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:
Presents a true account of the early twentieth-century murders of dozens of wealthy Osage and law-enforcement officials, citing the contributions and missteps of a fledgling FBI that eventually uncovered one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780385534246
Characteristics: x, 338 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jan 12, 2019

Interesting book about greed and the systematic abuse and murder of the Osage natives. This is what happens when someone thinks what you have should be theirs.

IndyPL_SteveB Jan 03, 2019

A fascinating but grim look at hidden American history. Writer David Grann is the perfect example of an obsessive reporter, willing to do years of research on an incident that was a major story a century ago but which most people have never heard of. In the 1800s, the Osage Indian tribe was forcibly moved from its ancestral homeland in Missouri, first to Kansas, then in the 1870s to a rocky part of Oklahoma that no one else wanted. But in the 1900s oil was found there and the Osage owned the mineral rights. By 1920, the Osage were, per capita, the richest people on earth.

Legally, these mineral rights were called “headrights.” The law included a stipulation that no Osage could sell his or her headrights. They could only change hands by inheritance. Suddenly a lot of white bankers, lawyers, and cattle barons became “best friends” to the Osage. And in 1921, the murders started, possibly as many as 600. Local doctors, sheriffs, judges, bankers, etc. seemed to be locked up in the plot to eventually concentrate ownership of the headrights in the hands of a few young survivors, who could be controlled and embezzled blind.

When you think about the Old West and what you were told as a child about who were the “good guys”, a book like this will make you reconsider, “Who were the savages?”

Dec 04, 2018

KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON examines a dark and little known chapter in American history. Author David Grann relates a sensational tale of greed, corruption, betrayal, and murder in 1920s Oklahoma, but surely he could’ve done this in fewer pages and with better prose.

Nov 16, 2018

This is an incredible true story that, thanks to David Grann's untiring research, shed light on a series of murders that are almost beyond comprehension. As commented just below, I too am stunned by man's inhumanity to man. Money is not the root of all evil; greed is. To say that David handled the matter in an unvarnished and straight-forward manner would be an understatement. He did an excellent job and God love his research if for no other reason than to comfort a group of American's - American's mind you - that by and large have been ignored since the founding of this great country. Also agree that any Holly-Duh effort to put this on film would fall way short. Still, I hope Hollywood does make the attempt, for even a rotten effort on their part would bring this story to the country's doorstep and perhaps someone (if even one person) would see it and understand how much of a raw deal American Indians got.

Nov 09, 2018

An important addition to the history of Oklahoma, no matter how savage and evil.

Nov 04, 2018

Very well done, lot of research, interviews, etc obviously went into this book. It's now getting a lot of attention since HollyWEIRD found out about it and are making a movie. I don't have much faith they'll do a good job.

This atrocity should be taught in EVERY school in Oklahoma but I don't have much faith it ever will be, like a lot of things which don't paint our country, state, etc in a good light. So it's up to us to discover some history and/or another version of history different from propaganda pieces we've been taught. This is one of those books every American should read or at least hear a summary of, so that history doesn't get repeated as that old adage says.

There are a LOT of skeletons in the closet, a lot of crimes committed, many of which the FBI elected not to pursue. Find a fall guy, in this case, William Hale, who no doubt was responsible for many of the murders, but he was hardly the only one. Yet J. Edgar Hoover, what a piece of work he was, elected not to have his Bureau investigate any further once Hale was successfully prosecuted as author David Grann points out later in the book. Kudos for Grann for doing further research on this...after speaking to some of the Osage members whose family members were murdered. RIP to those who perished, and sincere condolences to all who lost loved ones!

Oct 20, 2018

Killers of the Flower Moon is incredible. I was speechless and heartbroken when I finished. It is hard to imagine the fear that the Osage must have felt during this time period. This is definitely a book that everyone should read.

Oct 06, 2018

I was awed at the realization that this happened during the time my parents were born, thus knowing my grandparents were adults at this time and in Oklahoma. How the government treated the Osage Indians at illiterate and unable to make their own decisions for their lives is almost unbelievable, yet there is documentation to prove it. The murderers were empowered by the authorities, until the FBI agent from Texas arrived and begins to unravel the schemes of those involved. How they got away with what they did is shocking and heartbreaking..they were so trusted by their victims.

Cbtuff Oct 06, 2018

Outstanding read. Well researched and written.

Oct 02, 2018

Grann’s latest offering is gripping, heart-breaking, and reverable.
There were chapters I had to read in doses as emotions were spent in empathy for the Osage Indians, the time, and the place.
The greed and conspiracy of one William K. Hale earned him a special place in hell, worse than anything he could have conceived on earth. Whilst Tom White earned his heavenly reward in earnest helping victims of a history well preserved and very well researched.
I highly recommend ‘Killers of the Flower Moon,’ a book that haunted me in the night, waking in cold sweats from the greed of man and senseless murders of an innocent people.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability
Jan 31, 2018

MelissaBee thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


Add a Quote
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


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 MARINet

To Top