BFG Podcast: Special D.B. Cooper Edition

The story of a D.B. Cooper hunter who refuses to give up the chase

It’s the case that shocked and baffled the American public, the media, law enforcement, and millions of people around the world. The fascination never ebbs. And now a new lawsuit purports to try to resolve the mystery. A mild-mannered, middle-aged man calling himself Dan Cooper hijacked a Boeing 727 en route to Seattle and extorted $200,000 and four parachutes. Then, at a point between Seattle and Reno, Cooper leapt out of the plane with one of the parachutes and a satchel holding the $200,000 strapped to him.

What happened from that point on has been the subject of one of the largest and costliest manhunts in the history of law enforcement. The FBI decided in 2016 that it had timelier crimes to investigate. But Cooper hunter Eric Ulis won’t give up the bone. While the near-total lack of physical evidence has vexed professional and amateur sleuths for half a century, Ulis seeks to examine in detail the tiny metal spindle on the clip-on tie that Cooper left behind on the Boeing. There, Ulis says, may lie traces of DNA that point the way to a positive identification of relatives of the hijacker and, ultimately, to D.B. Cooper himself.

I’m your host of this special edition of the BFG Podcast.

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Michael Washburn

Michael Washburn is a Brooklyn-based writer and journalist and the author, most recently, of The Uprooted and Other Stories (2018), When We're Grownups (2019), and Stranger, Stranger (2020). He's also host of the weekly Sea of Reeds Media podcast, Reading the Globe.

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