David Grann’s New Book Explores a Time When Killing Native Americans Wasn’t Murder – The Daily Beast

David Grann’s New Book Explores a Time When Killing Native Americans Wasn’t Murder – The Daily Beast: [Lewis Beale
04.16.17 4:15 AM ET] On one wall was a panoramic photo of members of the tribe taken in 1924, but there was a panel missing. When Grann asked the museum director what happened to that part of the photo, she responded “It’s too painful to show. The devil was standing there.” That “devil” was a white man named William Hale, ostensibly a friend of the tribe but, as it turned out, a vicious murderer who killed Indians for their money, which was considerable, since the Osage lived on oil-rich land, and at one point were considered the wealthiest people per capita on earth. Hale wasn’t the only white man who killed Osage for profit, a story told in Grann’s new book, Killers of the Flower Moon. Author of the 2009 bestseller The Lost City of Z, about the search for a vanished civilization in the Amazon (the film version debuted April 14), Grann tells an entirely different story in his latest work, one that has elements of the Wild West, classic gangster movies, the birth of the FBI, greed, and racism. “Why were the Osage killed?” asks Grann. “They were killed for their money. However, it was racism that made these killings nonchalant, and allowed them to go on for years. What is amazing is how some of the killers did not equate killing a Native American with murder. The prejudices of the time are an essential element to this story.”

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