Entries in D.B. Cooper (4)


FBI Says DNA Doesn't Match in D.B. Cooper Case

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The FBI says DNA found on D.B. Cooper's clip-on tie and DNA taken from the daughter of suspect L.D. Cooper is “not a match.” However, FBI Special Agent Fred Gutt says “that doesn’t suggest that the current lead is a dead end.”

“It’s possible that the DNA sample taken off the tie was not from the hijacker," Gutt told ABC News. "There are questions about the tie -- it may have been borrowed or purchased used. The DNA may be from someone else."  

Gutt also says, “The tie had two small DNA samples, and one large sample lifted off in 2000-2001. It’s difficult to draw firm conclusions from these samples.”

When asked if the "no match" finding damaged Marla Cooper’s credibility, Gutt replied it did not. Marla Cooper recently came forward claiming to be the niece of infamous hijacker D.B. Cooper.

“We haven’t come up with anything that is inconsistent with her story,” he said.

What the FBI really needs to make the case, Gutt said, is a fingerprint from L.D. Cooper to match against fingerprints found on the hijacked plane.

“We are working with surviving family members to try to identify objects he may have handled," Gutt said.

Since L.D. Cooper died in 1999, that may prove to be an impossible task, but the FBI is planning to revisit Marcia Cooper, L.D.’s widow, who lives in Sparks, Nev., to see if they can find anything that may still hold L.D’s prints.  

“Without fingerprints,” Gutt said, “we just have circumstantial evidence.”  He said exhuming L.D’s body to obtain DNA would do no good, since “we have nothing certain to compare it to.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News


Another Family Member Comes Forward in D.B. Cooper Mystery

ABC News (NEW YORK )-- The mother of Marla Cooper, the woman claiming to be the niece of D.B. Cooper, also believes that her now-deceased brother-in-law was the infamous skyjacker. Grace Hailey has provided further details about the man who could be the daring culprit in the decades-old case.

Marla Cooper recently came forward to the FBI with evidence that she believes proves that her uncle Lynn Doyle Cooper is the famed D.B. Cooper, the man hijacked and threatened to blow up a commercial plane flying to Seattle in 1971, then parachuted to the ground with a  $200,000 ransom.

Her mother, Mrs. Hailey, told ABC News that she doesn't remember much about that Thanksgiving in 1971 where her brother-in-law returned to the house in Sisters, Oregon, but she believes he could be the hijacker. Hailey's statements are one reason why the FBI thinks the tip from Marla Cooper is credible.

"I've always had a gut feeling it was L.D.," Hailey told ABC News. "I think it was more what I didn't know is what made me suspicious than what I did know, because whenever the topic came up it immediately got cut off again."

Hailey says that L.D. grew up in Sisters and was familiar with the area where the hijacker jumped -- a fact that is consistent with the FBI's theory that D.B. Cooper was knew the Pacific Northwest. He was also a Korean war veteran, which matches the feds' profile that the hijacker had a military background.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


ABC News Exclusive: Woman Claims to be Niece of Skyjacker D.B. Cooper

ABC News(SEATTLE) A woman claiming to be the niece of infamous skyjacker D.B. Cooper has spoken to ABC News in an exclusive interview about her role in the recently re-ignited 40-year-old cold case that has haunted the FBI for years.

Marla Cooper told ABC News that she has provided the FBI with a guitar strap and a Christmas photo of a man pictured with the same strap who she says is her uncle, Lynn Doyle Cooper.

After clarifying her childhood memories surrounding the incident and more recent conversations with her parents, she is now sure that her uncle is in fact the notorious man who hijacked and threatened to blow up a commercial plane flying to Seattle in 1971, then parachuted to the ground with $200,000 in hand.

The FBI is now searching an item they received for fingerprints at their forensic lab in Quantico, Va., which will be checked against partial fingerprints obtained from the hijacking. Meanwhile they are hunting for evidence to prove L.D. Cooper was on that plane in 1971.

The real identity of D.B. Cooper has been a mystery since November 24, 1971, when a man calling himself Dan Cooper hijacked a Northwest Orient Airlines plane bound for Seattle from Portland. He ordered the plane to land and demanded a $200,000 ransom and traded passengers for a parachute.

He disappeared, despite a massive manhunt that has become the stuff of legend and even a 1981 movie. Throughout the years many leads in the case have became dead ends, and it remains the only unsolved hijacking in U.S. history.

Marla Cooper says that as an 8-year-old she recalled her two uncles planning something suspicious at her grandmother's house in Sisters, Oregon -- not far from where D.B. Cooper jumped from a plane with $200,000 in cash one day later.

A day later, Northwest Orient flight 305 was hijacked, and her uncle L.D. Cooper came home claiming to have been in a car accident.

Marla Cooper is now convinced there was not a car accident, but that her uncle was injured crashing to earth in a parachute. She says that she also remembers overhearing a discussion about the money that day between her uncles, with one of them saying "Our money problems are over." Marla Cooper tells ABC News, "I remember dancing around saying 'We're rich! We're rich!'"

After that Thanksgiving Day she maintains she never saw her uncle again. She was told he died in 1999.

The case was reignited recently when a male suspect's name was given to the FBI by a law enforcement agent, as was a guitar strap. Sources familiar with the case confirm that it was Marla Cooper who prompted the latest flurry of investigation.

So far no fingerprints have been found on the guitar strap, and the F.B.I. will not officially comment on the case.

Copyright ABC News Radio


New Lead in the Case of Hijacking Fugitive D.B. Cooper

FBI(SEATTLE) -- Forty years after the infamous fugitive known as D.B. Cooper parachuted out of a plane over Washington state with $200,000 in hand, never to be seen again, the FBI has a new suspect they are calling their "most promising" lead to date in the nation's only unsolved commercial airplane hijacking.

The male suspect's name was given to the FBI by a law enforcement agent, as was a piece of the man's personal property. The item is at the FBI forensic lab in Quantico, Va., where it is being checked for fingerprints and DNA.

The FBI obtained a partial DNA sample from the black JCPenney clip-on tie Cooper left on the plane before jumping off its tail end and into legend. The FBI extracted the sample in 2001, but it did not match up with any suspects.

That tie, along with the parachute he discarded, his boarding pass with the words "DAN COOPER" written in red ink, and a few deteriorated bills from the ransom money found in 1980 are the only physical pieces of evidence the FBI's Seattle office has.

The FBI has not released any further details on the man or the item.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio