Killers of the Flower Moon

Killers of the Flower Moon

The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

eBook - 2017
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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, the Osage rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe. Then, one by one, they began to be killed off. One Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, watched as her family was murdered. Her older sister was shot. Her mother was then slowly poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more Osage 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 such as Al Spencer, "the Phantom Terror, " roamed – virtually anyone who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll surpassed more than twenty-four Osage, the newly created F.B.I. took up the case, in what became one of the organization's first major homicide investigations. But the bureau was then notoriously corrupt and initially bungled the case. Eventually the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to try unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including one of the only Native American agents in the bureau. They infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest modern 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. 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 Native Americans that allowed the murderers to operate with impunity for so long. Killers of the Flower Moon is utterly riveting, but also emotionally devastating.
Publisher: 2017.
ISBN: 9780385534253
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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w
winston2006
Nov 09, 2018

An important addition to the history of Oklahoma, no matter how savage and evil.

r
rmd21
Nov 04, 2018

Very well done, lot of research, interviews, etc obviously went into this book. It's now getting a lot of attention since HollyWEIRD found out about it and are making a movie. I don't have much faith they'll do a good job.

This atrocity should be taught in EVERY school in Oklahoma but I don't have much faith it ever will be, like a lot of things which don't paint our country, state, etc in a good light. So it's up to us to discover some history and/or another version of history different from propaganda pieces we've been taught. This is one of those books every American should read or at least hear a summary of, so that history doesn't get repeated as that old adage says.

There are a LOT of skeletons in the closet, a lot of crimes committed, many of which the FBI elected not to pursue. Find a fall guy, in this case, William Hale, who no doubt was responsible for many of the murders, but he was hardly the only one. Yet J. Edgar Hoover, what a piece of work he was, elected not to have his Bureau investigate any further once Hale was successfully prosecuted as author David Grann points out later in the book. Kudos for Grann for doing further research on this...after speaking to some of the Osage members whose family members were murdered. RIP to those who perished, and sincere condolences to all who lost loved ones!

c
chanellejoann
Oct 20, 2018

Killers of the Flower Moon is incredible. I was speechless and heartbroken when I finished. It is hard to imagine the fear that the Osage must have felt during this time period. This is definitely a book that everyone should read.

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.

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MelissaBee
Jan 31, 2018

MelissaBee thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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