Today on February 9th 1960, Adolph Coors, the heir of the Coors Brewing Company, was kidnapped while driving to work.
Adolph Coors III was the grandson of Adolph Coors, who had established the iconic beer company in Golden, Colorado in 1873. While driving to work from his home in Morrison, Colorado, the 44 year old chairman and heir to the Coors fortune had suddenly disappeared. A local milkman found a station wagon blocking a narrow bridge. The engine was idling and its radio still playing. As it turned out, the vehicle belonged to Coors. While investigating the area, local police discovered blood splatters as well as his hat and a pair of glasses. This immediately sparked a nationwide manhunt.
The kidnapper mailed a ransom note to his wife demanding $500,000 and told her to take out a classified ad for a tractor in The Denver Post. She quickly gathered the funds and placed the ad, but never heard from the kidnapper again. Soon after, the FBI focused their investigation on finding Joe Corbett, a man who was living under the alias of Walter Osborne. Corbett was a convicted murderer who had escaped from a minimum security prison in California. Eight days after the abduction, his 1951 canary-yellow Mercury was found ablaze in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The car was badly damaged, yet police still managed to read the engine’s serial number. Eyewitnesses in Colorado recalled seeing a yellow vehicle in the area in the days leading up to the kidnapping.
Corbett was elevated to the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list. After several months, the millionaire’s clothes were sadly found in a dump that led to the discovery of his bones nearby. An international manhunt followed and the FBI traced Corbett to Toronto. They entered his apartment to find that all of his possessions had been left behind, including a book called the ‘Anatomy of a Murder’. After pursuing him across Canada, they finally apprehended him at a hotel in Vancouver. Corbett was found guilty of first degree murder by a grand jury in Colorado. He never testified or made any statements during the trial. He was released on parole in 1978 and eventually shot himself in the head on August 24, 2009.