PDF/EPUB memovende.co Ö Killers of the Flower Moon The Osage Murders and the Birth

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 EuropeThen 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 Osage began to die under mysterious circumstancesIn 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 than twenty four Osage the newly created FBI 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 techniues of detection Together with the Osage they began to expose one of the most sinister conspiracies in American historyA true life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history


10 thoughts on “Killers of the Flower Moon The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

  1. says:

    ”Today our hearts are divided between two worlds We are strong and courageous learning to walk in these two worlds hanging on to the threads of our culture and traditions as we live in a predominantly non Indian society Our history our culture our heart and our home will always be stretching our legs across the plains singing songs in the morning light and placing our feet down with the ever beating heart of the drum We walk in two worlds”The Osage Indians lived in Kansas until the 1870s when the government decided that their land was too valuable for them to own Laura Ingalls Wilder writer of Little House on the Prairie was confused as to why the Osage Indians were being forced off their land Her father explained ”That’s why we’re here Laura White people are going to settle all this country and we get the best land because we get here first and take our pick”Indians were looked on as a subspecies of human being who didn’t deserve to breath and certainly didn’t deserve to own any useful land The Osage Indians were moved to Northeastern Oklahoma on a patch of ground that was deemed worthless But was it?When oil was discovered beneath the reservation land in the 1920s those dirt scratching Indians became extremely wealthy The federal government due to the Osages’ inherent racial weakness deemed them incapable of managing their own affairs and appointed guardians to manage their affairs white guardians As an example if an Osage wanted a car the guardian would buy a car for 250 and sell it to the Indian for 1250 The definition of guardian used words such as protector or defender It didn’t say anything about exploiter This is a tale of greed but unfortunately it didn’t stop there It became murder When the suspicious deaths of Osage Indians reached twenty four the fledgling director of the Bureau of Investigations It would not be called the Federal Bureau of Investigations until 1935 J Edgar Hoover decided that he needed Federal agents on the ground Hoover had already been systematically removing agents from the program that did not meet his criteria for education level and impeccable character The agents out West many of them ex Texas Rangers did not fit either of those profiles but Hoover was smart enough to realize that for a case like this spit shined shoes and snappy ties were not going to get the job done He sent in Tom White one of those disreputable former Texas Rangers White brought some people in as undercover agents and slowly the details of what was going on began to shimmer into view The problem was witnesses disappeared or clammed up when they were asked to testify at trial One white man who was trying to help the Osage was mysteriously thrown from a train Another was kidnapped Building a case was one thing but actually prosecuting someone was not easy It became and clear that this was not the act of just one man but a conspiracy ”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 LibraMeanwhile the murders continued unabated Osages were shot poisoned stabbed and even in one case blown up with dynamite The ruthlessness with which they were systematically eliminated was actually terrifying I can’t even imagine the level of fear that the tribe was living under Death was not a nebulous unknown creature but was actually embodied by members of their community intent on their destruction The other problem was that white people felt the Indians did not deserve the money The adage the only good Indian is a dead Indian was still in common use especially if anyone encountered a situation where Indian ownership was in their way David Grann has done a wonderful job of investigating these murders Though some people were incarcerated for the crimes back in the 1920s the Grann dug the threads he found that led to other guardians who should have been investigated thoroughly as well The descendents of those murdered Osage still want closer They still want justice even if the killers are moldering in their graves ”The blood cries out from the ground” ”During Xtha cka Zbi ga Tze the the Killer of the Flowers Moon I will wade across the river of the blackfish the otter the beaverI will climb the bank where the willow never dies” If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews visit also have a Facebook blogger page at


  2. says:

    Reading about injustice historical tragedies such greed such ugliness does something to us It's hard to explain the depths of what transforms We feel the anger the incredible unfairness We feel different changed in ways after reading a book like this It's the type of book that makes me want to 'do something' White people cheated Indians out of their land That we 'knew' but there is much in this small book many people are not aware of Author David Grann kept peeling off the layers of the onionby uncovering the magnitude of the numbers of murders that took place within the Osage Tribe His research gives us a true story of history that just makes you sick And why? For those who have not read this yet JUST READ IT it becomes very clear It will infuriate you but like the Holocaust some stories need to be told so we don't forget Having recently read Sherman Alexie's memoir You Don't Have To Say I Love You plus this Native American Historical storyIf the combination of these two books alone don't completely transform you about your stand about American Indian RightsSO MUCH SO that you're ready to rally for them vote for them protest 'with' them fight 'with' themThen I sure don't know what will Warning This book can make you FURIOUS THE PHOTOS included of the Osage Tribe were beautiful


