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[00:00:00]

This podcast is intended for mature audiences, listener discretion is advised. Hello, say. It was just after 6:00 p.m. when the hijacked helicopter crashed to the treeline outside Marion Penitentiary on the ground, all hell was breaking loose in America's only operating supermax.

[00:00:44]

Prison guards scrambled for their weapons as the chopper drew closer. It was chaos. And for a moment, no one noticed the three prisoners who moved with purpose away from the prison, past the tennis and basketball courts and toward a restricted area near the south gate.

[00:01:04]

We're running at full speed. And I'm telling you, it seemed like we were going in slow motion. And I'm thinking, damn, at any moment here we could get shot in the back.

[00:01:15]

For these three men, that chopper was their ticket to freedom. What was now underway on this hot summer evening in late May in Marion, Illinois, was perhaps the most daring prison escape ever attempted. The plan to hijack a helicopter landed inside the prison walls and then take off again was simple and brazen. And most importantly, it was working. One of the would be escapees, the small time crook turned skyjacker name Martin Mack McNally, began to waive the chopper toward their position at the edge of the prison grounds at this moment.

[00:01:56]

The guards were only just becoming aware of the location of the Arab prisoners, and it would take them too long to navigate the maze of locked doors and fences to make it there before the chopper landed. The helicopter was so close that Mack could sense their freedom. The sight of the guard towers shrinking in the distance, the cool breeze from the rotors, a preview of the ocean air they'd soon breathe in their new lives.

[00:02:24]

But something was wrong.

[00:02:27]

The chopper began to buck and tilt in the air above the prison. In a flash, Martin McNally's visions of freedom suddenly shifted, focus becoming blurry and uncertain. He didn't know it at the time, but his life and the lives of three others had just changed course dramatically. In the air above him was a former prostitute turned mother and homemaker named Barbara Oswald. Beside her at the controls of the helicopter was a Vietnam vet and professional pilot named Alan Blackledge.

[00:03:12]

And next to Mac, standing beside a gold jacket used as an improvised landing strip, was the mastermind of this daring daylight prison escape, a career criminal and fellow skyjacker. Named Garrett Trapnell. I'm Danny Wilson Tuckey and this is American Skyjacker, the final flight of Martin McNally. In our fifth episode, we'll examine the unbelievable life of Garrett Brock Trapnell and how it is that he ended up standing beside Martin McNally in the Marion Penitentiary prison yard, attempting to escape via helicopter.

[00:04:02]

In my case, and I knew his case, I was all over the news and everything because our both cases were aircraft piracy, we had an understanding he's doing life, I'm doing life. I mentioned to him, I said, if I escape, dude, I'm going to grab a plane and undermine your release, get you to the plane and we'll leave the country and so forth.

[00:04:29]

Then he says, I appreciate that.

[00:04:31]

I'll do the same for you if I get out by the age of 40. Garrett Trap now or trap, as he was known, had already lived enough for ten lifetimes. He had been a con man, the husband, a bank robber, a father, a diagnosed lunatic, a hijacker and a master thief, just to name a few by nineteen seventy eight. Trapnell even had a fan base thanks to a widely published book written about him with Trapnell.

[00:05:01]

There was an air of celebrity about him and I could see this, that he was intelligent, competent and effective in the criminal activities that he was involved in. And sure, I had respect for that. If Martin McNally can be categorized as the small town crook who took a shot at the ultimate score, well, then Garrett Trapnell was the sociopathic career criminal who never stopped shooting. Given his long rap sheet, which reads like something out of a pulp paperback, it should come as no surprise that traps early life with a cocktail of childhood despair and abuse.

[00:05:42]

Here are the Cliff Notes.

[00:05:45]

His parents were Elizabeth Clancy, a wealthy Irish Catholic socialite who hailed from Boston, and Walter Trapnell, a decorated third generation naval officer. When they met, Elizabeth was just 20 years old and Walter was thirty seven, most of what we know of shrapnels early life comes from his later prison interviews with various writers in the 1970s. Those accounts support the newly married Elizabeth and Walter Trapnell, moving with their two young children, Garett and sister Rachel, to the 15th Naval District in Balboa, Panama.

