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.
1920s Oklahoma. The richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma after oil was discovered beneath their land. 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. Many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. It became the FBI's first major homicide investigation... and the bureau badly bungled the case. J. Edgar Hoover turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White, who put together an undercover team which began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.
Published: New York :, Doubleday,, [2017]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780385534246
0385534248
9780307742483
Branch Call Number: 976.6004 GRA
Characteristics: x, 338 pages :,illustrations ;,25 cm

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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, ... Read More »

Winner of One Read 2018

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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... Read More »


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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.

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!

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MelissaBee
Jan 31, 2018

MelissaBee thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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