View Full Version : Greek police make arrest in 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847

21st Sep 2019, 23:56
It's been a really long time, but the story provoked pretty clear memories of this event.

Greek police make arrest in 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847 (http://Greek police make arrest in 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847)

ATHENS, Greece – Greek police said Saturday they have arrested a suspect in the 1985 hijacking of a flight from Athens that became a multiday ordeal and included the slaying of an American.Police said a 65-year-old suspect in the hijacking was arrested Thursday on the island of Mykonos in response to a warrant from Germany.

Lt. Col. Theodoros Chronopoulos, a police spokesman, told The Associated Press that the hijacking case involved TWA Flight 847. The flight was commandeered by hijackers shortly after taking off from Athens on June 14, 1985. It originated in Cairo and had San Diego set as a final destination, with stops scheduled in Athens, Rome, Boston and Los Angeles.

The hijackers shot and killed U.S. Navy diver Robert Stethem, 23, after beating him unconscious. They released the other 146 passengers and crew members on the plane during an ordeal that included stops in Beirut and Algiers. The last hostage was freed after 17 days.

More (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2019/09/21/twa-hijacking-suspect-arrested-1985-attack-killed-navy-diver/2405810001/)

22nd Sep 2019, 00:17
Amazing. I do not really remember the specific incident but the victim's name - Robert Stethem - is etched in my memory.

22nd Sep 2019, 01:12
One of Stethem's killers was released by the Germans in 2005.

Germany frees killer of U.S. diverBy CNN Correspondent Chris Burns

Dec 20, 2005, 10:30 AM

BERLIN, Germany (CNN) -- A Hezbollah militant sentenced to life in Germany for murdering a U.S. Navy diver during the 1985 hijacking of a U.S. jetliner has been freed, officials said.

The German government denied on Tuesday the release was related to the freeing of a German hostage in Iraq.

Mohammed Ali Hamadi was released Thursday and allowed to return to his native Lebanon on the next day, after qualifying for parole after 19 years in prison, said Ulrich Hermanski, spokesman for the North Rhine Wesphalia state justice ministry. "There was no special treatment," Hermanski said in a telephone interview. The decision was a state, not federal one, said federal Justice Ministry spokeswoman Eva Schmierer told a news conference. "The federal government has nothing to do with it," she said.

She denied reports the U.S. government had an extradition request for Hamadi. Hamadi was convicted in 1989 in Frankfurt, Hessen state, for the beating and shooting of Robert Dean Stethem, a 23-year-old U.S. Navy diver whose body was thrown on the tarmac at Beirut airport during the hijacking of TWA Flight 847. The U.S. Navy has named one of its ships after Stethem, who is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. The German government also denied there was any link between Hamadi's release and the freeing of Suzanne Osthoff, a German archaeologist, in Iraq last week. "There is no relation between the release of Hamadi and the release of Osthoff," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Jaeger told the news conference.

Asked about the timing of Hamadi's release just weeks before Chancellor Angela Merkel's first trip to Washington, and whether it would hurt relations with the United States, her spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm declined immediate comment.

Years ago I got a jumpseat on TWA while commuting to work at JFK. The aircraft was N64339. I remarked to the flight attendants that there was some tragic history with this plane. They were well aware.

22nd Sep 2019, 09:12
In June 1985 I first met Cpt John Testrake , when I opened the newspaper.
We all followed the insane drama. Thinking about the Crew and the poor passengers.

The murder of the Navy Diver hit especially home as I was a fresh Navy soldier myself.

Fastforward to Mordon Manitoba in Canada in 1990 and I had the honor to listen to Cpt John Testrake make a presentation about his ordeal in front of some 100 odd devoted Christians.
What struck me as i got to shake his hand and ask a few questions about his experience was his total calm and peace.
He had stared Death in the face , not for a few minutes, but for days and days.
An exceptional Person.
And a great crew he had..

With regards to the Terrorist the Greek arrested, 65 years old.
Perfect , lets hope he lives to the ripe age of , say, 95 in a Greek prison!

Cpt B

22nd Sep 2019, 09:33
With regards to the Terrorist the Greek arrested, 65 years old.
Perfect, lets hope he lives to the ripe age of, say, 95 in a Greek prison!

Should we wait until he's charged/tried/convicted or just chuck him in jail regardless ?

22nd Sep 2019, 11:25
As much as it may be desirable to see swift justice, the exercise of the legal process is not just to assure the rights of the defendant, the process also makes a statement that the community respects the rule of law, which is a greater distinction than an opposable thumb is between civilisation and jungle anarchy. That however assumes that the law is applied without fear or favour, and is undertaken by competent practitioners. My faith in the ethics of the application of law in some areas gives some sympathy to mob justice. Civilisation has some cracks in the seams and a lot of players that appear to be happy with the consequences.