1971 – D.B. Cooper hijacks a plane, gets the money, and is never heard from again

It is one of few truly great unsolved crimes. The facts are as follows:

The man who gave his name as ‘Dan Cooper’ (the ‘DB’ monicker is based on later errors in the media, but has become more widely known) boarded Flight 305 in Portland, Oregon, bound for Seattle. Using the threat of a bomb in his suitcase, Cooper hijacked the plane shortly after take off.

It landed in Seattle, where Cooper released the passengers unharmed in exchange for his ransom demands being met: $200,000 in unmarked bills and 4 parachutes. After taking on these items, Cooper directed the crew to take off once more, and fly to Reno, Nevada.

During this second flight, he sent all the crew to the cockpit, and parachuted from the plane with the money. He was never apprehended, and although approximately $5000 was later found in the area that he parachuted into, nothing else ever was. Cooper has never been identified, and his true name may never be known. The FBI has stated that it believes him to have died upon landing, and decayed to nothing before he could be found. Of course, they also claimed that he was rude and abusive in conversations with them, which is at variance with the recollections of the crew members who heard these conversations, so it’s possible that the Bureau may be engaged in a certain amount of ass-covering.

Referenced in:

DB Cooper – Senses Fail
Dan Cooper – End of a Year
D. B. Cooper. – Todd Snider
D.B. Cooper – Everything is Fine
Bag Full of Money – Roger McGuinn
D. B. Cooper – Streetside Symphony
Vapor Trails and Light – Everything is Fine
The Ballad of D. B. Cooper – Chuck Brodsky
D.B. Cooper: Where Are You? – Judy Sword