This story defined how the FBI does this type of investigation. This is the story of the doomed Flight 629 that met its faith in Longmont, Colorado. This is the story of Daisy Walker King and her son Jack Gilbert Graham. Also known as John Gilbert Graham. Come along with us as we explore the farm fields in Longmont and Firestone, Colorado.
On November 1, 1955, United Airlines Flight 629, left Stapleton Airport in Denver Colorado. Eleven minutes after takeoff, at 7:03 p.m., the Douglas DC-6B (aka: “Mainliner Denver”) aircraft explored just east of Longmont, Colorado. Killing all 44 people onboard. Which included 39 passengers and five crew members. All 44 people aboard the aircraft were killed. The ages of the victims ranged from 13 months to 81 years
At the Denver Stapleton airport, the aircraft had just refueled with 3,400 US gallons (13,000 L) of fuel, and replaced the crew. Captain Lee Hall, who was a World War II veteran, assumed command of the flight.
The flight took off at 6:52 p.m. and at 6:56 p.m. made its last transmission. Seven minutes later, the Stapleton air traffic controllers saw two bright lights suddenly appear in the sky. The lights were observed for 30–45 seconds, and both fell to the ground at roughly the same speed. Then the controllers witnessed a very bright flash near the ground. The flash was so intense it illuminate the base of the clouds 10,000 feet above. They quickly contacted all aircraft flying in the area. All flights were quickly accounted for, except for United Flight 629.
Telephone calls soon began coming in from farmers and other residents in Longmont and Firestone area. They reported loud explosions and fiery debris falling from the night sky. Investigators who reached the crash site determined that all 44 people aboard the DC-6B had died instantly. The debris from the plane was scattered across a 6 square mile area.
After a short FBI investigation, it was found that the airplane was blown up with a dynamite bomb placed in the checked luggage of Daisy Walker King. Investigators determined that Jack Gilbert Graham was responsible for bombing the airplane to kill his mother, Daisy King, as revenge for his terrible childhood. In addition, his motive was he would receive a large life insurance payout and inheritance.
John (“Jack”) was executed in Canon City, Colorado January 11, 1957 at the age of 24. Oddly effort his ashes were spread near his mother’s grave in the Famous Fairmount Cemetery, in Denver, Colorado.
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Plane crash site coordinates in Longmont, Colorado
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- 6609-UAL-DC-6-NorthRampStapletonDEN.jpg, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:6609-UAL-DC-6-NorthRampStapletonDEN.jpg, retrieved 18 April 2019.
- United Airlines DC-6, N37514, fleet code 5414, parked on the northwest ramp of the old Stapleton Airport, in Denver, CO, in September, 1966. Taken with 35mm Ektachrome film.
- UnitedFlight629PlanePartsViaFBI.jpg, FBI [Public domain], https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:UnitedFlight629PlanePartsViaFBI.jpg
- The wreckage of United Flight 629 was carefully laid out in a Denver warehouse after its bombing.
- Colorado farm where the empennage of United Air Lines Flight 629 was found, FBI [Public domain], https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:United_Air_Lines_Flight_629._Crash_site.jpg
- United Air Lines Flight 629. The tail of the plane was discovered on a Colorado farm.
- United Airlines Flight 629 Wreckage.jpg – 5761×4655, FBI [Public domain], https://multimedia.fbi.gov/?q=flight%20629&perpage=50&page=1&searchType=image
- Intact tail of United Airlines Flight 629 after its crash following take off from Denver on November 1, 1955. Jack Graham was arrested and convicted for placing a bomb in his mother’s luggage. All 44 passengers and crew were killed.
- Sponsor: National Association of Broadcasters [Public Domain], https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jack_gilbert_graham_courtroom_trial.jpg, retrieved 18 April 2019.
- Graham as seen on TV in the courtroom.
- Time Bomb”. A Crime to Remember. Season 1. Episode 4. Investigation Discovery. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
- Field, Andrew J. (2005). Mainliner Denver: The Bombing of Flight 629. Boulder, Colorado: Johnson Books. ISBN 1-55566-363-X. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
- A Case of 44 Min-Air Murders, LIFE Magazine, Nov 28, 1955, Pages 35-41, https://books.google.com/books?id=s1QEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA35#v=onepage&q&f=false, retrieved 18 April 2019.
- United Airlines Flight 629, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Airlines_Flight_629, retrieved 18 April 2019.
- National Transportation Library, https://web.archive.org/web/20160522214352/http://specialcollection.dotlibrary.dot.gov/Search, retrieved 18 April 2019.
- Jack Gilbert Graham, History of the FBI, https://www.fbi.gov/history/famous-cases/jack-gilbert-graham, retrieved 18 April 2019.
- A Byte Out of History, The FBI, https://archives.fbi.gov/archives/news/stories/2005/december/midair_explosion120905 , retrieved 18 April 2019.
- Amole, Gene (October 29, 1995). “EXPLOSIVE PRECEDENTS COLORADO AIRLINE BOMBING 40 YEARS AGO RESULTED IN FIRST TV COURTROOM COVERAGE”. Rocky Mountain News. Denver, Colorado. retrieved 18 April 2019.
- John Gilbert “Jack” Graham, FindAGrave.com, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/11865301/john-gilbert-graham, retrieved 18 April 2019.
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