[00:06:22]

It was 1940. Both parents were hard drinkers, but Elizabeth was reportedly unfaithful to. Here, the story becomes a kind of bizarre Dickensian tragedy trap Neil's father caught his mother with his commanding officer and immediately divorced Elizabeth, sending her and the children back to Elizabeth's hometown of Brockton, Massachusetts, where they moved in with Garret's grandparents shortly after their arrival.

[00:06:52]

Elizabeth's father, Garret's grandfather, was struck by lightning and killed.

[00:07:06]

After his death, life for Elizabeth Trapnell as a single mother was a train wreck in slow motion. Garret's mother, described as a creature of despair, spiraled in her addiction to drink, leading to violent fights with his grandmother. Occasionally that violence was turned on Garrett. In one incident, believing he'd stolen a necklace, Garret's mother beat him unconscious.

[00:07:38]

And the dysfunction didn't stop there, reportedly, Elizabeth insisted her then six year old son sleep in the same bed with her even when they were sharing a rented hotel mattress during one of her, quote, occasional jaunts with taxi drivers. It was around this time that Garrett started stealing from his mother's purse. When Elizabeth remarried, Garrett was sent away to a Catholic boarding school and there were the beatings continued. One day in 1944, a young Garrick was told to report to the principal's office, he believed he was in trouble, but when he arrived, he was shocked to see his father, who he'd only seen once since the divorce.

[00:08:25]

Walter Trapnell. Was there to rescue his son. Soon after and to his great relief, Garrett and his sister Rachel moved in with Walter gone with the chaos of life in Brockton, Mass. And while his father, a product of the U.S. military, was still a strict disciplinarian, Garrett idolized him. Garrett did his best to play the part of a young soldier. It was from his father that Garrett was introduced not just to firearms but to a dream to attend West Point and become an officer of.

[00:09:12]

But tragedy was never far away. Later that year, Walter Trapnell died suddenly of a heart attack, leaving a teenaged Garrett feeling truly alone, he'd be caught committing his first crime the following year, swiping a pair of sneakers from a local country club. Soon, Garrett sought refuge in the military, but it only seemed to compound his loneliness and pain at his lowest point. At only 18 years old, Garrett tried to take his own life. He failed, but the event had transformed him, Phoenix, like he rose from the wreckage of his old life, a new man with contempt for all forms of authority and unparalleled brazenness.

[00:10:04]

In other words, the perfect criminal. Yeah, I'm in and I've been away from you, and I can't wait to get going, but now I'm starting and thought, oh my God, we arrived. In the early 1960s, the glittering allure of Hollywood attracted another young girl from the middle of nowhere.

[00:10:42]

Her name was Susan Kemp. Bored with her small town of Alexandria, Minnesota, she hopped a bus to Los Angeles in the hopes of finding something more in the City of Angels.

[00:10:54]

We all wish for a little more excitement. That's part of the reason I moved to California, I had a good job, I work for a big mortgage company down on Wilshire Boulevard. That was my first job in L.A. It was 1966.

[00:11:10]

And after a brief failed marriage, Susan was newly single. Between long weeks work, she'd find time to frequent the bars in Los Angeles. Only she wasn't meeting the kind of man she was hoping to. Not wanting to make the same mistakes she had in her first marriage, Susan was determined to find the right man, a decent man, and eventually she thought she'd found one.

[00:11:36]

He lived in the apartment next door to me that I had just moved to the day before. The manager of the apartment complex introduced us, but when I first met him, he was Captain James Stewart.

[00:11:49]

Captain James Stewart checked all the right boxes and Susan found herself drawn to him.

[00:12:01]

It was very nice, very polite. He was very, very charming. He was very handsome, my handsome, I don't mean movie star and some he was just very nice looking. He knew how to take care of himself. So he told me that he was a retired captain in the Navy. And I thought, wow, interesting one thing and another. We got involved. He met my friends. They loved you. He met my family. They loved him.

[00:12:29]

Everybody loved him. Their romance moved very quickly. She moved in with him within a week, saving them both money on rent.

[00:12:38]

Within a few months, they eloped to Mexico, which just went down there one day, found a justice of the peace or something, and got married and came back. I suppose I thought I was in love with him. I really don't know. It's complicated. Sometime later, I found out his true name. When he told me who he really was, his real name dropped me off. As it turned out, since his time in the military, Garett Trapnell had fashioned himself into a professional criminal.

