Eli Karin Gilbert Turner – Military Spouse

Turner, Eli Karin
Born 18 May 1938, Died 15 January 2000
Infantry, Private
Section 7A, Grave 130-C, buried  30 March 2000

January 15, 2000:

Former CIA director Stansfield Turner (76) was seriously injured and his wife, Eli Karen Gilbert, killed in the crash of a tourist plane in Costa Rica. Three other passengers died and 13 others were injured when their Taxis Aereos Czech-made twin-engine plane crashed shortly after taking off from the Tobias Bolanos airport west of San Jose, Costa Rica. The plane fell on a house but did not injure the people inside.

Former CIA Director Stansfield Turner was seriously injured and his wife killed in a plane crash Saturday in Costa Rica in which three other people also died, authorities said late Sunday.

Turner, 76, who headed the CIA from 1977 to 1981 under former President Jimmy Carter, was in critical condition in the emergency surgery unit of the Hospital Mexico in San Jose, a hospital spokeswoman said Sunday night.

“The man's condition is critical, that's the report we had at 10 p.m., and that is all we can say,” the spokeswoman said.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in San Jose said late Sunday that Turner's wife, Eli Karen Gilbert, was among the dead in the accident.

Fourteen people were injured and four killed — three from the United States and one from Spain — when a Czech-made twin-engine plane operated by the small Costa Rican airline Taxis Aereos, crashed shortly after takeoff en route to a Caribbean beach.

The plane crashed at about 1:35 p.m. on Saturday, near the small airport of Tobias Bolanos, about two miles west of the Costa Rican capital, San Jose.

The plane fell on a house but did not injure a woman and two children who were inside the residence and who were pulled to safety by emergency workers.

The injured from the plane include six Spanish, three Costa Ricans, two French and a Salvadoran, said sources at three hospitals. The two crew members on the plane, the pilot and co-pilot, were among the injured.

Injured Ex-CIA Head Returns to U.S.

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) – Former CIA Director Admiral Stansfield Turner, badly injured in a weekend plane crash that killed his wife, has been flown back to the United States for treatment, a U.S. Embassy spokesman said Tuesday.

The spokesman, David Gilmour, said a private air ambulance with Turner left Costa Rica Monday afternoon. He said he did not know where Turner had been taken.

Turner, 76, is a former Admiral who served as CIA director under President Jimmy Carter between 1977 and 1981.

Turner's wife, Eli Karen, died in the accident on Saturday. Also killed were Siegfried and Therese Richert of the United States and Antonio Sanchez Diaz of Spain.

Seventeen passengers and three crew members were aboard the Czech-built LET410, operated by Taxi Aereo Centroamericano, which crashed into a house shortly after taking off for Tortuguero national park on the Caribbean coast.

The cause of the crash is under investigation by “aviacion civil”, soon investigators from the NTSB will arrive to Costa Rica.


  • DATE OF BIRTH: 05/18/1938
  • DATE OF DEATH: 01/15/2000

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