank Smith and myself, also to exclude the testimony given by Burkhart before the Federal Grand Jury at Guthrie and the statements made to Agents John K. Wren and J. A. Street while these Agents were with Burkhart in New Mexico, El Paso and San Antonio, as well as the statement made to Mr. John Leahy, Special Prosecutor of Hale, Ramsey and Burkhart, Assistant County Attorney Jeffries and myself at Arkansas City, Kansas, just before the Preliminary Hearing of Hale and Ramsey, held March 12th.
Various witnesses were used to submit their evidence as to the exclusion of these statements. Among these witnesses were all of the Agents, including myself, Mr. Leahy and Mr. Jeffries. To support the defense’s side, they used Burkhart as a witness, as well as Bill Hale and John Ramsey, all of whom testified to a very ridiculous story that we had punished them to secure the statements, Bill Hale claiming that we had put a black cap over his head and placed him in a chair charged with electricity, threatened him with death and otherwise abused him, in order to get a statement, all of which he resisted and refused to do. Ramsey and Burkhart had similar stories of lesser degree.
The Court excluded the statement made by Burkhart to Special Agent Smith and me but submitted the evidence given by Burkhart to the Federal Grand Jury at Guthrie in January and also the statement made to Mr. Leahy, Assistant County Prosecutor Jeffries and myself at Arkansas City. The Court remarked that in excluding the statement made to Special Agent Smith and myself, it did not take into consideration the story told by Hale, Ramsey and Burkhart as to the punishment used by us, etc., as these stories seemed to be very unreasonable, but that the statement there made was not considered voluntary as the man was under arrest charged with first degree murder and had been taken from Pawhuska, Okla., where he was arrested, to Guthrie, Okla., arriving there at midnight and there told that the Federal Grand Jury was in session hearing the murder case against him and others – that the Court considered, under these circumstances – the statement made by Burkhart at that time was not voluntary but that the other statements, made before the Federal Grand Jury and in Arkansas City, were voluntary statements and they would be submitted to the Jury. Therefore, the Jury was recalled and evidence submitted.
The state proved a conspiracy between Hale, Ramsey and Burkhart to bring about the murder of these Indians who were related to Burkhart’s wife and thereby allowing the fortune to come to Molly Burkhart (Ernest Burkhart’s wife) and Bill Hale, Ramsey and Burkhart secure the same, and the State thereby submitted all the evidence with reference to the murder of Anna Brown, W.E. Smith, his wife and servant girl, but did not bring in any evidence with reference to the Roan case.
During the entire progress of this trial, Ernest Burkhart seemed to be very restless and nervous. The Deputy Sheriffs who had charge over him stated that he was unable to sleep. On Tuesday, the 9th, Burkhart slipped a note out of the Jail by one of the Deputy Sheriffs to Mr. Leahy, but had a great deal of trouble communicating with Mr. Leahy, due to the fact that Bill Hal’s attorney had secured a Court Order preventing anyone from seeing Burkhart, except his Attorneys, his wife and relatives. The note requested Mr. Leahy to come to the Jail the night of the 9th that he would like to see him. Mr., Leahy appeared at the Jail and Burkhart promptly told him that he was tired and disgusted with endeavoring to go through with the lies that were being sworn to and that he had been prompted to swear to and that he wanted to tell the truth, go before the Court, plead guilty to the charge and take his medicine. Mr. Leahy promptly informed him that he was prosecuting him and would be unable to advise him an any way and further talk with him about the matter; that he had better get himself an Attorney and confer with him for going before the Court to plead to first degree murder would be hard to do and a very serious matter. Burkhart told him he would like to go through with it anyway and promptly informed Mr. Leahy that he would like for him to send for Clint Moss, a very reputable and good attorney at Tulsa. Mr. Moss was communicated with and came to Pawhuska on June 9th. After conference with his Attorney and States Attorneys, Burkhart came into open Court announced to the Court that he wanted to discharge his Attorneys, Freeling, Howard, Hamilton and Springer, employ Clint Moss and to enter a plea of guilt to the charge he was being tried upon.
Before accepting the plea of guilt, the Court asked him a number of questions as to whether or not he understood what he was pleading guilty to and if it was of his own free will and accord without any promises whatsoever and whether or not the Agents of the Department of Justice had used any force in order to obtain a statement from him. Burkhart told the Court that we had not; that all we did to him was to talk to him and keep him up all night; that he had received the kindest treatment from us. After a few more questions, the Court accepted Burkhart’s plea of guilt and deferred sentence until June 21st.
