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Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage…

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI (edition 2018)

by David Grann (Author)

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2,3031534,344 (4.08)220
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)
Title:Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
Authors:David Grann (Author)
Info:Vintage (2018), Edition: Reprint, 400 pages
Collections:Your library, To read

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Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann


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English (152)  French (1)  All languages (153)
Showing 1-5 of 152 (next | show all)
Fascinating historical non-fiction about the Osage tribe, who resettled on seemingly barren land after being displaced by the American government and ended up making millions off of oil found on their land. As you can tell from the title, this influx of wealth did not go well for the Osage. This extremely thoroughly researched book follows two principle actors in the story while the final third steps back and provides some of the author's work researching it and the overall, historical perspective. The narrative lags at times and sometimes feels like too much "human interest" is shoved in there, but the basic story and the evidence from the primary sources makes it a worthwhile read.

Personally, the devastation wrought upon the Osage by the greed and indifference of their white neighbours is horrifying. It also shows how both individual malice and systemic racism both were at play in murders of potentially hundreds of Osage people. It wasn't just one evil man, but it wasn't some untouchable overarching force of nature either, it was a lot of people who made the conscious decision that money was worth more than the life of an Osage person. It is worth being reminded that this happened within a generation of when the book was written and its effects are still being felt today. ( )
  collingsruth | Jan 16, 2020 |
A great read, but very tragic and sad. ( )
  redbird_fan | Jan 13, 2020 |
A well-written book about a part of American History I knew absolutely nothing about but it lacked focus. The first 2/3 was a well-researched story of the murders and the FBIs eventual involvement and uncovering of the murderer. But then it veered off into what it seems the author really planned to write about; were the murders a much longer and complex story? He did that research and doesn't seem to have an answer so the ending was oddly incomplete. I'm glad he wrote the story and it is being told to a wider audience but I don't know how successful it ultimately was.
  amyem58 | Dec 30, 2019 |
This is a true story.

The writer of this book David Grann does a lot of research into a time nearly 100 years ago in American history that has nearly been forgotten about.
The Osage native Americans are living on a bit of barren waste land the white man doesn't want until oil is discovered. The Osage now have so much wealth more than they could ever dream about. Then a few of the Osage population die in mysterious circumstances. The Osage aren't classed as American citizens and they need the White population to help access their money for them.
A lot of the couples are mixed race but the greed of the White man for the oil money cant be stopped.
One name keeps getting mentioned time and time again William Hale a local land owner who started from scratch has lots of influence within both communities. Lots of cover ups and theft of the Osage money.
The newly formed FBI also try and solve these murders.

This is a very good book sad in many ways and shows you the length people would go to get their hands on money. America at the time was going through the depression and prohibition. ( )
  Daftboy1 | Dec 8, 2019 |
I read this twice. It was so crazy it seemed to demand it. There were these people, very possibly the white devils of Malcom X’s autobiography on loan to the Oklahoma of the 1920s, who made it their business to prey on “red millionaires.” Members of the Osage Indian nation grown wealthy with revenues deriving from oil reserves on their land began dying under troubling circumstances and the dying wouldn’t stop. The mystery was why and the answer about what you’d expect . . . well, let’s just say some folks in Oklahoma created benefits for themselves in ways drug cartels would applaud, giving to the term “oil cartel” a devilish slant.

Author David Grann does quite a job of presenting the incidents and mysteries and the feeling of danger and growing bewilderment experienced by the Osage. It’s the sort of history where you think, I shouldn’t have to believe what I just read. But damn, you do have to. Another thread is about how a bureau of investigation organized by the federal government (the direct precursor to the FBI) overcame corruption in local law enforcement and succeeded in bringing some of the criminals to justice. That success required qualities one can only call heroic.

Try not being appalled while you read this book. If you succeed, you may be cartel material yourself. ( )
  dypaloh | Dec 3, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 152 (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 >

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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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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!
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.
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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