Tonight at the Hollywood: D.B. Cooper Movie Night


Spoiler alert:

The CIA had agents in Vietnam during that "police action," who routinely jumped out of 727s. Those aircraft were used, because they feature a rear door in the tail, so paratroopers could jump safely clear of the jet engines. That's why the airlines don't provide parachutes to passengers; the engines would simply chew you to bits.

DB Cooper, had been CIA.
The weather was hardly ideal for jumping, but this was supposedly Coopers back yard if you believe that theory. Chael Sonnen, who grew up in that area has a pretty interesting take on Cooper (who was supposedly on of his dads neighbors)
What about the episodes of Newsradio where Jimmy James was accused of being D. B. Cooper?

Tonight's first hour guest, Galen Cook, sent us images and analysis of the letters allegedly sent by D.B. Cooper after his infamous heist. He tells us, "My research shows that four D.B. Cooper letters all surfaced within one week after America's most celebrated, unsolved air hijacking. All four letters were sent to major newspapers, not to the FBI. The sequence and timing of the letters is very important, as they show the "escape route" of D.B. Cooper. They also show a "connection" to our suspect, Bill Gossett."

Analysis of all letters: D.B. Cooper got away unscathed on the night of Wednesday, November 24, 1971 and proceeded down to California while his pursuers were looking for him about 35 miles to the north of his actual parachute landing zone. He sent the first letter to let the world know that he was alive. Next, he traveled to Canada with the money and wrote again. I think he took the bus. He left Canada (by bus) and cruised back down to Portland to wave at the FBI who was looking for him 35 miles to the north of Portland. He mailed #3 from the Portland area to further confuse law enforcement. At this point, he's having too much fun. Then he went back down towards Sacramento, CA and sent the final letter, letting everyone know that he was now set for retirement. Gossett would have returned back to the Salt Lake City area and not have sent out any letters from there for fear of being caught.……
The Cooper Identity

Who is the real D.B. Cooper? The 40-year-old mystery is nearing a close thanks to private investigator and attorney Galen Cook


Since 1971, the FBI has processed over a thousand "serious suspects" along with assorted publicity seekers and deathbed confessors, most of whom have been definitively ruled out.[4] Some notable examples:
Kenneth Christiansen

In 2003 a Minnesota resident named Lyle Christiansen, after watching a television documentary about the Cooper hijacking, became convinced that his elder brother Kenneth was D. B. Cooper.[2] After repeated futile attempts to convince first the FBI, and then the author and film director Nora Ephron (whom he hoped would make a movie about the case), he contacted a private investigator in New York. In 2010, the detective, Skipp Porteous, published a book[116] theorizing that Christiansen was indeed the hijacker. In early 2011, an episode of the History series Brad Meltzer's Decoded also summarized the circumstantial evidence linking Christiansen to the Cooper case.[117]

Christiansen enlisted in the Army in 1944 and was trained as a paratrooper. The war had ended by the time he was deployed in 1945, but he did make occasional training jumps (for bonus money) while stationed in Japan with occupation forces in the late 1940s. After leaving the Army he joined Northwest Orient in 1954 as a mechanic in the South Pacific, and subsequently became a flight attendant, and then a purser, based in Seattle.[2] Christiansen was 45 years old at the time of the hijacking, but he was shorter (5 ft. 8 in.), thinner (150 pounds), and lighter-complected than eyewitness descriptions.[2] Christiansen smoked (as did the hijacker), and displayed a particular fondness for bourbon (Cooper's preferred beverage). He was also left-handed. (Evidence photos of Cooper's black tie show the tie clip applied from the left side, suggesting a left-handed wearer.[6]) Flight attendant Florence Schaffner told a reporter that photos of Christiansen fit her memory of the hijacker’s appearance more closely than those of other suspects she had been shown.[2] (Tina Mucklow, who had the most contact with Cooper, has never granted a press interview.[118])

Christiansen reportedly purchased a house with cash a few months after the hijacking. While dying of cancer in 1994, he told Lyle, "There is something you should know, but I cannot tell you." Lyle said he never pressed his brother to explain.[2] After his death family members discovered gold coins and a valuable stamp collection, along with over $200,000 in his bank accounts. They also found a folder of news clippings about Northwest Orient which began about the time he was hired in the 1950s, and stopped just prior to the date of the hijacking, despite the fact that the hijacking was by far the most momentous news event in the airline's history. Christiansen continued to work part-time for the airline for many years after 1971, but apparently never clipped another Northwest news story.[2]

