Killers of the Flower Moon

Killers of the Flower Moon

The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:
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 Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann revisits a shocking series of crimes in which dozens of people were murdered in cold blood. Based on years of research and startling new evidence, the book is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, as each step in the investigation reveals a series of sinister secrets and reversals.
Publisher: New York :, Doubleday,, [2017]
Edition: First edition
Description: x, 338 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 25 cm
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780385534246
Branch Call Number: 976.600497 Gra
Additional Contributors: Grann, David. Killers of the Flower Moon


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jun 28, 2020

This book os an incredibly hauting, well-researched look at the Osage tribe mass murders in the 1920s and 1930s. I learned so much about reservations and the cruelty thag Native Americans has to endure for so long, and that the community still endures today. A must read.

Hillsboro_RobP Jun 09, 2020

Read it and remember, lest we all forget.
Excellent account and re-visitation of an important time in American history.

May 14, 2020

There have been plenty of rave reviews about this book but I found it a bit slow and sometimes had trouble keeping track of characters. It is meticulously researched and plenty of what happened with the Osage will leave you amazed and furious. Worth a read but to me a little dry.

May 09, 2020

Killers of the Flower Moon exposes a history of systematic murder of native Americans by white Oklahomans who coveted the wealth of Osage Indian families, whose fortunes came from those hereditary rights to oil revenues from their reservation lands. The murderous campaign was born of prejudice. To be sure, greed was involved, but underlying all is the belief that the Osage were inferior and undeserving. Newspapers ran stories about profligate spending, but “rarely, if ever, mentioned that numerous Osage had skillfully invested their money or that some of the spending…reflected ancestral customs that linked grand displays of generosity with tribal stature.” Through the Department of the Interior, the federal government declared many Osage “incompetent” based on whether they were full-blooded or mixed. Government-assigned financial guardians oversaw the expenditures by adult Osage, as if they were children. Invoking fire-and-brimstone, biblical condemnation, Congressmen gave these guardians full control over how tribe members could spend their oil revenues. David Grann attributes many of the Osage murders to these guardians.

Feb 08, 2020

Read February 2020; Scorsese next film based on this book; recommended by Marc

Consider reading White Darkness: on For Later shelf

Feb 06, 2020

Such an interesting story about the very beginnings of the FBI and the story of the Osage Murders in Oklahoma that I'd never known about!

Jan 17, 2020

Red cover

Jan 12, 2020

Everyone should read this book. Can’t say enough about it.

Dec 30, 2019

Like most have said, great book and very shameful event in our history as a nation. The book does read like a novel despite the historical content, a testament to the writer's ability to bring characters to life. Warning though: the descriptions of murders don't hide the awful hideous evil in some men's hearts.

indyPL_LizS Dec 30, 2019

Strange story about the plight of the Osage Nation Indian Tribe, in the early 1900’s. They had already been driven out of their original territorial lands and placed on a desolate reservation in Oklahoma.
After reading this book, what amazes me, in this dramatic saga, is the way the US. Government dealt with the Osage tribe after oil deposits were found on their land. There were restrictions placed on Osage Native American Indians since it was felt that these people weren’t able to think for themselves handling their own money. Also, greed, murders from local law enforcements, deceitful people continue to swindled Osage from their wealth. Finally, the Osage looked to the Federal Bureau of Investigation under J. Edgar Hoover for help.

Made me feel very uncomfortable how theses Native Americans were treated over all.

View All Comments


Add a Quote
JCLLizW Oct 21, 2019

“The U.S. government, contending that many Osage were unable to handle their money, had required the Office of Indian Affairs to determine which members of the tribe it considered capable of managing their trust funds. Over the tribe’s vehement objections, many Osage, including Lizzie and Anna, were deemed ‘incompetent,’ and were forced to have a local white guardian overseeing and authorizing all of their spending, down to the toothpaste they purchased at the corner store.” - p. 58

Dec 04, 2018

“Yet an ugliness often lurked beneath the reformist zeal of Progressivism. Many Progressives—who tended to be middle-class white Protestants—held deep prejudices against immigrants and blacks and were so convinced of their own virtuous authority that they disdained democratic procedures. This part of Progressivism mirrored Hoover’s darkest impulses.” - p. 178

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
Jan 31, 2018

MelissaBee thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at BPL

To Top