Welcome to Just curious media. This is that's a crime. I'm Jason Connell.
And I'm Sal Rodriguez.
All right, Sal, here we are with a brand new show. That's a crime. And, like always, I bring you along when I launch a new show.
I'm very excited to be here. Jason, I love talking crime.
You do? I've always noticed that about you. So I knew you'd be the perfect person to explore this podcast with me. And so every episode, we're going to deal with a different crime. They could be everything from a petty crime to a murder, if you will. But you have to start somewhere and sell I was always fascinated by this case. I don't know why it just got in my mind. I never could get it loose. And that is, of course, DB Cooper. And his story happened in 1971. And so what do you remember about this? Before we get into it? Does it ring a bell with you when I told you about it immediately connect the dots?
What when you mentioned the name DB Cooper, I automatically knew the name. But I didn't have a lot of information or insight into the case or the story itself, whether the urban folklore or the actual FBI story, because you can go on to the FBI website, right and read about it. So they're pretty open about it, especially after all this time. So yeah, I knew the name. I didn't know much about the case. But I do know that it isn't one of the greatest unsolved cases. I mean, I would almost compare it to America's version of Jack the Ripper. Right, Jack the Ripper, a lot of speculation as to who he was unsolved to this day, today, a lot of speculation about who DB Cooper was, but unsolved to this day. So I would definitely make that parallel.
And to be clear, DB Cooper didn't kill anyone, as far as we know.
That's true. I'm only saying that in the sense of famous unsolved cases. Yes.
So I wanted to launch a new show, and another passion of mine, which was crime, true crime, if you will. And now we do let's talk Cobra Kai, which is an amazing show about all things, and the Karate Kid and Cobra Kai universe. And I co host that with Sal Rodriguez with you, of course. And there's another spin off show from that called Let's Talk movies, where I do deep dives into various films from head to toe beat by beat we go through every scene of the movie season one is 10 different movies from 10 different years in the 80s. And we covered An American Werewolf in London, Wall Street to live and die in LA, the fly Fast Times at Ridgemont High, as well as risky business, and most recently, the Terminator in which Sal has done three of those seven episodes. So this was a chance to flex some different muscles and talk about various true crime. And I started with this case, because again, it was something I've always thought about. And it's kind of irrelevant now, which is shocking, because we're already slated to do this. And so just a few weeks ago, HBO launched a documentary called The Mystery of DB Cooper.
Yeah, I got to watch this because I really am wondering if they have any new information because I I think at this point in time, the case is sort of officially closed. I think the FBI air quotes closed the case in 2016. And yet here they have this brand new HBO documentary. Have we learned anything in the last four years? I'd love to know.
I haven't seen it yet. I was shocked that this was coming out. It is directed by a very talented director John dower who did my Scientology movie as well as one of my favorite dogs, which is once in a lifetime, the extraordinary story of The New York Cosmos, a soccer team from the 80s that I saw play quite often when they would come to town and play in my Tulsa roughnecks in the NASL. So, fantastic doc. And so it's in really good hands. I can only imagine HBO usually picks up good stuff, so we both need to check that out. And even in the 80s there was a movie called The pursuit of DB Cooper directed by Roger Spottiswoode, who did like Turner and Hooch stop, your mom will shoot one of your favorites. Sal. Tomorrow Never Dies, a James Bond movie, and it had Robert D voluntary Williams in it. So I mean, this was a pretty big movie 10 years after the case. Did you ever see it?
No, I never saw that. As a matter of fact, the only thing I think I saw was a one or two episodes of DB Cooper hosted by Leonard Nimoy that was about it.
That show ran from 76 to 82. A lot to uncover there about dB Cooper. Thanks to Leonard Nimoy Rest in peace, the fantastic person and actor also played Spock on Star Trek. But anyway, so it's relevant. They're making shows about this in the 70s, a movie in the 80s. And there's a documentary now and there's probably been a lot of things in between. So we want to start this podcast with this case.
Yeah. And you know what, I'm only going to want to pull off a huge heist after this. I mean, you know, here we here we are in the technological age, and there's some things you probably can't get away with or you need to have the tech savviness In order to get away with things, I think back in yesteryear, particularly 1971, particularly as it relates to airport security, there's just a lot of stuff you could have gotten away with. And this guy did. So that's what makes it even extra special because it's kind of frozen in time.
It's true. And I guess I'm also fond of the year because it's also my birth year. So nice, which makes me feel old.
And it also happened on on a Wednesday. I know you and I, we love throwing dates around and in days of the week, why a Wednesday? Well, that was
Thanksgiving Eve. Yeah, yeah. So
that was planned kind
of a holiday, you know, holiday adjacent. People are winding things down on that Wednesday before Thanksgiving. So maybe that had a lot to do with it.
