Stephen M. Sachs*

David Grann, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Ossage Murders and the Birth of the FBI (New York Doubleday, 2017, is an extremely thorough study of the murders of members of the Osag Nation in Oklahoma in the early 20th century by prominent non-Indians, in order to gain control of tribal member wealth from oil. It shows how numerous wealthy tribal members were forced into guardianship so that the lega guardians could steal their money, and how many Osage were murdered to complete and protect the theft. The often deadly perversion of guardianship remains a major problem in the United Sates, as set forth in M. Larsen, Ed. Guardianship: How Judges and Lawyers Steal Your Money.1

Grann has made a thorough research of all the available reports that he was able to find relating to the Osag murders, and supplimented them with interviews of Osage tribespeople who remember surviving family member speaking of the deaths of ramily members during the reign of terror through guardianship that the tribe suffered. As result, Grann is able to show additional Osage murders that were beyond those discovered by the FBI and prosecure in federal court. The book is well written, and reads easily as would a good murder novel, only this one is about an al too real set of occurances.


1. M. Larsen, ed . GUARDIANSHIP: How Judges and Lawyers Steal Your Money (Tucson: Janet Pipes, 2016 available at: format/). See also, Emily Gurnon, "Guardianship in the U.S.: Protection or Exploitation? More adults will be at risk of abuse as boomers enter 'the danger age'," nextavenue, May 23, 2016, protection-exploitation/; and Michael Bafajas," How judges, probate attorneys, and guardianship orgs abuse th vulnerable," San Antonio Currant, September 24, 2012, https:// attorneys-and-guardianship-orgs-abuse-the-vulnerable/Content?oid=2243812.

*Stephen M. Sachs is Professor Emeritus of Political Science, IUPUI; Senior Editor and Coordinator of the Editorial Board of Indigenous Policy; and Coordinating Editor of Nonviolenht Change. He may be reached at:


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