At the time Burkhart pled guilty, I was in Oklahoma City having returned to the office after testifying, in order to look after other matters coming up in the Oklahoma City territory, expecting, however, to return to Pawhuska to testify in the rebuttal. Upon receiving the information as to Burkhart’s plea of guilt, I immediately wired you and proceeded to Pawhuska, there to get the details as to how Burkhart came to swear to the story he did, his change of heart, etc. I had been informed before leaving Oklahoma City (at the time I was told about Burkhart’s plea) that he had been persuaded by Bill Hale and his attorneys to change his statement and swear to the stories which he did, etc. Upon my arrival at Pawhuska, I was immediately told that Burkhart wanted to see me, and so I had him brought to the County Attorney’s office. Upon first appearance, he was very much disturbed and, with tears in his eyes, told me that he had lied and that he was now going to tell the truth; that he had considered that was always the best course out of anything and that he would not only tell the truth in the Smith case but would tell what he had told us in the Roan case and would testify to any Court in the United State to that effect. He did not materially change the statement he had already made us in these cases but re-affirmed their truth and told me he wanted to testify to it.
He stated that he was influenced to change from his truthful statements to the lies which he testified to in the hearing of his case and in the Preliminary of Hale and Ramsey in March by Hale’s friends and his attorneys. He states that when he got upon the stand at the Hale-Ramsey Preliminary Hearing in March, where he was placed by the State to testify, that he fully intended to tell the truth, but when Attorney Hamilton made such an objection to his testimony and requested the Court’s permission, and secured same, to confer with him, that Hamilton took him into the Judge’s chambers and told him if he testified for the State he would implicate himself. Burkhart states that Hamilton did not ask him what he was going to testify to but stated that if he testified he would implicate himself, also that the magistrate before whom he was testifying could not offer him immunity; that Hamilton thereupon called in Attorney Howard, making the statement to Burkhart that Howard was a better attorney than he (Hamilton) and that Howard would read the law to him. Burkhart claims that Howard thereupon secured a law book and read the law to him to the effect – so Burkhart stated – that the County Judge before whom he was being tried could not offer him immunity and they both advised him that he was only getting himself in serious trouble by testifying for the state. After quite an argument, they secured Ernest Burkhart’s promise that he would delay his testimony until next morning, and they all returned to the Courtroom when Attorney Freeling announced to the Court that he would like an adjournment until tomorrow, it being then about 5:00 o’clock, and this move was granted. Burkhart stated that at that time (after he had talked with Howard and Hamilton) his intentions were still good, but that that night Lou Oller, one of Bill Hale’s close, personal friends, also partner in the cattle business and former associate in many cattle steals of Bill Hale’s, took him (Burkhart) in an automobile from Pawhuska to Fairfax and went to Bill Hale’s home. He claimed that that night, before Lou Oller and about twenty of Bill Hale’s friends, including Mrs. Hale and her daughter, Willie, he was talked to almost all night and plead with to not allow the Agents of the Government and the Attorneys for the State to persuade him into testifying; to listen to Attorney Hamilton and take his advice. The Attorneys told Burkhart before he left for Fairfax that they would not come down; that they thought it best for them not to be with him in Fairfax, and that Bill Hale’s friends would take care of him. Burkhart states these people talked to him almost all night, returning the next morning to Pawhuska. Upon their return, Attorney Freeling talked to him and then Attorney Hamilton came in. That he (Hamilton) did not ask him what he had told us but told him that Bill Hale had told them that the Government Agents had put a black cap over his head and had sat him down in an electric chair, threatened him with death and otherwise abused him, and if they had so treated him (Burkhart) that he should get up and tell it in Court. In this manner, they went over a great many things that Hale had told them, and then would say to Burkhart, so he states, that if this same thing occurred to him, he should so state and if what we had testified to as to the statements, etc. which he had made was not true, that he should deny everything. Attorney Springer came in after being coached by Freeling and Hamilton for quite a time and told Burkhart that he should make it as strong as possible. He states that he then got on the stand for the Defense and denied all his former statements and told the lies about the abuse he had received which prompted his giving said statements.
Burkhart states that during one of the conferences he had with Attorney Freeling, Springer and Gross (the latter, a partner of Hamilton) that it was advised by these attorneys that he should bring a suit immediately against the Government Agents for kidnaping him and taking him against his will to New Mexico and Texas; that they knew, of course, that they could not recover any money from such a suit as we are only employed and paid salaries by the Government and had nothing, but that the suit would bring about an influence on public opinion which would be in their favor and against the Government Agents. Freeling and Gross – after Burkhart told them, “Well, it was all right if they saw fit” – stated they would draw up the papers for the suit, Burkhart claims that that was the last he ever heard of such suit, that is signed no papers and had no further talk with them about the same.