First of all, I just want to say in doing this podcast, any information I share about my past that may involve crimes or crimes or misdemeanors, or any time spent in jail. It's all fabricated, it's all for entertainment purposes. Yes. So like one thing I will say just to piggyback on when this happened, he did this on a Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving. Why would he do it? Then there's a number of reasons and a lot of speculation. Well, one thing I will tell you, as a former teenage shoplifter, you want to strike when the employees are kind of listless and tired. And when it comes to the holiday season, especially like Thanksgiving, right before Thanksgiving, remember not Black Friday, yet not Christmas shopping yet. Employees are kind of getting into the holiday mode, the holiday spirit, they're thinking other families are thinking of their dinners. In other words, they are off guard. So the fact that this happened on a Wednesday before Thanksgiving makes perfect sense for catching the staff off guard.
I agree. And this is a very detail oriented man. And yet we're soon to get into some of these details. And so it was not by mistake that it was that day. So you bring up a really good point. So let us jump in to the story of DB Cooper. So on Thanksgiving Eve, November 24 1971, a middle aged man carrying a black attache case approaches the flight counter of South Northwest orient airlines.
That's correct. You know, the funny thing about that this was originally Well, Northwest orient Airlines was a division of Northwest Airlines. Yes. And the acronym for Northwest Airlines was u and w. So I think that's funny.
So this is at the Portland International Airport. And He identifies Himself is Dan Cooper. And he uses cash to buy a one way ticket. So how much for that ticket again,
he paid $20 cash. And I always like looking at the rate of inflation. You know, they have these inflation calculators online, you can punch in an amount and a date and you get the amount. Fantastic. So he paid $20 in 1971 for a one way ticket from Portland, Oregon to Seattle, Washington. That would be $128.59 in 2020 money.
This is a day and age where people more often than not just rolled up to the counter, not knowing how many seats are available, put down cash and they're off. I know you can probably still do that today. But so most people go on hotwire or wherever they fly from wherever they're comfortable with. And they booked this thing weeks and months in advance to get a good deal. So the world was just different. It was very
different. You know, there were a few pivotal points in airport security. I mean, this, this podcast might as well be on the evolution of airport security. That's why I say this crime could not be committed today in the same way, because a DB Cooper marked the beginning of the end for unfettered and unscrutinized commercial airline travel 31 hijackings committed in US airspace in 19 7019 of them for the specific purpose of extorting money. And most of the rest were attempts to reach Cuba. So in 15 of the extortion cases, the hijackers also demanded parachutes. So this guy not only created a trend, he created the standard.
Yeah, exactly. So he purchases this ticket. I believe it was seat 18. See, there's some discrepancy about that, but we'll go with it. And it was flight 305. Now this is a 30 minute trip. So because he is flying to Seattle, and he's on this flight with 35 other passengers. So I like to think it's a pretty sparse plane.
Yeah. And also, again, going back to catching the staff off guard. Imagine the day before Thanksgiving for a 30 minute flight. Yeah, they were in thanksgiving mode already. You're not thinking anything is gonna go down on a 30 minute flight from Portland, Oregon, to Seattle, Washington in 1971. You are not prepared for this now.
When I think about this whole story sell the movie Catch Me If You Can always comes to mind if you've seen that film, the Steven Spielberg film with Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Have you seen it? I know about it, but I've never seen it. No.
It's a fantastic film. You need to sit please watch it. It's all about the true story of Frank abic. Nail it's real interesting guy, cat and mouse kind of thing. Very DB Cooper esque. But they're also in airports a lot. and travel and it was just that era. So in my mind looks like that you need to see the movie. And so and Cooper is that suave kind of guy, that James Bond if you will, which we're about to get into. So he's described as a quiet man who's wearing a business suit, black tie white shirt. And so he's his cool, calm and collected on the flight. And I believe he even orders a drink, not just any old drink. This is like kind of a James Bond, play in my mind. And what is the
order? He orders a bourbon and soda? Yes, now
it wasn't Shaken, not stirred. But still, you know, here's a guy on the verge of doing something extraordinary. And having a bourbon and soda just kind of relaxed. So shortly after takeoff, Cooper, then hands a note to a flight attendant. And so what does this say?
Well, supposedly, when he first handed her the note, she thought it was he was flirting with her and what you'd like his phone number, right? So apparently, she just put the note away. Like just thought she'd deal with it later. You know, obviously, this guy's trying to hit on her. But he leans over to any whispers miss, you'd better look at that note. I have a bomb.
Hello. The old bomb on a plane. Yeah, yeah. So then the flight attendant reads the note. And then Cooper told her to sit next to him. And I'd love this hour that she asked to quietly asked to see the bomb.
