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JonathanVonErich

D.B. Cooper

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JonathanVonErich

The D.B. Cooper Story: A Mystery

The particulars of D.B. Cooper's clever airborne crime and daredevil getaway have been pondered, picked over and recapitulated for three decades now.

In 1971, D.B. Cooper hijacked and threatened to blow up an airliner, extorted $200,000 from its owner, Northwest Orient, then leaped from the airborne 727 with 21 pounds of $20 bills strapped to his torso.

He was never seen again—dead or alive. The crime was perfect if he lived, perfectly crazy if he didn't.

In either case, D.B. Cooper's nom de crime—no one knows his real name—may be the most recognized alias among western felons since Jack the Ripper.

Everyone from dour G-men to giddy amateur sleuths have pored over the details, hoping to wheedle a resolution out of some overlooked aspect, as though a clue concealed in the holdup's hieroglyph of facts might lead to an a-ha!, a la Inspector Clouseau.

Yet the case remains unsolved more than 30 years later, and D. B. Cooper has become the Bigfoot of crime, evading one of the most extensive and expensive American manhunts of the 20th century. The whereabouts of the man (or his remains) is one of the great crime mysteries of our time.

Of course, the annals of wrongdoing are stuffed with titillating unsolved cases, from London's notorious ripper in the 1880s to the Black Dahlia murder of an aspiring actress in Los Angeles in 1947 to the befuddling murder—and muddled investigation—of little Jon Benet Ramsey in 1997 in Boulder, Colo.

But D.B. Cooper's crime was different. First, no innocent bystander was injured, although law enforcers argue that he put several dozen lives at risk.

There was modest collateral damage to Northwest Orient's bottom line, and the FBI's swollen ego was bruised to the bone. Cooper pulled his buccaneering swipe in the twilight of the 47-year tenure of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who died not long after the hijacking. The director no doubt went to his grave with teeth gritted over his agency's inability, in this case, to get their man.

Cooper's crime also was unusual in that it helped rally critical support for sweeping air travel security initiatives, including passenger screening. Until D. B. Cooper's skydive, it was entirely possible to walk aboard a jet carrying a bomb.

Most law-abiders react with revulsion to violent criminals, with disgust to extortionists, and with a tsk-tsk to the preponderate larcenies that fill crime blotters in police stations across America.

Yet Cooper induced more smiles than frowns.

Hijackings became more violent and less palatable as the 1970s wore on, and the destruction of September 11, 2001, makes any such act seem evil.

But D. B. Cooper's crime was of its time, the early 1970s, when antisocial behavior had cache. Many Americans commended his moxie. He was celebrated in a song, film and books. He managed to tweak J. Edgar Hoover's nose and finagle a bag of loot from a big corporation. He was Robin Hood for tie-dyed longhairs—and not a few wearers of more traditional attire.

But did D. B. Cooper get away with it? No one can say for certain. We do know that he could have survived the dangerous nighttime skydive because Cooper's caper, like a crime science experiment, was replicated with complete success by a copycat aerial clip artist just months later. That hijacker hit the ground safely, although the mimic ultimately paid dearly. The copycat case also spawned a controversial theory about the fate of Dan Cooper.

Coincidentally, Cooper himself probably copied a similar hijacking that occurred two weeks before his endeavor.

Many others have tried variations on the airline extortion technique—generally with less success. Some have "splattered," as law enforcers like to say. FBI investigators believe Cooper probably met that fate—a fatal kiss of the ground. But their opinion is far from unanimous.

Books by a half-dozen authors, including three separate tomes by ex-FBI agents, have posited theories—some serious, some spurious—about what happened to Cooper. Several men have stepped forward claiming to be Cooper, although none convincingly so. Some believe Cooper is alive and well and living on a beach in Mexico. Others say he slipped back into an obscure American life and grins like a Cheshire cat at premature reports of his demise. ( from trutv.com )

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aquatus1

Presumably, several plastic bags with $20 bills that had the serial numbers of the money were found in the woods, but that can just mean that he lost a few bags on the way down.

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JonathanVonErich

maybe he tried to hide them

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Dr. D
The D.B. Cooper Story: A Mystery

The particulars of D.B. Cooper's clever airborne crime and daredevil getaway have been pondered, picked over and recapitulated for three decades now.

