Killers of the Flower Moon

by

David Grann

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Blackie Thompson Character Analysis

A notorious outlaw who is released from prison in order to go undercover and aid the bureau in gathering evidence on the Osage killings. Blackie abuses his freedom, though, and robs a bank, kills a police officer, and escapes into the Osage hills before he is at last apprehended again and returned to prison. Blackie is eventually instrumental in revealing that Burkhart and Hale were the orchestrators, together, of the plot to murder Bill and Rita Smith.

Blackie Thompson Quotes in Killers of the Flower Moon

The Killers of the Flower Moon quotes below are all either spoken by Blackie Thompson or refer to Blackie Thompson. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Racism and Exploitation Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of Killers of the Flower Moon published in 2018.
Chapter 20 Quotes

For Hoover, the Osage murder investigation became a showcase for the modern bureau. As he had hoped, the case demonstrated to many around the country the need for a national, more professional, scientifically skilled force. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote of the murders, “Sheriffs investigated and did nothing. State's Attorneys investigated and did nothing. The Attorney General investigated and did nothing. It was only when the Government sent Department of Justice agents into the Osage country that law became a thing of majesty.”

Hoover was careful not to disclose the bureau's earlier bungling. He did not reveal that Blackie Thompson had escaped under the bureau's watch and killed a policeman, or that because of so many false starts in the probe other murders had occurred. Instead, Hoover created a pristine origin story, a founding mythology in which the bureau, under his direction, had emerged from lawlessness and overcome the last wild American frontier.

Related Characters: David Grann (speaker), J. Edgar Hoover, Blackie Thompson
Page Number: 240
Explanation and Analysis:
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Blackie Thompson Character Timeline in Killers of the Flower Moon

The timeline below shows where the character Blackie Thompson appears in Killers of the Flower Moon. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3: King of the Osage Hills
Racism and Exploitation Theme Icon
American Entitlement, Greed, and Corruption Theme Icon
...across the country.” Outlaws and fugitives hide out in the Osage Hills—such as the dangerous Blackie Thompson and the notorious Al Spencer (leader of a gang of outlaws.)   (full context)
Chapter 8: Department of Easy Virtue
American Entitlement, Greed, and Corruption Theme Icon
History, Truth, and Lies Theme Icon
...were able to make any headway. After a disastrous snafu in which the notorious outlaw Blackie Thompson was released to work undercover for the bureau’s investigation—and subsequently escaped into the Osage Hills,... (full context)
Chapter 18: The State of the Game
Racism and Exploitation Theme Icon
American Entitlement, Greed, and Corruption Theme Icon
Desperate, White hunts down and questions the dangerous outlaw Blackie Thompson about Hale and Burkhart’s role in the Osage murders. Blackie states that Ernest and Hale... (full context)
Chapter 20: So Help You God!
American Entitlement, Greed, and Corruption Theme Icon
...to break out the outlaws who plan on testifying against Hale. Hale attempts to bribe Blackie Thompson into refusing to testify, offering to break him out of jail if he will take... (full context)