Yeah, interesting. I find that very interesting that the flight attendant would ask that.
Yeah, show me yours. I'll show you mine. Like, what is that? Prove it to me? Yeah, so he does. And there's what eight red cylinders attached to wires and kind of what you would expect from a bomb and a case?
Well, also, again, if you look at this case, the only person who saw this bomb was this flight attendant. So we are relying on her testimony alone, that she saw a bomb or something that looked like a bomb. So when it comes to eyewitness testimony, I'm sure you know, Jason looking at true crime. Eyewitness testimony is the least reliable testimony. So when she say she saw a bomb in a suitcase, I go, Oh, no, no,
no, I agree. But this is the 70s. And there are no air marshals. And it's a different era. And so he closes the briefcase, and he gives her his demands, which of course is $200,000. And this is 1971 sale. So please translate that to today.
$200,000 in 2020 Money is $1,285,866.67.
Wow, a lot of money. And beyond the $200,000. He is also asking for what
he also asked for for parachutes. For
parachutes, to primaries, and to reserves.
Yes. And supposedly he asked for for parachutes. So we can trick the authorities into thinking that he was going to take hostages. So he requested for so they'll think, well, we can't screw with these parachutes, because we may kill somebody. So that was apparently the reason why he did that.
Yeah. And he also requested a field truck standing by in Seattle to refuel the aircraft upon arrival.
And then in Seattle when they refuel the aircraft is where they're supposed to give them the money and the four parachutes, right so that's supposed to happen in Seattle, which is where they were going to land anyway. Right?
They were going there anyway, but now this plan is in motion his plan is working flawlessly. Also like when the flight attendant comes back after she delivered Cooper's instructions to the pilots. He's now wearing sunglasses, he's now changed his look completely. His he's gotten total rogue with the sunglasses on the pilot contacts Seattle Tacoma airport, air traffic control, and pretty much relays what is going on. And, you know, they don't want to have panic on their hand because saw the last thing they need is 35 passengers on this plane freaking out.
They did not tell the passengers that we've been hijacked. Instead, they just go Yeah, yeah, we're gonna fly around for a while because of a mechanical difficulty. And I guess the people on the plane were just said, Okay, fine.
So it's a 30 minute flight. It's Thanksgiving Eve, and they're doing two hours around the Puget Sound.
Yeah, yeah. But you know what, I think if I were a passenger, I would say what you mean a mechanical difficulty with our plane or with another plane on the ground, and we can't land because if we got a mechanical difficulty on our plane, I'm freaking out.
Exactly. And these people have time they're travelled to be with their loved ones, most likely, or if they're a commuter, they're wanting to get home. It's Thanksgiving the next day. So now you can tell there's probably some murmurs about people aren't that pleased. But, you know, they got a guy with a bomb on the plane, which they don't know, which they don't know.
Yeah, because DB Cooper is just playing it calm and cool. And it seems like the only communication we have so far is between him and the flight attendant, and then the flight attendant to the pilots and then the pilots to the emergency personnel. So Oh, yes, the passengers are unaware of everything that's going down. So meanwhile,
Northwestern orient has agreed to pay the ransom. And in doing so they're scrambling around working with the FBI. They're getting the parachutes, right. He got to get the money, and a lot to play. And this is a long time ago, the 70s they're trying to stir up $200,000
Yeah. And then parachutes they got from a local skydiving school, because you got Yeah, what are the how you get parachutes. You know, like, right now, if I wanted to parachute right now, what the hell am I gonna do? I don't know where to go, let alone four of them. Yeah, exactly. So that's what they had to do. They had to scramble to get the money and to get the parachutes.
And meanwhile, the flight attendant says that the whole time DB Cooper's remained calm, polite, well spoken. He wasn't nervous at all. And in fact, he ordered a second bourbon and soda.
Yeah, yeah. One of the flight attendants said he seemed rather nice. Those quote seemed rather nice, never cruel or nasty. He was thoughtful and calm. All the time. Sort of the gentleman bandit, if you will.
Yeah, he even paid his drink tab. And he attempted to give the flight attendant a tip.
Yeah, I do think the paying his drink tab is pretty funny. Like, like, I'm about jacking this plane, but I believe in paying my bills. That's a funny approach.
Exactly. So now the FBI has assembled this ransom money, if you will, from various banks in the Seattle area,
they went with 10,000 unmarked $20 bills, and most of the serial numbers beginning with the letter L. And they also made a microfilm photograph of each of them.
Right. And then Cooper rejects the military issued parachutes, instead demanding this civilian parachutes with the manual operating rip cords. Now, I know zilch about parachutes out, but this guy knows a lot about it.