In 1971, D.B. Cooper hijacked and threatened to blow up an airliner, extorted $200,000 from its owner, Northwest Orient, then leaped from the airborne 727 with 21 pounds of $20 bills strapped to his torso.

He was never seen again—dead or alive. The crime was perfect if he lived, perfectly crazy if he didn't.

In either case, D.B. Cooper's nom de crime—no one knows his real name—may be the most recognized alias among western felons since Jack the Ripper.

Everyone from dour G-men to giddy amateur sleuths have pored over the details, hoping to wheedle a resolution out of some overlooked aspect, as though a clue concealed in the holdup's hieroglyph of facts might lead to an a-ha!, a la Inspector Clouseau.

Yet the case remains unsolved more than 30 years later, and D. B. Cooper has become the Bigfoot of crime, evading one of the most extensive and expensive American manhunts of the 20th century. The whereabouts of the man (or his remains) is one of the great crime mysteries of our time.

Of course, the annals of wrongdoing are stuffed with titillating unsolved cases, from London's notorious ripper in the 1880s to the Black Dahlia murder of an aspiring actress in Los Angeles in 1947 to the befuddling murder—and muddled investigation—of little Jon Benet Ramsey in 1997 in Boulder, Colo.

But D.B. Cooper's crime was different. First, no innocent bystander was injured, although law enforcers argue that he put several dozen lives at risk.

There was modest collateral damage to Northwest Orient's bottom line, and the FBI's swollen ego was bruised to the bone. Cooper pulled his buccaneering swipe in the twilight of the 47-year tenure of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who died not long after the hijacking. The director no doubt went to his grave with teeth gritted over his agency's inability, in this case, to get their man.

Cooper's crime also was unusual in that it helped rally critical support for sweeping air travel security initiatives, including passenger screening. Until D. B. Cooper's skydive, it was entirely possible to walk aboard a jet carrying a bomb.

Most law-abiders react with revulsion to violent criminals, with disgust to extortionists, and with a tsk-tsk to the preponderate larcenies that fill crime blotters in police stations across America.

Yet Cooper induced more smiles than frowns.

Hijackings became more violent and less palatable as the 1970s wore on, and the destruction of September 11, 2001, makes any such act seem evil.

But D. B. Cooper's crime was of its time, the early 1970s, when antisocial behavior had cache. Many Americans commended his moxie. He was celebrated in a song, film and books. He managed to tweak J. Edgar Hoover's nose and finagle a bag of loot from a big corporation. He was Robin Hood for tie-dyed longhairs—and not a few wearers of more traditional attire.

But did D. B. Cooper get away with it? No one can say for certain. We do know that he could have survived the dangerous nighttime skydive because Cooper's caper, like a crime science experiment, was replicated with complete success by a copycat aerial clip artist just months later. That hijacker hit the ground safely, although the mimic ultimately paid dearly. The copycat case also spawned a controversial theory about the fate of Dan Cooper.

Coincidentally, Cooper himself probably copied a similar hijacking that occurred two weeks before his endeavor.

Many others have tried variations on the airline extortion technique—generally with less success. Some have "splattered," as law enforcers like to say. FBI investigators believe Cooper probably met that fate—a fatal kiss of the ground. But their opinion is far from unanimous.

Books by a half-dozen authors, including three separate tomes by ex-FBI agents, have posited theories—some serious, some spurious—about what happened to Cooper. Several men have stepped forward claiming to be Cooper, although none convincingly so. Some believe Cooper is alive and well and living on a beach in Mexico. Others say he slipped back into an obscure American life and grins like a Cheshire cat at premature reports of his demise. ( from trutv.com )

About 30 years ago a woman from Washington claimed to have found Cooper with a broken leg, hiding in her shed where she kept firewood. She said that she treated him until he was mobile and later they married and went to Ohio where he changed his identity and said he was a graduate of Brown University on a job applicaton. Later, the owner of the company called him into his office to talk about the university because he, too, was a Brown grad. It was soon obvious that Cooper was lying and he and his wife ran off to another state (I don't remember which) and he died soon after that of a heart attack.

She told a convincing tale but who knows what is true. There is always a bit of romance in tales like these.

