HBO’s The Invisible Pilot dropped on 4 April 2022 with the promise to leave true crime junkies hooked.
The three-part documentary series by Emmy-winning filmmakers tells the story of a charismatic, daredevil husband and father who unexpectedly jumped off a bridge in 1977; leaving behind a seemingly happy home life and a lucrative career as a pilot. He was Gary Betzner. And it is him, this story is based on.
Find out more about the invisible pilot Gary Betzner in the rest of this writing.
Who Is Gary Betzner?
On 19 September 1977, small town pilot Gary Betzner jumped off a bridge in Hazen, Arkansas, and died in the White River, leaving behind his wife Sally and three children.
Nobody could really understand why he would jump off the bridge or why law enforcement was unable to find his body.
Gary was born in Akron, Ohio. He served in the Navy for five years after high school. He got his aviation license in 1964 and eventually became a skilled pilot in Arkansas.
Gary and his wife Sally, at some point, opened Betzner Flying Service, and Gary worked as a crop dusting pilot there for 15 years. In 1976, he sold the company and moved his family to Alaska to become rich from the oil pipelines.
Gary was diagnosed with gout, and he insisted that cocaine cured it. Then on 4 May 1977 when his house was raided by DEA agents, they seized seven pounds of cocaine, and nine people were indicted (including two Miami Dolphin players).
Facing over 20 years in prison, Gary got out on bail and formulated a plan with his wife Sally to go on the run. Eventually, he even decided to fake his suicide with Sally’s help.
The plan, of course, worked and he later began working as a smuggler for George Morales, a Miami speedboat racer with deep ties to Pablo Escobar’s conglomerate in Colombia.
Gary then went on to fly cocaine and guns directly for the cartel and personally knew Pablo. Reportedly, he made $2 million one year from the business.
But then eventually he came into the CIA’s radar. The CIA leveraged him for their secret mission to arm anti-communist, Contra rebels in Nicaragua, per The Associated Press. Gary of course gave them George Morales’ insides.
In exchange for his work, the CIA had granted Gary complete immunity, yet it all had come to nothing in 1984 after he was caught trafficking cocaine in Florida.
The Invisible Pilot Gary Betzner Wives, Kids
The Invisible Pilot Gary Betzner, who turned 47 in April 2021, was first married to his wife Claudia whom he divorced shortly after their daughter Polly was born. He then met Sally, his second wife, on 20 July 1969 during a moon landing party. They had two kids, daughter Sara Lee and son Travis.
In more recent times, he is said to be married to his third wife, the identity and details of whom are yet to be made.
Who Are The Invisible Pilot Gary Betzner’s Parents?
This was Gary Betzner’s life before September of 1977. He had a volatile father, whose abuse turned Gary later into a defiant rebel. Gary is said to have grown up with an abusive father as his mother left him when he was just a boy.
Do Gary Betzner Family Members Appear On HBO’s The Invisible Pilot?
The very mystery of Gary Betzner’s death is at the center of HBO’s three-part documentary series; features Gary himself telling his own story. He reveals in Episode 1 what led to him faking his own suicide. “In some cases, it’s OK to tell a lie … the truth is I didn’t jump. I didn’t even think of jumping.”
Even his kids (other than Sally) are featured on this show. The kids are presented as wounded adults who are casualties of their father’s war against convention, rules, and responsibility. The series sees the adult Polly, Sara Lee, and Travis process some of their pain and trauma. The story tells that these kids were left with a hole in their lives with their father’s pretense death.
The show further went on to detail that Gary reconnected with all his kids after he served his full sentence. He was arrested on 13 November 1984; he was sentenced to 27 years and two months in federal prison for the importation of cocaine.
Has Gary Betzner’s Family Reconciled With The Drug Dealer?
So, Gary Benzers family appeared to have reconciled with the drug dealer as he likely came clean after serving his time in prison.
Speaking of where he is now, he was most lately based in Arkansas with his third wife. He also, as per the HBO documentary, stayed close to his children.
Is Gary Betzner’s Family On Instagram?
Meanwhile, the Gary Betzner family did not appear to be on Instagram or any other social media platforms as of the time of this writing (April 2022).