Despite the publicity generated by Porteous's book and the 2011 television documentary, the FBI is standing by its position that Christiansen cannot be considered a prime suspect.[42][119] They cite a poor match to eyewitness physical descriptions, a level of skydiving expertise above that predicted by their suspect profile, and an absence of direct incriminating evidence.[120]
William Gossett

William Pratt Gossett was a Marine Corps, Army, and Army Air Force veteran who saw action in Korea and Vietnam. His military experience included advanced jump training and wilderness survival. After retiring from military service in 1973 he worked as an ROTC instructor, taught military law at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, and hosted a radio talk show in Salt Lake City which featured discussions about the paranormal.[121] He died in 2003.[122]

Gossett was widely known to be obsessed with the Cooper hijacking. He amassed a voluminous collection of Cooper-related news articles, and told one of his wives that he knew enough about the case to "write the epitaph for D.B. Cooper." Late in his life he reportedly told three of his sons, a retired Utah judge, and a friend in the Salt Lake City public defender's office that he had committed the hijacking.[122] Photos of Gossett taken circa 1971 bear a close resemblance to the most widely circulated Cooper composite drawing.[123]

According to Galen Cook, a lawyer who has collected information related to Gossett for years, Gossett once showed his sons a key to a Vancouver, British Columbia safe deposit box which, he claimed, contained the long-missing ransom money.[124] Gossett's eldest son, Greg, said that his father, a compulsive gambler who was always "strapped for cash", showed him "wads of cash" just before Christmas 1971, weeks after the Cooper hijacking. He speculated that Gossett gambled the money away in Las Vegas.[125]

In 1988 Gossett changed his name to "Wolfgang" and became a Catholic priest, which Cook and others interpreted as an effort to disguise his identity.[121] Other circumstantial evidence includes testimony which Cook claims to have obtained from William Mitchell, a passenger on the hijacked aircraft, regarding a mysterious "physical detail" (which he will not divulge) common to the hijacker and Gossett.[126] Cook also claims to have found "possible links" to Gossett in each of four letters signed by "D.B. Cooper" and mailed to three newspapers within days after the hijacking, although there is no evidence that the actual hijacker created or mailed any of the letters.[127]

The FBI says that they have no direct evidence implicating Gossett, and cannot even reliably place him in the Pacific Northwest at the time of the hijacking.[128] "There is not one link to the D.B. Cooper case," said Special Agent Carr, "other than the statements [Gossett] made to someone."[129]
Richard Floyd McCoy, Jr.
Main article: Richard McCoy, Jr.

McCoy was an Army veteran who served two tours of duty in Vietnam, first as a demolition expert, and later, with the Green Berets, as a helicopter pilot.[130] After his military service he became a warrant officer in the Utah National Guard and an avid recreational skydiver, with aspirations, he said, of becoming a Utah State Trooper.[131]

On April 7, 1972 McCoy staged the best-known of the so-called "copycat" hijackings (see above).[132] He boarded United Airlines' Flight 855 (a Boeing 727 with aft stairs) in Denver, and brandishing what later proved to be a paperweight resembling a hand grenade and an unloaded handgun, he demanded four parachutes and $500,000.[133] After delivery of the money and parachutes at San Francisco International Airport, McCoy ordered the aircraft back into the sky and bailed out over Provo, Utah, leaving behind his handwritten hijacking instructions and his fingerprints on a magazine he had been reading.[134] He was arrested on April 9 with the ransom cash in his possession, and after trial and conviction, received a 45-year sentence.[135] Two years later he escaped from Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary with several accomplices by crashing a garbage truck through the main gate.[136] Tracked down three months later in Virginia Beach, McCoy was killed in a shootout with FBI agents.[132][137]

In their 1991 book, D.B. Cooper: The Real McCoy,[138] parole officer Bernie Rhodes and former FBI agent Russell Calame asserted that they had identified McCoy as D.B. Cooper. They cited obvious similarities in the two hijackings, claims by McCoy's family that the tie and mother-of-pearl tie clip left on the plane belonged to McCoy, and McCoy's own refusal to admit or deny that he was Cooper.[132][139] A principal proponent of their theory was the FBI agent who killed McCoy. "When I shot Richard McCoy," he said, "I shot D. B. Cooper at the same time."[132]