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JonathanVonErich
About 30 years ago a woman from Washington claimed to have found Cooper with a broken leg, hiding in her shed where she kept firewood. She said that she treated him until he was mobile and later they married and went to Ohio where he changed his identity and said he was a graduate of Brown University on a job applicaton. Later, the owner of the company called him into his office to talk about the university because he, too, was a Brown grad. It was soon obvious that Cooper was lying and he and his wife ran off to another state (I don't remember which) and he died soon after that of a heart attack.

She told a convincing tale but who knows what is true. There is always a bit of romance in tales like these.

Wow i didn't knew that story, thanks man....There's at least 10 stories of people claiming to be DB Cooper, it's one of my favorite mystery.

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Lilly

I wonder...was any of the money ever found having been spent?

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JonathanVonErich
I wonder...was any of the money ever found having been spent?

The FBI kept the money found. Not one bill of the ransom money was ever spent ( they have the numbers to track them ).

In other words if Cooper survived the Hijacking he never spent 1 dollar of the ransom money, maybe a clue that he died.

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Dr. D
Wow i didn't knew that story, thanks man....There's at least 10 stories of people claiming to be DB Cooper, it's one of my favorite mystery.

She wrote a book titled "D.B. Cooper: What Really Happened." But then a Florida woman also claims to have been married to Cooper and you can Google that one. Her husband's name was Wolfgang something.

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JonathanVonErich
She wrote a book titled "D.B. Cooper: What Really Happened." But then a Florida woman also claims to have been married to Cooper and you can Google that one. Her husband's name was Wolfgang something.

Thanks Dr, i will google that...

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supervike
She wrote a book titled "D.B. Cooper: What Really Happened." But then a Florida woman also claims to have been married to Cooper and you can Google that one. Her husband's name was Wolfgang something.

Yeah, I saw the woman from Florida on some sort of TV program. She makes a convincing argument!

I don't really understand how they know that the money was never spent. Even with the serial numbers....How in the world would every store, every bank, every credit union know to be on the lookout for those numbers....Or even if they were, have the time to check every 20 dollar bill?

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behaviour???

He is dead....Because he have never used the money and why do you think someone will hold hostage someone?...Simply?

Thanks

B???

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JonathanVonErich

He never used the money....yeah, it's the reason why i think that he didn't survived the hijacking...Not one of the men claiming to be Db Cooper gave us an explanation why none of the money was used...

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KillerRabbit

I prefer to think he hit the ground so hard, he was lodged in the ground layer that contains the remains of the Jurassic era.

Edited by KillerRabbit

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supervike

How do we know he never used the money? That seems an almost impossible thing to prove.

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Lilly
How do we know he never used the money? That seems an almost impossible thing to prove.

I think (just guessing here) that it's because the bills were catalogued via serial numbers...and none of the bills catalogued ever came back into circulation (?).

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grither

I think it would be awesome if he survived. I don't care that he committed a crime, if he could make it out of a situation like that with the money that is awesome.

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JonathanVonErich

Lilly wrote: the bills were catalogued via serial numbers...and none of the bills catalogued ever came back into circulation

It's true, the FBI catalogued each bills and have the serial numbers...

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Marby

I don't suppose we'll ever really know what happened unless someone does find DB Cooper or his remains. While there is a romantic hope (?) that he survived to marry and live anonymously is kind of nice, the fact that none of the money was ever found in circulation again makes me inclined to think that he did not survive. He did a lot to get his hands on that money to have not spent it.

Also, the weather conditions were totally against him that night, according to what I have read and seen. When you pair that with the fact that the money has not been used, to me, that's a pretty good indicator that he probably didn't make it alive.

Edited by Marby

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supervike
Lilly wrote: the bills were catalogued via serial numbers...and none of the bills catalogued ever came back into circulation

It's true, the FBI catalogued each bills and have the serial numbers...

Sorry to labor this point....but my question is even if the FBI catalogued each bill, how is something like this possibly traced?

For instance, let's say I have a marked 20 dollar bill. I pay the Mom and Pop shop for some goods. They take the money to the local credit union. It's handed out as part of John Doe's paycheck. He spends it at the tavern. Tavern owner pays the waitress with cash....etc. etc. The bill just keep circulating. At some point it probably gets destroyed and replaced, with a shiny new bill.

