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Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage…
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Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

by David Grann

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,5441643,969 (4.08)239
Presents a true account of the early twentieth-century murders of dozens of wealthy Osage and law-enforcement officials, citing the contributions and missteps of a fledgling FBI that eventually uncovered one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history. In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they 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. Her relatives were shot and poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more members of the tribe began to die under mysterious circumstances. In this last remnant of the Wild West--where oilmen like J.P. Getty made their fortunes and where desperadoes like Al Spencer, the "Phantom Terror," roamed--many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll climbed to more than twenty-four, the FBI took up the case. It was one of the organization's first major homicide investigations and the bureau badly bungled the case. In desperation, the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including one of the only American Indian agents in the bureau. The agents infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest techniques of detection. Together with the Osage they began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.… (more)
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» See also 239 mentions

English (161)  French (2)  All languages (163)
Showing 1-5 of 161 (next | show all)
This book was mentioned on Episode 1 of Checking Out. Listen here!
  rachelreading | Apr 20, 2020 |
A piece of history I knew nothing about; well researched and interesting. Any book that makes me want to read/research further on my own is a winner. The last section was a bit of an add-on, discovering additional information about the killings. Chapter 21 ends with 'There was another layer to the case - a deeper, darker, even more terrifying conspiracy, which the bureau never exposed', what a great way to start the final chapters; but what is exposed is a bit under-whelming. It's incredibly important information, just not as fulfilling as the last sentence suggests. That shouldn't stop anyone from reading this book; it tells the story that should not have been forgotten in history. Highly recommend..... ( )
  almin | Apr 8, 2020 |
I thank Mr. Grann for shedding light on a shameful part of American history. I know Native Americans have always had a raw deal, but I had no idea that so many were being killed so that whites could profit from their (Native Americans‘) oil rights and leases. Very sad, and this should be required reading. ( )
  ValerieAndBooks | Apr 8, 2020 |
Killers of the Flower Moon is the true story of the slaughter of dozens of Osage Indians and how MANY people got away with it. It's SO over the top that if this were a fiction story I would say the author had overwritten it and that it wasn't realistic. David Grann has come at this story from two angles.

The Osage tribe reigned over much of the mid-west back in the day. By the time of this book, roughly the early 1920's, they were mostly moved onto what was thought to be worthless land in Oklahoma. Then oil was discovered there and their lives changed forever. The first angle was how the Osage were changed by the sudden influx of millions of dollars and how the white man viewed that; how they were jealous over that, and what they did about that.

The second angle comes from the law enforcement side of the story, and specifically the building up of the FBI. At the time the first murders occurred the FBI wasn't the FBI yet. By the time the investigation was in full swing, (keeping in mind that the Osage tribe had to basically beg and pay through the nose to get anyone to investigate or do anything at all about these murders), the FBI was officially called that and Mr. Hoover was in charge.

There is a third portion of the book, not exactly another angle, but a portion so unbelievable yet proven,(to my mind at least), to be true that it actually brought tears to my eyes. I can't get into more detail but trust me on this: it was horrifying. It was shameful. It was a wrong that's never been righted and I don't believe it ever can be.

Bravo to Mr. Grann for his extensive research on this case. A case that, until now, I had never heard of. That is an injustice. I believe Mr. Grann has done his damnedest to bring to light the wrongs that were committed here, and that alone is the only justice that the Osage can hope for at this late date.

I think we owe it to the Osage to read this book, and as such, I highly recommend it.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Random House/Doubleday for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

( )
  Charrlygirl | Mar 22, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 161 (next | show all)
De maand van de bloemendoder is een fascinerend en tegelijkertijd gruwelijk boek over de moordpartijen, discriminatie en uitbuiting van Osage indianen aan het begin van de 20e eeuw in Oklahoma. Nadat de Osage, zoals zoveel indianen in de Verenigde Staten, waren verjaagd naar een reservaat in Oklahoma, bleek hier olie gevonden te worden. Hierdoor werden de Osage opeens rijk. Echter dit betekende ook uitbuiting, discriminatie en vele moordpartijen. David Grann is jarenlang bezig geweest met onderzoek naar misstanden die plaatsvonden en De maand van de bloemendoder is het zeer boeiende eindresultaat hiervan...lees verder >
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Grannprimary authorall editionscalculated
Carella, MariaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Patton, WillNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, Jeffrey L.Cartographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
There had been no evil to mar that propitious night, because she had listened; there had been no voice of evil; no screech owl had quaveringly disturbed the stillness. She knew this because she had listened all night.
--John Joseph Mathews, Sundown
A conspiracy is everything that ordinary life is not. It's the inside game, cold, sure, undistracted, forever closed off to us. We are the flawed ones, the innocents, trying to make some rough sense of the daily jostle. Conspirators have a logic and a daring beyond our reach. All conspiracies are the same taut story of men who find coherence in some criminal act.  ---Don DeLillo, Libra
We have a few mouth-to-mouth tales; we exhume from old trunks and boxes and drawers letters without salutation or signature, in which men and women who once lived and breathed are now merely initials or nicknames out of some now incomprehensible affection which sound to us like Sanskrit or Chocktaw; we see dimly people, the people in whose living blood and seed we ourselves lay dormant and waiting, in this shadowy attenuation of time possessing now heroic proportions performing their acts of simple passion and simple violence, impervious to time and inexplicable. ---William Faulker, Absalom, Absalom!
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For my mom and dad
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In April, millions of tiny flowers spread over the blackjack hills and vast prairies in the Osage territory of Oklahoma.
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Page 141
Perhaps because he witnessed this—and other executions—or perhaps because he had seen the effect of the ordeal on his father, or perhaps because he feared the system could doom an innocent man, Tom grew to oppose what was then sometimes called “judicial homicide.” And he came to see the law as a struggle to subdue the violent passions not only in others but also in oneself.
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