While there is no reasonable doubt that McCoy committed the Denver hijacking, the FBI does not consider him a suspect in the Cooper case due to significant non-matches in his age (29) and description; a level of skydiving skill well above that thought to be possessed by the hijacker;[6] and credible evidence that McCoy was in Las Vegas on the day of the Seattle hijacking,[62] and at home in Utah the day after, having Thanksgiving dinner with his family.[119][140]
Duane Weber

Duane L. Weber was a World War II Army veteran who served time in at least six prisons from 1945 to 1968 for burglary and forgery.[4] He was proposed as a suspect by his widow, based primarily on a deathbed confession: Three days before he died in 1995, Weber told his wife, "I am Dan Cooper."[4] The name meant nothing to her until months later, she said, when a friend told her of its significance in the hijacking. She went to her local library to research D.B. Cooper, found Max Gunther's book, and discovered notations in the margins in her husband's handwriting.[4]

She then recalled, in retrospect, that Weber once had a nightmare during which he talked in his sleep about jumping from a plane, leaving his fingerprints on the "aft stairs."[141] He also reportedly told her that an old knee injury had been incurred by "jumping out of a plane." Like the hijacker, Weber drank bourbon and chain smoked. Other circumstantial evidence included a 1979 trip to Seattle and the Columbia River during which Weber took a walk alone along the river bank in the Tina's Bar area; four months later Brian Ingram made his ransom cash discovery in the same area.

The FBI eliminated Weber as an active suspect in July 1998 when his fingerprints did not match any of those processed in the hijacked plane,[141] and no other direct evidence could be found to implicate him.[4] Later, his DNA also failed to match the samples recovered from Cooper's tie,[42][119] though the Bureau has since conceded that they cannot be certain that the organic material on the tie came from Cooper.[142]
John List
Main article: John List

John Emil List was an accountant and World War II and Korea veteran who murdered his wife, three teenaged children, and 85-year-old mother in Westfield, New Jersey fifteen days before the Cooper hijacking, withdrew $200,000 from his mother's bank account, and disappeared.[143] He came to the attention of the Cooper task force due to the timing of his disappearance, multiple matches to the hijacker's description, and the reasoning that "a fugitive accused of mass murder has nothing to lose."[133][144] After his capture in 1989, List admitted to murdering his family, but denied any involvement in the Cooper hijacking. While his name continues to crop up in Cooper articles and documentaries, no direct evidence implicates him, and the FBI no longer considers him a suspect.[133] He died in prison in 2008.[145]
Barbara Dayton

Dayton was a recreational pilot and University of Washington librarian. Born a male and named Bobby, he served in the Merchant Marine in 1926 and then the Army during World War II.[146] After his discharge he worked with explosives in the construction industry. Later he became a private pilot and aspired to fly professionally, but could not obtain a commercial pilot's license.

In 1969 he underwent gender reassignment surgery and became Barbara. Two years later, she said, she staged the Cooper hijacking, disguised as a man, to "get back" at the airline industry and the FAA, whose insurmountable rules and conditions had prevented her from becoming an airline pilot.[147] She said she hid the ransom money in a cistern near her landing point in Woodburn, Oregon (a suburban area south of Portland). Eventually she recanted her entire story, ostensibly after learning that she could still be charged with the hijacking. The FBI has never commented publicly on Dayton, who died in 2002.[146]
Ted Mayfield

Mayfield is an Army Special Forces veteran, former pilot, competitive skydiver, skydiving instructor, and ex-convict who served time for negligent homicide after two of his students died when their parachutes failed to open.[148] His criminal record also includes armed robbery and transportation of stolen aircraft.[149] He was suggested repeatedly as a suspect early in the investigation, according to FBI Agent Ralph Himmelsbach, who knew Mayfield from a prior dispute at a local airport. He was ruled out, based partly on the fact that he called Himmelsbach less than two hours after Flight 305 landed in Reno to volunteer advice on standard skydiving practices and possible landing zones.[150]

