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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  • 5 positive comments

    8 neutral comments

    17 negative comments

    # of reviews over time


    What people are saying on Amazon (sample)

    • I am part Osage so this book was incredibly fascinating to me. The research is very thorough. I especially enjoyed hearing what happened to the major players after it was over. The last part of the book is the author describing how he ended up solving another of the murders during his research. It's hard to believe it was real life and not a made up story. Very well done.
    • 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!
    • I found the book interesting historically. However, it was depressing to read about this chapter in our history. I live in Tulsa so it was close to home for me. There are a lot of characters in the book, so a bit difficult keeping track of all of them. This was a book club suggestion and the club has not met to discuss. I'm expecting an interesting discussion.
    • 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.
    • This is one of the most heartbreaking and terrifying books I have ever read. I hope that it becomes a staple of reading lists for American history classes. It is an incredibly well told story of a staggering real world evil in an America only two or three generations removed from our own. You should read it. It won't take long - it is, though it feels crass to say so, a genuine page-turner. And I at least will likely wrestle with it for a long while. Man o man.