this day in crime history: april 7, 1994

FedExOn this date in 1994, FedEx employee Auburn Calloway attempted to hijack a company plane flying from Memphis, TN to San Jose, CA. Calloway, a flight crew member for FedEx, was a “deadheading” passenger on the flight. He had brought a guitar case on board that contained hammers and a spear gun. His plan was to use the hammers to subdue the crew, then to crash the plane so his family could collect on a $2.5 million life insurance policy. He chose hammers as his weapons so that the crew’s injuries would be consistent with the injuries that would be sustained in an air crash. The spear gun was to be used in case the hammers didn’t get the job done.

When Calloway attacked the crew, they fought back and managed to overpower him. They were able to land back in Memphis, where Calloway was taken into custody.

Auburn Calloway was charged with air piracy and attempted murder. He was convicted and sentenced to two consecutive life terms. He is currently incarcerated in the federal prison in Victorville, CA. The flight’s crew, Dave Sanders, James Tucker, and Andrew Peterson, were awarded the Gold Medal for heroism by the Air Line Pilots Association. Due to their injuries, none of the crew members was able to return to commercial flying.

Further reading:

Wikipedia – Federal Express Flight 705

Mental Floss – True Crime: The Man Who Hijacked a Cargo Jet

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2 thoughts on “this day in crime history: april 7, 1994

  1. John D.:
    Have to love Calloway’s misplaced “logic” – hammer injuries would be consistent to plane crash injuries.
    I would tend to think that kissing the ground at 300+ knots would be substantially MORE ‘blunt” and final.
    And the spear-gun was just plain nonsense.

    Glad he was caught, glad he was jailed, and sad to hear that the aircrew had to endure early “retirement”.
    (hope they got a decent settlements)

    Good story.

    Roll safe out there.

    Like

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