Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How the Hunt for D.B. Cooper Worked


Lots More Information

Author's note: How the Hunt for D.B. Cooper Worked

D.B. Cooper was one of the first subjects, like ghosts and trepanation, to catch my attention as a kid. I remember seeing his story first on the old NBC series Unsolved Mysteries, and I still hear Robert Stack's voice narrate when I imagine the staircase lowering from the jet in flight and Cooper jumping into the night sky over Washington. When I came to HowStuffWorks.com and worked as the history writer for a time, this was one of the first article ideas I pitched.

One of the parts of the D.B. Cooper story that makes it so enduring isn't just the mystery alone. It's also the tantalizing clues or the theories from retired FBI agents that float to the surface of the media from time to time and revive the whole discussion again. The D.B. Cooper mystery is alluring because it may never be solved (and I kind of hope it isn't).

But there is also a darker side to it -- even darker than the crime itself. The Cooper theft led to a new world where hijacking is possible. In just a few short years, taking control of airplanes filled with hostages became too regular an occurrence. I don't think you can pin that trend entirely on Cooper, but his crime did take away a lot of the naïveté that people once had toward air travel.

Related Articles

More Great Links

Sources

  • Andrade, Marty. "Gunther versus Larry Carr's profile." Oct. 13, 2015. https://martinandrade.wordpress.com/2015/10/13/gunther-versus-larry-carrs-profile/
  • Andrade, Marty. "Understanding the Tina Bar Find." Oct. 23, 2015. https://martinandrade.wordpress.com/2015/10/23/understanding-the-tina-bar-find/
  • Ashcroft, Brent. "Could missing man from Grayling, Mich. Be D.B. Cooper?" Detroit Free Press. Nov. 24, 2015. http://www.freep.com/story/life/2015/11/24/dick-lepsy-ross-richardson-lisa-db-cooper-grayling-michigan-fbi/75886946/
  • Associated Press. "D.B. Cooper skyjacking cash sold in Dallas auction." Fox News. June 13, 2008. http://www.foxnews.com/story/2008/06/13/db-cooper-skyjacking-cash-sold-in-dallas-auction.html
  • Associated Press. "Did children find D.B. Cooper's parachute?" NBC News. March 26, 2008. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/23801264/ns/us_news-life/t/did-children-find-db-coopers-parachute/
  • Beck, Katherine. "Dan Cooper parachutes from skyjacked jetliner on November 24, 1971." HistoryLink.org. Aug. 30, 2011. http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&File_Id=1997
  • Berkes, Howard. "D.B. Cooper update: FBI says no DNA match with new suspect." NPR. Aug. 9, 2011. http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2011/08/09/139259039/d-b-cooper-update-fbi-says-no-dna-match-with-new-suspect
  • CitizenSleuths.com. "Titanium particles from Cooper's tie." 2016. http://www.citizensleuths.com/titaniumparticles.html
  • CitizenSlueths.com. "D.B. Cooper: Everything you need to know in 5 minutes." 2016. http://www.citizensleuths.com/db-cooper-what-you-need-to-know.html
  • Clifton, Guy and Emerson Marcus. "A tale of the '70s: When D.B. Cooper's plane landed in Reno." Reno Gazette-Journal. July 13, 2016. http://www.rgj.com/story/news/2014/11/24/reno-retro-db-coopers-plane-landed-reno-airport/70049690/
  • Cratty, Carol. "FBI working new lead in D.B. Cooper hijacking case." Aug. 2, 2011. http://www.cnn.com/2011/CRIME/08/01/fbi.db.cooper/
  • Eddy, Cheryl. "The 8 most intriguing theories about skyjacker D.B. Cooper." io9. April 23, 2015. http://io9.com/the-8-most-intriguing-theories-about-skyjacker-d-b-coo-1699652025
  • Gray, Geoffrey. "Unmasking D.B. Cooper." New York Magazine. Oct. 22, 2007. http://nymag.com/news/features/39593/
  • Gray, Geoffrey. "D.B. Cooper: Fingerprint-phobe? (Exclusive)." Huffington Post. Oct. 2, 2011. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/geoffrey-gray/db-cooper-fingerprint-phobe_b_916521.html
  • Gray, Geoffrey. "DNA test negative for D.B. Cooper suspect; a new sketch emerges." New York Magazine. Aug. 9, 2011. http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2011/08/dna_test_negative_db_cooper_su.html#
  • Gray, Geoffrey. "Skyjack: The Hunt for D.B. Cooper." Broadway Paperbacks. 2012. https://books.google.com/books?id=01dWQTJamLkC&dq
  • McNerthney, Casey. "Suspected D.B. Cooper parachute may actually be from '45 military crash." April 1, 2008. http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Suspected-D-B-Cooper-parachute-may-actually-be-1268879.php
  • Miletich, Steve. "D.B. Cooper suspect was surveyor; brother worked for Boeing." The Seattle Times. Aug. 5, 2011. http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/db-cooper-suspect-was-surveyor-brother-worked-for-boeing/
  • Parachutist. "The secrets of D.B. Cooper, Part One – Notorious Flight 305." May 2010. http://parachutistonline.com/feature/secrets-db-cooper-part-one-notorious-flight-305
  • Pulkkinen, Levi. "D.B. Cooper parachute displayed for first time." SeattlePI. Aug. 22, 2013. http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/D-B-Cooper-parachute-displayed-for-first-time-4749773.php#photo-5072320
  • RoadsideAmerica.com. "Ariel, Washington: DB Cooper Days – Ariel Tavern." http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/45729
  • Sabin, Warwick and Max Brantley. "Mena man to sell D.B. Cooper cash." Arkansas Times. Jan. 26, 2006. http://www.arktimes.com/arkansas/mena-man-to-sell-db-cooper-cash/Content?oid=863980
  • Seattle PI. "A look back at D.B. Cooper: Wanted criminal and Northwest legend." Nov. 24, 2014. http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/A-look-back-at-D-B-Cooper-a-wanted-criminal-and-5914795.php
  • Sluggo's Northwest 305 Hijacking Research Site. "The history of the skyjacking." Jan. 8, 2011. http://n467us.com/History%20of%20The%20NW%20Airlines%20Flight%20305%20Hijacking.htm
  • Smith, Bruce A. "The hunt for D.B. Cooper – New evidence on money sheds harsh light on FBI investigation but excites citizen sleuths." The Mountain News. Nov. 16, 2012. http://themountainnewswa.net/2012/11/16/the-hunt-for-db-cooper-new-evidence-on-money-find-sheds-harsh-light-on-fbi-investigation-but-excites-citizen-sleuths/
  • The Mountain News. "The hunt for D.B. Cooper – the Barb Dayton confession." Feb. 11, 2011. http://themountainnewswa.net/2011/02/11/continuing-the-hunt-for-db-cooper-pierce-county-involvement-in-the-case/
  • Wikipedia. "The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper." Sept. 14, 2016. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pursuit_of_D._B._Cooper

More to Explore