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Modern Mysteries

New clues emerge in DB Cooper hijack mystery

By T.K. Randall
November 26, 2015 · Comment icon 25 comments



A police sketch of DB Cooper. Image Credit: PD / US Government
The man who successfully hijacked an airliner in 1971 might have been a missing grocery store manager.
The incident began when a mysterious man, who at the time went by the name Dan Cooper, boarded Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 305 to travel from Portland to Seattle.

During the trip Cooper called over one of the flight attendants and asked them to write out a note declaring that he had a bomb in his briefcase and that the plane was being hijacked.

When the aircraft stopped at Tacoma International Airport he allowed the passengers to leave in exchange for four parachutes and the sum of $200,000 in cash.

After the plane had taken off again, Cooper strapped the bag of money to himself, put on one of the parachutes and jumped out somewhere between Seattle and Reno. No trace of him was ever found.
Fast forward to the present day however and now a woman by the name of Lisa Lepsy has come forward to claim that DB Cooper may have actually been her father, a grocery store manager who had gone missing at around the same time that the hijacking had taken place.

She made the connection after recognizing him in a news report about the incident.

"When the composite sketch of DB Cooper came on the TV screen, everyone looked at each other and said, 'That's dad!'" she said. "We were stunned because the resemblance was unbelievable, and my brothers and I were all sure that was our dad."

Even if she is right however much still remains unexplained about the case - especially what happened to Cooper after he had parachuted from the plane.

The discovery in 1980 of wads of rotting $20 bills matching the serial numbers of the notes given to him during the hijacking had long suggested that he may have perished after jumping out.

Source: Telegraph | Comments (25)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #16 Posted by 2-B 7 years ago
I did not even get as far a slight resemblance. The guy they want it to be went missing 2 years before the hijack, that's a long time to plan something after leaving home and going missing. Sometimes composite sketches are so good they're like photographs. In the Hannah Graham case, I was positive the sketch of the VA rape suspect matched the suspect in Hannah's case two days before police officially announced Jesse Matthew was the same guy. But a lot of times, composite sketches are almost cartoons, and that's what I feel the D.B. Cooper sketch is--one that simply gives a vague idea of featur... [More]
Comment icon #17 Posted by 2-B 7 years ago
what i don't understand is why he asked for four parachutes ? and don't you think $200,000 is too little ? In 1971, the idea that a gallon of gas could EVER go as high as $1.00 a gallon was so extreme as to be unbelievable. You could buy a Volkswagen Bug for about $2,000 bucks. $200,000 isn't much in today's dollars--it would have gone a lot further back then. As for the parachutes, the Generation Why podcast did two episodes on Cooper. The second was a military guy who talked all about the parachutes. I listened to it too long ago to replicate details here, but you can find it on iTunes if in... [More]
Comment icon #18 Posted by freetoroam 7 years ago
Sometimes composite sketches are so good they're like photographs. In the Hannah Graham case, I was positive the sketch of the VA rape suspect matched the suspect in Hannah's case two days before police officially announced Jesse Matthew was the same guy. But a lot of times, composite sketches are almost cartoons, and that's what I feel the D.B. Cooper sketch is--one that simply gives a vague idea of features, race, age, hairstyle. Given that, I would say Lepsey fits the sketch as much as a number of other potential suspects do--to my eyes anyway. I find the tie and the loafers pretty intrigui... [More]
Comment icon #19 Posted by 2-B 7 years ago
What is odd is that he would have spent 2 years with the same tie and same loafers. He could have planned this at home with his family without them knowing his plan and how did he know about the money 2 years previously? I'm saying maybe the idea never struck him until he found himself living from job to job (no steady job b/c he's living an "underground" life). He gets tired of being poor and wants fast money. In that scenario, it's an idea he wouldn't have conceived of at home with his family--only when he realized his plan to run away wasn't going so smoothly.
Comment icon #20 Posted by TheGreatBeliever 7 years ago
I think so too that he died after jumping off. So sad after all the effort n trouble he did not manage to enjoy the money..
Comment icon #21 Posted by atom2084 7 years ago
Perhaps he jumped out, parachuted and successfully landed; then blew all his money in a casino in Reno and is living on the streets unrecognizable by anyone because he's grown a beard.
Comment icon #22 Posted by regi 7 years ago
Yeah, I highly doubt that that man was D.B. Cooper...
Comment icon #23 Posted by scocope 6 years ago
Obviously those two sketches were of the same man; both had two ears, two eyes and a mouth. Perhaps a photo of the manager would have been better?
Comment icon #24 Posted by Hawkin 6 years ago
In today's dollars that's $ 1.1 million.
Comment icon #25 Posted by regi 6 years ago
There's a photo at the link in post #5.  I think if the DB Cooper sketch is accurate, then the ears don't match and that alone is a deal-breaker. (I read it somewhere to look at the ears... that the ears are a highly discriminating physical feature.)


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