NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
From the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Lost City of Z, a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history
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.
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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.
It is a shame and shock the general public (myself included pre-read) is unaware of these atrocities. I had no idea. A great book, thoroughly investigated and explained clearly.
It was fascinating, though so so sad, to get a sliver of understanding of how much the Native Indians suffered at the hand of white men. Their land was stolen, they were killed by the thousands, their heritage erased, their wealth plundered.
For those who know little about this proud people, this book will hopefully raise your awareness and perhaps give you an insight as to just how long and how strongly prejudice has been rooted in our country. Recent events confirm that racism is still very much alive here.
All of us need to work towards a fair treatment of all men. It is up to us!
Killers of the Flower Moon
Another example of horrendous behavior from the white man toward the native Americans. The writing is such that I felt like I was there. I grew to know the people involved. Superbly crafted.