Well, I think that the military parachutes have what they call the static lines where you hook up the line, and then as soon as you jump out the chute deploys, versus the manually operated rip corps where you get to have a freefall. And then the user gets to decide when to pull the ripcord.
Yeah. So at 539 the aircraft lands at Seattle Tacoma airport, and the passengers are released once he gets the money, which is so interesting to me. So he's not a guy that wants to hurt anybody. Scott is money, shuffles them off, but he's kept the pilots. I think there was an engineer, and one of the flight attendants on the plane.
Yeah, you know what, I don't know if I would have released the hostages. If I were in dB. Cooper's position. Exactly. Yeah. I mean, you know, if he knows all along, he has no intentions of killing anyone. I think that right, there is your main bargaining chip here leverage. Exactly, yeah, yeah. So but but hey, he did it. So he's, uh, he's a nicer guy than me.
I guess they assumed if he had a bomb, he could still blow up the plane, he still has these other people on there. And so the authorities are, you know, going to protect them as well. But I agree. If he has no intention of hurting anyone, just do a quick land, get that money and move on. But I guess he was thinking about their holiday, maybe had some side conversations with some people and the Mets of his bourbons and sodas. You know, who knows what was going on?
You know, I think that's why in the urban folklore, people are sort of on DB Cooper side, because he was not a killer. dB Cooper pulled off the crime of the century, as far as I'm concerned, especially in American history, without killing a single person. Nobody even was injured. I mean, this guy, the more you study this case, the more you think how amazing this guy is,
you know, DB Cooper had he had one more bourbon and soda sale, perhaps the ups the ante and gets 300k and divvies it amongst some passengers. This is a goodwill. It's a Robin Hood, token of appreciation. And then Scott atolls on his way with his 200k That would be incredible how he done that, but he did not do that. And he lets the people off the plane. And I also liked the fact that he as they waited for this all to happen that gets the money and the people leave. He had all the window shades brought down because he was avoiding any sort of snipers. Yeah,
every detail was thought out everything he did had a purpose and had a point. Yeah, right down to the the shades. Yes. You don't want snipers to pick you off. So yeah, this guy thought of everything. Highly intelligent criminal.
Absolutely. A mastermind criminal. He's just after what he wants out. He's not trying to take on the world is not trying to kill anyone. He had a plan and it's in motion, and he knew the weaknesses and the cracks in the system. He knew it. This guy is having drinks. He knew this was going to work. If he executed it and he stayed calm and cool. It was going to work.
Yeah, that's why there's a lot of speculation which we may get into later about who this guy was, like, how does he know all this? How does he know all this information about the plane? Also, he makes comments about the countryside. Yeah. How does this guy know all this all this to so that we can find out who this guy is because, like, for example, they say that if you all of a sudden go for a Big Heist like this, it's because you're desperate. There is a reason why like you are i right now aren't going to try to steal a million dollars, because we don't need to write. But if something happened in our lives, where all of a sudden we become desperate, and we need to do or try a Big Heist. So there's a lot of speculation on the type of person that would do something like this.
True. So during the refueling, Cooper outlines his flight plan with the cockpit crew, which I just love this owl, he's got this whole thing mapped out. He's like, Okay, we're gonna go over here to Mexico City, and I need you to go to this minimum airspeed and without stalling the aircraft, approximately 100 knots at a maximum rate of 10,000 feet altitude. Oh, by the way, I do not want the cabin pressurized.
You can see he wanted to bring the plane to that height into that speed. What's the lowest we can be? And what's the slowest we can be? Because I'm going to jump out of this thing. Yeah,
exactly. So they discussed the next refueling option, because after this, going at these heights in this terrain, they informed him that they'll have to refuel again. So they agreed on Reno, Nevada.
Yeah. So they they originally started in Oregon. They went north to Seattle. And then they went back down sort of South East a little bit to Reno. Yes.
So now it's approximately 7:40pm. The Boeing 727 takes off with the five people on board. And what Cooper does not know and maybe anticipated, Sal, because he's a step ahead of everybody. But there are two F 106 fighter aircrafts in the air.
Yeah, they're on their tail. But I don't know what they're expecting to see. If you look at the time, so 7:40pm It's already dark, right? I don't know what they're expecting to see other than the plane itself.
Yes, exactly. The ones above it. ones below it. They're keeping an eye. They're out of Cooper's view. At the same time. Maybe they're waiting for a parachute to deploy, and then they could track it. I mean, it seems like a fool's mission. I mean, there's a reason why he's doing this at night. cloud coverage low, not easy, Sal, I don't know how good their radar is. But this is just a person jumping out of a plane. It's like a needle in a haystack. But whatever. These guys are deployed to see what they can see.
