Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI (Grann)

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In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage 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, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. One of her relatives was shot. Another was poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more Osage were dying under mysterious circumstances, and many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered.

As the death toll rose, the newly created FBI took up the case, and 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 a Native American agent who infiltrated the region, and together with the Osage began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history. 

Christie's Thoughts: 

I’ve read this book twice now and both times it has completely engrossed me. Upon first hearing of this case, I was completely baffled. How did I not know that the Indigenous Osage nation was the richest per capita people in the world in the 1920s!? How did I further not know that they were victims of so many murders because of it? I also loved reading about the FBI and how it formed and evolved in order to solve this case. This was a very intense read, but so informative and sadly, still much reflected in our treatment of indigenous people even today. 

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