View Full Version : The FBI to use fingerprints to try to verify D.B. Cooper

netscape check two
08-02-2011, 12:56 AM
--FBI pursues new clues in 1971 D.B. Cooper hijack case

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SEATTLE (Reuters) - Four decades after a skyjacker dubbed D.B. Cooper bailed out of a U.S. jetliner in mid-air and vanished with $200,000 in cash, federal agents are pursuing new clues pointing to a suspect they believe is long dead, an FBI spokesman said on Tuesday.

The latest lead in the case originated with a source in law enforcement, who directed agents to a person who was close to the suspect and obtained objects now being analyzed to see if they bear fingerprints matching those left by the hijacker on the plane, said Frederick Gutt, FBI special agent in Seattle.

Gutt declined to reveal the law enforcement source, the person the FBI was led to, or the deceased individual whose fingerprints were being examined.

But he said the suspect in question is someone who was not previously known to investigators.

The case of D.B. Cooper, a moniker given to the skyjacker by the media after he disappeared, has endured as one of America's great unsolved mysteries.

It began when a dark-haired man who appeared to be in his mid-40s, dressed in a business suit and tie, hijacked a Seattle-bound Northwest Orient Airlines flight from Portland, Oregon, on November 24, Thanksgiving eve, 1971.

The man, calling himself "Dan Cooper," slipped a note to a flight attendant after takeoff saying he had a bomb, then opened his briefcase to reveal red-colored sticks attached to a mass of wires, according to an FBI online account of the case.

The plane landed in Seattle, where he freed the 36 other passengers in exchange for $200,000 in cash from the airline and four parachutes but kept several crew members aboard as the plane took off again, ordered this time to fly to Mexico.

He ended up jumping out of the back of the jetliner into the night with a parachute and the ransom money somewhere between Seattle and Reno, Nevada, over what was believed to be a rugged, wooded area.

According to the Seattle Times, the plane was flying through a storm at about 10,000 feet at the time, with the air temperatures outside at about seven degrees below zero. The plane landed safely, but Cooper was never seen again.

He was believed by some to have likely perished when he bailed out of the aircraft. The only trace from his getaway was a crumbling package of $20 bills matching the ransom money's serial numbers, unearthed by a young boy from a sandbar along the Columbia River in 1980.

The FBI official said that authorities have ruled out Kenny Christiansen, a former Northwest employee once suspected in the case. The FBI said it had considered over 800 suspects in all by the fifth anniversary of the hijacking.

"Yes, there is a lead in this matter that's being pursued," Gutt told Reuters. "It's someone who surfaced who hasn't surfaced before. It came from someone who's close to someone who is deceased. So far, we haven't been able to dismiss it."

He added: "We're seeking to compare prints and finding stuff that can add more solid evidence. We have to wait. We're still recovering some additional items. It's a process, and it's not a priority matter."

He also said the new lead, first reported over the weekend by The Telegraph newspaper in London, actually originated over a year ago.

netscape check two
08-04-2011, 12:41 AM
--US woman claims famed hijacker is her uncle


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) When an FBI agent pleaded several years ago for help finding notorious skyjacker D.B. Cooper, he wondered, off-handedly, if someone's "odd uncle" might be their guy.

Marla Cooper believes her late uncle Lynn Doyle Cooper was, and is "thoroughly convinced" he hijacked a plane in 1971 and parachuted away with $200,000 ransom into a rainy night over the Pacific Northwest.

"I was 8 years old, so I can't tell you exactly what he said, but I do remember the words: 'Our money problems are over. We just need to go back and get the money,'" she said in an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday.

While federal investigators say solving the hijacking is a low priority because present-day criminals pose a greater threat, the case holds a prominent place in American folklore: here's a guy who pulled an incredible heist and got away.

"We're desperate to believe in people who can do things we can't," said Geoffrey Gray, who has written a book about the case.

The FBI isn't convinced D.B. Cooper even survived the jump, but has chased more than 1,000 leads in the nation's only unsolved hijacking. It said Monday it was following a new lead, but FBI agent Fred Gutt declined Wednesday to say whether Marla Cooper was their source.

"It is an unsolved crime and we are obligated to address that if new, credible information comes to us," Gutt said.

Marla Cooper, whose comments were first reported by ABC News, said she recalled two of her uncles, including an uncle she knew as "L.D.," plotting something "underhanded" during a visit to her grandmother's house in Sisters, Oregon, during the Thanksgiving holiday in 1971.

"I knew they weren't shooting straight with me when they were teasing me and telling me they were going turkey hunting," she told the AP.

"I was a witness to them returning from their so-called turkey hunt early the next morning ... when my uncle L.D. was very injured and heard them telling my father that they had hijacked an airplane," she said.

Over the years, Marla Cooper said she never gave much thought to the incident until she pieced together her memories with comments made first by her father, shortly before his death in 1995, and later her mother two years ago.

After her mother's comments spurred her memory, Marla Cooper said she looked up the story of D.B. Cooper and "over the next few days, I was just flooded with memories of what happened."

She said she contacted the FBI after she "was certain that what I was remembering were real memories and not imagined." When agents didn't immediately follow up, she spoke with a retired law enforcement agent who later talked to federal investigators.

