Marla Cooper: Key To Latest Lead on D.B. Cooper Hijacking

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,[6] the agency maintains an active case file—which has grown to more than 60 volumes[7]—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.”[6]

 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.


Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

3 thoughts on “Marla Cooper: Key To Latest Lead on D.B. Cooper Hijacking”

  1. Marla has many holes in her story! the first hurdle is the birth questions, Lynn Doyle Cooper born 9/17/31 while records show Dewey Max Cooper 8/11/31? how can this be? well the cemetery records show Lynn born in 1932 which makes more sense rather than 30 days apart from his brother! now you have the landing spot, she said in one interview he landed in a wooded area and in a phone conversation she stated he landed 7 miles from his house! on Farmland? she then goes on to tell Nolan Clay from NewsOk that he has misspelled Dewey’s name and corrects him to Dewie? this coming from a woman who claims she researched her Family in the last year? “The comic book” first she said he had “one” on his wall, then later stated he had several? she also claimed the “getaway” car was a blue Triumph” then she realized that a small car would be a problem in a snowy mountain condition and later states “I’m not sure what they were driving” she stated Lynn jumped 7 mile from his home and according to records Lynn lived in Eugene and possibly according to Marla with Granny in Sisters,so, if he lost the money which would now be in Oregon,how did 3 bundles get on the river bank? nobody in her Family really backs up her story except Mom who only says “I always had a feeling he did this” ok, what feeling and why? Lynn Coopers wife is not talking to anyone about this whole story which gives another red flag! The FBI will not make any statements on this until the investigation is complete! I feel the FBI should put gag orders on cases such as this until the investigation is complete so they can not get a head start with a story such as the one Marla Wynn Cooper has given!

  2. Thanks for the reply, It’s amazing how hard this can be about a case that is 40 years old and a time frame of a couple hours in November of 1971, I’m not really buying the FBI’s jump test they did several days after the Hijacking, they stated they recreated the so called “pressure bump” that happened just after 8:00 where they think Cooper exited the plane and yet no evidence has been found in the jump area they plotted! the way I see this is you have a 750+ mile crime scene because he could have jumped anywhere from when the plane took off! the lack of clear evidence is nowhere to be found given the fact of different statements from the flight path to what the weather was really like that evening, the worse part about this case is the fact of a real name for the hijacker! this unsolved case is not like the escape from Alcatraz where we know the names of the 3 who escaped leaving it hard to (insert name here) and come up with a really good story! plus these people are always dodgy around real evidence such as the briefcase/parachute and clothes he was wearing! Marla claimed they pulled up early in the morning and he had a bloody T-shirt? where is the black suit he was wearing?

    From the beginning the FBI concluded that they believe Cooper acted alone and then turn around and call Marla’s story “the best lead in 40 years” it starts you thinking the conspiracy theory of the Government doing this in order to improve airline safety could be plausible? or possibly a final chapter so they can close the case? who knows? after really digging into this case either the FBI has done a terrible investigation or they have covered things up turning this into a nightmare for them? they had 8 cigarette butts from Cooper that would have made a perfect DNA profile and they are now missing from the evidence? the fingerprints taken is also in question given the fact that those are also partials like the DNA they have, they didn’t even keep the magazine they thought he was reading?

    I want to think he made it but I find it hard to get around the fact that he destroyed a good reserve chute and took the dummy chute that was clearly marked with a “X” that any parachute operator would have caught, I think his plan was really good up to that point, but also believe he was going to jump much earlier because he requested the aft door to be opened before take off! which makes you think he planned to jump earlier or maybe he wanted it to look like that? I don’t know, I have spoken to people who are and have been looking for Cooper for years and can conclude that he either got away or they are looking possibly hundreds of mile off from where he actually landed! you have two theories, one is that the evidence is safe in the ground hidden by Cooper! or the body/briefcase/money and parachute are on the ground waiting to be found somewhere in the 750+ mile route! I guess the real question is……who and where is D.B.Cooper!

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