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
ISBN: 9780385534246
0385534248
9780307742483
Characteristics: x, 338 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm

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List - Best of 2017
RCPL_Librarians Nov 26, 2017

NONFICTION


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m
mwessel
Jun 28, 2018

I would have read this book in one sitting if I didn't have other responsibilities. I have recommended this book to everyone I've talked to since finishing it. I love true crime and history so this book is in my wheel-house. This might be the most well-researched book I've ever read. Recently, my favorite Podcast read and did a show on this book. It's a great listen:

http://www.literarydisco.com/2018/06/26/episode-127-killers-of-the-flower-moon/

Thank you for choosing this as our community One Read!

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.

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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.

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.

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MelissaBee
Jan 31, 2018

MelissaBee thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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