The Death of an Heir: Adolph Coors III and the Murder That Rocked an American Brewing Dynasty

The Death of an Heir: Adolph Coors III and the Murder That Rocked an American Brewing Dynasty

The Death of an Heir is Philip Jett's chilling true account of the Coors family’s gilded American dream that turned into a nightmare when a meticulously plotted kidnapping went horribly wrong.In the 1950s and 60s, the Coors dynasty reigned over Golden, Colorado, seemingly invincible. When rumblings about labor unions threatened to destabilize the family's brewery, Adolph C...

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Title:The Death of an Heir: Adolph Coors III and the Murder That Rocked an American Brewing Dynasty
Author:Philip Jett
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The Death of an Heir: Adolph Coors III and the Murder That Rocked an American Brewing Dynasty Reviews

  • Jan

    I could not put the book down and read it over the course of two days, finally accepting the fact that I had to sleep!

    The Coors kidnapping and murder haunts me to this day because, you see, my father was a special prosecutor on the case. I was only 8 years old when Adolph Coors III disappeared and 9 years old when his murderer was brought to trial. My memories from that time in my life are colored by this murder. It was such a high profile case in Colorado; great pressure and publicity fell upon

    I could not put the book down and read it over the course of two days, finally accepting the fact that I had to sleep!

    The Coors kidnapping and murder haunts me to this day because, you see, my father was a special prosecutor on the case. I was only 8 years old when Adolph Coors III disappeared and 9 years old when his murderer was brought to trial. My memories from that time in my life are colored by this murder. It was such a high profile case in Colorado; great pressure and publicity fell upon my dad. I learned that the world was not always a safe place when I snooped and found photos of Mr. Coors' remains, and for several years I was afraid to go into the beautiful Colorado mountains--because you found dead bodies in the mountains. We had an FBI presence during the trial; our phone was tapped in case we received threatening calls and we had protective FBI surveillance as well. It freaked me out! At the same time, I was so proud of my daddy.

    This crime literally shook the entire Rocky Mountain region. The heir of the Coors Brewing dynasty Adolph "Ad" Coors, III was kidnapped and murdered. His wife Mary received the ransom note when unbeknownst to her, her husband was already dead. This truly was a heinous crime perpetrated by a cold and remorseless killer.

    Mr. Jett thoroughly researched the case and portrayed it with accuracy and compassion for the victims. I learned many facts of which I was heretofore unaware. I appreciate Mr. Jett for his diligence and eloquence.

    Check out excerpts from Richard Hite's closing argument. You'll see why I am so proud of him!

  • Valerity (Val)

    I thoroughly enjoyed this true crime/history book. A throwback to February 9, 1960. The same year I and a couple of my best friends were born. And to think that there was this huge crime committed against the very prominent Coors family in Golden, Colorado back then. I'm really kind of surprised I'd never read anything about it before. This was quite a big crime with the FBI involved and a lot of local and national resources used. I enjoyed the author's writing, for the most part, it moved along

    I thoroughly enjoyed this true crime/history book. A throwback to February 9, 1960. The same year I and a couple of my best friends were born. And to think that there was this huge crime committed against the very prominent Coors family in Golden, Colorado back then. I'm really kind of surprised I'd never read anything about it before. This was quite a big crime with the FBI involved and a lot of local and national resources used. I enjoyed the author's writing, for the most part, it moved along well and kept me very interested. A good book for true crime fans, for sure. I was given an ARC by NetGalley and the publisher.

  • Suz Saunders

    Exhaustively researched story of the 1960 attempted kidnapping, resulting in murder, of Adolph Coors III. The crime rocked the state of Colorado. J. Edgar Hoover flooded the case with agents and when the suspect was identified he became one of the FBI's ten most wanted.

    I've seen at least one true-crime TV show episode about this case and was somewhat familiar with it. But the book-length treatment allows Jett to explore the story in depth. He depicts some of the less salubrious law enforcement

    Exhaustively researched story of the 1960 attempted kidnapping, resulting in murder, of Adolph Coors III. The crime rocked the state of Colorado. J. Edgar Hoover flooded the case with agents and when the suspect was identified he became one of the FBI's ten most wanted.

    I've seen at least one true-crime TV show episode about this case and was somewhat familiar with it. But the book-length treatment allows Jett to explore the story in depth. He depicts some of the less salubrious law enforcement officers who were involved in the case, notably the then-sheriff of Jefferson County. Fortunately, most of the LEOs on the case were competent, as were the lawyers who prosecuted Corbett after he was captured.

    Sadly, Ad Coors, who was shot to death on that February morning in 1960, wasn't the only victim of the crime. His widow Mary, as depicted by Jett, was never the same afterwards, and died relatively young. Jett dealt, I think, fairly with the Coors family overall. Ad's father and brothers were/are all interesting characters, and the author was frank but not disrespectful about them.

    Overall this was a good read.

  • Jill Hutchinson

    In 1960 a kidnapping took place that shook the nation and was often compared to the Lindbergh baby case Adolph "Ad" Coors, middle aged heir to the Coors Brewery fortune was snatched on his way to work practically within sight of his home. Strangely the Coors family had often mentioned the dangers of a kidnapper targeting their family but always thought that if it happened it would be the children, and not the father.

    They didn't have to wait long for the ransom request to arrive and they contac

    In 1960 a kidnapping took place that shook the nation and was often compared to the Lindbergh baby case Adolph "Ad" Coors, middle aged heir to the Coors Brewery fortune was snatched on his way to work practically within sight of his home. Strangely the Coors family had often mentioned the dangers of a kidnapper targeting their family but always thought that if it happened it would be the children, and not the father.

    They didn't have to wait long for the ransom request to arrive and they contacted the FBI and local officials in an attempt to mediate the situation and hopefully catch the culprit. What ensued was unexpected and senseless as the family waited and waited for further messages for the kidnapper which never came. and they began to realize that "Ad" was no longer alive.

    It is an interesting and tragic story which reveals a kidnapper who was a bumbling idiot who left clues all over the crime scene. It was just a matter of putting the clues together in those days before DNA testing. It moves along rather slowly but will keep the reader's interest.

  • Cindy Burnett

    The Death of an Heir is an interesting read. I was unfamiliar with the story of the abduction of Adolph “Ad” Coors, the CEO of the Coors empire, and the subsequent manhunt for his abductor. On the morning of February 9, 1960, he was stopped less than two miles from his home by his would-be kidnapper. The crime went horribly awry, and no one could locate Ad nor the individual who tried to take him for many months. Philip Jett does a decent job relaying the story, but he is quite repetitive and ve

    The Death of an Heir is an interesting read. I was unfamiliar with the story of the abduction of Adolph “Ad” Coors, the CEO of the Coors empire, and the subsequent manhunt for his abductor. On the morning of February 9, 1960, he was stopped less than two miles from his home by his would-be kidnapper. The crime went horribly awry, and no one could locate Ad nor the individual who tried to take him for many months. Philip Jett does a decent job relaying the story, but he is quite repetitive and verbose; it could have been at least 80 pages shorter. Moreover, the story jumps all over the place, and I struggled to follow his train of thought multiple times. I was glad I learned about the Coors family- what a sad tale and a dysfunctional family. I also really wished Jett had explained how the death of Ad affected who controlled Coors going forward. He alluded to the issues that could result from Ad’s death but then never followed through to explain how it all played out. Thanks to St. Martin’s and NetGalley for the chance to read this ARC. All opinions are my own.

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