"Killers of the Flower Moon"
by David Grann
Hardcover, 338 pages
In the very late 19th century, the Osage Indian Nation was forcibly moved by the U.S. government from their ancestral land to a mostly barren piece of squat in Oklahoma. But that relocation rightfully backfired in the government's face when it was unexpectedly discovered the Osage Indians were now sitting atop one of the richest oil veins in the world. This discovery suddenly made the Osage some of the richest people in the country. To make matters worse, the mineral rights were only legally transferable to a family member. This little jig in the hitch meant no one outside the Osage could get to the money.
So, of course, a few greedy local bastards attempted to get their hands on some of that green paper by winning the trust of members of the Osage Indians and then meticulously began a drawn-out killing spree of dozens in the community. This was to become known as The Osage Murders. And the exact number killed may never be known.
Local law enforcement was unwilling to put much effort into the heinous crimes and was unskilled in their investigating techniques, as well. So bad was the noise, it finally drew the attention of J. Edgar Hoover and his newly formed investigation unit (FBI) to come down and break a few eggs. This story screams for your attention and is such an evil part of another cruel chapter in the mistreatment of Native Americans.
"Killers of the Flower Moon" has plenty of old photographs mixed within the pages that put names to faces. This non-fiction story is not a flaming page-turner, but it is written well and begs the reader to continue to the end. I appreciate David Grann bringing this horribly neglected part of history to light and I won't soon forget it.
"Indian Song" - Drivin' N' Cryin' / "Wrapped In Sky" (1995)