[00:13:22]

After getting discharged, Trap began his life of crime first with bad checks and petty thefts before graduating to bank robberies and jewel heists in the decade leading up to his time in Los Angeles. He had already been married at least three times. All had ended in annulment or divorce. He had assumed many identities and had been in and out of prisons and psych wards around the U.S. and Canada. And the FBI described him to reporters as having homicidal tendencies and being legally insane.

[00:13:58]

This was perhaps treadmill's most successful con when he was caught, which he frequently was. He quite literally became a lunatic, claiming insanity as the driving force behind his crimes.

[00:14:12]

In fact, Trapnell was an expert at faking crazy. Over the years, he convinced an astonishing number of doctors that he was sometimes overcome by an alter ego named Greg Ross. As insane as it sounds, this worked, doctors diagnosed Trapnell as a schizophrenic and eventually released him from their care if he was no longer under the sway of Greg Ross, doctors concluded then he was no longer a danger. His most recent crime spree had come to a crashing halt when his apartment in Miami was raided by FBI agents.

[00:15:02]

He was arrested for forging checks and was again committed to a state mental hospital from which he promptly escaped. He later tell an interviewer that he bribed an aide for a key to the facility and after lights out, he got up, got dressed and simply walked out with 16 other inmates in tow, a veritable pied piper of the certifiably insane. Once again, free, he skipped town, heading to the West Coast and straight into the waiting arms of Susan Kemp.

[00:15:47]

Yet even after she learned the truth about who Captain James Stewart really was, she stayed with Garret Trapnell embarking on a years long journey around the country.

[00:15:59]

I suppose I thought it was exciting some way. We traveled across the country several times. We'd stay in motels. We always stayed in Howard Johnsons, our Holiday Inns. And I knew that the credit card he was using was no good. And I had a horrible feeling about that. I didn't like that. I never was afraid of him. He wasn't violent. I'd never even seen him lose his temper. I can't imagine him killing a fly. Be honest with you.

[00:16:29]

I just stayed with him and then I was too embarrassed to tell. My family was too ashamed to say, you know, here we are living this life. He was good to me, kind of took care of me, is kind of my boss.

[00:16:41]

Susan's relationship with Trapnell meant she became part of his schemes by default. Trapnell first convinced her to assist him in busting a friend out of Jackson Memorial State Hospital in Miami, a prior partner in crime named George Padilla, somehow Gary convinced me to go there, that he was being so mistreated.

[00:17:02]

It was just awful. And I just had to go to the main gate, drive the car to the main gate, and he would come on. And that happened. We drove from Miami up to Lake George. And we found this beautiful house and we ran it was really great there, Jorge Padilla was he didn't like it because it was kind of in the country and Gary kept scaring him about the bears. The bears are going to come and then they would stay up at night and plan this robbery they were going to do.

[00:17:34]

As it turned out, Lake George was a good hideout and an even better place to plan a robbery this time, Trapnell target was a bank just over the border in Montreal. Susan tagged along. They needed a driver, after all. As she waited in the car garage, Trapnell and George Padilla walked into the Royal Bank of Canada, drew pistols and inform the tellers. They were being robbed.

[00:18:13]

Buried cash, DEA moles, skydiving planes, a group of college friends took advantage of Colorado's marijuana laws to traffic thousands of pounds of pot out of state for sale on the black market.

[00:18:29]

One of the longest, most lucrative smuggling runs in U.S. history. Listen and subscribe to the syndicate right now on Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.

[00:18:43]

To women who hoped to evade the ticking clock of time, Dr. Frederick Brandt was the most potent drug dealer in the world and the dealer got high on his own supply.

[00:18:56]

From Imperative Entertainment and the team behind Broken Hearts comes a new series that will challenge everything you know about fame, fortune and the fear of growing old. I'm Justin Harmon and this is the baron of Botox. The tellers at the Royal Bank of Canada moved quickly, stuffing cash into bags as fast as Trapnell and George Padia could snatch them up.