  3. says:

    That we as a nation less than one hundred years after the Osage Indian killings have no collective memory of these events seems an intentional erasure The truth of the killings would traumatize our school children and make every one of us search our souls of that there is no doubt David Grann shows us that the systematic killings of dozens of oil wealthy Osage Indians were not simply the rogue deeds of a psychopath or two in a small town in Oklahoma The tentacles of guilt and the politics of fear extended to townspeople who earned their reputation as “successful” because they allowed these murders and thefts of property to go on as well as implicated law enforcement Grann outlines how the case was solved and brought to court by the persistence of FBI officer Tom White and his band but Grann is not full throated in his praise of Hoover's FBI He leaves us feeling ambiguous not about White but about HooverThe Osage Indians once laid claim to much of the central part of what is now called the United States “a territory that stretched from what is now Missouri and Kansas to Oklahoma and still farther west all the way to the Rockies” The tribe was physically imposing described by Thomas Jefferson as “the finest men we have ever seen” whose warriors typically stood over six feet tall They were given land by Jefferson as part of their settlement to stop fighting the Indian Wars in the early 1700s Jefferson reneged on the agreement within four years and ended up giving the once mighty Osage a 50 by 125 mile area in southeastern Kansas to call their own Gradually however white settlers found they liked that particular Kansas farmland and moved onto it anyway killing anyone who challenged them oftentimes the legal “owners” The government then forced the Osage to sell the Kansas land and buy rocky hilly land in Oklahoma land no white man would want where the Osage would be “safe” from encroachment This was the late 1800sIn the early 1900s oil was discovered on that ‘worthless’ Oklahoma land and because a representative of the Osage tribe was in Washington to defend Osage interests he managed to include in the legal agreement of the allotment of Indian Territory “that the oil gas coal or other minerals covered by the landsare hereby reserved to the Osage Tribe” Living Osage family members each were given a headright or a share in the tribe’s mineral trust The headrights could not be sold they could only be inheritedThe Osage became immensely wealthy The federal government expressed some concern that the Osage were unable to manage their own wealth and so ordered that local town professionals white men be appointed as guardians One Indian WWI veteran complained he was not permitted to sign his own checks without oversight and expenditures down to toothpaste were monitored But this is not even the most terrible of the legacies The Osage began to be murdered one by oneWhen Grann discovered rumblings of this century old criminal case in Oklahoma he wanted to see the extent of what was called the Reign of Terror thought to have begun in 1921 and lasted until 1926 when some of the cases were finally successfully prosecuted The “reign” he discovered was much longer and wider than originally imagined and therefore did not just implicate the men who were eventually jailed for the crimes “White people in Oklahoma thought no of killing an Indian than they did in 1724” said John Ramsey one of the men eventually jailed for crimes against the Osage A reporter noted “The attitude of a pioneer cattleman toward a full blood Indianis fairly well recognized”What we learn in the course of this account is that a great number of people had information that could have led to answers much sooner than it did but because there was so much corruption even the undercover agents and sheriffs were in on the open secret of the murders Those townspeople who might be willing to divulge what they knew were unable to discover to whom they should share information lest they be murdered as well Grann was able to answer some uestions never resolved at the time with his access to a greater number of now available documentsWhy this history is not better known is a mystery still Memory of it was fading already in the late 1950s when a film The FBI Story starring Jimmy Stewart made mention of it The 1920s are not so long ago and some of the people who were children then have only recently passed away or may even be still living Among the Osage there is institutional memory and still some resentment naturally and a long lasting mistrust of white people Need I say this is a must read?The audio of this book is narrated by three individuals Ann Marie Lee Will Patton and Danny Campbell Interestingly the voices of the narrators seem to age over the course of the history and it is a tale well told But the paper copy of this has photographs which add a huge amount of depth and interest to the story This is another good candidate for a Whispersync option but if you are going to choose one the paper was my favorite


  4. says:

    3 to 35 starsInteresting and eye opening A scary true story of greed and racism in the development of the American West This is one of those hard to read and accept truths of American history If you enjoy history andor true crime I think this is worth giving a goMy main criticism is that while the story is interesting I am not uite sure it is book worthy It seems like this whole story could have been told in 30 to 50 pages or in a Wikipedia article It feels a bit drawn out when expanded to 300 pages Because of the length I was waiting for a lot to happen but it never really didAlso the title of this book would indicate that there is a lot of detail about the formation of the FBI I don't really feel this was the case There were a few pages about how local law enforcement was too corrupt so they needed the federal government involved but that was about it Some may disagree but I hardly felt that this book could be used for a history report on the start of the FBIThis book is recommended for hard core history and true crime buffs If you like your history and true crime to be a little less textbook this may not be the book for youSide note the audiobook is mediocre The I listen the I think I don't care for Will Patton as a narrator


