This week in 1957

January 20th, 2014 by admin

In the death chair, after Warden Tinsley patted him on the shoulder:
“Thanks, Warden.”

— John “Jack” Gilbert Graham, convicted of murder, gas chamber, Colorado.
Executed January 11, 1957

Once a petty criminal and drifter, Graham would eventually force drastic changes in airport security measures on one of the darkest days in Colorado’s history. A twenty-three-year-old husband and father whose family lived with his mother, Daisie King, Graham owed more than four thousand dollars in bad checks. In an attempt to cash in on his mother’s life insurance policy, Graham placed a bomb made of twenty-five sticks of dynamite in her suitcase. Eleven minutes after takeoff, the bomb went off in the cargo hold, killing thirty passengers and five crewmen.

Time magazine quoted Graham saying, “As far as feeling remorse for those people, I don’t. I can’t help it. Everybody pays their way and takes their chances. That’s just the way it goes.”

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