FBI releases 1971 letter that D.B. Cooper sleuth says could possibly be from infamous hijacker


FBI released these sketches after a man named D.B. Cooper hijacked a plane flying from Portland to Seattle on Nov. 24, 1971 and then parachuted out the back door with $200,000, never to be seen again.

FBI launched these sketches after a person named D.B. Cooper hijacked a aircraft flying from Portland to Seattle on Nov. 24, 1971 after which parachuted out the again door with $200,000, by no means to be seen once more.

Newly launched FBI paperwork pertaining to the D.B. Cooper hijacking case embody a letter which will solely deepen the thriller surrounding the infamous unsolved crime which marks its 46th anniversary this week.

“I knew from the start that I wouldn’t be caught,” says the undated, typewritten letter from an individual claiming to be the person who stated he had a bomb and commandeered a Northwest Airlines flight from Portland to Seattle on Nov. 24, 1971. After releasing pbadengers and crew members, the person then ordered the pilots to fly to Mexico, solely to parachute out the again door someplace over Washington’s rugged wooded terrain with $200,000.

“I didn’t rob Northwest Orient because I thought it would be romantic, heroic or any of the other euphemisms that seem to attach themselves to situations of high risk,” he stated.

“I’m no modern-day Robin Hood. Unfortunately (I) do have only 14 months to live.”

The carbon-copy letter was turned over to the FBI three weeks after the hijacking by The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and the Seattle Times, which have been every mailed a replica and revealed tales about its contents. The letter was in an envelope with a larger Seattle space postmark.

Last month, the FBI launched a replica of the letter that was despatched to The Post in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit introduced by acclaimed D.B. Cooper sleuth Tom Colbert, a Los Angeles TV and movie producer. He believes the letter is actual.

“We have no doubt it’s from Cooper and the reason is that he cites he left no fingerprints on the plane,” he stated. “The reason that’s critical is because it’s absolutely true.”

“There were no prints found in the back of plane,” Colbert stated. “They found 11 partial prints that’s all, sides, fingers, tips and palm. But no prints of value were found.”

The FBI wrapped up its D.B. Cooper investigation final 12 months with out figuring out the hijacker or ruling out the chance that he may have been killed within the treacherous bounce. The FBI says it thought of 800 individuals as suspects. The FBI additionally by no means established the authenticity of the letter to the 4 newspapers, or, for that matter, 4 different letters that additionally presupposed to be from the hijacker. Those letter have been despatched a number of days after the hijacking.

The FBI obtained its greatest lead within the case in 1980 when a younger boy strolling alongside the Columbia River in Washington discovered a bundle of rotting $20 payments whose serial numbers matched the ransom cash serial numbers.

“My life has been one of hate, turmoil, hunger and more hate; this seemed to be the fastest and most profitable way to gain a few fast grains of peace of mind,” the letter stated. “I don’t blame people for hating me for what I’ve done nor do I blame anybody for wanting me to be caught and punished, though this can never happen.”

The individual wrote that he wouldn’t get caught as a result of he wasn’t a “boasting” man, left no fingerprints, wore a toupee and “wore putty make-up.”

“They could add or subtract from the composite a hundred times and not come up with an accurate description,” the letter stated, including, “and we both know it.”


The individual additionally wrote that he was “not holed up in some obsure (sic) backwoods town” and was not a “psycho-pathic killer.”


“As a matter of fact I’ve never even received a speeding ticket,” the individual wrote.

FBI brokers within the area apprised FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover of their investigation into the letter, in response to different paperwork the FBI turned over to Colbert together with the letter.

“Efforts were made by (Washington Field Office) to preserve the letter and envelope for latent fingerprints,” learn one of many paperwork, an FBI memo. “However, both were handled by an unknown number of individuals at ‘The Washington Post’ prior to being obtained by WFO.”

“As a matter of fact I’ve never even received a speeding ticket.”

– Letter badociated to D.B. Cooper hijacking case

The memo additionally stated that brokers couldn’t determine the importance of the typed quantity “717171684” reverse the identify “Wash Post” within the backside left nook of the letter.

In one other memo, brokers in Seattle requested that the FBI lab decide if the paper on which the letter was written may conceivably be from authorities inventory, “noting that it resembles the carbon copy of the airtel material used by the Field Offices.”

Since January, the FBI has launched greater than three,000 paperwork to Colbert, who fashioned a volunteer workforce of 40 former legislation enforcement officers to badyze the hijacking. The FBI stated in court docket papers that it has greater than 71,000 paperwork that could be attentive to Colbert’s lawsuit.

Colbert and his workforce imagine D.B. Cooper is a person named Robert Rackstraw who flew helicopters within the Vietnam War and is now 73 and residing within the San Diego space.

In March, Rackstraw despatched the decide presiding over Colbert’s FOIA lawsuit a rambling 9-page letter that the decide took to be a movement to intervene within the case. In his letter Rackstraw stated that he was not D. B. Cooper and accused Colbert of ruining his life.

The decide responded to the letter by issuing a ruling that rejected Rackstraw’s movement.

In July, Rackstraw despatched one other letter to the court docket during which he once more stated he was not the hijacker.

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