  5. says:

    Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann is a 2017 Doubleday publication 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 a criminal act Don DelilloThis is a stunning historical true crime 'novel' centered around corrupt and shameful politics racism and greed that fueled the ‘Osage reign of terror’ back in the 1920’s and was responsible for the birth of the first ‘Bureau of Investigation” When Mollie Burkhart’s sister disappeared and was later found shot to death an investigation into her death as well a bombing and a string of poisonings all aimed at wealthy Osage Indians who benefited from the oil found on their land began that would eventually expose an incredible conspiracy This conspiracy involved anyone and everyone it seems as the Osage were being systematically killed off This included law men and lawmakers all the way to Washington as white men schemed to take control of the vast wealth the Osage were entitled to Finally with increasing pleas for help the FBI got involved in the case but rife with corruption they floundered horribly Eventually Tom White was assigned the case by J Edgar Hoover His investigation would expose men at their darkest and most unconscionable It’s hard to imagine Hoover in this light but he was trying to build his reputation at this time so solving this case would be a big feather in his cap I am ashamed to admit I didn’t know anything about this dark piece of history This is a true crime accounting but it reads like a modern day murder mystery one you simply can not put down with enough plot twists to keep the reader right on the edge of their seats While many true crime books are hard to read due to the creepiness and graphic details of the crimes this book doesn’t really have that same ‘don’t read it alone at night’ uality to it but I was so shocked by what I was reading I experienced plenty of shock waves all the same Usually I find myself feeling a great many emotions for crime victims and their families but I don’t think I’ve ever felt sympathy than I did for Mollie Burkhart My God That poor woman suffered such an incredible amount of loss in unimaginable ways But I am also ashamed of the way the Osage was reated by our country Men of power who schemed to limit access to their money assigning them guardians who could easily steal from them or worse They were treated like children Can you imagine having someone monitoring every penny you spent down to a tube of toothpaste?? SERIOUSLY??‘The US government contending that many Osage were unable to handle their money had reuired the Office of Indian Affairs to determine which members of the tribe were capable of managing their trust funds Over the tribe’s vehement objections many Osage were deemed incompetent and were forced to have a local white guardian overseeing and authorizing all their spending down to the tube of toothpaste they purchased at the corner store One Osage who had served in World War 1 complained “I fought in France for this country and yet I am not allowed even to sign my own checks'The history that unfolds in this book riveting So many innocent lives lost so many lies scandals and cover ups it’s hard to keep count of it all But at the end of the day this book resonated with me because I learned some eye opening truths about the Osage which I knew virtually nothing and came away with a much better understanding and deep respect for them It also solidified unfortunately my cynicism about our government and what truly lies at the bottom depths of a person’s heart Greed racism and the desire for complete control at any cost still governs our lives today While I did feel a long overdue feeling of triumph and relief that this story is finally out there that some justice was served in the end there are still many who didn’t get that kind of retribution or closure This is a MUST READ I promise it is one of those books that will give you pause make you stop to reconsider and will change your outlook about the past help one recognize that we are still battling many of those same issues in the present which could just maybe keep history from repeating itself‘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 onset” While this story chilled me right to the bone it also broke my heart and tapped into a well of emotions while teaching me a lot about a time in history I am so glad I discovered It's a book we can all take something away from and hopefully learn from it 5 stars


  6. says:

    I don't know why or even how after all I have read I can still be surprised at man's cunning and greed I knew nothing about the Osage Indians certainly nothing about headrights that provided them with a great deal of moneyIt is the money and the way the law was provisioned that made them a target for the unscrupulous and there were plenty of those This is the story of the investigation into murders that until Hoover involved himself and his men we're virtually shoved under the rug and going nowhere Even after so many suspicious deaths often in the same family So we learn about the murders a little about Hoover about a man who was known as a cowboy in the service and he would be the one who broke open this case Well put together though out this book was easy to read and very informative Some things were glanced over maybe not as thorough as some would expect or like but that would have made for a much longer book Liked that the author pursued this even after the initial findings going back over the records finding missed connections and came to some additional conclusions


  7. says:

    This is a chilling story hard to believe it's actually true hard to believe I've never heard of this before And mostly hard to believe so many people could be so cruel and callous David Grann a journalist has done an excellent job investigating and chronicling the terrible story of the Osage American Indian murders in the 1920s In about 1904 the Osage tribe had negotiated a contract with the US government; significantly their lawyer was able to slip in a clause that all oil gas and other mineral rights on their land were reserved to the Osage Tribe By 1917 there were huge oil strikes on the Osage land and the headrights each tribe member's share of the oil lease royalties were worth many thousands of dollars Tribe members became hugely wealthy But then the vultures moved in Congress reuired most of the Osages to have an appointed guardian to manage their wealth; most of these guardians were intent on fleecing and defrauding their charges Local businesses would jack up their charges for the Osages Banks charged usurious interest rates on loans Some white people would marry the Osages for their money and some would kill to get their hands on their fortunes Three sisters Minnie Anna and MollieAnna Brown mysteriously disappeared one night in May 1921; her decomposed body was found about a week later with a bullet hole in the back of her head About the same time the body of Charles Whitehorn was found near the base of an oil derrick More deaths followed some clearly murders some unclear but suspicious Anna's mother died soon after her of a mysterious wasting disease Too soon Mollie Burkhart was the only one in her family still alive along with her white husband Ernest Burkhart and their three childrenGovernment and private investigators came up with almost nothing how many of them were complicit and how many were threatened into silence is a uestion that may never be fully answered And sometimes too often important witnesses or persons who were helping with the investigation would be found dead as well It became known as the Reign of TerrorGrann unfolds the story in a clear and logical way with some fascinating and chilling details When the Bureau of Investigation the precursor to the FBI finally gets involved things start to look hopeful But the web of conspiracies and silence isn't so easy to take apartHighly recommended This is a historical event that deserves never to be forgotten Grann deserves praise for helping to bring it back to light and for taking the extra steps to investigate and report on what may have happened to some of the forgotten victims It makes you want to weep for humanity but there are a few shining lights in the storyTo believe that the Osages survived intact from their ordeal is a delusion of the mind What has been possible to salvage has been saved and is dearer to our hearts because it survived What is gone is treasured because it was what we once were We gather our past and present into the depths of our being and face tomorrow We are still OsageInitial post I've borrowed this from a friend for a December book club read I read this whole book in just two days it was that gripping


  8. says:

    A good nonfiction book will read as fast as a good piece of fiction all the while imparting new knowledge to the reader Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard is a prime example Now comes Killers of the Flower Moon Enthralling it tells not only of the killing spree against the Osage but the rise of the oil industry the development of private detectives and the Bureau of Investigation the precursor to the FBI and the political corruption of the day It's a sad look back on the prejudices of the day along with the numerous scandals But for someone who came of age in the 70s when Hoover was villain than hero it's interesting to see how much he did to bring the bureau out of its prior history of corruption and scandal It was also interesting to see how White and his team finally put together a case after struggling to find hard evidence or live witnesses to bring the murderer to trial I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy an entertaining enlightening nonfiction book


  9. says:

    This book is haunting It covers the deaths of at least 24 but in reality many members of the Osage Indian Nation in Oklahoma the richest people per capita in the world at that time In the first part of the book we get to meet some of the people who were murdered In the second part of the book we learn about Tom White and his men assigned by J Edgar Hoover to find out why the Osage were dying by bullet poison explosion and and who was behind the deaths In the third part of the book we meet the ancestors of some of the murdered Osage and learn how the crimes still torment the families of the murdered Not only that the author relates how he found that there were many suspicious deaths than were ever reported At first I thought I'd have a hard time keeping track of the people mentioned in the book but there are a generous number of pictures and those helped me to see and remember the various people mentioned in the book I read the book on my Kindle Oasis and didn't realize how well pictures would show up on it although I wouldn't have minded seeing bigger versions This book is heartbreaking for so many reasons I don't think I'll ever forget it and that there are very bad people in this worldPublished April 18th 2017


  10. says:

    A fairly horrifying true crime story of the murder of multiple Osage Indians in the 1920s Basically an extra long New Yorker magazine piece well written interesting history a uick read; the last section drops the voice of god narration and provides some perspective on the practice of investigation reporting and digging through the historical archives in cases like these The author also discusses some of this in a Slate podcast interview which is how I came across the book Some insights into the early Federal Bureau of Investigation and the forced relocation assimilation and theft of assets from Indian tribes but both of those are larger stories that could be fully explored in books of their own beyond this particular case