In 2006 two amateur researchers named Daniel Dvorak and Matthew Myers proposed him as a suspect once again, attracting coverage from a Portland television station[151] and the syndicated program Inside Edition.[152] They claimed they had assembled a convincing circumstantial case that would be presented in detail in a forthcoming book. Among other things, they theorized that Mayfield called Himmelsbach not to offer advice, but to establish an alibi; and they challenged Himmelsbach's conclusion that Mayfield could not possibly have found a phone in time to call the FBI less than four hours after jumping into the wilderness at night.[152] Mayfield denied any involvement, and repeated a previous assertion that the FBI called him five times while the hijacking was still in progress to ask about skydiving techniques. (Himmelsbach said the FBI never called Mayfield.[153]) Mayfield further charged that Dvorak and Myers asked him to play along with their theory, and "we'll all make a lot of money." (Dvorak and Myers called any inference of collusion a "blatant lie."[152])

Dvorak died in 2007,[154] and the pair’s investigation and book apparently died with him. The FBI has offered no comment beyond Himmelsbach's original statement that Mayfield, who still resides in Sheridan, Oregon, was ruled out as a suspect early on.[150]
Jack Coffelt

Coffelt was a conman, ex-convict, and purported government informant who claimed to have been the chauffeur and confidante of Abraham Lincoln's last undisputed descendant, great-grandson Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith. In 1972, he also began claiming he was D.B. Cooper, and attempted through an intermediary, a former cellmate named James Brown, to sell his story to a Hollywood production company. He said he landed near Mount Hood (about 50 miles (80 km) southeast of Ariel), losing the ransom money and injuring himself in the process. Photos of Coffelt bear a resemblance to the composite drawings, although he was in his mid-fifties in 1971. He was reportedly in Portland on the day of the hijacking, and sustained leg injuries around that time which were consistent with a skydiving mishap.[155]

Coffelt's account was reviewed by the FBI, which concluded that it differed in significant details from information that had not been made public, and was therefore a fabrication.[156] Brown, undeterred, continued peddling the story long after Coffelt died in 1975. Multiple media venues, including the television news program 60 Minutes, considered and rejected it.[157] In a 2008 book about Lincoln's descendants,[158] author Charles Lachman revived Coffelt as a suspect and retold his tale, despite its discreditation 36 years previously.
Lynn Doyle Cooper
An undated photo of Lynn Doyle Cooper.

In late July 2011, an FBI spokesperson told a British newspaper that the Bureau was investigating a "promising new suspect".[119][159][160] In early August, a woman named Marla Cooper came forward as the source of the new information. She claimed that she had proposed her uncle, a leather worker and Korean War veteran named Lynn Doyle Cooper, as the new suspect, and had provided the FBI with evidence—including a photo and a guitar strap her uncle had made—for fingerprint and DNA analysis.[161] The woman told ABC News that as an 8-year-old she recalled her two uncles planning something "very mischievous", involving the use of "expensive walkie-talkies", at her grandmother's house in Sisters, Oregon, 150 miles (240 km) south of Portland. The next day flight 305 was hijacked; and though the uncles ostensibly were turkey hunting, one, L.D. Cooper, came home wearing a bloody shirt—the result, he said, of an auto accident. Later, she said, her parents came to believe that L.D. Cooper was the hijacker. She also recalled that her uncle, who died in 1999, was obsessed with the Canadian comic book hero Dan Cooper (see Theories and conjectures), and "had one of his comic books thumbtacked to his wall"—although he was not a skydiver or paratrooper.[162]

On August 3 the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that no fingerprints had been found on the guitar strap.[163] On August 9 Special Agent Fred Gutt disclosed that L.D. Cooper's DNA did not match the partial DNA profile obtained from the hijacker's tie; but he acknowledged that the FBI cannot be certain that the hijacker was the source of the organic material obtained from the tie. "The tie had two small DNA samples, and one large sample lifted off in 2000–2001," he said. "It's difficult to draw firm conclusions from these samples." He added that the Bureau "[has not] come up with anything that is inconsistent with [Marla Cooper's] story", and will continue its investigation, with a focus on locating a sample of L.D. Cooper's fingerprints.[142]
What I'm hearing is "Multnomahn is somewhat interested in this topic."

SPOILER: D.B. Cooper was Delta Burke Cooper. You didn't know it until now, but you already have the rest of the story.
The typography on that poster is really nice. Oh, and Multnomahn: man, you need to get a blog...
I washed dishes at a D.B. Cooper themed restaurant, very originally named "D.B. Cooper's" when I was in High School---in NH of all places. Horrible job. Fuck D.B. Cooper.