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Nashville author writes debut book on Ad Coors’s murder

”Death of an Heir” idea sparked by Golden vacation


Nashville resident Philip Jett has been vacationing in Colorado for about 15 years.

During one of those trips some seven years ago, he did the Coors Brewery tour in Golden. Walking through a hallway, he noticed something — one of the members of the Coors Family was missing from the progression of time in collection of portraits hanging on the wall.

Jett, a retired corporate attorney, did some research online and learned about Ad Coors’s murder.

It was then that he decided to write his debut book: “Death of an Heir: Adolph Coors III and the Murder That Rocked an American Brewing Dynasty.”

“I thought, that’s a powerful story,” Jett said, adding, “I want to write about actual events that nobody’s written about.”

“Death of an Heir,” which went on sale on Sept. 26, is written as creative nonfiction.

The story is factually accurate with dates, times and names, but there are some things borrowed from fiction, such as dialogue and descriptive scene-setting, Jett said.

“I want people to read it and learn,” Jett said, “but enjoy it at the same time.”

What can readers expect from “Death of an Heir?”

Readers will learn about the kidnapping and murder of Adolph Coors III, the backgrounds of those involved, and how it affected the families of Ad Coors and his killer.

What do you hope people take away from the book?

I hope readers obtain a sense of how this cruel and terrible crime impacted Ad Coors’s family, altering their lives forever.

What did you enjoy most about writing “Death of an Heir?”

I enjoy research — rediscovering facts that have been long lost or forgotten, and talking with people who were part of history.

How did you go about the research?

Over four years, I gathered newspaper articles from three states, prison records from two states, estate files, the FBI investigation report, the murder trial transcript, appeals court cases, photographs, magazine articles and information from Coors company publications. I listened to audio and watched video, and conducted interviews.

I (also) met with the district attorney and assistant district attorney, a defense attorney, a coworker, Ad Coors’s estate attorney and emailed or telephoned deputies and others. I also visited Ad Coors’s house, the site of the murder, the dump where the body was discarded and Mary Coors’s grave site.

Why was this particular case of interest? Do you have any local ties to it?

My only connection to the story is I found it to be an interesting one that had not been told in book form.

Will audiences outside of Golden and Colorado enjoy the book?

I believe readers from anywhere who appreciate true-crime and history with a bit of mystery, and who are interested in rich and powerful families, will enjoy learning about this tragic event.


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