Tulsa Race Massacre: Searching for unidentified victims, remains of adult male with gunshot wounds found


Amid efforts to find unidentified victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre In Oklahoma, a forensic anthropologist found that one of three sets of remains exhumed last week included a victim with gunshot wounds, authorities said.

The remains were discovered at a dig site in Oaklawn Cemetery this year as teams worked to find other victims, according to a Press release from the city of Tulsa.

“During laboratory work, a bullet core was removed from the victim’s skull,” the statement said. “At this time, experts believe the victim is an adult male, although no definitive information on race or potential relationship to the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre can be confirmed at this time.”

The gunshot victim was buried in a regular casket at Original 18 Potter’s Field, authorities added.

This is the second gunshot victim found in the search for potential victims of the massacre, the statement said. The first gunshot victim was found during excavations last year.

“DNA analysis of first gunshot victim continues in Utah with Intermountain forensic medicine and no definitive information about a potential relationship to the Tulsa Race Massacre can be confirmed at this time,” the statement read.

The city is in the midst of a year-long investigation into the events of the 1921 massacre, which was inflicted by a violent white mob that targeted black residents and destroyed the Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa, a thriving black economic center. As many as 300 people were killed and more than 1,000 houses were destroyed, according to the Tulsa Historical Society and Museum.

However, only 26 death certificates were issued in 1921 for black victims of the massacre, according to the city – 21 of whom were believed to be buried in Oaklawn Cemetery.

After a dig at the cemetery last year resulted in 19 exhumations, the city started a second dig October 26.

Since then, 26 burials have been found and four sets of remains have been exhumed and taken to an onsite osteology lab, Tulsa officials said.

Oaklawn Cemetery is one of four sites identified for the survey. Others include Newblock Park, another area near Newblock Park, and Rolling Oaks Memorial Gardens, according to the city ​​website.

The first phase of the investigation involved the use of ground-penetrating radar, which found evidence of “abnormalities” in two areas of Oaklawn Cemetery, including the Original 18 site, officials said. responsible.

Descendants of the Tulsa Race Massacre and leaders of Tulsa’s African-American community are part of a public oversight committee set up to serve in an advisory capacity during the investigation.

“The only way to move forward in our work to bring about reconciliation in Tulsa is to honestly seek the truth,” Mayor GT Bynum says on the website. “As we open this investigation 101 years later, there are both unknowns and truths to be uncovered. But we are committed to exploring what happened in 1921 through a collective and transparent process. – fill the gaps in our city’s history and bring healing and justice to our community.

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