Killers of the Flower Moon. It’s only $1.99 on Amazon today.
Several of us have recommended this book in the past. The full name of the book is Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI. It’s fascinating.
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.
Good suggestion BH. I’m #1 on the library wait list for the ebook. Will have it in about 2 weeks. Gives me a chance to start and finish "Lessons in Chemistry’ by Bonnie Garmus that I just downloaded today. A little deviation from my normal light novel reading, but hilarious. Highly rated/reviewed.
Great book, and a subject I am familar with. My family was not impacted, fortunately, when the reign of terror was active. Two anecdotes - if you’ve ever read the Mullendore Murder Case (early 70s unsolved murder on a ranch north of Pawhuska/Bartlesville, OK) I was sitting in the BBQ joint in Pawhuska about 20 years ago when DEA, FBI, and others were chasing after Mullendore ranch hand Chub Anderson. He was thought to be working one of the big cattle ranches in Osage County near Pawhuska, and the restaurant was their staging area. Anderson had long been thought to be a possible perpetrator of the Mullendore murder. The agents leave and two grizzled cowboys in the back corner pulled their hats from covering their eyes and greeted my table partner, a local banker, noting, “Chub left for Montana two weeks ago…they’ll never catch up with him.”
And, I worked for a boss who was raised in Pawhuska told the story of his father being murdered in their front yard - disagreement about a non-Osage woman he was seeing - in the late-50s but was nerver prosecuted because it was on “Indian Land.” The Indian boarding schools were still active into the early 1970s (and a couple practice eugenics to the end).
Reign of Terror, indeed.
Great recommendation, Marty! The ending of the movie was re-written at the urging of the Osages and features some ceremonial events that have not been on video before.