How would any of these owners of the money (banks included) know to look at a random 20 dollar bill? Plus, add to to the fact that this was back in the 70's before the huge connection of the World Wide Web.

I'm not being obtuse, it just seems to me a very very imperfect and highly flawed system.

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JonathanVonErich
Sorry to labor this point....but my question is even if the FBI catalogued each bill, how is something like this possibly traced?

For instance, let's say I have a marked 20 dollar bill. I pay the Mom and Pop shop for some goods. They take the money to the local credit union. It's handed out as part of John Doe's paycheck. He spends it at the tavern. Tavern owner pays the waitress with cash....etc. etc. The bill just keep circulating. At some point it probably gets destroyed and replaced, with a shiny new bill.

How would any of these owners of the money (banks included) know to look at a random 20 dollar bill? Plus, add to to the fact that this was back in the 70's before the huge connection of the World Wide Web.

I'm not being obtuse, it just seems to me a very very imperfect and highly flawed system.

You are right my friend, but i have a great documentary of the Db Cooper case on dvd ( on Unsolved Mysteries: legends ) and in that documentary they said that it's the only proof they have that in fact he's dead....FBI agents talk about this and for them it's a real proof that he didn'T survived the hijacking...but you are right, it seems that it's a very imperfect system.

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conspiracybeliever

Serial numbers are normally there for the purpose of tracking things. Don't banks send money back to the reserve to have it replaced when it gets old or damaged? Does the reserve run it through some system to say it is destroyed? Twenty dollar bills are paper. It won't last forever. I would imagine they do have ways of tracking it. I don't know if it's actually done but if this were the case what are the chances of all this money just going from one to the next for this many years and never getting back to it's manufacturer?

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Hans Dolbrook

i hope he survived,but since the only money to ever turn up was found on a beach in washington state,

i doubt he survived!he would have had to spent some of that money had he made it out alive,in my view.

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Enigmatic Ghost

Just Thinking Out side of the Box here upon this Case.

Just speculative Theory here but why is it presumed that all those residing in Washington State at the Time of D.B. Cooper's Sky Jacking were good Honest People? I mean what if a Criminal mind or Minds discovered D.B. Cooper, or his Crumpled remains?

What if having one of the Parachute obviously sown shut was really as an Obvious Decoy, a distraction and the other Parachutes were less obviously disabled, say the Cords detached or tangled within the Pack, he wouldn’t even know that the other Parachutes were defective unless he opened them for a full on inspection within the Jet, but he doesn’t have the time to open them and then repack them, he has to worry about Jumping at the right exact moment, watching his wristwatch and making sure the Cockpit crew doesn’t come out and interfere with his plan to Jump, if those other Parachutes were disabled rendering all of them as useless.

I mean just because there was no reported Body, could of meant a Famer or another dishonest person came across D.B. Cooper’s Remains and Sack of Cash, buried his remains and defective Parachutes and laundered the Cash, even planting a wee bit upon the shore of the Huge Columbia River (To send the Trail of search into another direction for distraction) even moving the Cash out of the country (Underground Connections) or hid the found Cash away until things calmed down, but things didn’t calm down as hoped, because of all the Mass publicity and the Feds never giving up upon the Case, so the Cash still remains as inactive and hidden. Many a deathbed confection of some dishonest Farmer will come along some day.

Edited by Enigmatic Ghost

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conspiracybeliever

I do find it hard to believe that everyone knows the area in which he went down and no one found that cash. As many people that have been there searching? But someone above said the only part of it found came up on a beach so that may be the answer. Paper doesn't do well in water.

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Marby
I do find it hard to believe that everyone knows the area in which he went down and no one found that cash. As many people that have been there searching? But someone above said the only part of it found came up on a beach so that may be the answer. Paper doesn't do well in water.

I watched a show on this that stated that a couple of kids found some of the money halfway into a river bank, many years after the fact. The serial numbers on the bills were matched to those on the bills given to Cooper. It was not all of the money. I forget the amount. It would probably survive for a bit longer in the wet because money isn't printed on paper. It's linen. While it can certainly get ruined in the wet, it's sturdier than actual paper.

I don't remember the name of the TV show, but it was on the UK Crime and Investigation channel several months ago.

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