Yeah. And that's why he chose the recreational parachutes instead of the military parachutes, because the military parachutes are going to deploy as soon as he jumps out of the plane if he hooks up the static line. So he needs that freefall to get out of anyone's vision.
Yeah, so around 8pm A warning light flashes in the cockpit. And that means that the back entrance, I guess they call it the air stare, I believe apparatus has been activated. And so approximately 8:13pm The aircraft's tail section sustains a sudden upward movement is large enough to cause the plane to need to be leveled out, if you will, I guess. You're flying along and did deploy the door and it could have an impact on things. I don't know anything about aircrafts, but I'm assuming that's correct.
Yeah, I guess even one person's body weight affects the balance of a plane. So here's DB Cooper, at the very back of the plane on this lower stairwell that leaves you out. Yeah. So as soon as he is gone from that stairwell that affects the level of the plane again, yeah, news to me, what do I know about this, but I didn't know that these big planes were that sensitive.
I don't even know if it's him, per se, versus having that door open. I mean, I'm having flashbacks now to Air Force One, the Harrison Ford movie, Gary Oldman, and that door is open. And there's lots of scenes at the end of the movie going on with people coming and going and, and they're not affecting the plane course, Air Force One is a gigantic city, in the air. But I don't know if it's him, per se. I just think it's the fact that they're flying around with this thing open. So anyway, for all we know, around 813 is when DB Cooper parachutes away with $200,000 and is never to be seen again, as far as we know. And they go ahead and land the plane with this thing still deployed around 10:15pm. And this is the Reno airport and the FBI and State Troopers and everybody's waiting for themselves because they have no idea if he's on this plane or not.
Yeah, obviously there's speculation that he could be hiding somewhere in the plane but and you know, I thought about this obviously, because when you look at the environment of So where he jumped, right? You looked at the weather, I started thinking, I wonder if he never jumped at all. Maybe he was hidden somewhere in the plane, but that would be taken probably an even greater risk because surely they went on the plane with a German Shepherds. Yeah, yeah. So surely there was an exhaustive search of the plane unless this guy had so well in the plane. Maybe he knew Boeing planes so well, he knew little places to hide. I guess that's possible. I mean, cuz when you look at it, either way, is amazing. If he stayed on the plane, it was not caught, or if he jumped, and was never caught either way is amazing.
It's absolutely incredible. The fact that he hasn't been found, yes, he could have hid on the plane, we don't know. But no one ever spotted him again. Here we are almost 50 years later. And we're still talking about the case. But yet the man has never been found. Now the FBI is recovered, what 66 Unidentified latent fingerprints, a lot of the DNA evidence is just disappeared.
No, the DNA, forensic DNA evidence, as we know it today, was not popularized until the 80s. So this was ahead of its time. But again, if you've seen enough Forensic Files, as I have, believe me, you know that they can grab items from yesteryear, and maybe scrape off some DNA. So it's entirely possible that were we to have our hands on either the cigarette butts or on the glass that he had his bourbon and soda. If we had those in our possession, we could probably get some DNA off those and at least have some connections or some ethnic identification. For example, He's described by one man is swarthy. Yeah, DB Cooper was called swarthy. Well, that could mean he maybe he was an ethnic man, a lot of the suspects are, appear to be a white, as we would call white men versus any ethnic men. So there's a lot of things that could take place, if we had those cigarette butts and glass that he drank out of makes me very upset that we don't have those.
Sure, they did find his black clip on tie, and his tie clip, but I'm assuming they couldn't extract any DNA from that.
When you look at the case, it seems like they became fixated on the tie in the tie clip. For metals, they found some sort of metals on the tie, which led them all down all these avenues where they thought he worked in this industry or that industry, because of the metals that they found on the tie. They also found some DNA on on the tie on the tie clip. But there's no way of telling that that DNA is was from DB Cooper other than the fact that they found DNA. So like I said, fixated on this tie and tie clip when I believe there were other more important pieces of evidence that were either lost or just dismissed.
So now the local police and FBI agents were scrambling, they're questioning everybody. 800 Plus suspects, they have no leads. This is a big case. It's a big black guy in the in a homeland security, if you will. And there's even an Oregon man named DB Cooper. So during this podcast, we have switched over from Dan Cooper, which is actually the suspect's name to dB Cooper. And Sal, let's explain why.
Apparently, police went after a guy or a question a man named DB Cooper, who they thought was this man who called himself Dan Cooper. And somehow the name DB Cooper got into the newspapers. And before you know it, we should have been calling him Dan Cooper. But Dan Cooper became DB Cooper. And now here we are today talking about dB Cooper.
