In April, millions of tiny flowers spread over the blackjack hills and vast prairies in the Osage territory of Oklahoma.
–David Grann - Killers of the Flower Moon - c.2017
If you want to read a book that’ll really show how horrific people can be to one another then this is it. It tells the story of the murders of Mollie Burkhart’s family. They were all members of the Osage tribe; in the 1920s they were among the richest people in the world. And yet also the most sinned again.
Grann starts off with a very basic history of the tribe; detailing how their lands were taken by white settlers. He then explains that because they managed to buy the land on which they were moved to they were able to profit when oil was discovered. But of course many white people didn’t enjoy seeing that, and the US government ruled that members of the tribe weren’t to be trusted to take care of themselves and instead guardians would be appointed to look after their money.
You can imagine the corruption.
But not only did local business fleece their Osage neighbours, not only did people steal their money, members of the tribe also began to die in mysterious circumstances.
At first investigations uncovered nothing. Eventually the FBI became involved. J. Edgar Hoover really wanted a win to provide some good press for his fledgling organisation.
It is well written and very well told. Easy to follow and easy to understand. Well, easy to understand the facts, I really cannot understand how people could act in that manner. There are some shits out there. The things people are capable of doing to other people! How easily we can discount the humanity of others and take everything from them.
It is horrific.
And these are crimes that destroyed families; the damage still lingers.