George Wright: Hijacker Caught after 41 Years
George Wright: Murdered & Hijacker Arrested in Lisbon
George Wright, one of the hijackers who commandeered a plane from Detroit to Algeria in 1972, was arrested in Lisbon, Portugal after 41 years on the run.
George Wright, who had been convicted of robbery and murder, escaped from a New Jersey prison and drove away in the warden's car along with two accomplices.
Wright ended up in Detroit, where he lived under an assumed name and joined the Black Liberation Army, made up mostly of former Black Panthers. Wright, along with four others, hijacked a plane from Detroit to Miami in 1972.
Wright and his accomplices held the passengers for $1 million ransom, which the FBI had to deliver while wearing bathing suits. The hijackers then flew to Boston, and then on to Algeria, keeping the crew as hostages.
The US government pressured the Algerians to seize the ransom money, but the hijackers were not detained. This was the hijacking that made the US start scanning luggage. In subsequent years, some of the hijackers were arrested in Europe, but not Wright.
New Jersey police and the FBI eventually tracked Wright to Lisbon, where Portuguese authorities arrested him.