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Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
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Group Read - Killers Flower Moon > Group Read - Killers of the Flower Moon ch 8-21 Spoilers Welcome

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message 1: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 15059 comments Chronicle 2 Chapters 8-21 discussion Spoilers Welcome
If the first to post please provide a brief summary to guide the discussion.


message 2: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 15059 comments Chronicle 2 brings in the investigators. We learn of the corruption at the local level and of the Osage attempts to get Federal investigations. When former Texas Ranger Tom White is assigned the case by J Edgar Hoover, his dogged determination finally sees some evidence that wasn't destroyed and results in hard fought trials.
The corruption, bribes and crimes were continuing even as a few finally faced a witness who was not intimidated the second time around
The two men convicted couldn't have been happy to see their former FBI agent installed as Warden of their prison.


Sandi (sandin954) | 1237 comments I had a bad feeling about Hale during the first section, he just seemed to have his fingers in everything. I was worried that he was going to get away with it, but was pleasantly surprised that Ernest Burkhart decided to tell the truth in the end and that the jury convicted.

I ended up picking up the book from the library too and have enjoyed the pictures that are included in the book form. I not sure I had ever seen a picture of the young Hoover.


message 4: by NancyJ (last edited Jun 16, 2018 08:55PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

NancyJ (nancyjjj) I really enjoyed this part of the book. I liked Tom Smith. He had the strength of character that you'd like to see in all FBI agents. Too bad Hoover didn't keep him there to solve the rest of the murders. I liked following the details of the investigation and the court cases.

I suspected Hale in part one (I was thinking "follow the money"), but I really hoped that Ernest wasn't involved. It was heartbreaking to picture Mollie sitting in the courtroom, realizing that her husband really was involved. She lost nearly her entire family, and losing a child on top of that must be devastating. Though that might be what helped him to decide to testify against Hale.

This case really makes me angry. So many people were directly involved in the fraud and murders of their neighbors. The government was complicit in creating an environment where people could be taken advantage of by their jealous and greedy white neighbors. Requiring grown people to have guardians just because of their race is unthinkable to me, particularly when there was nothing to stop the guardians from robbing their wards blind.


message 5: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 15059 comments NancyJ: it was heartbreaking to think of Mollie sitting in the courtroom and learning of Ernest's betrayal and involvement in the murders of her family. The way witnesses recanted and refused to testify throughout made me fear he wouldn't incriminate Hale. I think the death of his child may have influenced his decision. What a tragedy


James Emery | 14 comments I loved this section. Fast paced and a nice, linear story. Tom White was a classic, cowboy protagonist with no major flaws (a bit romanticized but whatever) and Hale was a sociopathic evil mastermind (without any redeeming qualities). I'm still struck with the sense of "I can't believe this happened," with looking around at society today and realizing that it could easily happen again.

Ernest, to me, was a person I wanted to know more about. Who was he really? Did he really marry Mollie with this plot in mind? Was Hale really the puppet master? I think there's more depth to Ernest and would've enjoyed more from his perspective if possible.

Full disclosure, I'm very nervous about the next section in that I feel an authorial intrusion, look at the new spin I took on this subject, coming up. We'll see...


message 7: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 15059 comments James: I really liked FBI agent Tom White. As for Ernest, I cannot imagine how he could have betrayed his wife and her family like be did. I wonder if perhaps he never revealed his perspective or what Hale held over him if he was reluctant.
James wrote: "I loved this section. Fast paced and a nice, linear story. Tom White was a classic, cowboy protagonist with no major flaws (a bit romanticized but whatever) and Hale was a sociopathic evil mastermi..."


James Emery | 14 comments Ann wrote: "James: I really liked FBI agent Tom White. As for Ernest, I cannot imagine how he could have betrayed his wife and her family like be did. I wonder if perhaps he never revealed his perspective or w..."

That's the sense I had, too. Complete disbelief that someone could actually do something like that, and then come to find out that Mollie and his children were supposed to be at Bill's during the explosion?

Hale was an opportunist who exploited an entire population probably bolstered by his belief that he was the superior race and these animals didn't deserve their wealth, but how did Ernest end up in that position? I mean, either the entire marriage and the children were part of the ruse to gain trust in order to inherit the money--a long game of complete evil, or he married Mollie with true intentions of love and was corrupted by Hale. Either way, I'd love to know what could persuade a human being to do such a thing?


message 9: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 15059 comments James: it is incomprehensible to imagine how Mollie would have felt when she learned of Ernest's involvement.
James wrote: That's the sense I had, too. Complete disbelief that someone could actually do something like that, and then come to find out that Mollie and his children were supposed to be at Bill's during the explosion?


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