Jack Gra­ham’s trou­bled child­hood led to a chill­ing plot...

Pick Me Up! Special - - Real Life Traumatising -

On 1 Novem­ber 1955, John Gil­bert Gra­ham, known to fam­ily and friends as Jack, drove his mother, Daisie King, his wife, Glo­ria, and their two chil­dren to the air­port.

Daisie, 53, was off to Alaska to stay with her daugh­ter – Jack’s half-sis­ter – for the hol­i­days.

Jack dropped his mother and fam­ily at the air­port ter­mi­nal and parked his car. Then he ad­justed some­thing in his mum’s suit­case be­fore tak­ing it to the check-in counter. Jack watched as the bag was tagged and dis­ap­peared to be loaded onto the plane. As Daisie boarded, Jack kissed her good­bye, then took his young son to the ob­ser­va­tion deck to wave his grandma off. At 6.52pm, later than ex­pected, United Air­lines Flight 629 took off from Sta­ple­ton Air­port in Den­ver, Colorado. Hor­rif­i­cally, by 7.03pm, the bod­ies of the 44 peo­ple aboard, in­clud­ing Jack’s mother, were scat­tered over a field around 40 miles away. All pas­sen­gers and crew were killed in an ex­plo­sion, de­scribed as a fire­ball in the air. Jack was the first rel­a­tive to call the UA’S of­fice for de­tails and was told all on board were pre­sumed dead. ‘Well, that’s the way it goes,’ Jack said.

The FBI of­fered their ser­vices in what they as­sumed was a tragic ac­ci­dent.

But in­ves­ti­ga­tors re­ported smelling dy­na­mite – and one set of lug­gage was more dam­aged than the oth­ers.

Per­sonal items of pas­sen­gers were re­cov­ered from the wreck­age, in­clud­ing Daisie’s.

Among these were trav­ellers cheques, let­ters, a cheque book and news­pa­per clip­pings on her fam­ily.

One of the ar­ti­cles talked about Daisie’s son, Jack Gra­ham.

He’d been charged with forgery and was on the lo­cal ‘most wanted’ list in Den­ver County back in 1951.

Now sus­pi­cious, po­lice did some dig­ging, even in­ter­viewed Jack and Glo­ria.

They soon dis­cov­ered a deadly rift be­tween Jack and Daisie.

On 17 Novem­ber 1955, Jack was charged with mur­der.

What made him so des­per­ate to be rid of his mother he was will­ing to kill 43 in­no­cent peo­ple along with her?

Jack, born in Jan­uary 1932, was Daisie’s sec­ond child from her sec­ond mar­riage. Jack’s fa­ther died of pneu­mo­nia when the boy was very young.

Pen­ni­less Daisie was forced to aban­don her son to an or­phan­age.

When she re­mar­ried four years on, she didn’t go back for Jack.

Dis­traught, he ran away sev­eral times to be with his mother but, ev­ery time, she re­turned him to the or­phan­age.

One year on, Daisie brought Jack home to cel­e­brate Christ­mas and bought him a pony.

The lit­tle boy was thrilled, as­sum­ing he’d be at home for good.

Only he was sent back to the chil­dren’s home af­ter the Christ­mas pe­riod.

By 16, Jack was us­ing forged iden­ti­fi­ca­tion doc­u­ments to join the Coast Guard un­der­age.

He was later found out and dis­charged, af­ter go­ing ab­sent for over a month.

Within the next three years, he forged $4,305 (nearly £3,000) in cheques, and got a two-month jail term for boot­leg­ging and run­ning a po­lice road­block at 100mph.

Daisie paid off most of Jack’s cheque-forgery debt and he was given pro­ba­tion. She even set up a drive-in res­tau­rant for Jack to work in but, in Septem­ber 1955, a gas ex­plo­sion dam­aged it.

Po­lice sus­pected ar­son, but couldn’t prove it, and Jack walked away with a $1,200 (around £800) in­sur­ance claim.

Next Jack tried to col­lect more in­sur­ance money when he drove his car onto a rail­road track and leapt out sec­onds be­fore im­pact.

But then it seemed he’d turned

Jack wanted his mother out of his life – for good

All 44 peo­ple on board were killed

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