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On this Date in History: Adolph Coors III kidnapped and murdered 1960 Castle Rock, CO


Adolph Coors III

1960 : Coors brewery heir is kidnapped
Adolph Coors, III Murder Investigation Records 1960
The case of Adolph Coors
Adolph Coors murder: Notorious killer’s quiet end
A Look Back at the Coors Kidnapping Case
Murderpedia: Joseph Corbett Jr.
Wikipedia: Adolph Coors III
Wikipedia: Joseph Corbett Jr.
Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame
What Happened to Adolph Coors?

Books
The Death of an Heir: Adolph Coors III and the Murder That Rocked an American Brewing Dynasty

Movies/Documentaries
Forensic Files: Bitter Brew


Joseph Corbett Jr.

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15 Responses

  1. Historical Note:

    1916
    January 12
    Adolph Coors, III, born in Golden, Colorado.

    1928
    October 25
    Joseph Corbett, Jr. is born in Seattle, Washington, where he attended elementary and high schools and three years at the University of Washington, majoring in Physics.

    1932

    “Ad” Coors graduates from Cornell University with a degree in Chemical Engineering.

    1946

    Corbett runs a typing business while attending the University of Washington.

    1950
    July 17
    Corbett applied for admission to the University of California at Berkeley.

    September
    Corbett begins classes at Berkeley.

    October 13
    Corbett withdraws from Berkeley.

    1951
    March
    Corbett pleads guilty to second-degree murder in San Rafael County, California, and was sentenced to a term of five years to life. He was confined to San Quentin Penitentiary, California Medical Facility at Terminal Island and California Institution for Men, Chino, California.

    1955
    August 1
    Corbett escapes from California Institution of Men, Chino, California.

    1956
    March 19
    Corbett is employed at Benjamin Moore Paint Company, Denver, Colorado as an alkyd cooker.

    1957
    June 8
    Corbett buys a revolver through mail order.

    1958

    According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation Report Coors Family moves from Denver to Morrison Colorado, Corbett had apparently been planning an abduction during 1958, but could not continue with his original plan.

    1959
    February 24
    Corbett purchases leg irons from a navy surplus mail order company.

    April 25
    Corbett purchases handcuffs by mail-order

    October 2
    Corbett quits job at Benjamin Moore, telling them that he is returning to school.

    October 8
    Corbett buys typewriter on which he will eventually type the ransom note.

    December 9
    Two people talk to Corbett at a mine located about 150 yards west of the Turkey Creek Bridge.

    December 23
    Corbett sells his 1957 Ford.

    1960
    January 8
    Corbett registers 1951 yellow Mercury four-door car under the name Walter Osborne. Residents living near Turkey Creek Road and Soda Lake Road in Jefferson County, Colorado see this car sitting on the bridge several times before February 9, 1960.

    January 25
    Corbett receives a speeding ticket from Colorado State Patrol near Morrison, Colorado.

    February 9
    8:00 Adolph Coors, III leaves his house in Morrison, Colorado en route to work at the Coors Brewery in Golden, Colorado. Resident living near Turkey Creek Road and Soda Lake Road in Jefferson County, Colorado hears shouting and a crackling sound which sounded like lightning hitting a tree.

    8:15 Resident living near Turkey Creek Road spots Coors’ truck running on the bridge.

    10:00 Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department is called, arrives at the scene.

    Afternoon. A cap, hat and pair of glasses are found at the crime scene.

    February 10
    Early Morning. Corbett moves out of his apartment in Denver. Ransom note demanding $500,000 arrives addressed to Mrs. Adolph Coors, III. Postmark is February 9, 3PM.

    February 17
    Corbett’s car is seen burning in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

    March
    By this time, police are telling people to actively look for Corbett.

    September 11
    Coors’ key chain is found below a dump on Jackson Creek Road near Sedalia, Douglas County, Colorado.

    September 12-14
    Additional investigation of the site uncovers most of Coors’ body.