After receiving this information from Burkhart, I immediately took the matter up with County Attorney C. K. Templeton of Pawhuska, and after going over the matter of Burkhart’s statement with reference to his testimony, etc., Mr. Templeton advised me that, as soon as Osage County secured some funds, he would call a Grand Jury and investigate the Attorneys’ part as well as Bill Hale’s friends’ part with reference to having Burkhart testify falsely. Osage County at this time is completely without funds but will have funds available at the beginning of the next fiscal year, July 1st, and we expect a State Grand Jury to be called shortly thereafter to not only hear evidence in the case of having Burkhart swear falsely, but to hear a case against Attorney J. M. Springer for having framed other witnesses to testify falsely. Attorney Springer had two witnesses at Tulsa, whom he had framed through a couple of City Detectives there, to come into Court at the Burkhart trial and swear to some statements that they were supposed to have heard Bill Smith make, while they (Bill Smith and others) were at Henry Grammer’s ranch, about being away with Smith’s wife. This case, in all probability, did not reach the stage where Attorney Springer can be handled criminally liable but Mr. John Leahy tells me that he is going to take these facts before the Oklahoma State Bar Association and have them hear evidence in reference to disbarring Springer.
I am having Agent Frank Smith prepare a detailed report for you in this connection, including the whole affair in detail, and I will submit the same to you in the near future. In the meantime, I am giving you this letter for your information as to the occurrences in connection with these cases.
The result of what hearings we have already had in State courts has been very gratifying indeed. The State authorities, from the Attorney General on down, have rendered all the help they possibly could. The County Attorney and the Sheriff at Pawhuska are certainly to be commended for the good work they did in these trails. They afforded us all the assistance they possibly could. I believe, however, that the one man who is more responsible than any other for putting over the success of the prosecution in the State Courts at Pawhuska, is Mr. John Leahy. Mr. Leahy is one of the best attorneys in the State of Oklahoma and has a wide reputation not only as an attorney, but as a splendid character. He has the confidence and respect of the people in Osage County.
Public opinion in this state is entirely with the prosecution of Hale, Ramsey and tis gang of murderers, and now is the time for us to try the Henry Roan case in Federal Court. Arrangements, I believe, are being brought about by United States Attorney Roy St. Lewis and Special Assistant to the Attorney General Edwin Brown to bring about prosecution in the Roan case of Bill Hale and John Ramsey. Everyone consents to this prosecution in Federal Court, except District Judge Jesse Whorton of Pawhuska, who tried Burkhart. He claims, I believe, that he thinks the matter of the cases should be tried in Osage County, inasmuch as Osage County has received nation-wide publicity in reference to the crimes committed there by Hale and his gang and that he wants to show the nation that these murderers can get a fair and impartial trail in Osage County. This County, at the present time, is without funds to have another trail and will be until after July 1st. The next term of Court at that place is scheduled to take place September, 1926. Judge Whorton claims that he does not feel it would be right to call a special term during the summer months and keep the Jury together for two or three weeks during the uncomfortable summer days and thereby places it over until September term when he fixed Hale’s case for trial.
Everyone concedes that the general public in Osage County – even the Judge, himself, admits this – wants to see the Federal Court get a chance to try Hale and Ramsey in the Roan case; first, as is had in State Courts and will evidently end up in a mis-trail which will add additional costs for another; then, should a mis-trial take place, they think that Hale and Ramsey will appear for bond and probably secure same.
I will keep you advised at tall times as to the progress of these cases. My time has been so taken up during the progress of the Burkhart trial that I have had little time to write you a summary report in this matter and then matters were changing to such an extent that is was impossible to give you any definite information.
Yours very truly,
TBW:W T. B White
Special Agent in Charge.
Department of Justice
Bureau of Investigation
P.O. Box 1535,
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
June 26, 1926
Bureau of Investigation,
Department of Justice,
Dear Sir: In Re: Osage Indian Murder Cases.
The former crooked attorneys of Ernest Burkhart are circulating the story that Ernest Burkhart is crazy, claiming that he was shell-shocked and gassed during his overseas service in the late War, and that he is not, therefore, responsible for what he says and does. They further have made public in the newspapers here that they had an alienist looking him over while he was being tried and are convinced that he is crazy. Therefore, in order to refute any such move that these crooked lawyers may make in any of the subsequent trials of Hale and Ramsey, where Burkhart will probably be used as a witness, I would like to get Burkhart’s medical certificate and service record at the time of his discharge at Camp Punston, Kansas July 8, 1818. His full name if Ernest G. Burkhart and his serial number was 3510757. I have a copy of his discharge, which is a honorable one, and which gives briefly that his physical condition was good when discharged and briefly gives his service record, but it is not enough for the purpose it is intended to be used.
