Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
David Grann's thoughtful, driven exploration of the Reign of Terror murder conspiracies, in which bloodthirsty schemers attempted to siphon oil riches from Osage tribe members, is a brutal and thought-provoking, yet by nature incomplete tale of social exploitation of a vulnerable community.
I applaud Grann for shedding light on this uncomfortable chapter of history. He argues that the federal government simplified and whitewashed the crimes by grandstandingly solving a few of the murders, attributing them all to a single villainous entity -- who happened to be paroled rather than completing his life sentence.
Much of the book plays out like an intriguing detective potboiler, but the nagging threads left unsolved leave you with more confoundment than satisfaction. That ties in well with the lingering theme of abandonment left with the descendants of survivors. Here is hoping that the publicity surrounding the book and film inspire more of the untold stories to come to light, turning more pages toward completion of this horrific saga.
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