On Nov. 24, 1971, a man who gave his name as Dan Cooper claimed shortly after takeoff in Portland, Oregon, that he had a bomb, leading the flight crew of the Northwest Orient plane to land in Seattle. Passengers were exchanged for parachutes and ransom money.

The flight then took off for Mexico with the suspect and flight crew on board. The hijacker parachuted from the plane after dark as it flew south, apparently over a rugged, wooded region about 100 miles (160 kilometers) from Marla Cooper's grandmother's home.

The story has captured the imagination of amateur sleuths for decades in part because it has all the elements of a classic tale, including a hero who is perceived as a Robin Hood-type character, said Gray, whose book "Skyjack: The Hunt for D.B. Cooper" comes out this month.

"We all want to believe in heroes, even if they're bad guys," Gray said.

A generic looking sketch released by the FBI shortly after the hijacking only added to the media frenzy, Gray said.

"That sketch became just a blank portrait for people to fill in with their own fears, suspicions and hunches, and this phenomenon emerged," he said.

But without something more than the memories of an 8-year-old girl, Gray said he remains skeptical Lynn Doyle Cooper is actually D.B. Cooper. He said the FBI's case file is littered with names of dozens of people who suspected a relative might be the infamous hijacker.

"It's unclear what separates Uncle L.D. from this lot," he said.

Seattle-based FBI case agent Larry Carr was tasked with reigniting the case five years ago and the agency posted a "D.B. Cooper Redux" on its site in 2007, urging the public to help solve the enduring mystery.

The FBI released photos of a black J.C. Penney tie the hijacker wore and some of the stolen $20 bills found by a young boy in 1980 along the banks of the Columbia River. In the FBI's recounting, it quoted Carr as saying he thought it was likely that Cooper didn't survive the jump.

But Carr still sought the public's help.

"Maybe a hydrologist can use the latest technology to trace the $5,800 in ransom money found in 1980 to where Cooper landed upstream," Carr said. "Or maybe someone just remembers that odd uncle."

The FBI said a new lead came to the bureau after a tipster initially discussed the case with a retired law enforcement officer, who then contacted the agency. Gutt said only after the FBI contacted the tipster directly did the person speak with investigators.

The lead focuses on a suspect who died more than 10 years ago.

Marla Cooper said her uncle died in 1999 but wouldn't say where he lived before his death.

She said her mother recently provided investigators with a guitar strap belonging to her uncle to be tested for fingerprints.

Investigators have tested a guitar strap from the suspect who is the subject of the new lead, Gutt said Wednesday, but found it wasn't suitable for fingerprint analysis. They are now working with family members to identify other items that can be analyzed.

But the FBI doesn't have a timeframe for how long it will take to vet the lead, which is something they've known about for more than a year, he said.


netscape check two
08-09-2011, 04:12 PM
--No DNA match for latest DB Cooper suspect, FBI says

DNA analysis has failed to establish a link between the skyjacker dubbed D.B. Cooper and a new suspect in the decades-old case, but the results do not rule out that he may have been the culprit, the FBI said on Monday.

The FBI's disclosure came days after an Oklahoma woman came forward to say she believes her late uncle, Lynn Doyle Cooper, was the mysterious man who hijacked a Pacific Northwest flight in 1971 and then vanished.

The FBI declined to say if the suspect whose DNA was checked against that of the hijacker was Lynn Doyle Cooper, but the circumstances appeared to match.

The FBI has a necktie the hijacker is believed to have worn, and DNA taken from a family member of the latest suspect did not match the DNA on the tie, said FBI Special Agent Fred Gutt, a spokesman for the bureau's Seattle office.

"He's not been ruled out," Gutt said.

That is because there are strands of DNA from three different people on the necktie, which could have been bought at a second-hand store, Gutt said.

"We don't even know if (any of the strands of DNA) belong to the hijacker," he said.

A man who in 1971, under the name Dan Cooper, bought a plane ticket in Portland, Oregon, for a Seattle-bound flight on Northwest Orient Airlines seized control of the plane by claiming to have a bomb.

He freed passengers after landing in Seattle in exchange for $200,000 from the airline. Then he ordered the plane to take off again, and jumped out of the aircraft with the cash and a parachute.

The suspect name "D.B. Cooper," rather than "Dan Cooper," came from media reports about the case.

Marla Wynn Cooper, 48, of Oklahoma City said last week that she recalls her uncle, Lynn Doyle Cooper, arriving bloody and bruised to a family gathering soon after the hijacking.

She also said that conversations she overheard at the time between him and another family member suggest that they had plotted the hijacking.

Marla Wynn Cooper said she believes her uncle died in 1999. She said on Monday that the FBI would like to run more tests, to compare fingerprints lifted in 1971 from the hijacked airliner to any prints her uncle may have left at the last place he lived, a home near Reno, Nevada.

But first, investigators would need to obtain fingerprints from that home, she said.

"There's no way to prove the case unless they do that," Marla Cooper said.

Ron Paul 2012
08-09-2011, 09:51 PM
um what are they going to do if the find the guy. they cant press charges. time up on the case. Are the just going to give him a pat on the back and say, "good job you got us."
and if he is dead are they gonna give him a reword for accomplishing the crime. i guess no its about solving the mystery. he won after 20 years of the investigation.