[00:19:30]

The entire operation took 10 minutes in and out when they reunited with Susan in the car outside. They were holding twenty two thousand in cash. I didn't have anything to do with any of it. I was in the car waiting and then we left and we went back to the place at Lake George. This was the human whirlwind. That was Garrick Trapnell. He was orchestrating heists on the fly, all while writing bad checks to deposit into fraudulent credit lines, stacking crimes on top of crimes without any regard for who was brought into the fold.

[00:20:11]

Even when he was supposed to be laying low, he couldn't help himself. There was something so casual about it, something so innate, unfortunately, traps fast and loose approach to crime led to some sloppy execution. And it wasn't long before Trapnell was caught again, this time with Susan as his accomplice.

[00:20:34]

We went to a cafe, coffee shop type place, and we were sitting there when two plainclothes detectives came in and put a gun in my side and they called us out and separated us right away and they took us to jail.

[00:20:51]

Susan's love for Trapnell had now landed her in jail as someone who had never done anything outside the law in her life. She was terrified.

[00:21:02]

That was pretty awful. Very scary. Thank goodness for the lady in the cell, number one, she's protected me from the others. Susan spent days in jail before she was questioned by authorities and when she was, she did exactly what Trapnell had told her to do, deny she had anything to do with their scheme. It worked. He did find a lawyer from Albany that came and went to court with us and they let me go on my own.

[00:21:35]

I packed up what I could to dogs, a boat that I filled with the belongings I wanted and I drove to Miami.

[00:21:48]

While Susan was allowed to go free, Garrett Trapnell and George Padia weren't so lucky, Trapnell would go to prison in Montreal for a time before he was released and able to return home. This was the first time Trapnell and Susan were separated for a long stretch, but it was far from the last. As Susan would soon discover, this was life with Garrett Trapnell. Even if he was out of prison, he was still wanted in three different states. So they found themselves on the run again.

[00:22:23]

And this unpredictable way of life moving from state to state, living under false names.

[00:22:29]

As time wore on, it started to take a toll on her. How do you get a job?

[00:22:34]

How do you claim your Social Security number? How do you do any of that is a lie. Couldn't work is hard because you can't open up to anybody. If you think that person could be a good friend, you're being a phony. There was a gal there that kind of got acquainted with she was a neighbor. I remember she was a nurse at the veterans hospital. And I think I really could have been friends with her. And you can only go so far in a friendship with somebody without being honest and truthful and open.

[00:23:05]

By the time Susan and Trapnell arrived in San Francisco, she had never felt more alone and isolated. In addition to living a lie, her husband would sometimes disappear for long stretches of time to either evade the law or break it, and she had all but lost contact with her own family.

[00:23:26]

Yeah, it was very sad. And I had not seen or heard from my mother in a year or more, and it was killing me. It really was killing me.

[00:23:34]

Life with Trapnell may have dragged Susan down a path toward an inevitable prison sentence or worse, if not for a little twist of fate.

[00:23:44]

It was when we got to San Francisco that I found out I was pregnant with our first child. So that was a shock because I thought I couldn't even have kids. I went to this doctor that somebody in the building recommended, and he said, Oh, you're like a five month pregnant.

[00:24:02]

Was. I called my mom and she came to visit us between Christmas and New Year's, but the FBI had been to visit her many times and they told her if she ever hears from me or from Gary that they wanted to know. And when she came home, the FBI was waiting and they demanded to know where she had been and had you been to see me. So she called us and said, what happened? So then again, I had to move in the middle of the night and I went into labor with our child at that same time.

[00:24:41]

Dr. David Duke, I went to the doctor and he said, your water broke, you need to go home and be on bed rest. And I went home and I said that. But that's when he put me on the airplane. He took me to the airport and bought me a first class ticket to L.A. And I remember the ticket agent asking me, are you sure you're OK to fly? But I said, no, I'm fine. But I must have looked very scared because I'm sure I was.

[00:25:13]

Once again, Garrett pushed Susan away at an especially vulnerable time just to avoid getting caught. She headed to Los Angeles, to her family, and it was there that she gave birth to her first child, a boy. His name, Garrett Scott Trapnell. For the entire time Susan was at the hospital, an FBI agent was posted just outside the delivery room in case the father decided to finally come visit. Susan hoped he would, but she was disappointed.

