Killers of the Flower Moon

Killers of the Flower Moon

The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:
51
1
1
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

Opinion

From Library Staff

List - Best of 2017
RCPL_Librarians Nov 26, 2017

NONFICTION


From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

c
cknightkc
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.

b
Binghamton53
Nov 16, 2018

This is an incredible true story that, thanks to David Grann's untiring research, shed light on a series of murders that are almost beyond comprehension. As commented just below, I too am stunned by man's inhumanity to man. Money is not the root of all evil; greed is. To say that David handled the matter in an unvarnished and straight-forward manner would be an understatement. He did an excellent job and God love his research if for no other reason than to comfort a group of American's - American's mind you - that by and large have been ignored since the founding of this great country. Also agree that any Holly-Duh effort to put this on film would fall way short. Still, I hope Hollywood does make the attempt, for even a rotten effort on their part would bring this story to the country's doorstep and perhaps someone (if even one person) would see it and understand how much of a raw deal American Indians got.

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.

View All Comments

Age

Add Age Suitability

m
MelissaBee
Jan 31, 2018

MelissaBee thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Quotes

Add a Quote

c
cknightkc
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

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at SMCL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top