One of the most intriguing mysteries in U.S. criminal history comes alive more than 50 years later as the author sets the hunter and the hunted on a collision course in The Death of an Heir: Adolph Coors III and the Murder that Rocked an American Brewing Dynasty, a narrative nonfiction work that will be released in hardback in September 2017 by St. Martin’s Press, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
Adolph Coors III, eldest son and heir to the Coors fortune, kisses his wife Mary and their four young children goodbye and heads down Colorado back roads to the Coors brewery. He’s unaware that at the same moment, a convicted murderer and California prison escapee is leaving his Denver hideaway to set his two-year plot into motion.
Adolph Coors never arrives at the brewery. His frantic wife opens a ransom note the following day demanding half a million dollars (millions today) for her husband’s safe return. The ransom money is swiftly raised and Mary sits by the telephone anxiously awaiting further instructions, but they never come. Both the kidnapper and the kidnapped vanish.
The largest manhunt in U.S. history since the kidnapping of Lindbergh’s baby rushes into action. Air Force planes and helicopters search the Colorado mountains. Colorado state patrolmen and sheriff departments comb the countryside, interviewing potential witnesses, searching mines and caves, and following up leads. The FBI swoops in and identifies the kidnapper as the clever Joseph Corbett Jr., the FBI’s newest Most Wanted. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover gives his personal assurances to the elder Mr. Coors and announces that Corbett is the most wanted man since John Dillinger.
Despite tossing out an international dragnet by law enforcement, days turn to weeks and months without word from either Coors or Corbett. The grief-stricken wife is tormented by unrelenting silence and never recovers from the loss of her loving husband and the father to her children.
What happened to the heir of the Colorado beer empire and his abductor?
The Death of an Heir will unveil the mystery.