[00:25:47]

Again, Garrett didn't come and visit. I don't know where he was. The following day, he sent two dozen red roses via his attorney. I thought, what a son of a bitch for not being here. It's not fair, it's not right. Sure, try. Quite angry, really angry. It's a big celebration, a big time in life, and there I was with an agent outside my door and. Flower show an attorney. Despite shrapnels absence for the birth of their first child, Susan was unwilling to cut ties.

[00:26:33]

Yes, he was the father of their son, but it was more than that. He was larger than life, even in the worst of times. Trapnell was able to convince Susan she needed him. To a certain type of person, Trapnell could make himself essential. He was magnetic and a master of manipulation. Susan truly believed that somewhere in his mad ambition, there was a place for her and for a family. Their relationship continued in this way for over a year, with Garrett dipping in and out of Susan's world, often demanding they relocate each time, she would usually refuse and he would disappear again.

[00:27:19]

Finally, Susan reached her breaking point that I was pregnant with our second child. I didn't have any money, you know, I didn't know what to do. And so I didn't even have money for the next month's rent. And I drove to San Diego and I stayed with my brother for a day or two. Her brother offered help. And soon Susan was in a new apartment feeling optimistic about the future for the first time in a long time.

[00:27:47]

But then came that familiar knock on her door. He came to my door in the middle of the night. I'm sure it was a combination of both. Glad to see him and where have you been? And the next day, I took him to the Holiday Inn in San Diego. The top floor is a restaurant bar. And we sat up there watching planes.

[00:28:12]

I think he was trying to explain to me where he was and what he's been doing and so on. And I said, that's fine. I said, but I can't do this. I want to have my kids in Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and I want parent to be at PTA with me. And I want these things. I can't go with you anymore. I can't fly off, can't drive away with you. You go by. And with that, Susan had finally cut Gary Trapnell loose, she was free to consider life and the lives of her children without accounting for an absentee criminal husband.

[00:28:48]

Years passed, Susan Kemp moved on, she remarried, got a new job and had another child, Gary Trapnell was in the past. Or so she thought. I was in my living room watching TV. I was ironing clothes, the children were already in bed. There was quite a few of us, their friends. We had the stereo on and no sound on the TV. We just had the music on. And then all of a sudden I'm seeing this picture, a breaking news report had cut into regularly scheduled programming.

[00:29:26]

It was January 29th, 1972. A hijacking of a subway flight was in progress and the suspected hijacker was identified as Garratt Trapnell. Available now from Imperative Entertainment in Texas Monthly, a new 10 part podcast series called Boomtown about the biggest oil boom in history. Boomtown takes you to a rugged corner of West Texas, where roughnecks and billionaire wildcatters are fueling a boom so big it's reshaping our climate, our economy and our geopolitics. We'll get an inside look at the people cashing in and those whose lives are turned upside down.

[00:30:15]

Find weekly episodes of Boomtown wherever you get your podcasts. In the years after Susan left him, Garrett Trapnell was up to his old tricks, holding up banks and collecting new wives while still doing stints in prisons and mental institutions across North America.

[00:30:40]

He was prolific in 1970, according to the FBI. He robbed banks in Montreal and Toronto every month for seven months, taking more than one hundred and thirty thousand dollars. That same year, Trapnell stole a light Cessna plane in California, flew to the Bahamas and robbed a jewelry store of one hundred thousand dollars in gems. He ditched the plane on a runway in South Florida. By the time authorities found it, Trapnell was long gone, driving back to California in a rented car.

[00:31:17]

But in the winter of 1972, six months before Martin McNally stepped foot on American Airlines Flight 119, Gary Trapnell would attempt his biggest score yet. Garrett was a man who has confessed hijacking TWA jet from Los Angeles to New York Saturday. Now, it turns out Copnall had an arrest record going back to 1958, had received psychiatric treatments in nine hospitals, and Trapnell was given a behavioral screening before he got on that plane. Finally, he passed. On January 28th, Gary Trapnell boarded a redeye, TWA Flight two to New York, carrying a briefcase, wearing expensive clothes and a cast on his arm inside which he concealed a pistol.

