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I Might Get Rich; You Know I Might Get Busted
October 31, 2007 2:59 AM   Subscribe

Unmasking D.B. Cooper: On a rainy night in 1971, the notorious skyjacker jumped out of a 727 and into American legend. But a chance lead to a Manhattan P.I. may have finally cracked the case, despite the fact this isn't the first time someone has claimed to be D.B. Cooper.
posted by fandango_matt (27 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by adamvasco at 3:28 AM on October 31, 2007


But nice post anyway.
posted by adamvasco at 3:28 AM on October 31, 2007


Fascinating.
posted by Acey at 3:30 AM on October 31, 2007


Skipp Porteous for some reason makes me think of The Dude.

Great story, who cares if it's "real" or not.
posted by From Bklyn at 3:37 AM on October 31, 2007


No - I'm D. B. Cooper!
posted by stavrogin at 4:09 AM on October 31, 2007


I thought DB Cooper was Jimmy James.
posted by thanotopsis at 4:30 AM on October 31, 2007


Naw, man,. D.B. Cooper was Treat Williams!
posted by not_on_display at 4:34 AM on October 31, 2007


In February of 2007, FBI analysis of DNA evidence collected from D. B. Cooper's clip-on tie, which he left on the plane, resulted in the official dismissal of Weber as a possible suspect.
Boo!
posted by thomcatspike at 5:00 AM on October 31, 2007


It was John Titor.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 5:07 AM on October 31, 2007


DB Cooper died of MRSA. He blogged about it.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 5:07 AM on October 31, 2007


DNA evidence on a clip-on tie? What was he clipping it on??
posted by DU at 5:46 AM on October 31, 2007


His fingers left tissue samples on the tie; flakes of skin. They also recovered hairs.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 5:59 AM on October 31, 2007


And earwax.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 5:59 AM on October 31, 2007


Interesting, but other than a good hunch, not any evidence to back up the claim.
posted by smoothvirus at 6:26 AM on October 31, 2007


Skipp Porteous for some reason makes me think of The Dude.

I've met Skipp Porteous, although he was definitely not Lebowski-like when I met him. Porteous was a fundamentalist preacher who lost his faith and started questioning religion after his wife left him. He later founded the Institute for First Amendment Studies, which was a watchdog group about the influence of the Religious Right on American politics. The Institute later folded, but when it was still in business, I brought Porteous to my Brown University chapter of the ACLU as a speaker. In fact, he wore a suit and probably looked a bit more like "Jimmy James" from News Radio than Jeff "the Dude" Lebowski. In fact, when the hippie era was going on, he was actually a fundamentalist preacher trying to evangelize on the Sunset Strip in California. He even once told an anecdote where got into an argument over Bible verses with a guy named "Charlie" who claimed to be God. He said that "Charlie" later turned out to be Charles Manson.
posted by jonp72 at 7:19 AM on October 31, 2007


I thought you weren't supposed to punctuate or uppercase his name.
posted by erikharmon at 7:47 AM on October 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


In case you don't feel like reading the whole article, what it boils down to is some guy thinks his brother may have done it. His bachelor brother who was a paratrooper once and worked as a flight attendant and took in young men down on their luck in his hometown. And who had enough money to buy a small house, but otherwise lived a perfectly bland and unimpressive li fe.

The big reveal is this deathbed quote from the suspect to his brother:
Kenny said, “There is something you should know, but I cannot tell you!”
I'm thinking Kenny couldn't quite bring himself to tell his brother about why he never married and took care of all those young men.
posted by Nelson at 8:06 AM on October 31, 2007 [3 favorites]


This is awesome synchronicity because right now I'm listening to a Todd Snider show at work. Todd has an absolutely great story/song about D.B. Cooper.

D.B Cooper was 43 when we first heard his name
47 miles away from where he fell down to his fame
But he told me that the hardest part wasn't really jumping out of the plane
It was spending the night watching those lights
Shine through the pouring rain

They had a man hunt that next morning like nothing I had ever seen
I was only 8 years old at the time watching on a TV screen
They were saying he was never gonna make it now, now that daylight had set in
But later that night they were shining those lights
Down on the mountain again

Not far away from the City of Roses
They all watched those lights up through the rain
For D.B. Cooper

The cops blocked off all the exit roads and turned loose all of the hounds
They even dragged the river up a couple of times to see if he had drowned
With all those men working overtime they swore they would bring him down
But a parachute and a few hundred dollars
Was all that they ever found

Not far away from the City of Roses
They all watched those lights up through the rain
For D.B. Cooper

Now some people say that he died up there somewhere in the rain and the wind
Other people say that he got away but his girlfriend did him in
The law men say if he is out there someday they're gonna bring him in
As for me, I hope they never see
D.B. Cooper again

Not far away from the City of Roses
A light shined from a house out in the rain
It was D.B. Cooper
Drinking champagne


Unfortunately, the only version of the song I can find on the net is not by the amazingly awesome Todd Snider, but by some spare on youtube doing a cover of it.
posted by dios at 8:28 AM on October 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


DB COOPER IS DUCLOD MAN
posted by quonsar at 8:46 AM on October 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


D.B. Cooper was great in that movie where he plays a hockey star who becomes a figure skater.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 9:00 AM on October 31, 2007


There were always other men around, men from the Army whom Kenny knew and had relationships with. “It was uncomfortable to me, because I’m not like that, but not everybody lived in that house at night,” McWilliams says.

So he was gay, then?
posted by Afroblanco at 9:44 AM on October 31, 2007


So he was gay, then?

That's what I'm thinking. The deathbed confession could have been about that, or it could have been the hijacking. Who knows, but this is an intriguing new chapter to one of America's greatest mysteries.
posted by Ber at 11:43 AM on October 31, 2007


So if they have DNA from the tie clip, and they have a guy who says his brother is DB Cooper, why haven't they done any DNA analysis on the new guy yet?

Also, people who die from parachute jumps don't generally bury part of the stash, do they? In my opinion, he either buries none of it (died on impact) or all of it (if injured badly enough he doesn't feel he will survive - an "if I can't have it, nobody can" kind of a thing). Burying part of it - and a small part to boot - tells me the guy was healthy enough to carry out most of it, and left a small amount as a backup. Alternatively, multiple caches could have been made, with occasional trips to the wild to recover more.

I think the investigators want him to have died in the jump, because that means finding no suspect is not a failure on their part. The public wants him to have survived, because while many of us dislike a criminal, we can't help but root for a person who plans and executes a bold, daring, and bloodless heist.
posted by caution live frogs at 1:30 PM on October 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


The FBI sketch strongly resembles a photo of Duane Weber.
To me, those two don't look like each other at all, let alone "strongly".
posted by Flunkie at 3:29 PM on October 31, 2007


The Seattle Museum of the Mysteries has a wax head depiction of Cooper.
posted by Tube at 8:25 PM on October 31, 2007


I'm thinking Kenny couldn't quite bring himself to tell his brother about why he never married and took care of all those young men.
Maybe I'm just reading it with a modern sensibility, but my feeling from reading the article is that everyone had already figured that out long ago, and that that's what the brother thought he was referring to at the time (hence his "it doesn't matter, we all love you" response).
posted by hattifattener at 9:45 PM on October 31, 2007


Maybe I'm just reading it with a modern sensibility, but my feeling from reading the article is that everyone had already figured that out long ago, and that that's what the brother thought he was referring to at the time (hence his "it doesn't matter, we all love you" response).


That's the read I'd gotten from it, as well.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 10:19 PM on October 31, 2007


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