I think that has a lot to do with how this is lived on. Dan Cooper does not have the same staying power as dB Cooper. It's more mysterious. It's more fun to say it rolls off the tongue to D period. B period. And Irvin thought about the acronym what that stands for but you know, what is his name it but it's really funny how mistake becomes immortalized and, and is one of the biggest cases of all time.
I think that having an acronym first two initials in the case of EB white, or TS Eliot just is inherently interesting. As a matter of fact, for a few years, I went by Gs Rodriguez, I used to write some satire on the web about 20 years ago. And I use the name GS Rodriguez, which I thought looked good in written form. That was you. That was me. That was my ghost name.
So again, I think it played into this whole story living even a greater life. But yeah, this journalist got his things mixed up. It was racing a deadline, and he got confused by the suspects name. And the rest, as they say is history. Yeah, I said it earlier, but this really is a needle in the haystack where he is in reference to when he jumps out how long he waits to deploy his parachute. All these little variables could push this thing cities away. So they really They don't even know the right area to search. They're all over the map cell.
There was a point in time where they thought there may be some evidence in the Mount St. Helens area. But then there was an eruption, which probably burned up any existing evidence. So you're out there in mother nature, trying to find clues. I mean, just like you said, needle in a haystack. And then now you have a volcano erupting, burning any prospective evidence. So yeah, it's just a bad situation. I think it's entirely possible this case will never be solved. Because the further we get away from it. I mean, if you even look at the FBI investigation, the further we get away from the case, they were more focused on the money itself, they thought they would be more likely to find the money, then DB Cooper?
Yeah, let's spend $200 million to find $200,000. Let's do that.
Well, it doesn't make sense when you look at how much things cost. Like, for example, I had an identity theft incident in Hawaii, came back from Hawaii, and somewhere in Hawaii, somebody got my credit card number, bought $800 of Filipino airline tickets, talk to my bank, the bank, squared it all up. And I asked them though, I said, Are you guys gonna? Is there some sort of investigation? And they're like, No, we just write it off. You know, how much time and resources would take to investigate an $800 theft to a bank? I mean, it's nothing. They write it off, they run up. And so here we are with the DB Cooper. Yeah, how much time and resources have been spent now to find the guy that stole $200,000. Very interesting. I would have called the investigation off years ago.
Well, so a month after the hijack to go back to right after the FBI does release the serial numbers, the random serial numbers till all the financial institutions casinos, racetracks, any and everybody who may come across this cash, and not one bill surfaces. So in 1975, Northwest orient insurer finally pays the ransom back to them the $180,000 claim. So I guess $20,000 not included, maybe it had a max on it. But to your point, they I got that back seems like hey, we're all good. Let's all just move on. But the FBI, they probably also have this passion like we do for crime. They want to solve it. Like whatever happened, that guy, it's no longer make sense from a monetary standpoint. Just let's put this in the solved column. So they keep going. That case stays open. I doubt it was a crack team the whole time. And they probably pulled back a lot of the resources, and then a 90 and 80 something does happen. So
yeah, young kid finds money. Wish I could have young kid
finds money. That was the headline in the local paper. It was on a Sunday, February 10 1980, to be exact. So nine years later, young Brian Ingram was vacationing with his family on the Columbia River, about nine miles downstream from Vancouver, Washington. Okay. Not close to Reno. But that's neither here nor there. And he found three packets of the ransom cash as he was raking the riverbanks to build a campfire. And these bills soften not mistaken were very disintegrated. But they were still bundled in rubber bands.
Yeah, one of the the hopes all these years was a DB Cooper can be found by the money itself by the serial numbers on the money because apparently, that was one of the big breaks in the case of the famous Lindbergh baby case, right. When you look at the case of the Lindbergh baby, the suspect who was apprehended and charged with the crime, which by the way, there's a lot of arguments that he's not the real guy. But anyway, they when they finally catch the guy had to do with the money itself. This guy was found to have the money. All right, so they found the guy with the money. So they're hoping that they could could find DB Cooper with the money, but again, still hasn't happened. But I think they still have hope that the money itself will lead to dB Cooper, what do you think it
says about finding these and to be exact, they found two packs of $120 bills each and a third pack of 90. So all in the same order that it was given to Cooper. Now does this say to you, he died? He perished? And this getaway? Are does it say some of the money fell out? Or would he have left some money there? Which seems unlikely. So what does this little clue tell you about dB Cooper?
I think this was just some money that was dropped. I think that if he did indeed jump out of the plane, you know, the wind was so great. It was also it was a horrible night to jump. Yes, he could have easily dropped some of this money. But one thing I found interesting about this, this money found by Brian Ingram is that he finds the money and they literally split the money three ways. Yeah. The FBI gets some of the money. The airlines insurance company, the global indemnity. Yeah, they get they get some of it. And then Brian in 2008 Sold 15 bills at auction for $37,000. Yeah, I think that's fantastic. But I'm surprised that he was allowed to keep any of that money in the first place.