    September 15
    Mr. Coors skull is located.

    September 22
    Criminal Complaint issued against Corbett.

    September 28
    Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution Warrant is issued against Corbett.

    1978

    Joseph Corbett, Jr. is paroled.

  2. On September 14, 1960, the body of Adolph Coors, III was found in a dump area near Shamballa off Jackson Creek Road. Coors had been abducted and murdered February 9, 1960 by Joseph Corbett, Jr. in an apparent attempt to kidnap Coors and hold him for ransom of $500,000. Corbett was captured in British Columbia in November of 1960, and served 18 years in prison. He was released in 1978 and was living in Denver in 2000.

  3. Why was Corbett ever paroled? Wasn’t two murders enough to keep him in jail?

  4. Corbett was in the same cell in Jefferson County County Jail in Golden Colorado in 1960 as my father. Corbett told my father what he would od if he ever got out of jail. In 1978 Corbett missed his parole check and was no where to be found. I called the local radio station in Denver, where I was living at the time, and toldthem I knew where Corbett was…. and for $5000 I would tell them, since every one in the country was looking for him. Corbett returned to Denver and turned himself in. He was declared not a threat to society!

  5. I am looking for information on the murder that Joseph Corbett committed in California. Was this linked to the reason that he withdrew from studies at Berkeley?

  6. I am looking for a copy of the ransom note, but I haven’t been able to find it on the internet. Does anybody know where I can find a copy?

  7. Mrs. Coors:

    Your husband has been kinaped. His car is by Turkey Creek.

    Call the police or F.B.I.: he dies.

    Cooperate: he lives.

    Ransom: $200,000 in tens and $300,000 in twenties.

    There will be no negotiating.

    Bills: used / non-consecutive / unrecorded / unmarked.

    Warning: we will know if you call the police or record the serial
    numbers.

    Directions: Place money & this letter & envelope in one suitcase
    or bag.

    Have two men with a car ready to make the delivery.

    When all set, advertise a tractor for sale in Denver Post
    section 69. Sign ad King Ranch, Fort Lupton.

    Wait at NA 9-4455 for instructions after ad appears.

    Deliver immediately after receiving call. Any delay
    will be regarded as a stall to set up a stake-out.

    Understand this: Adolph’s life is in your hands. We have no desire
    to commit murder. All we want is that money. If you follow the
    instructions, he will be released unharmed within 48 hours after
    the money is received.

  8. Please excuse the typo in the ransom note text: I left out the ‘d’ in the word ‘kidnaped.’ Otherwise, this is the text (and exact layout) of the note as it was typed by Corbett.

  9. I still wonder how this man is no longer in jail – it is just too easy to kill

  10. Wow Ray, you’re a nice guy. For $5000 you’d be willing to tell the police where a convicted murderer is.

  11. My great grandmother was the cook for the Coors family at that time – the briefcase with the ransom in it was being kept in her kitchen. Adolf must have tried to escape and was killed in the process as they were going to pay the ransom.

  12. The letter that Corbett typed had 2 spaces after the periods. That is how they taught it typing class. That was one of the clues. I just saw it on a show called Medical Detectives on a crime channel.

  13. Good Lord, is it really a whole half century since this ghastly crime gripped a nation?

  14. Corbett was moved from maximum security to minimum security because he was a so called model prisoner. I don’t know how many times I’ve read of this situation. You wonder if they will ever learn about these devious vermin. Because they misread this one also it cost the life of Adolf Coors III. Then they, the judical branch, penal authorities or parol board etc, release this killer from prison again. Cancer and this thing finally taking his life is what should have occured after the first murder, the judical system taking his life. Its not an eye for an eye, thats a misquote from the Bible, Its Justice, its necessary for society’s healing and to take care of blood debts.

  15. really 2 bad 2 kill over that much i would have just said hey mr coors could vi get a couple of your frosty cold coors . too bad that guy did not get enough time though he should have done life 4 both murders

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