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1921 Graves Investigation Update – November 11, 2022

This article was archived on 2/10/2023

As excavation and lab analysis work continued today at Oaklawn Cemetery, forensic anthropologist Dr. Phoebe Stubblefield discovered that one of the three sets of remains exhumed last week contained one victim with a gunshot wound.

During lab work, a bullet core was removed from the victim's skull. At this time, experts believe the victim to be an adult male, though no definitive information on race or potential relation to the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre can be confirmed at this time. The gunshot victim was buried in a plain casket in the Original 18 Potter's Field area. 

This gunshot victim marks the second gunshot victim found in the City's search for potential victims from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. The first gunshot victim was found in last year's excavation. DNA analysis of the first gunshot victim continues in Utah with Intermountain Forensics and no definitive information about potential relation to the Tulsa Race Massacre can be confirmed at this time.  

During this excavation since October 26, 26 burials have been found and four sets of remains have been exhumed and taken to the on-site osteology lab for further analysis and processing. One new exhumation (not the new gunshot victim) took place today, and work continues to safely uncover and exhume more sets of remains for analysis.  

Photos from this week’s fieldwork can be found online at