Five more coffins found in search for remains of Tulsa Race Massacre victims

Oklahoma state archaeologist Kary Stackelbeck, left, examines the digging site as excavation begins at Oaklawn Cemetery in a search for victims of the Tulsa Race Massacre (Sue Ogrocki/AP)
Oklahoma state archaeologist Kary Stackelbeck, left, examines the digging site as excavation begins at Oaklawn Cemetery in a search for victims of the Tulsa Race Massacre (Sue Ogrocki/AP) (AP)
8:05am, Fri 04 Jun 2021
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Crews searching a US cemetery for victims of the 1921 Race Massacre found five more coffins, bringing to 20 the number of coffins found at a mass-grave feature there, city officials said.

After much of the excavation and analysis is completed this week at Oaklawn Cemetery in Tulsa Oklahoma, city officials say a formal exhumation process is expected to start on Monday.

The search began last year, and researchers in October found at least 12 sets of remains in coffins, although the remains were covered back up for further study at a later date and authorities have not yet confirmed they are those of massacre victims.

Excavation work at Oaklawn Cemetery (Sue Ogrocki/AP) (AP)

State archaeologist Kary Stackelbeck has estimated as many as 30 or more bodies could be in the site.

Not long after the massacre, the state officially declared the death toll to be only 36 people, including 12 who were white.

But for various reasons, including contemporaneous news reports, witness accounts and looser standards for tracking deaths, most historians who have studied the event estimate it to be between 75 and 300.

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