Killers of the Flower Moon

Killers of the Flower Moon

The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

Book - 2016
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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 Westwhere oilmen like J. P. Getty made their fortunes and where desperadoes such as Al Spencer, {28}the Phantom Terror,
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: New York : Doubleday, [2016]
ISBN: 9780385534246
Branch Call Number: 978.0049 GRANN
Characteristics: x, 336 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Notes: Maps on endpapers


From Library Staff

"History of the Osage Indians and their acquisition of wealth from oil on their reservation. The effect on them and the crimes against them that followed. Also the birth of the FBI and the effect of politics on it. Reads like a mystery as you learn history." -- Nelson Bonheim

Selected by Kate S.

From the list of Elaine B.

Winner-Best Fact Crime category

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Jul 07, 2019

The true story of this book - multitudes of murders of Osage Indians for their headrights to oil-rich land in Oklahoma - was horrifying and enraging and totally unknown to me. So, while the content was of great interest, unfortunately the book wasn't good. Too long (would have made a great 10-page article in Vanity Fair or The Atlantic); repetitive; disjointed; confusing. And it didn't remotely deliver on the promise of the subtitle (The Birth of the FBI). Disappointing.

Jul 02, 2019

Absolutely fascinating book. It tells of a time and an incident that was swept under the carpet and that many hoped to never see or hear about again. Just another white-washed incident that was swept from the American "history" we were taught in school. The author made the times and the people come alive. I cannot recommend this book enough.

May 08, 2019

interesting book . well-researched .

Apr 30, 2019

This book provides an incredible insight to the dark side of history of the United States of America. Many people believe that the FBI is made by the government as a way of keeping track of the population. The FBI was born due to the lack of expertise in the national investigation system. I think this book does a good job of illustrating the difficulties in a crime investigation and how devoted investigators are to the work. This book educated me a lot on how deep crime investigation can get and how much thinking it requires. I believe that they are very talented and can take thought routes ordinary people cannot even imagine.

I rated this book a 10/10 because the amount of research this author put into the book. I think that this author was truly passionate about this topic and conducted lots of interviews with the people who had connections to this incident. I really enjoyed this book and I would recommend this to everyone of all ages.

Feb 09, 2019

A very sad part of our history. The old "follow the money" was so true. Very well written, kept my attention throughout the book. So many people murdered for rights to oil. if you enjoy history and sleuth you will enjoy this read.

Feb 05, 2019

I could not put this book down. Finished it in two days. One of the best true-life mystery stories. Excellent read. A must read for fans of history and mystery.

Jan 28, 2019

This is an interesting bit of true crime and seemed well researched. If you normally love investigative non-fiction or true crime I think you will probably really enjoy this.

Jan 12, 2019

Interesting book about greed and the systematic abuse and murder of the Osage natives. This is what happens when someone thinks what you have should be theirs.

IndyPL_SteveB Jan 03, 2019

A fascinating but grim look at hidden American history. Writer David Grann is the perfect example of an obsessive reporter, willing to do years of research on an incident that was a major story a century ago but which most people have never heard of. In the 1800s, the Osage Indian tribe was forcibly moved from its ancestral homeland in Missouri, first to Kansas, then in the 1870s to a rocky part of Oklahoma that no one else wanted. But in the 1900s oil was found there and the Osage owned the mineral rights. By 1920, the Osage were, per capita, the richest people on earth.

Legally, these mineral rights were called “headrights.” The law included a stipulation that no Osage could sell his or her headrights. They could only change hands by inheritance. Suddenly a lot of white bankers, lawyers, and cattle barons became “best friends” to the Osage. And in 1921, the murders started, possibly as many as 600. Local doctors, sheriffs, judges, bankers, etc. seemed to be locked up in the plot to eventually concentrate ownership of the headrights in the hands of a few young survivors, who could be controlled and embezzled blind.

When you think about the Old West and what you were told as a child about who were the “good guys”, a book like this will make you reconsider, “Who were the savages?”

Dec 04, 2018

KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON examines a dark and little known chapter in American history. Author David Grann relates a sensational tale of greed, corruption, betrayal, and murder in 1920s Oklahoma, but surely he could’ve done this in fewer pages and with better prose.

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Jan 31, 2018

MelissaBee thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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Dec 04, 2018

“Yet an ugliness often lurked beneath the reformist zeal of Progressivism. Many Progressives—who tended to be middle-class white Protestants—held deep prejudices against immigrants and blacks and were so convinced of their own virtuous authority that they disdained democratic procedures. This part of Progressivism mirrored Hoover’s darkest impulses.” - p. 178


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