Killers of the Flower Moon

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Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
Killers of the Flower Moon - book cover.jpg
First edition cover design
AuthorDavid Grann
CountryUnited States
SubjectOsage Indian murders
Publication date
April 18, 2017
Media typePrint, e-book
Pages352 pp. (hardcover)
ISBN978-0-385-53424-6 (Hardcover)
Preceded byThe Devil and Sherlock Holmes 
Followed byThe White Darkness 

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI is the third non-fiction book by American journalist David Grann.[1] The book was released on April 18, 2017 by Doubleday.[2][3][4]

Time magazine listed Killers of the Flower Moon as one of its top ten non-fiction books of 2017.[5]


The book investigates a series of murders of wealthy Osage people that took place in Osage County, Oklahoma in the early 1920s—after big oil deposits were discovered beneath their land.[6][7] Officially, the count of the murdered full-blood wealthy Osage native Americans reaches at least 20, but Grann suspects that hundreds more may have been killed because of their ties to oil.[8] The book reports cattleman William Hale as the mastermind standing behind the murders and presents detailed evidence.

Film adaptation[edit]

Imperative Entertainment is said to pay $5 million[9] for the rights to adapt the book to film with Eric Roth set to write the screenplay.[10][11] As of July 14, 2017, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio are developing a film adaptation of the book. Filming is expected to start in spring 2019.[12] Robert De Niro is also rumored to be in talks for a role in the film.


Sean Woods of Rolling Stone wrote: "In his masterful new book...Grann chronicles a tale of murder, betrayal, heroism and a nation's struggle to leave its frontier culture behind and enter the modern world... Filled with almost mythic characters from our past – stoic Texas Rangers, corrupt robber barons, private detectives, and murderous desperadoes like the Al Spencer gang – Grann's story amounts to a secret history of the American frontier."[13]

A reviewer of Publishers Weekly stated "New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Lost City of Z) burnishes his reputation as a brilliant storyteller in this gripping true-crime narrative, which revisits a baffling and frightening—and relatively unknown—spree of murders occurring mostly in Oklahoma during the 1920s."[14]

Ed Vulliamy of The Guardian said "The genocide by white America against Native nations during the century leading up to Grann’s period is a metaphor for humanity’s decimation of the natural world which the Natives saw as sacred. Grann’s book is a timely and disturbing chapter in the original, terrible atrocity."[15]


  1. ^ GRANN, DAVID (May 18, 2017). "The Rare Archival Photos Behind 'Killers of the Flower Moon'". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  2. ^ Eggers, Dave (28 April 2017). "Solving a Reign of Terror Against Native Americans". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann". Goodreads. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  4. ^ "KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann". Kirkus Reviews. 2 February 2017. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  5. ^ Howorth, Claire (November 21, 2017). "The Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2017". Time. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  6. ^ "Killers Of The Flower Moon The Osage Murders And The Birth Of The FBI by DAVID GRANN". NPR. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Killers of the Flower Moon THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI By DAVID GRANN". Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  8. ^ Whaley, Monte (13 July 2017). ""Killers of the Flower Moon": Murdering the Osage for ill-gotten gains". The Denver Post. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  9. ^ Howorth, Claire (April 13, 2017). "David Grann's Killers of the Flower Moon Is Unsurprisingly Extraordinary". Time. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  10. ^ Giroux, Jack (July 15, 2017). "Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio May Shoot 'Killers of the Flower Moon' Early Next Year". Slashfilm. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  11. ^ Busch, Anita (April 21, 2017). "Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio & Robert De Niro Eyeing 'Killers Of The Flower Moon' From Eric Roth Adaptation". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  12. ^ Vivarelli, Nick (July 14, 2017). "Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese Teaming Up for New Movie". Variety. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  13. ^ Woods, Sean (April 17, 2017). "'Killers of the Flower Moon': Inside David Grann's New True-Crime Epic". Rolling Stone.
  14. ^ "Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  15. ^ Vulliamy, Ed (1 May 2017). "Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 October 2017.

External links[edit]