I know. I agree with you. I think some of the money just probably fell out of his case. This was not in his attache case, because bombs were in there. And by the way, we didn't even go back to that we should very quickly, do you think these were real active bombs?
I don't think so. I don't either, because I think we're not when all of a sudden done. dB Cooper didn't seem to have any interest in hurting anyone. Right? I don't think he would have had a real bomb. I think he had a fake bomb. If he even had one at all. We don't really know what a bomb looks like. So again, it's her word. She says she saw a bomb. But who knows? Who knows what she actually saw?
Yeah, I agree with you. Again, he's obviously not a terrorist. But I do believe that he had something in that case that could convince someone knowing he'd have to show it to somebody. And maybe he anticipated having to show it to more than one person. So I think knowing this guy is methodical as he is, as he's figured everything out and has everything down. You know, beat by beat what to do. I think he had something in there that resembled a bomb or bomb Eska bomb adjacent. He's got a clock device, he's got something. But do I think it was a real bomb that could explode and kill lives including his own? Absolutely not. But you have to respect it. So he knows this. He knows you say bomb on an aeroplane and people have to react. And as far as him getting away? Well, I was reading when he was fastening the money to his body. He was using straps from some of the other parachutes to help tie it down. Which means that Yeah, it wasn't the most secure to get to his body. The one thing he may have overlooked, which could also mean that some bills spewed out at one point in time, much like these three packets did, Brian found. But does that mean, there's a lot more packets that were found by others who never reported it? Does it mean DB Cooper? You know, I don't know. Right?
Well, you know, that's it. That brings up the whole nother thought because I said earlier, most of us have thought what would How would I rob a bank and get away with it? We've also I'm sure all of us thought, what if I found money? What would I do with it?
I wouldn't tell a so.
So yeah, you actually brought up something I hadn't thought about at all with this case. And that is people finding the money and not saying a word. Yeah, that's entirely possible. Of course. 25,000, let's say dropped out of the sky in front of me, no one would know.
So there you go. Don't drop money around, sell yourself. So yeah, you don't know what happened. But it leads to this. The folklore The legend lives on. So cut to July 8 2016. What did the FBI do at this point in time?
Well, in so many words, I would say they waved the white flag. They said we gotta move on to other things. We can't spend any more time and resources on this. So they sort of close the case, I use the term loosely, because apparently they are still accepting write evidence. If you think you have any legitimate evidence, they will receive it and I guess give it a once over. But they, it would appear that they've kind of closed the case on DB Cooper. But right now the interesting thing is now you have a private party, or private parties, but namely, there's one private party, a group of researchers on their own dime, and on their own time trying to solve this case.
It's true, they are doing it. I also want to point out that the search and recovery operation are arguably the most extensive and intensive in US history. So they probably had to, like you say wave the white flag. But yeah, there are other teams now out trying to solve this. I mean, there's a documentary that just came out on HBO, and neither one of us have seen it yet. But who knows what that delves into. And then, of course, there's a slew of people that they think could be Dan Cooper, they're not sure. And I'm sure that list was long, which I didn't really want to get into on the podcast, because that's a whole other podcast. But I know you had looked over some of that stuff as well. So in anything stand out. It was interesting to bring up or
Well, there's a number of prime suspects, if you will, people who were the main people that were thought to be dB Cooper, at least enough to make it on Wikipedia anyway. One of the ones I found most interesting was actually a person named Barbara, posing as a man to try to get back at the airlines having some sort of vendetta against the airlines. Let me just say this. He jumped out of an airplane on a dark, rainy night. The experts say he was not an expert because they say an expert Parrish shooter would not have tried that right now. Expert parachutes wouldn't have taken that risk. So that's why they believe he was not an expert parachute. Or, of course, to the layperson, I would say, Well, hell, if I'm going to jump out of an airplane in a robbery, I'm going to have a few rehearsals. I'm going to be well versed in this. But they're thinking that he wasn't at all because he would not have taken such a risk as to jump out on a deadly mission jumping out of a plane into the darkness into into what, what, what is he jumping into a river? So yeah, very, very risky move. And that is why I think the more I read about this case, I do not think DB Cooper worked alone. I think there must have been some accomplices in some way either. That worked for the airline, that someone to meet him on the bottom to pick him up when he landed. I don't see how I mean, this guy is already amazing, as we know, but I don't see how he could have pulled this off all by himself.