[00:32:14]

He passed through security without issue. While flying over Kansas with most of the passengers asleep, Trapnell handed a note to one of the flight attendants. It read, You are being hijacked, act naturally and lead the way to the cabin. I have a pistol and there was a bomb in the aircraft. With that, the plane proceeded toward its intended destination, JFK Airport, outside New York City.

[00:32:47]

I was asleep in my apartment in had I got a call, as did many other agents report to JFK Airport Skyjacking Progress, that's FBI Agent Jim Nelson, now retired, who is a supervisor in the New York bureau at the time.

[00:33:02]

I being in Manhattan and a long way from JFK Airport. I know by the time I get there, a lot of the agents who lived out on Long Island, they're going to be there way before me. So I just mosey down to the FBI garage, got a cup of coffee and drove casually out to JFK. By the time I got out there, I think he had released a number of the passengers and then went up to fly around again while there's negotiation going on.

[00:33:29]

Once the plane was back in the air, shrapnel unfurled a list of shifting and bizarre demands. He wanted three hundred and six thousand eight hundred dollars, the exact price of a yacht which he believed he lost due to an unscrupulous judge. The release of both his old friend George Paideia from prison and that of activist and scholar Angela Davis, whom Garrett had never met.

[00:33:56]

That's not all. He also wanted a flight to Spain and a personal conversation with President Richard Nixon, along with a full pardon. He wanted this.

[00:34:08]

He wanted that. But to have the New York office at the time, he came to me and Gene Frey and said, well, you guys act as a pilot and go on board. We both said yes, because he demanded a replacement crew to fly him to Spain. And he was convinced by the people who were communicating with him that the onboard pilots were not internationally qualified. But they had a replacement crew who was a couple of TWA employees and a flight attendant, myself and Gene for a station wagon and trap direction drove out to the tarmac.

[00:34:49]

And he said, stop, I think it's like 75 to 100 yards in front of the nose of the plane. And one by one, they filed to the nose of the plane. He wanted our hands up and he wanted to see that we did not have anything. Well, I had my standard FBI issue, which is a Smith and Wesson six shot revolver, model 10. I walked to the plane one hundred yards. I'm walking slow. I know that this could be it for me.

[00:35:24]

I don't fly airplanes, and needless to say, I don't want to get stuck in the cockpit trying to fumble around there and he realized something's. He said he had bombs on board on the plane. He's also threatened people with death. So I know. I got the opportunity I'm going to take action. Jim had concealed his pistol in the pocket of his flight jacket, and now it was his turn to get searched. The CWA groundsmen, under orders from Trapnell, began patting Jim Nelson down and searching his things, Jim had to think fast.

[00:36:10]

When I got close to the plane, I looked up and saw shrapnel in the cockpit looking down at me and the other two along with the crew in their seats, and he had a personnel down there underneath the nose of the plane.

[00:36:25]

He was demanded to search the people coming on board. And that was just a man. I didn't know any of that until I got there. And he said, I have to search you. And I said, I've got a gun in my coat. He said, you can't do that. He'll shoot you. I said, give it back to me. Shut the fuck up. And he did. And he he didn't say anything. That's when I started up the steps.

[00:36:46]

At the top of the steps, I could see a blond stewardess, flight attendant. And another to be a crewman standing there, he put them there, as I understand it, because he said in New York, I know they shoot skyjackers. So he put them there, too, in case anybody could see him through the door, so I walked up the steps I could coat draped over my left arm and the pocket that held my revolver on the right side, I'd look and I could see Trapnell half in and half out of the cockpit.

[00:37:21]

He's not much for the. Ten feet away from the. My recollection is he had a gun in his left hand and he then starts being alarmed, which I can tell, he said, wait, something's wrong here, something's wrong. When that happened, I'm slipping my hand down into that pocket. And he can't see it because it's draped over. I took one step and opened fire on him. Agent Nelson hit Trapnell with both shots, one went through his left hand and grazed his neck, the other hit his arm, shattering bone and splattering blood across the inside of the plane.

[00:38:05]

Shrapnel hit the bulkhead hard and dropped. He went down, face down and jumped on top of him and try to grab his hands because he said he had a bomb and I thought he was bleeding. But in fact, he was just urinating all over himself, which happens sometimes when people get shot and then everybody is running out the door and blocking the doorway to the cockpit. And the pilot and co-pilot jumped over me so they could escape. And I'm just holding on to shrapnels.

