THIS IS A DETECTIVE STORY . . .
Anatomy of a Plane Crash . . .
In the Fall of 1955, all eyes were on the state of Colorado as President Dwight Eisenhower recovered from what his doctors termed a "coronary thrombosis."
On November 1st of that year, a luxurious DC6B airliner en route from Denver's Stapleton Airfield to Portland, Oregon mysteriously exploded in burst of light seen for miles near the town of Longmont, a gently-rolling area of ranch and farmlands dotted by haystacks, farmhouses, cattle corrals and irrigation ditches, ending 44 lives.
A Longmont Times Call newspaper editor and staff writer were covering a local election at the local firehouse, and the two rode with the firemen to the crash site.
Although it would be two weeks before the FBI concluded that dynamite had caused the explosion, the source of the blast was no mystery to a group of U.S. Postal Investigators. Smudged and blackened envelopes and a musty, "exploded firecracker" odor immediately told the Inspectors that United's Flight 629 had been blasted out of the night sky.
Anatomy of a Plane Bombing . . .
A week later, The FBI officially entered the case. The agents carefully considered dozens of possibilities: hostile action by a foreign government, a lover's "triangle," an utterly ruthless business enemy. One possibility was so far-fetched that the agents never seriously considered it at all - that a boy wanted to kill the mother who had placed him in an orphanage as a child.
Anatomy of a Plane Bomber . . .
Two weeks after the crash of Flight 629 and one week after taking charge of the investigation, the FBI arrested John Gilbert ("Jack") Graham, the son of passenger Daisie E. King.
Much of Graham's background is revealed here for the first time. Based on Dr. John McDonald's meticulously-detailed notes, Eleven Minutes recounts, for the first time, Graham's troubled childhood, his fear of abandonment, and other crimes.
Revealed for the first time:
· How the FBI was able to recover the tiniest fragment of Graham's massive suitcase bomb;
The strange damage to the Mainliner's propeller blades that tipped off CAB inspectors that the plane had been in a free-fall;
· How a Denver claims adjustor and a man who had made repairs on the drive-in restaurant operated by Jack Graham came to suspect Graham of causing the plane disaster;
Why the "first" newspaper interview with Graham by the Rocky Mountain News' Al Nakkula following his arrest wasn't the first interview at all. The Rocky Mountain News has spent the last 60 years telling anyone who would listen that it was - but it simply isn't true.
· How David Stolberg, a Rocky mountain News reporter, obtained the details of Graham's confession - to the ire of the Federal prosecutors' office.
During the 1980's, author Edward C. Davenport interviewed virtually every living FBI agent assigned to the investigation, the widow of Jack Graham's parole officer, and his half-sister. This is the first-and only - inside account of the crime which shocked and horrified the nation.
Anatomy of a Trial . . .
Eleven Minutes offers the first, and only, in-depth account of Graham's Denver district Court murder trial - a trial which posed many challenges to justice.