It's a good point to bring up first of all back to jumping out he was a desperate man and desperate men do desperate things. And obviously, he's already put something in motion that most people don't do. And, you know, part of me wants to root him on. He didn't hurt anybody. I think it's an incredible tale and I want him to have lived out his days getting away with this incredible robbery heist, if you will. The other part of me thinks of things like sleight of hand like what what are we overlooking? And there was a great movie Written by Jay cron Lee Tolson Rest in peace, he wrote funny farm, let it ride. And he also wrote this movie called Quick Change Bill Murray movie, Gina Davis and Randy Quaid, and he was a clown. He being Bill Murray is a clown in the movie, and he goes in and robs a bank as a clown. Okay? And then all these high jinks and things. Jason Robarge is the cop trying to have the negotiations. Anyway, cut to spoiler alert the end, he undresses ESET clown and looks like a civilian and comes out with all the civilians and no one knows who the robber is. Right. Randy Quaid and Gina Davis are in audit as well, like you say there's people in on it. So who's to say that DB Cooper didn't leave the plane with all the other hostages? I mean, who's to say right, who's seen him? Who can identify him? Just the flight attendant a and flight attendant B. I mean, I don't know. I mean, who knows what could have happened? He's so smart. At least we perceive him as smart and brilliant. That, you know, maybe there's something that no one saw coming? Or maybe he just jumped out of the back of the airplane and lived her die? I don't know. It's fascinating, because it's like choose your own adventure for DB Cooper. Yeah.
Because Is he alive? Or is he dead? And if he lived Diddy's keep the money? Did he spend the money? Yeah, it just opens up a whole reservoir of what ifs because his body was never found if he died, he was never found. And the interesting thing is they have at least an area, they at least have an area, surely they would have found something. That's why I think that whether he lived or died, I don't think that he was alone in this, I think the that he must have had some help in some way. And I'm thinking in particularly on the ground, you got to have somebody to meet you there at the bottom to pick you up either in a boat or in a car. There's got to be somebody there waiting for you.
Well, I think that's the least of his worries if he landed safely and had most of the money intact. I think that DB Cooper, Dan goober could have probably mosey it on his way. But you know, he got the money. Maybe he got away, maybe not. But we're still talking about today on a podcast almost 50 years later. And so I'm gonna watch the HBO film, I'm actually gonna go back into watch the pursuit of DB Cooper, the 1981 film as well, and maybe check out some of this. Leonard Nimoy stuff I can find that somewhere online.
Yeah, there's a lot of stuff to binge on. It's an interesting case, all of us can come up with our own ideas. What you would have done if you were an FBI agent, what you would have done if you were DB Cooper himself. Yeah, so I agree with you, though. I don't necessarily want to see somebody apprehended. But I would like to have an answer in the end. But unfortunately, I the longer we remove ourselves in chronological time from this, from this crime, I think the likelihood of us having a suspect a definitive suspect, will prove unlikely.
And this probably could not be done today.
That's one of the things I wanted to get into a little bit on this podcast is sort of the evolution of airport security, if you will, like for example, something that that they have now, which I just learned about, which they didn't have in 71. The Department of Homeland Security has something called Project hostile intent. And for those of us who know Minority Report where they try to guess who will commit a crime, this is not that dissimilar. They use a pulses and heat and sweat sensors, which could possibly indicate a threat. There you are on camera, and they are trying to guess if you will commit a crime or if you have ill intent, and if not next They give you the test next. It's like a physical profile to try to forecast a threat or hijacking pretty amazing. I did not even know about this. So yeah, they they've only beefed up the security since the 70s. Since 911 911 was huge in our lifetime. Since 2001. A lot has changed. So definitely could you do this today? I doubt it. So that's what makes it all the more specialist because this happened once and will not happen again.
Although I gotta say if DB Cooper was still being analyzed, if he was nervous or anything like that, Sal, I think he passes with flying colors.
Well, like those people who would pass lie detector tests. Yeah, apparently there's some people who are able to outwit the system. So yeah, this guy was so common cool. It's entirely possible. Yeah, he could have stood in front of that facial analyzer and passed passed the test and not broken a sweat. And he's
just so like a James Bond film, knowing that he's got this bomb hit next to him and he's got this plan, but he could take a little nap a little cat nap before he goes into action. Like what a guy what a criminal.
Definitely a smooth criminal. Definitely probably one of one of the smoothest, if not the smoothest.
Anyway, it's why I wanted to make it episode one of that's a crime. A lot of fun to do a deep dive and, and to this case, I thought I knew a lot until we researched it. And I learned a ton more and actually, there's more to learn even after that. So this has been a lot of fun.
Yeah, I had a great time and look forward to talking more crime.
Yes, we have many, many more lined up to talk about again, from petty crimes to murders and anything and everything in between. Thank you so much for listening. And please be sure to subscribe to that's a crime wherever you get your podcast. You can also really help us by giving the show a five star rating on Apple podcast.
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