This past week, I read a tale. A tale of money, greed, murder, corruption and deceit. The story was too sensational to be real. The only problem is...the story was real.
In his most recent bestseller, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, David Grann weaves together a fascinating story about the systematic murder of dozens (if not more) of Osage Indians, during the Oil Boom, in Oklahoma. In the 1920s, members of the Osage Indian Nation were the richest people, per capita, in the world. They built mansions and rode in chauffeured automobiles. Then, seemingly one by one, the Osage began to be killed off.
Grann's book focuses on one series of killings revolving around the family of Molly Burkhart. Her relatives were shot and poisoned, and she feared she would be the next target. Grann effortlessly crafts a masterclass in narrative nonfiction, revealing step by step how the truth behind the murders came to light.
It took all of six days for me to read through this book. It was fascinating, disheartening and at times, unbearable. Perhaps I am a bit nostalgic, being that the books central city was just 20 miles from where I grew up. Places and names are very close to my memories. I have to admit, however, that growing up so close to the story didn't mean I heard about it growing up. For the first time, I was able to read about this hideous act of systematic murder, right here, in Oklahoma.
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