THE SKIES BELONG TO US : LOVE AND TERROR IN THE GOLDEN AGE OF HIJACKING
by Brendan I. Koerner
Not so long ago, you could walk through an entire airport and not have to go through any X-ray machines nor metal detectors. There was no security; you didn't have to present any kinds of identification when buying a ticket. You could even walk out on the tarmac and queue up to board. This all changed in the era of skyjacking. From 1961 to 1972, 159 commercial flights were intercepted. The skyjackers were both disillusioned and depressed about the state of society in America. Grabbing a plane and ordering it to be flown to a country of their choice gave them a huge jolt of power. Each year they became more and more brazen. Soon they began to ask for ransoms of exorbitant amounts. In time, the FBI tried to intervene with only violent results.
The most frightening year to fly was 1972: forty hijackers took control.
Willie Roger Holder and Catherine Marie Kerkow commandeered Western Airlines Flight 701 and executed the longest-distance skyjacking in American history. They were famous all around the world. Their success made them different from their peers.
The Skies Belong To Us is a fascinating story that keeps you in your seat. Brendan I. Koerner does a great job detailing all of the different hijackings over the years. It took him four years to gather everything together (4,000 declassified documents and tons of interviews which included one of the hijackers who was living incognito). What happened afterwards to the couple keeps you spellbound.
If you like true crime, get this book.