These crooked attorneys formerly representing Burkhart, in order to get out from under the publicity and given the public sentiment against them for their part in framing Burkhart to tell a great number of lies in his trial recently held at Pawhuska, have given all kinds of ridiculous lies to the payers in Oklahoma City with reference to Burkhart’s insanity. One story was carried in the Oklahoma News to the effect that Burkhart was never free to act and state voluntarily at Pawhuska, due to the foot that he was constantly under the guard of officers, thus implying that we had taken advantage of an insane man to get him to withdraw his plea of not guilty and plead guilty, and discharge his attorneys. As a matter of fact the attorneys for the defense, before they started in with the trial of Ernest Burkhart, had the District Judge to issue an order allowing no one to see him except his attorneys and immediate murders of his family and this court order was adhered to strictly. Burkhart states that he found that this was one of the biggest barriers in his way to get work to someone outside of his attorneys as to what he really wanted to do.
Taking stock of what transpired during the trial of Ernest Burkhart at Pawhuska, and from what I understand these crooked attorneys are doing at the present time, they are going to have lined up at the time of the trial of Hale and Ramsey at Pawhuska, which is scheduled now to take place September 20th, some of the wildest stories imaginable. For instance, I understand they have an ex-bank robber by the name of Henry Cornett, now doing 35 years in the Oklahoma State Penitentiary at McAlester for bank robbery, and who formerly pretended to give us some information in connection with these Osage murders, to swear that Roy Bunch had Henry Roan killed. I am having this story, as well as the many others, investigated and Special Agent Smith, together with Attorney General George Short, is going to McAlester Prison soon to interview Cornell and get from him, if possible, a truthful story as to who proposed that he swear to these lies in court and I believe that we will be able to get a truthful statement out of him. As a matter of fact he has told us many times that he knew nothing whatever about these Osage murders but thought, due to his wide acquaintance in the Osage County, that he could probably give us some information. All of these statements, of course, were made before these crooked attorneys got hold of him. Some of the attempts of these attorneys to have people perjure themselves have been investigated and a report from Special Agent Frank Smith sets forth the same and is being mailed you today.
The County Attorney, as I have previously informed you, is calling a special Grand Jury at Pawhuska in order to endeavor to indict those implicated and disbarment proceedings are being arranged for by the state prosecutors. When either Hale or Ramsey go to trial at Pawhuska on September 20th of this year, I expect there will be lined up all kinds of perjured testimony. We will, however, do our best to meet the same if you authorize our continuance for the state prosecution, which I sincerely trust you will do. I would like, however, to see the cases tried in Federal Court first, where we can try and be almost certain of conviction for both Hale and Ramsey by using Burkhart and Matt Williams as witnesses. We have been unable thus far to get these prisoners away from the jurisdiction of District Judge Whorten at Pawhuska. As I telegraphed you, District U. S. Attorney Roy St. Lewis made a formal application for Hale and Ramsey on June 24th and the application was denied, Judge Whorten stating that he would admit everything that the State and Government said in support of their application, but still he thought that the defendants should be protected and not given any injustice by being hauled around from one Court to the other, thus implying that the Government of the United State was going to deal them an injustice and the State of Oklahoma had to protect them. In this stand Judge Whorten stands alone, for all of the state prosecutors are desirous of seeing Hale and Ramsey taken over by the Government and tried as well as a great majority of the people in Osage County. A number of delegations of these citizens have called on Judge Whorten in order to try and persuade him to turn Hale and Ramsey over to the Government for trial, which can be had at Guthrie at any time. These citizens believe, so they state, that Hale and Ramsey can be tried quickly and fairly in Federal Court at Guthrie, or the Western District of Oklahoma. They state on the other hand that it will cost the County from $5,000.00 to $10,000.00 to try them and it will be almost impossible to get a jury. The case will be dragged through the Courts for years and perjured testimony submitted to the State Courts and the final result will be that nothing will be gained except delays, all of which are beneficial to the defendants.
Everyone is alarmed as to what may happen to Burkhart. With him away and silenced, Hale would have a much easier time in the trial of his case, especially the Henry Roan case, and we think that it is likely that they will endeavor to kill Burkhart. Of course, every precaution is being taken to prevent such a step, but here are many way that this could be done, for friends of Ramsey and Hale could probably slip poison to him through his Indian wife, who is an ignorant, unsuspecting Indian and she often takes him food to the jail at Pawhuska.
I am really very much alarmed at the delay in the trial of Hale and Ramsey in the Roan case, but I see nothing else that can be done at the present time, unless you can have some arrangements made by which U. S. Attorney St. Lewis can legally take Hale and Ramsey away from the state. In doing this there will be no friction between the state prosecutors and the Government, for they are all in accord and the only objector is Judge Whorten and Hale and Ramsey’s attorneys.
I am expecting to have another conference with U.S. Attorney St. Lewis today and we will continue our efforts to get them and bring them to trial. I will notify you from time to time as to the progress of the same.
Very truly yours,
T. B. White,
Special Agent in Charge