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DB Cooper Notes: February

  • Obviously, the big story in the Cooper world is still the McCrone Labs Analysis of the particles pulled from Cooper’s tie. I’ve been getting emails and have been following leads. The recent focus has been on manufacturers in the Pacific Northwest, especially Tektronix, which did some electronics work for Boeing.
  • Tektronix has a nearly complete employee yearbook from 1959 to about 1971, it has pictures of nearly every employee, about 18,000 total people. I failed to get a copy, but it wouldn’t take too long to go through every picture. This is exactly the sort of thing that can solve this case. The tie should be easy to photo-match, we know what the tie clip looks like and we know there’s some kind of tie tack on it too.
  • Whether the evidence collected will ever reach the threshold necessary to prove any suspect is Cooper is an open question. It appears that most of the guys at the Cooper Forum want either a bill from the ransom, or the parachute before they’ll even consider someone a suspect. This is an unattainable evidentiary standard. The money, even if Cooper got away with some of it, would be gone now, laundered and spent. If Cooper survived, the parachute was either buried or destroyed, and in either case it can’t be linked to an individual. In my mind, absent DNA, the only way to really connect someone with the hijacking would be a photo of them wearing the tie. From there, other circumstantial evidence should appear.
  • The “Gunther Hypothesis” got a good discussion on the Cooper Forum, and it took a bruising. No criticisms were raised that I wasn’t expecting, but even if we found out who Gunther was writing about, it wouldn’t persuade anyone the individual was DB Cooper. Again, there is an unobtainable evidentiary threshold to reach.
  • There’s still plenty of actual investigation left in the Cooper case, especially concerning the Tena Bar money find. I’m hopeful some of it gets done, but it’s unlikely since the funding isn’t there.
  • Was clicking around the NamUs database, looking at the stories behind several dozen unidentified bodies in the PacNW. The running theory among those that believe Cooper died in the jump is that Cooper was a transient, and the number of unclaimed bodies belonging to transients is impressive. These were people dead to the world before they actually died. Had Cooper been one of these people, it’s believable no one would have missed him over the Thanksgiving weekend. However, it’s hard to believe Cooper was such a transient. The tie tells a story, and even if the tie was some thrift store purchase, Cooper’s behavior during the hijacking speak to someone well socialized, possibly well-educated and certainly intelligent and familiar with aviation. It’s very unlikely he was some random hobo.
  • I’ve spent over two years on this case, and it’s probably time to move on to the next project. I’ll be following the case for the rest of my life, but I’m now looking at other topics to write about. I think I’ll be sticking to true crime but let this serve as a warning to those now following my blog because I’ve been focused on DB Cooper: I’m moving away from the Cooper case.

24 Responses

  1. Thanks for replying, here are a few guys who are still alive with a tektronix employee yearbook but neither will reply to me, maybe with your reputation they would be obliged to talk to you.


    • I did my best to procure the Tek yearbook and came up empty. There are only so many people I’m willing to harass and I think I’ve reached my limit.

  2. I know it’s Richard McCoy sir. He’s my cousin. My family has always been ashamed and kept it very secretive among us. Some of us ashamed to admit it, some us well, a whatever situation. T.J. Faw

    • McCoy is an interesting suspect. I’ve read quite a lot about him. If the family had evidence linking him to the Cooper hijacking, that would be a big deal.

  3. Marty,

    I hate to hear you are moving on from Cooper. I really enjoyed your book. Logical solution to solve the case. I think the Cooper’s identity is lost to history. Part of me wants to know his name and his biography. The other part wishes he stays a myster. Thanks for all your work!

  4. This email must not be made public or shared with anyone but me. [Private information removed–Ed]

    • Jo, this isn’t an email, this is a public blog. I’ll remove your comment for you.

    • Jo, I don’t know what parts of that comment you wanted to be public, so I removed all of it. (I saved it) Just to let you know, I will look into Modulus.

