Marla Cooper whose uncle L.D. Cooper,may turn out to be the D.B. Cooper who hijacked a Northwest Orient Airlines flight has given investigators a guitar strap and photos of her uncle. If L.D. Cooper’s fingerprints and/or DNA match those the FBI has in materials that are in FBI possession.
Ms. Cooper recalls her uncle and another uncle planning something mysterious. The hijacking took place the day before Thanksgiving on November 24,1971. She said her uncles had left to hunt turkeys a day before the hijacking. They returned a few days later with L.D. Cooper having claimed he had been in a car accident, because he bloody and bruised.
This paragraph from the Wikipedia article on D.B. Cooper, ends with a line about someone remembering an odd uncle and that apparently is exactly what has happened.
While FBI investigators have insisted from the beginning that Cooper probably did not survive his risky jump, the agency maintains an active case file—which has grown to more than 60 volumes—and continues to solicit creative ideas and new leads from the public. “Maybe a hydrologist can use the latest technology to trace the $5,800 in ransom money found in 1980 to where Cooper landed upstream,” suggested Special Agent Larry Carr, leader of the investigation team since 2006. “Or maybe someone just remembers that odd uncle.”
Another interesting fact about the hijacking is that the Northwest Orient flight departed from Portland, Oregon for Seattle, Washington and that Marla Cooper had suspicions that her uncles were plotting something at her grandmother’s house in Oregon. So it is plausible that her uncle could have been the D.B. Cooper that hijacked the flight.
That would also explain why no body was ever found near the money that was found. If her uncle was the one that hijacked the plane, he may have left some money at the scene, that was later found, to make it appear that he had not survived the landing.
L.D. Cooper reportedly has been dead for ten years, but if the other uncle is alive, the FBI will surely question him as to what he knows.
It is surprising that Marla Cooper has chosen to tell her story to the news media, so close to the 40th anniversary of the hijacking. It seems like the family has been protecting the uncle. This case still isn’t solved, even with the latest revelations, but if the FBI can prove L.D. Cooper and D.B. Cooper are the same person, it will be another case of the FBI getting their man, even if he died ten years ago.
There are questions surrounding the latest lead from Marla Cooper. Why did she wait so many years to go public with this information? What happened to the rest of the money that wasn’t discovered? If L.D. Cooper did have the money, how did he keep from spending the money too fast to avoid suspicion?
Had Marla or any other family members been questioned by police or FBI previously? Did they answer questions truthfully, if questioned by police or FBI?
This will be an interesting story to follow in the coming days and weeks, to see if 1971 hijacking is solved once and for all.