Review: Killers Of The Flower Moon

August 21, 2023

Soon to be a major motion picture, this story has some real promise. Promise to help solve age-old crimes, promise to resolve inhuman atrocities, promise to help make things right.
This is the promise of “Killers Of The Flower Moon – The Osage Murders And The Birth Of The FBI”, by David Grann.
Sadly, it won’t bring the murdered victims back.

The Osage natives were rounded up, and after a series of “deals” fell through to relocate them to fair lands, they were shunted onto a barren reservation in Oklahoma.

As fortune or fate had it, the land happened to be rich with oil, which was fueling the industrial revolution in the 1920’s.
This made The Osage Indians some of the richest people in the world.

With that wealth came hatred and fear from the white population. Many of the Osage had white people supervising their inheritance of money, and this brought on some serious danger.
Many of the Osage Indians were murdered and their money was passed on to the white “money managers”. There was some serious incentive to commit crimes to obtain such great wealth.

One-by-one, the Osage were murdered. Shot, Poisoned, blown up, you name it. Some “well meaning” whites were murdered also.
The author has done a great job chasing down leads, doing interviews, and scouring through dusty archives.
Not surprisingly, Grann came up with some previously undisclosed leads, and there is an interesting twist at the end of the book that essentially re-opened the case.

“Killers Of The Flower Moon” is a true real crime who-done-it. The book is filled with pictures of the victims, murderers, and lawmen who researched and investigated the case.

While we know that the FBI has a very nasty reputation of setting up Native Americans ( Think Wounded Knee, Leonard Peltier, genocide. etc.) The Osage murders were investigated by (mostly) former Texas Rangers who were recruited into the emerging FBI. This was at a time when for-hire law enforcement was incredibly corrupt, and the fledgling FBI was (surprisingly) less corrupt. In fact, there were some actual heroes.

I really enjoyed reading “Killers Of The Flower Moon”. I can’t wait to see it in movie form.

– John Titus

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