this day in crime history: may 22, 1962

CA-Flt11

On this date in 1962, Continental Airlines Flight 11, enroute from Chicago to Kansas City, MO, crashed in Unionville, MO, killing all 45 of the Boeing 707’s occupants.

Several eyewitness accounts described an explosion at the rear of the plane while it was over Centerville, IA. Once it became apparent that an explosive device might be involved, the FBI was called in. They discovered that one of the passengers had purchased an inordinate amount of life insurance just prior to the flight. In addition to insurance, Thomas G. Doty also purchased six sticks of dynamite before his trip. The married father of a five year old daughter was facing prison time for an armed robbery.

Investigators believed that the bomb had been hidden in the rear lavatory on the starboard side of the plane. The explosion tore the tail section off the 707, which caused it to crash.

In July 2010, a memorial was erected in Unionville, MO.

Further reading:

Pitch News – Fifty years ago this week, Continental Flight 11 fell out of the sky over Unionville

Wikipedia – Continental Airlines Flight 11

Continental Airlines Flight 11 Facebook Page

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12 thoughts on “this day in crime history: may 22, 1962

  1. John D.:
    If THIS story wasn’t the basis for one of the plot-lines in the Arthur Hailey novel AIRPORT (and the subsequent movie), I don’t know WHAT really is.
    The similarities are so stark.
    The Van Heflin character (D.O. Guererro) was copied to a “T”.
    And the point of the explosion was the same.
    Luckily, the novel (and movie) had JOE PATRONI…!

    Very good post.

    Stay safe out there.

    Like

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