The Osage, Oil and the FBI

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When oil was discovered underneath their Oklahoma reservation, the Osage Indians became the wealthiest people per capita in the world. Many lived in opulent mansions, drove automobiles and kept servants. But then, during the 1920s, they begin to die off at an alarming rate. Mollie Burkhart, one wealthy Osage woman, became the last living member of her family after her mother and three sisters were murdered. In this gripping account, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI (Doubleday, $29.95), journalist David Grann presents the known facts about the notorious Osage “Reign of Terror,” and the subsequent FBI investigation led by former Texas Ranger Tom White. In the process, Grann discovers that the killings were, in fact, far more extensive and widespread than previously known.

 —Patrick Millikin, editor of The Highway Kind: Tales of Fast Cars, Desperate Drivers and Dark Roads

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While many who study the historic conflicts between whites and Indians consider the Battle of Wounded Knee in December 1890 as the conclusion of that bloody chapter in American history, the revelations in David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI center around the murder of an Osage woman, Anna Brown (center), and the role of her sisters Minnie (left) and Mollie (right), clearly revealing that the tragic conflict of cultures has yet to reach a conclusive ending.
– Courtesy of the Osage Nation Museum –

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