Killers of the Flower Moon
The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history, from the author of The Wager and The Lost City of Z, “one of the preeminent adventure and true-crime writers working today."—New York Magazine • NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE
“A shocking whodunit…What more could fans of true-crime thrillers ask?”—USA Today
“A masterful work of literary journalism crafted with the urgency of a mystery.” —The Boston Globe
In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage 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, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. One of her relatives was shot. Another was poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more Osage were dying under mysterious circumstances, and many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered.
As the death toll rose, the newly created FBI took up the case, and the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to try to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including a Native American agent who infiltrated the region, and together with the Osage began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.
Look for David Grann’s latest #1 New York Times bestselling book, The Wager!
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Killers of the Flower Moon tells the incredible story of the Osage Nation, a Native American tribe that became extremely wealthy in the 1920s thanks to a farsighted mineral rights deal they made when they were forced off their land. David Grann’s immersive, dark book is partly a gripping true crime thriller about one of the most complex, heinous murder plots in American history, and partly a richly researched chronicle of U.S. law enforcement’s role in Native American oppression. The prose sometimes mimics the breathless news bulletins or frustrated police reports Grann quotes from—and archival photographs deepen the intrigue.
New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Lost City of Z) burnishes his reputation as a brilliant storyteller in this gripping true-crime narrative, which revisits a baffling and frightening and relatively unknown spree of murders occurring mostly in Oklahoma during the 1920s. From 1921 to 1926, at least two dozen people were murdered by a killer or killers apparently targeting members of the Osage Indian Nation, who at the time were considered "the wealthiest people per capita in the world" thanks to the discovery of oil beneath their lands. The violent campaign of terror is believed to have begun with the 1921 disappearance of two Osage Indians, Charles Whitehorn and Anna Brown, and the discovery of their corpses soon afterwards, followed by many other murders in the next five years. The outcry over the killings led to the involvement in 1925 of an "obscure" branch of the Justice Department, J. Edgar Hoover's Bureau of Investigation, which eventually charged some surprising figures with the murders. Grann demonstrates how the Osage Murders inquiry helped Hoover to make the case for a "national, more professional, scientifically skilled" police force. Grann's own dogged detective work reveals another layer to the case that Hoover's men had never exposed.
Grann is an incredible researcher
If you have enjoyed David Grann’s other works of historical non-fiction you will love Killers of the Flower moon as well. Again Grann starts with a story almost too incredible to be true, and uncovers more mysteries that remain unsolved to this day. Where Grann shines is in his meticulous and dogged research of the subject matter, as a reader you always feel like you’re watching a mystery being unraveled. Well worth a read before Martin Scorcese adapts it for AppleTV+ with an incredible cast.
Couldn’t put it down.
I read this book it 2 days. I literally couldn’t put it down. It had so many twists , it kept me intrigued. it was such a sad eye opener into a terrible part of American history, but I’m glad I read it ! I hope more people do.
A history telling masterpiece
I had been meaning to read this book for quite some time. I am shocked that this isn’t something that is taught in schools. I live in Osage county and graduated from a school not far. We were never taught about the Reign of Terror. The generational trauma that this dark period of US history has caused is unfathomable. I struggle to understand how man can be so cruel. And not just few cruel people, but MANY. Many of whom were never brought to justice and carried out a normal life stealing and murdering Osages. Read this book. It’s eye-opening, chilling, and thought-provoking.