COLD CASE: What Ever Happened To D.B. Cooper?


NEW YORK TIMES: It was in November 1971 that Mr. Cooper bought a $20 plane ticket from Portland to Seattle. (He used the name Dan Cooper, believed to be an alias, but a reporter heard it as D. B. Cooper, and that name has stuck.) With bomb in hand, Mr. Cooper ordered the plane to land in Seattle, where he allowed the three dozen passengers to exit in exchange for four parachutes and $200,000. Then he and a skeleton crew took off again. He demanded the plane fly south, but not above 10,000 feet. Somewhere over the Cascades in southwest Washington or northern Oregon, cockpit warning lights showed that the rear staircase had been opened. The pilot asked over the intercom: “Is everything O.K. back there?” “No!” came the cry, as Mr. Cooper leapt from the stairway into the subzero darkness. The F.B.I. has been chasing leads — nowhere — ever since. Its file measures 40 feet long. The bureau has catalogued more than 1,000 suspects, some supplied by psychics, some turned in by people suspicious of a family member, some coming in deathbed confessions. Mr. Gutt said the bureau had other “active” leads but considered this one, which it received a year ago, more credible than most. MORE

DAILY MAIL: Experts estimated Cooper would have landed near Ariel, Washington. Residents there have a party every fall to commemorate the unsolved hijacking. There have been more than 1,000 suspects over the past four decades. And, over the years, agents have unceasingly voiced suspicions that the hijacker, who was later dubbed DB Cooper, may have died following the 10,000 leap. Conditions that night were poor and the mountainous terrain near the Oregon border is notoriously rough. $5,800 worth of decomposed $20 bills, identified as part of the ransom money, which were recovered in 1980 by a child digging on the banks of the Columbia River, also point to an untimely death. But no body has ever been found and few other signs of his fate have been discovered. However, if the latest lead, which the FBI have described as ‘looking like our most promising one to date’, proves true, it means the hijacker beat almost insurmountable odds to evade justice by surviving decades after one of America’s most notorious crimes. MORE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *