Killers of the Flower Moon

by

David Grann

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James and David Shoun Character Analysis

A pair of brothers who work as doctors in Osage county. They are trusted members of the community, and are instrumental in conducting autopsies, administering treatments (one of their patients is the diabetic Mollie Burkhart), and weighing in on important matters—but are eventually revealed to be lackeys of Hale’s who have been obstructing justice and actually committing poisonings for years.
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James and David Shoun Character Timeline in Killers of the Flower Moon

The timeline below shows where the character James and David Shoun appears in Killers of the Flower Moon. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2: An Act of God or Man?
American Entitlement, Greed, and Corruption Theme Icon
...God or man. Two doctors who often care for Mollie’s family—a pair of brothers named James and David Shoun—begin to perform an autopsy using primitive instruments and a makeshift table. They... (full context)
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...with the Whitehorn murder, and sends a deputy to the ravine to collect evidence. The Shouns—the doctors—cannot not, however, find a bullet lodged in Anna’s brain, despite the absence of an... (full context)
Chapter 3: King of the Osage Hills
History, Truth, and Lies Theme Icon
...an order to disinter Anna, but even after digging up her grave and having the Shoun brothers search again for the bullet—cutting up Anna’s head with a meat cleaver—nothing can be... (full context)
Chapter 7: This Thing of Darkness
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The deputy and the marshal—along with Hale and the Shoun brothers—return to the scene of the crime (which is, incidentally, the same ravine where Anna... (full context)
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...reduced to ash, and as dawn arrives, the justice of the peace, Mathis, and the Shoun brothers search alongside neighbors of the Smiths for bodies. Bill is found alive—but with his... (full context)
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...the murders, receives an urgent call from a friend of George Bigheart, the nephew of James Bigheart, on a June day in 1923. The call informs Vaughan that George has been... (full context)
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...only has her mind begun to unravel, but her diabetes is beginning to worsen; the Shoun brothers, who come and go from the house to inject her with insulin, are some... (full context)
Chapter 10: Eliminating the Impossible
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White questions David and James Shoun, who both insist that they searched diligently for the bullet. Because there were so... (full context)
Chapter 14: Dying Words
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...and she reveals that shortly before Bill died, he met with his lawyer and his doctors—James and David Shoun. The doctors had asked the nurse to leave the room during their... (full context)
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White begins to speculate that the Shouns orchestrated the meeting with Bill Smith not for his testimony, but for another motive entirely:... (full context)
Chapter 18: The State of the Game
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...that Mollie believes someone is trying to poison her—perhaps through her insulin injections, which the Shoun brothers are administering—White becomes even more desperate to get Hale off the streets.  (full context)
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...poisoned. Mollie is taken to a hospital, where she immediately begins feeling better, and the Shoun brothers are brought in for questioning—they are evasive and deny any wrongdoing, and White is... (full context)
Chapter 26: Blood Cries Out
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Family, Legacy, and Trauma Theme Icon
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...Going over old documents with Webb, Grann realizes that he was likely poisoned by the Shoun brothers, the same men who botched Anna’s autopsy, covered for Hale, took hold of Rita’s... (full context)