Killers of the Flower Moon

Killers of the Flower Moon

The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

Book - 2017
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Presents a true account of the early twentieth-century murders of dozens of wealthy Osage and law-enforcement officials, citing the contributions and missteps of a fledgling FBI that eventually uncovered one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.
In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe. Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. Her relatives were shot and poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more members of the tribe began to die under mysterious circumstances. In this last remnant of the Wild West--where oilmen like J.P. Getty made their fortunes and where desperadoes like Al Spencer, the "Phantom Terror," roamed--many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll climbed to more than twenty-four, the FBI took up the case. It was one of the organization's first major homicide investigations and the bureau badly bungled the case. In desperation, the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including one of the only American Indian agents in the bureau. The agents infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest techniques of detection. Together with the Osage they began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, [2017]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
Multiscript Copyrightdate: 017
ISBN: 9780385534246
0385534248
Branch Call Number: 976.60049 G759k 2016
Characteristics: x, 338 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

J.Edgar Hoover uses the mysterious murders of oil rich Osage tribe members to build the reputation of the new Federal Bureau of Investigation.


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ThisAperture
May 11, 2018

This is an important chapter in American history that hasn't received nearly enough attention. For those interested in better understanding this country's history of white supremacy, this is a gripping -- and frustrating -- tale of injustice and exploitation perpetrated against the Osage Indians.

This is a good companion read to The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap, We Were Eight Years in Power and So You Want to Talk About Race.

JCLKarynH May 09, 2018

Killers of the Flower Moon is a true crime story that is more disturbing and fascinating than any fictional whodunit. David Grann's meticulous research is impressive and anything but dry as he details the who, what, when, where, and why and the layers of corruption, conspiracy, and coverups that became known as The Reign of Terror (the systematic exploitation and murders of several members of the Osage tribe for their million dollar oil headrights). I recommend this book as a great read to start difficult conversations about dehumanization, colonization, crime, and punishment.

m
maipenrai
May 05, 2018

Another example of the murder of Native Americans for greed. J. Edgar Hoover was already up to his tricks in the 1920's. Excellent book about a largely unknown mass murder in Oklahoma. Highly recommend!! Kristi & Abby Tabby

e
elizabeth88_1
Apr 19, 2018

This is one of the best non-fiction books I've read for some time! It saddens me that even in the 20th century, Native Americans were not only still being screwed over, but even murdered by greedy white people who wanted their land! Poor Mollie Burkhart's story got to me , because her own husband was partially responsible for the murder of several members of her family! And he did it all on the orders of a man who claimed to be a Christian!

o
orange_lobster_23
Apr 11, 2018

Journalist David Grann recounts the chilling, forgotten, and buried "Reign of Terror" of the
wealthy Osage nation during the early 1920's and 30's while unearthing additional evidence missing in the original investigation of the nascent F.B.I. The pervasive greed, genocide and cover-up resulted in hundreds of deaths hidden by a conspiracy involving all levels of political hierarchy. A terrifying crime story and shameful part of American history.

g
gopchic
Mar 08, 2018

An intriguing historical recounting of America's FBI and the belittling ways we, as a country, treated American Indians. The under-arching themes could be applied to society today, with alcoholism, drug addiction, philandering, abuse, manipulation, and greed being the vices that still ruin and destroy families, friends, tribes, and society at-large. A great read that taught me history I never knew while invoking a variety of emotions and questions within me.

o
OMalley01
Feb 25, 2018

Enjoyed this book as I have few others. The author's use of primary sources sets an amazing level of credibility to the account of the Osage murders.

When coupled with a chronicle of the FBI's development, the telling of the Osage murders opens the door to a view of US history that is rarely, if ever, explored in our formal education system.

This should be -- or parts of it, at least -- required reading in every American History course in secondary school and college.

Well done!

DBRL_DanaS Feb 05, 2018

A detailed, well-written account of the suspicious murders of many wealthy young Osage Indians during the early 20th century and the investigation that followed. A truly disturbing account of a lesser- known event that speaks to the extent of human greed and exploitation of minority groups in the US. Despite the subject matter, Grann's writing and storycrafting makes this a page turner. Highly recommended for readers interested in true crime, US history, and the frontier west.

u
Uchinaguchi
Jan 29, 2018

A chilling investigation into the seemingly unconnected deaths of members of the Osage tribe in the 1920s. David Grann focuses his story from 3 primary perspectives, Mollie Burkhart, Tom White, and Grann himself. These three perspectives provide the fear that Mollie Burkhart and members of the Osage tribe felt as their families were being killed, the struggle and integrity that Tom White put into his investigation, and the time Grann put into uncovering the details of this long forgotten case and his due diligence to dig a little further. Grann's writing allows readers to experience the reign of terror, and face the dark truth that plagued the Osage tribe.

c
cpdemers
Jan 28, 2018

Well-written account of the Reign of Terror - the years-long effort to assassinate particular Indian members to gain access to their wealth due to mineral rights. A compelling read which poses the unsettling question: will we ever know how dark and broad this conspiracy was?

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MelissaBee
Jan 31, 2018

MelissaBee thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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