KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

by David Grann

The story of a murder spree in 1920s Oklahoma that targeted Osage Indians, whose lands contained oil. The fledgling F.B.I. intervened, ineffectively.

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5 positive comments

16 neutral comments

1 negative comments

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What people are saying on Twitter (sample)

  • KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON author @DavidGrann will join us on Wednesday as he presents his latest book THE WHITE DA… https://t.co/iEqIatAh2i
  • Here's my list: The Beak of the Finch (suggested by @enenbee) Circe (from a @fuggirls chat) Code Girls (who doesn't… https://t.co/YpzbgycVWt
  • Done reading Killers of the Flower Moon. I cannot stress enough how much Marty & Leo better not fuck up the movie.… https://t.co/qoQLMlEK13
  • Book to Film Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann "Disturbing and riveting…Grann has proved himself a master… https://t.co/1nljS8wCPu
  • @timcasteel and a sad but fascinating book, Killers of the Flower Moon- about the mistreatment of the Osage in Oklahoma.
  • 5 positive comments

    8 neutral comments

    17 negative comments

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    What people are saying on Amazon (sample)

    • I live in Oklahoma not too far from the Osage territory, and I first read about this book in our local paper. It seemed like it would be a very interesting read, so I purchased it here. The book did not disappoint in that regard. It is certainly very well researched, full of details about the Osage themselves, and the horrible crimes perpetrated against them in the early 20th century. Additionally, the book discusses the beginnings of the FBI, and how the investigation of the murders put the FBI and J. Edgar Hoover on the map, much to the delight of Hoover's ego. In the final section of the book the author does his own investigation of some long-unsolved cases involving members of the Osage tribe, cases that had fallen through the cracks, either for political reasons or lack of evidence. Grann speculates on just what might have happened with these. The one drawback with the book is that the writing style in places veers into pot-boiler territory. "There was a burst of heat and light, and the boy watched as the squirrel was hit and began to tumble lifelessly over the edge of a ravine." That as part of a description of how the body of one of the victims was found. Over the top. I found this sort of writing to be distracting from the information being conveyed. Fortunately it is not omnipresent, but it pops up often enough to be annoying. A little bit stricter editor and this book would be worth 5 stars. As it is, a very worthwhile effort.
    • Pretty awful story about yet another way we destroyed the lives of Native Americans. The pacing was slow and added too much irrelevant data. The book seemed as though it was a thesis fluffed up to book length.
    • Deeply researched, well written account of a decade of murders of wealthy Osage Native Americans. A series of horrific crimes, conspiracies and cover-ups that is not well know - but should be! The author dove deep into official and unofficial documents to research his work. His findings went beyond accepted facts about the case (such as the number of killings and the length of time they occurred over). The book does not read like a recounting of facts, it reads more like a thriller - just as officials think they have the killer(s) there are twists and turns, leaving local and federal - the newly formed Hoover FBI- starting over from scratch. We meet the victims, the lawmen (my favorite was Tom White - a character who deserves his own movie!) and the perpetrators, then we also meet the descendants of the victims.The crimes were sinister and the cover-ups evil brilliance. The Osage, who had been forced to barren Oklahoma lands were the recipients of mining/mineral rights and then oil was discovered. They become the richest per capita people in the world at the time, and yet the Federal Government deemed it necessary to appoint guardians to each of them and deny them the right to manage their own funds. Their neighbors were extremely jealous of their wealth, their guardians largely scammed them, and these factors led to the evil plot to gain their wealth. To add insult to injury further "scamming" may be taking place now in the present time. Shameful.Note -About 2/3 thru the book it feels like the story is pretty much wrapped up, but keep reading because the story continues to the present day!
    • This was/is a very popular book with reviewers and many readers. The story is very important and not well known. It should be. The telling, I think, is not so wonderful. In the 1920s many Osage Indians were murdered for profit in Oklahoma. The details make for a gripping story. For this book, however, David Grann learns a lot of details after he writes the book. Then he goes (back, I assume) to Oklahoma and learns a lot more. Rather than rewrite the book, he just adds these details at the end. The story is a complex one and Grann gives it out like a journalist, in installments. It was clear to me who his main villains would be 200 pages before they were named.Now, if you despise racism, which I hope you do, Gann’s book gives us a look at crimes which were tolerated because their victims were not white. For this reason, the book, easy to read, is worth your time. A much better history of these events will be written, but probably not anytime soon. So, I recommend it. The writing is clear. There is no index. There is a fair amount of padding (an auction scene, for example, is importent only if you do not know how bidding works). However, Americans should know this story. And now you can.
    • Since the 17th century, the Osage tribe claimed land from Missouri west to the Rockies. With the Louisiana Purchase, the tribe was forced to cede land to accommodate the flood of western expansion. In Chronicle One of Grann's book, the history of the tribe is laid out. By the 1870's, what remained of the Osage tribe settled in NE Oklahoma because their chief deemed the land too hilly for white settlers to want to file claims there. The tribe negotiated with the Department of the Interior that any reservation land used for oil drilling or mining, had to be leased from the tribe and that the full blooded Osage would share in any profits from these natural resources. Logs where kept of Osage tribe members and indeed, when oil gushed from leased reservation land, head rights were claimed. The Osage tribe were among the wealthiest people in the country. Starting in 1921, Osage tribal members began to die. Some were shot in the head while others suffered from a mysterious "wasting" disease. Many suspected murder and lived in fear of who might be next.Chronicle Two describes in detail the role of the Bureau of Investigation (the early FBI) to unravel the murders during what became known as "the Reign of Terror." The Bureau was formed under Teddy Roosevelt in 1909. By 1924, J. Edger Hoover became head of the Bureau. He wanted to highlight the expertise of the Bureau by solving the Osage murders. He hired a former Texas Ranger, Tom White, to lead the investigation. The reader discovers clues along with White as he methodically collects evidence and interrogates witnesses and suspects . This is the most exciting part of the book. Many, but not all of the culprits are brought to justice.How are the Osage doing now? This is the gist of Chronicle Three and it is, unfortunately, the weakest part of the story. Grann checks in with the descendants of some of the murdered Osage. Their sense of unease and lack of justice is palpable. The oil has dried up and the tribal population has diminished. Some press Grann to help them bring closure to the holes in their family histories. But the ancestors are in their graves along with the murderers and the paper trail is weak or inconclusive. As Grann runs out of answers, this reader ran out of interest. It is a compelling and important story up to this point. Now that wind turbines dot the prairie of the Osage reservation, their future seems as bleak as their past and the lack of justice seems as limited as their future. Despite Grann's extensive notes and lists of resources, the reader is left, like the Osage themselves, with more questions than answers.