Lessons From a Kidnapping Gone Wrong

Feb 15, 2018 | 09:00 GMT

Joseph Corbett killed Adolph Coors III in 1960 during a botched kidnapping for ransom.

Though Adolph Coors III had reportedly spotted a canary yellow Mercury lurking near his house, he nevertheless stopped when he saw the same car apparently experiencing mechanical failure on a nearby bridge. The breakdown was part of a ploy to kidnap Coors.

(Federal Bureau of Investigation/flickr)


  • Philip Jett's meticulous account of the failed kidnapping of Adolph Coors III provides several important lessons about personal security.
  • Recognizing the threat of kidnapping is a crucial step toward avoiding it.
  • Being on the alert for surveillance operations or other suspicious activity can help thwart an abduction.

Fred Burton's recent interview with the author Philip Jett inspired me. Their discussion of Jett's recent book, The Death of an Heir: Adolph Coors III and the Murder That Rocked an American Brewing Dynasty, compelled me to read it for myself. Meticulously chronicling the crime, and the preparation the perpetrator conducted in advance, the book makes for a fascinating read. And although the incident it details -- Adolph Coors III's tragic death during a botched kidnapping -- happened more than 50 years ago, the story offers valuable lessons for personal security that ring true still today....

Keep Reading

Register to read three free articles

Proceed to sign up

Register Now

Already have an account?

Sign In