D.B. Cooper Lives! (Kind of)

FBI has new leads on famous outlaw. Arrest not imminent.

Cooper Big
Cooper Big

The saga of hijacker D.B. Cooper, who parachuted out of a Northwest 727 in November of 1971 after getting $200,000 in ransom money never to be seen again, might be near an end. The famous outlaw’s real name is not known. In fact, D.B. Cooper was actually a misunderstanding of his alias, which was written as “Dan Cooper” on his ticket stub. Cooper became a folk hero, a guy that got away with a daring crime and a lot of loot and didn’t hurt anybody in the process. It remains, according to reports, the only unsolved hijacking in American history.

In 1980, nine years after the crime, hikers found thousands of dollars of deteriorated cash that was eventually authenticated as being from the ransom. This discovery led some to conclude that Cooper had died in the jump. Others believed it was simply part of Cooper’s ruse to throw the authorities off his trail.

That trail might be growing hotter again, sort of. According to a report in the_ New York Times_ and a number of other sources, the FBI has for the last year been following a lead that traces the identity of Cooper to a new suspect, one who, anti-climax warning, has been dead for a decade. The FBI is reportedly trying to track down physical evidence, but since Cooper left little of it on the airplane, they don’t have a lot to go on.

At the end of the day, the legend of D.B. Cooper is almost certain to live on.