Killers of the Flower Moon
From New Yorker staff writer David Grann, #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Lost City of Z, a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history

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, the Osage rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.

Then, one by one, they began to be killed off. One Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, watched as her family was murdered. Her older sister was shot. Her mother was then slowly poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more Osage began to die under mysterious circumstances.

In this last remnant of the Wild West—where oilmen like J. P. Getty made their fortunes and where desperadoes such as Al Spencer, “the Phantom Terror,” roamed – virtually anyone who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll surpassed more than twenty-four Osage, the newly created F.B.I. took up the case, in what became one of the organization’s first major homicide investigations. But the bureau was then notoriously corrupt and initially bungled the case. Eventually the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to try unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including one of the only Native American agents in the bureau. They infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest modern techniques of detection. Together with the Osage they began to expose one of the most sinister conspiracies in American history.

In Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann revisits a shocking series of crimes in which dozens of people were murdered in cold blood. The book is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, as each step in the investigation reveals a series of sinister secrets and reversals. But more than that, it is a searing indictment of the callousness and prejudice toward Native Americans that allowed the murderers to operate with impunity for so long. Killers of the Flower Moon is utterly riveting, but also emotionally devastating.

Killers of the Flower Moon Details

Book TitleKillers of the Flower Moon
Book Author
by 367 users

Killers of the Flower Moon Reviews

  • Karen
    Apr 22, 2017


    Thanks to author David Grann for his tremendous effort to bring this shamefully true Wild West historical mystery to light. His depth of research is impressive, his journalistic background apparent. I had no idea about the tragic Osage Indian murders. Appalling what greed brings out in...

  • Laura
    Apr 22, 2017


    The writing is a little bit dry (I felt the same about Grann's "Lost City of Z," but this is a must-read for anyone with ties to Oklahoma. I learned so much about an important era of history in my home state. ...

  • Nicole
    Apr 22, 2017


    What a story! This was a fascinating read. I had never heard of the events of this book in any of my reading, any textbooks, or any history classes I have ever taken, which is part of the author's point. It is terrifying that events such as those in this book have been virtually swept ...

  • Betty
    Apr 21, 2017


    Oil brought unimaginable riches to the Osage Nation in Oklahoma in the early years of the twentieth century, and made them the “richest people per capita in the world” by the 1920s. It also brought about the “Reign of Terror,” a period of time between 1921 – 19...

  • Trish
    Apr 15, 2017


    That we as a nation, less than one hundred years after the Osage Indian killings, have no collective memory of these events seems an intentional erasure. The truth of the killings would traumatize our school children and make every one of us search our souls, of that there is no doubt....

  • Lisa
    Apr 14, 2017


    A solid book about a fascinating subject, the murder of at least two dozen members of the Osage nation (in Oklahama) in the 1920s. The book focuses on the investigation by FBI agent Tom White and has some interesting bits about the emergence of the FBI under Hoover. I'm sure the book w...

  • Heather
    Apr 13, 2017


    "The blood cries out from the ground." The information presented in this novel was all brand new to me, and that might cloud my judgement of this. I devoured this book. It was phenomenal. Heartbreaking to say the very least, but also eye opening and revelatory. The author did an except...

  • Lynn
    Apr 13, 2017


    Killers of the Flower Moon depicts a tragic period in American history. The Osage tribe driven from Kansas to a stark environment in Oklahoma had unwittingly landed on a bed of riches. Oil. Each tribe member was given a headright for mineral resources. They became very wealthy, very qu...

  • DeB MaRtEnS
    Apr 7, 2017

    DeB MaRtEnS

    Killer's of the Flower Moon is a scorching exposé of a terrible period in American history. In the 1920s, when the American West still retained elements of lawlessness and secret codes of misplaced justice, in Oklahoma there were criminals hidden and their crimes unsolved, while the...

  • The Pfaeffle Journal
    Apr 2, 2017

    The Pfaeffle Journal

    review to follow ...