UPDATE: The DNA found on D.B.’s tie after the hijacking is not a match to Marla Cooper’s uncle, according to the FBI.
November 24, 2011 will be the 40th anniversary of the time a man calling himself Dan Cooper (D.B. to the press) hijacked an airplane and managed to get $200,000 and parachutes in exchange for the passengers’ lives. Since he parachuted into the night no one has knowingly seen or heard from him, and the case is still unsolved–the only unsolved skyjacking in US history.
If the newest D.B. Cooper lead pursued by the FBI pans out, D.B. may actually turn out to be a Cooper. D.B. may have plotted the hijacking within earshot of his 8-year old niece Marla–as Marla Cooper herself claims.
The difficulty in proving the claim is the same as any cold case: there is very little physical evidence available. It’s made more difficult by the fact that, according to the family, Cooper’s been dead for over a decade. The FBI is working on matching his fingerprints to some found on the plane. While D.B. touched a number of items on the plane that maintained fingerprints, he was not the only person to do so, and separating the hijacker’s prints from the rest has been difficult, even with the family’s cooperation in providing items owned by the new suspect.
For more on the developing story, see here.