Killers of the Flower Moon

Killers of the Flower Moon

The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

Book - 2017 | First edition.
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST

"Disturbing and riveting...It will sear your soul." --Dave Eggers, New York Times Book Review

SHELF AWARENESS'S BEST BOOK OF 2017

Named a best book of the year by Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, GQ, Time, Newsday, Entertainment Weekly, Time Magazine, NPR's Maureen Corrigan , NPR's "On Point," Vogue , Smithsonian, Cosmopolitan, Seattle Times, Bloomberg, Lit Hub's "Ultimate Best Books ," Library Journal, Paste, Kirkus, Slate.com and Book Browse

From New Yorker staff writer David Grann, #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Lost City of Z, a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes 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.
In Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann revisits a shocking series of crimes in which dozens of people were murdered in cold blood. Based on years of research and startling new evidence, the book is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, as each step in the investigation reveals a series of sinister secrets and reversals. But more than that, it is a searing indictment of the callousness and prejudice toward American Indians that allowed the murderers to operate with impunity for so long. Killers of the Flower Moon is utterly compelling, but also emotionally devastating.
Publisher: New York :, Doubleday,, [2017]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780385534246
0385534248
Characteristics: x, 338 pages : illustrations

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j
Jenkskitten
Oct 06, 2018

I was awed at the realization that this happened during the time my parents were born, thus knowing my grandparents were adults at this time and in Oklahoma. How the government treated the Osage Indians at illiterate and unable to make their own decisions for their lives is almost unbelievable, yet there is documentation to prove it. The murderers were empowered by the authorities, until the FBI agent from Texas arrived and begins to unravel the schemes of those involved. How they got away with what they did is shocking and heartbreaking..they were so trusted by their victims.

c
Cbtuff
Oct 06, 2018

Outstanding read. Well researched and written.

i
Inga57
Oct 02, 2018

Grann’s latest offering is gripping, heart-breaking, and reverable.
There were chapters I had to read in doses as emotions were spent in empathy for the Osage Indians, the time, and the place.
The greed and conspiracy of one William K. Hale earned him a special place in hell, worse than anything he could have conceived on earth. Whilst Tom White earned his heavenly reward in earnest helping victims of a history well preserved and very well researched.
I highly recommend ‘Killers of the Flower Moon,’ a book that haunted me in the night, waking in cold sweats from the greed of man and senseless murders of an innocent people.

g
green_horse_449
Aug 28, 2018

Read it from cover to cover. Liked how the author tells a gruesome story - with lots of details -in a tasteful way. He eases the reader into the early years of our modern government's evolution.

a
abcedmillered
Aug 14, 2018

Riveting, a page turner. Definitely for American history buffs and true crime lovers. Plenty of pictures, chapters are nice and short. You get a sense of the era, place, and people. The author does a good job of building the mystery without over-sensationalizing the topic.

s
sharon711
Aug 01, 2018

This is the story of one family, headed by Mollie Burkhart. But it is also the story of a people left behind... a people betrayed. The story belongs to one good man, Tom White, who kept to his principles based on kindness and forgiveness while never giving up on the truth. The story of the birth of the FBI is diminished by the lies and greed it spread because of Hoover's bias and his faithfulness to the forces of capitalism, factors that still rule in the United States today and serve it badly. Although this is a story with roots that began to grow over a hundred years ago, the same forces can be seen operating today. How unfortunate. Although the book is fascinating, I found it difficult to read much of it at any one time. It was too frustrating to see how the same self-serving attitudes and actions were being repeated never-endingly. Will we ever learn?

p
peacebenow
Jun 27, 2018

Fantastic combined crime/history book. I could not put this book down. How important is it to learn and remember our history or we will keep repeating the same mistakes even though we think our progress in the last 100yrs has been sufficient to improve the lives of the non white male. (Recently some Western Indians unsuccessfully prevented an oil pipeline from being placed through their property/water reservoir!) My heart goes out to Molly Burkhart, family and all the other Indians for the poor treatment rendered by the US Government/Oklahoma. Mr Hales and cohorts are the ones who should have been considered lower than "dogs" and shunned from society. Opened my eyes to a period of time and place not familiar to me. Fortunately Detective White was a person who had sufficient support from the US Gov and pursued this work/life in an unbiased manner. Interesting to learn about J Edgar Hoover's early years. Many people to keep track of but Author does a good job in refreshing each scene as needed.

m
mitchelclay
Jun 19, 2018

As the choice for "One Read" by Daniel Boone Regional Library in Columbia, MO, I knew that I had to get my hands on this book. It had actually been on my list since it came out. A good portion of my heritage is Sioux, so when I heard of the "reign of terror" in the Osage territory, my interest was peaked. What I found was a heartbreaking story of murder, theft, and loss. If you have any interest in true crime or Native American history, you owe it to yourself to read this book.

DBRL_KrisA Jun 09, 2018

This is the One Read selection here in Columbia MO for 2018. There will be a lot of discussion of the book in the next few months, a lot of reviews by others, so I'll just say a few things.

The first two-thirds of the book, covering the events themselves and the investigation of the killings, are pretty straightforward. The final section, covering events after people were found guilty of *some* of the murders, is a bit harder to follow. It jumps from case to case, from person to person, filling in some holes and uncovering other things that weren't discovered by the investigators. Since the book really is less about Mollie Burkhardt and the victims themselves, and more about the investigation of the murders, this section dwells more on the "where are they now" of Agent White and Hoover than on Mollie's life after the trials. The very last part of the book is interesting in that it reveals that the murders (to say nothing of the fleecing of the Osage) were probably a lot more widespread than everyone thought at the time.

t
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.

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MelissaBee
Jan 31, 2018

MelissaBee thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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