June 23, 1972

Martin McNally hijacked a plane at Lambert Airport in St. Louis, demanding $500,000 as a ransom for the plane and crew. He got it and the plane took off. The 28-year-old from Detroit eventually donned a parachute and made his first-ever—and only-ever—jump from a plane. He miraculously survived, but his loot slipped away. McNally ended up in prison.

This post was based on a collection of Ross Malone’s Missouri historical happenings. A historian and a retired school teacher, Ross has authored many books about Missouri’s history, weird facts, and folk tales. He has also written children’s historical fiction. Visit his website, and buy his books in the Missouri Life store

Image from National Archives at Kansas City (Record Group 21, Records of the District Courts of the United States, U.S. District Court for the Eastern (St. Louis) Division of the Eastern District of Missouri, Criminal Case Files, 1864-1987. Case 72CR167, U.S.A. v. Martin Joseph McNally and Walter John Petlikowsky. National Archives Identifier 582694.)