  5. I am hopeful the younger generation will catch on to this story. I’ve only been looking in to Cooper for about 8 months and now it’s all I think about. Ha. With all the technology and records at hand somebody will find him. Cooper was a real life person whether he survived the jump or not he had a father and mother atleast and somebody will find something as small as a picture of him that will lead to questions and answers and maybe even a story or proof of who he really was. The bible says that which is done in secret shall be shouted from the rooftops and that gives me hope.

  6. Wonderful…I thought I was replying to a reg. email – old women and tecnology do not a good mix make.

  7. And Jo I grew up in PCola. It’s my favorite place on earth, my grandmother still lives there. Moved to Alabama when I was 15, attended 9th grade at escambia county high lol

  8. I am new to this site and I am hardly a Cooper expert but I would like to add my two cents about this event. Perhaps I am missing something but I would like any feedback from anyone.
    I have always thought that the most compelling reason that we never found Cooper or identified him was because he died the night of the jump or shortly thereafter. Maybe his chute never opened or he died from injuries and hypothermia several days later. I believe his corpse was found by fortune hunters who were looking for the $200,000. They took the money and buried Cooper, the chute and the briefcase to cover their crime. Perhaps they even murdered him if he was still alive. I can only assume that the FBI explored this scenario but couldn’t find the person (or persons) involved. I also think that tracing the money would be very difficult because the denomination of the bills was relatively small and we were still very much a cash based economy back in 1971. As for the Tena Bar money, I have no clue (but I think the explanation for it is simpler than we think).
    Now I know this explanation is not as romantic as all of the Cooper books out there but we need to explore all avenues. I’m sure I am not the only one who has offered this solution. Please let me know what you think. Thanks!

    • In my opinion, he learned those people skills from being around people, learned about the plane from being in Laos or working for Boeing or from somebody in those places. Somebody would have missed him and reported him missing. Also I don’t think he picked that date for no reason, nice 4 day holiday to return back to where he was from and go back about his business. Spending all that time with Tina Mucklow on the plane and then the only money being found on Tena Bar, don’t think that was a coincidence either ha. Who knows he may be on the bottom of Lake Merwin or the Columbia River. I’d like to think he’s on a houseboat called “poverty sucks” facebooking women lol

    • Cooper dying in the jump is a possibility, but one that, for a variety of reasons, I believe is improbable.

      One thing we do know that there was almost no chance any of the money would have been found in circulation. Only banks in the area checked, and only for a few months after the hijacking. It would be years before the serial numbers became public, and any effort to launder the money should have been successful.

  9. I’d look into this young mans father Sent from my iPhone


  10. Is there any truth to the rumor that LD Coopers wife worked for the FBI?

    • Has anybody ever studied the Trains in 1971? Union Station is only a 15 minute drive to PDX, so he may have caught a ride or a taxi to the airport. Also if yal ever get bored check out the Chelatchie railroad on google earth and check out its route. It goes from just south of Aerial and Amboy all the way back up past Tena Bar and Caterpillar Island and along Interstate 5 back up north, and would have been an excellent escape route. You could wear dress clothes and carry a briefcase and nobody would even think twice about it

    • Not sure about LD’s wife, I’ve heard nothing about her working for the FBI.

      As for the trains, Cooper would have a lot of escape vectors open to him. some of which go by the Tena bar. However, there’s still no reason for Cooper to be ON Tena Bar that night.

  11. I wonder if they could use facial recognition software with the sketch?
    Obviously the easiest thing would be a human scan and if that came up empty the facial software in case he used some sort of disguise.

    • There is strong disagreement between eyewitnesses about whether the sketch really captures Cooper. The sketch is a composite from different witnesses, and who knows how close it ended up being.

      The second problem is, what do you compare it to? Do we have millions of photos of middle-aged men from the late 1960’s digitized somewhere?

      The power of facial recognition as a forensic tool is exaggerated, in my view.

  12. Since the files have been released I have been vindicated…regarding the type of shoes Cooper wore…I have repeatedly stated they where ankle boot that zipped up the side or the lower cut one that also zipped up…NOT LOAFERS!

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