“It’s a very simple, easy-to-make deal, so people will just do it.
But when people don’t do it, it’s like they’re just going to kill themselves.”
– David Dickson, former state agriculture commissioner, on the practice of murder in Oklahoma article The Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.
(AP Photo/The Oklahoman, Tom Pennington) A new documentary by filmmaker David Dicks explores Oklahoma’s hidden murder industry.
Dicks is the author of The Oklahoma Murder Industry: How it’s been getting away with murder, and his documentary, which premieres Thursday on PBS, offers a detailed look at the gruesome practices and strategies used by Oklahoma’s agricultural industry to extort money from unsuspecting farmers.
“It’s not uncommon for a farmer to have their head chopped off, and the next day they’re still a victim,” Dickson told The Huffington Post.
“It really is a crime against humanity.”
Oklahoma is the nation’s third-most-populous state, with some of the country’s highest murder rates.
But despite this, the state’s agriculture industry has been able to skirt criminal liability by hiding behind a complex web of business agreements, contracts and other arrangements.
Oklahoma’s state agriculture department is part of the USDA.
But the USDA is a federal agency, not Oklahoma’s.
And, unlike other federal agencies, it is not bound by federal regulations or laws governing the business of agriculture.
The USDA is charged with overseeing the nation�s food supply.
But it is prohibited from regulating or overseeing agriculture.
That makes it difficult for agriculture departments in other states to protect themselves from potential lawsuits.
Oklahoma, in particular, is plagued by corruption.
Agriculture department officials have faced numerous lawsuits in recent years, and prosecutors have charged officials with money laundering and other crimes.
In one case, a federal prosecutor accused the former chief of the Oklahoma Agriculture Department of illegally accepting bribes.
In another case, the department had to pay $3 million to settle a lawsuit brought by farmers over their land being used for a cattle slaughter.
Dickson, who has been documenting Oklahoma’s farming industry for more than 20 years, said he is frustrated that federal agencies have not taken stronger action against the industry.
“I think it’s just kind of been a culture of impunity,” he said.
“Oklahoma has one of the highest murder rate rates in the nation,” he continued.
“I mean, it�s a very basic, easy to make deal, which is, if you’re a criminal, you just do this.
But people will simply do it.”
The documentary shows how the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture and the Oklahoma Agricultural Trade Commission, which governs the state�s agricultural trade, have made a complex system of agreements and contracts out of seemingly simple transactions.
Dickson said he believes this is what is behind the rampant corruption and violence in Oklahoma.
“What I want to see is somebody come forward and say, ‘Look, these contracts, these agreements are really a sham,’ ” he said, referring to the agreements between the agricultural department and the USDA, which has oversight over the state.
“You know, they�re the government, but they don�t really own it, and they have no jurisdiction.”
In one contract, for example, the USDA provides the OKAG with “a list of all the crops in Oklahoma, their total acreage, the prices for all of those crops, and then it says that this list is the same for all Oklahoma farmers, and it’s basically an extortion racket,” he added.
“There are literally thousands of contracts like this that go on.”
In addition to the contract with the USDA and other agricultural trade agreements, the Oklahomans have also signed contracts with a variety of private companies to produce the state-produced corn, soybeans, cotton and other commodities.
Oklahomians have been paying for these commodities with the state government�s land and the agricultural trade commission�s contracts.
These deals allow the Oklahoma agricultural industry and the state to keep control of the state supply chain, according to the documentary.
Dicks said he researched the Oklahoma agriculture industry before he began his film, and he found a shocking pattern of how farmers and officials in the state were involved in the corruption of the supply chain.
He also said he found that the Oklahoma government was complicit in the criminal activities of its own officials.
“The agriculture industry in Oklahoma has been a criminal enterprise for decades,” Dicks said.
“And it’s very sad that the government has allowed it to happen.”
Oklahoms agricultural industry, which produces nearly two-thirds of the nation���s corn and soybeans and is the largest employer in the United States, is among the fastest growing in the country.
But Dicks found that some of Oklahoma�s most corrupt officials have not only been in the agriculture business, but also in other sectors.