[00:38:33]

Hands seemed like an eternity. But the agents got on board fast as they can because they were standing way back. And by that time it was over.

[00:38:47]

I had never shot anybody. I pulled my gun a number of times, but at that time walking to that plane was the only time in my life I saw parts of my life flashing in front of me. This is exactly what I thought. Halfway there, my father had died suddenly just a couple of years before. And now my mother could lose her son, her only son, for whatever reason. I was as calm as I've ever been in my life.

[00:39:11]

Why is that? I don't know. Gary Trapnell was once again put on trial and once again, he pleaded insanity. He claimed he suffered from multiple personality disorder and that the man who hijacked the airplane wasn't him at all, but rather his old alter ego, Craig Ross. Despite overwhelming evidence, a single juror refused to find Trapnell guilty and forced a mistrial at the retrial. Several months later, shrapnels Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story finally fell flat.

[00:39:49]

Garrett Brock Trapnell was found guilty of air piracy and sentenced to life in prison. His destination, Leavenworth Penitentiary in Kansas, where he'd meet Martin McNally. Did I feel like he had remorse? No, I'm not sure if he ever even loved me, I mean, why would you think somebody love you if they did all that they did today?

[00:40:16]

Susan Kemp. Now Susan Anderson is happily remarried and retired, but the beguiling personality of her former husband still casts a shadow even decades later.

[00:40:29]

Gary Trapnell was, in my eyes, a very capable, wonderful, intelligent, very intelligent things. He could have been a leader of anything. He could have been president of the United States. What would I tell Gary right now? He was here. I would apologize. For not being better at corresponding with him when he was in prison, I would tell him that, yes, I did love him. I would say that I felt sorry for you.

[00:40:58]

I felt you needed taking care of. I think most people would say, how stupid could that woman be? How absolutely stupid could she be? I don't even know in my own head why I stayed. But if I had not known him, I wouldn't have my son and my daughter. And they're both wonderful people. Life was worth it just to have those children. While Susan was able to find life beyond Garrett Trapnell, others who fell victim to his charms weren't so lucky.

[00:41:27]

I did visit him in prison. I brought the children to visit him. When I meant to say they were six and seven years old. He told me he was writing a book. That book detailing the wild and exciting life of Garrett Trapnell would be penned by one of the most acclaimed writers in America, published by a major publishing company and sold nationwide. Garrett Shrapnels presence would now be available in bookstores and libraries all over the country to be received by people of every age, race, sex and creed.

[00:42:02]

But one person in particular would read this book and become as transfixed by the man described in its pages as Susan Kemp had once been in real life. And so Garrett Trapnell SPEL would claim another victim.

[00:42:18]

Only this time the consequences would be catastrophic. Next time on American Skyjacker, a mother and military officer hijacks a helicopter and flies it into the most dangerous prison in America, we try to peel back that a little bit to see what was her relationship with Trapnell. And we were able to determine that it was kind of a romantic, unquote, relationship that she had with him. He had a lot of women on his communication list, and I didn't find out until after she had been up for 40 hours before this thing happened and she was taking pills to stay awake, whatever.

[00:43:19]

American skyjacker is written, created and produced by Ellen Kooris and Joshua Schaffer of Megalo Pictures, executive produced by Jason Hoak and produced by Andrew Richards of Imperative Entertainment, hosted and co-produced by myself.

[00:43:36]

Danny was Koski, co-produced and Sound, edited by Nick Xenakis assistant edited by Max Drank, Poll Associate produced by Devin Manzie and archive produced by Chris Morcom. Our artwork is by Jeff Corwin. Music composition is by Michael Kramer with assistance from Adam Teb of Tin Man Music Sound mixing by Shindig Music and Sound based on the beach in Playa del Rey, California, hosted recording by Clayton Studios in St. Louis and additional sound mixing and voice recording by Christy Williams archive Legal by Davis Wright Tremaine and Production Legal by Sean Fosset of Raymond Legal PC American Skyjacker is a co-production between Imperative Entertainment and Megalo Pictures.

[00:44:24]

Follow us on Instagram at American Skyjacker or at Peggle Pictures. And please write and review the podcast on whatever platform you listen to. Thanks again for listening.