Saturday, August 17, 2013

the last book I ever read (Brendan I. Koerner's The Skies Belong to Us, excerpt one)

from Brendan I. Koerner's The Skies Belong to Us: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking:

Holder and Kerkow were ordinary skyjackers in many ways. He was a traumatized ex-soldier motivated by a hazy mix of outrage and despair; she was a mischievous party girl who longed for a more meaningful future. Neither was a master criminal, as evidenced by the utter zaniness of their hijacking plan.

Yet through a combination of savvy and dumb luck, Holder and Kerkow pulled off the longest-distance skyjacking in American history, a feat that made them notorious around the globe. Their success set them apart from their peers: by the end of 1972, virtually all of the year’s other skyjackers were either dead or in jail. In its annual “The Year In Pictures” issue that December, Life ran a rogues’ gallery of a dozen skyjackers who had already been convicted of air piracy, along with captions detailing their stiff sentences: twenty years, thirty years, forty years, forty-five years, life without parole. Holder and Kerkow were notably absent from that catalog of failures.

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