Review: Killers of the Flower Moon

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

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the early 1920s, the Western United States was shaken by the murders of eighteen Osage Indians and three non-natives in Osage County, Oklahoma within a short period of time. Newspapers reported the murders as the “Reign of Terror” on the Osage reservation. Some of these victims were members of one family.

The Osage Indian Reservation had been moved to the county in Oklahoma as the land was worthless. Then Oil was discovered. The nation became instantly wealthy. They were not allowed to manage there own affairs as the U.S. Government felt they were not able to manager their own affairs. Guardianships were set up. This allowed the white, “Intelligent” people to insure that these Indians were not squandering there new found wealth. As you may guess, these “Guardians” took advantage of this opportunity to line their pockets.

This novel focuses on one family, the Browns, and the extended family. The Bureau of Investigation – soon to be the FBI – came in as it became clear there was a wide conspiracy at play. The young head of the Bureau – J. Edgar Hoover – wanted this to be a key case to help solidify the Bureau and himself as the nations top Law Enforcers.

Tom White, a Former Texas Ranger, was tapped to lead the investigation giving advice to his rounded up investigators advice such as

“Keep your balance, avoid any rough stuff if possible.” Making it clear that they should carry weapons, he added, “But if you have to fight to survive, do a good job.”

This is a non-fiction that does read well. It is a sad chapter of our history. We have many it seems.

I recommend this as a solid choice. I cannot imagine anyone being disappointed. Especially those who love a good ‘who dunnit’ and true crime stories.

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