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Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
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Archive - Additional Reads > Killers of the Flower Moon - September 2018

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message 1: by Kristie, Moderator (new) - added it

Kristie | 6200 comments Mod
Voted by members as our additional read for the History & Biography category.

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

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

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, the Osage rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.

Then, one by one, they began to be killed off. One Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, watched as her family was murdered. Her older sister was shot. Her mother was then slowly poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more Osage 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 such as Al Spencer, “the Phantom Terror,” roamed – virtually anyone who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll surpassed more than twenty-four Osage, the newly created F.B.I. took up the case, in what became one of the organization’s first major homicide investigations. But the bureau was then notoriously corrupt and initially bungled the case. Eventually 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 one of the only Native American agents in the bureau. They infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest modern techniques of detection. Together with the Osage they began to expose one of the most sinister conspiracies in American history.

A true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history.


Linda (lndoyle) | 2 comments My book group read and discussed this book several months ago, and we were appalled to learn about all the greed, corruption and murderous intent against the Osage tribe. What a sad story.


message 3: by cat (new) - rated it 4 stars

cat reads (thecatwhoreads) | 5 comments @Linda, same here. Our book club read this a few months ago and were unanimously shocked and appalled by the information, not only that it happened but also that none of us had ever heard about these injustices.

Very well written.


Colleen  | 139 comments Same here Linda & cat. For such big news back in the day the fact that we hardly mention it now is shameful.

The book was a little long and wasn't overly fascinating to me but well-written & done I thought.


message 5: by Kristie, Moderator (new) - added it

Kristie | 6200 comments Mod
I'm still waiting on my copy of this one, so I haven't read it yet, but I really don't think I know any of the details of this before reading. It's definitely not common knowledge or taught in schools. I've heard bits and pieces, but not much.

Glad to see people are enjoying it. Writing style is important in nonfiction. It seems this one is well written.


message 6: by Kristie, Moderator (new) - added it

Kristie | 6200 comments Mod
Looks like I won't get to this one this month. Something weird happened with my library where my hold got pushed back. Now, it's been "in transit" for a week. By the time I get it the month will be over. I still plan to read it, but it won't be in September.


message 7: by Kath (last edited Sep 26, 2018 11:24AM) (new)

Kath | 13 comments Our Library system adopted this book as our OneRead for the whole community to read and talk about. Great but horrifying reality. Truth that reads like a novel. I heard the author speak last night, mostly about the research process he went through and gaining community trust. Facinating.

Even worse is is when we realize that life for many Native Americans is still horrible. 85% unemployment, no access to health care, etc, etc. It's a disgrace.


message 8: by Kristie, Moderator (new) - added it

Kristie | 6200 comments Mod
I bet that an interesting talk to be at, Kath. It really is sad how the Native Americans are treated. Just awful.


Sarah | 1467 comments I thought this book was really well done. It reads like a fast paced crime novel - I could not put it down. And the author is an amazing investigator - he should work for the FBI.


Kirsten  (kmcripn) | 32 comments Sarah wrote: "I thought this book was really well done. It reads like a fast paced crime novel - I could not put it down. And the author is an amazing investigator - he should work for the FBI."

Good investigative reporters are sometimes better than police detectives.


Maggie the Muskoka Library Mouse (mcurry1990) I thought this book read like a novel, which I really liked.


Kirsten  (kmcripn) | 32 comments Maggie the Muskoka Library Mouse wrote: "I thought this book read like a novel, which I really liked."

I agree.


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