Killers of the Flower Moon" is an excellent book about the Government's mistreatment of the Osage Indians of OK in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is a well-written, in-depth look at what became on of the first murder cases the newly created Federal Bureau of Investigation handled, namely the string of mysterious deaths that occurred among the Osage once oil was discovered on their OK reservation. I highly recommend this book to history buffs and anyone who wants to learn some of the history of our country that you won't find in any textbook.
This was really a shocking story about what happened to the Osage Indians in Oklahoma in the 1920s. The Osage at that time were the richest people per capita in the world. They received their wealth from the oil that was discovered under their land. Many of them had multiple vehicles, chauffeurs, servants, built mansions, and sent their children away to school. But then the Osage began to be systematically murdered for their wealth. This book focuses on the family of Mollie Burkhart whose sisters and mother were all killed in a conspiracy to obtain their oil rights. The killings eventually brought in the Bureau of Investigation which would later become the FBI. The chief investigator, Tom White, was sent there by J. Edgar Hoover and was able to identify a conspiracy among the well-respected citizenry of the county and the case was eventually closed. The official number of Osage that were killed was 24 but Grann was able to determine that hundreds were probably killed and that the conspiracy of killing was much more widespread.
What happened to the Osage is pretty much forgotten today although it was included in the movie The FBI Story
from 1959 which starred Jimmy Stewart. This book was both shocking and engrossing. It was a real page-turner that read like a murder mystery. It masterfully told a forgotten part of the many atrocities that were suffered by the Native Americans at the hand of greedy and despicable people looking for easy money. I would highly recommend this one.
My favorite read of 2018! I was absolutely blown away by the history in this book that I had never heard before. Absolutely gripping, I read it in three days. During the 1920s, the people of the Osage Indian Nation were the richest per capita in the world due to huge oil reserves on their land. Then they mysteriously began to die under strange circumstances. Anyone who began to investigate the murders also began to be murdered. The newly created FBI took up the case and began to expose a truly horrific plot to systematically get rid of the Osage and claim the land (and money).
Author David Grann spent years doing research and uncovering new evidence in writing Killers of the Flower Moon. Since I was a fan of his from reading The Lost City of Z, I expected this latest book to be the sort of non-fiction I love: the kind that reads like the best fiction. I was not disappointed. What I did not expect was just how infuriated I would become by reading it.
Having been a huge horse racing fan when I was a teenager, I knew about the wealth of the Osage Nation in the 1920s. One of the Osage owned a winner of the Kentucky Derby. But that knowledge was just cursory. I had no idea how rich the Osage really were, and I certainly didn't have a clue that the government didn't trust them with all that money. I should not have been so naive. It had to madden many whites that, although they'd shoved the Osage onto a piece of land they deemed unfit for themselves, oil would be discovered and the Osage would turn out to be the wealthiest people in the world. The one way they had of trying to horn in on this wealth was by declaring that the Osage were not fit to use their own money wisely. In many cases whites were put in charge of the families' money, and they gave their wards allowances (and themselves large fees for their business knowledge).
Why on earth should I be so surprised that this greed would escalate to murder? It is the natural progression after all. To this day, the Osage have trust issues, and who can blame them? They tried to get dozens of murders investigated, but instead the killings were covered up. What Grann did in Killers of the Flower Moon was to dig deeper and deeper and expose just how huge the problem actually was. As I read, words like horrifying, unspeakable, and several others flashed through my mind.
This is an uncomfortable read for anyone with a conscience; nevertheless, it is a fascinating and important one. I highly recommend it. It's a mesmerizing true historical mystery that grabs you and won't let you go.
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murder and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann - The history is disturbing and chilling, made even more so because it is an actual history not fiction. The theme is ages old, forever present in this world. People kill for money. The extent to which such greed can reach is scary in the history of the Osage murders. The book is intense and compelling and relevant today.
Read my complete review at http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/05/killers-of-flower-moon.html
Reviewed for NetGalley
This is a powerful work of investigative history which many people are unaware of and I'm glad Mr. Grann decided to tell this story. It is a very interesting but unfortunately sad piece of American history. I enjoyed learning everything that was disclosed in the book but I feel there were some details that could have been left out. At times the book got bogged down with too many details but it is definitely a story worth telling.
A favorite quote from the book:
"History is a merciless judge. It lays bare our tragic blunders and foolish missteps and exposes our most intimate secrets, wielding the power of hindsight like an arrogant detective who seems to know the end of the mystery from the outset."
Oh my goodness what a read. I absolutely enjoyed this book, even though it left me heart broken. A non-fiction work that reads like your favorite fictional thriller. As a lover of history, I knew nothing about this time period or about this subject. I was quickly immersed and sucked in to the story. The lives of these people were extraordinary and what they went through, unbelievable. A must read for everyone!
I found this book to be compelling. I had no idea about this chapter of Oklahoma's dark history. So many brutal murders and such mishandling of investigations and corruption run amok! I admire the tenacity of White, the agent who solved some of these murders and brought "some" justice. A chilling read.
For four years, in the 1920's, the richest people per capita in the world were the members of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma. They lived in mansions on their oil-rich land.
Then they are being killed. Mollie Burkhart watched her family die, one by one. They were shot, poisoned, blown up.
Other Osage natives were being killed and white people were inheriting their headrights. Each tribe member had a guardian, who had the right to handle any money that the tribe member could spend.
While the trials that took place say that this rampage lasted 4 years, there were numerous deaths that were never attributed for. There are probably about 300 deaths that were manipulated to inherit these fortunes.