I have a bomb here and I would like you to sit by me.
That was the note handed to a stewardess by a mild-mannered passenger on a Northwest Orient flight in 1971. It was the start of one of the most astonishing whodunits in the history of American true crime: how one man extorted $200,000 from an airline, then parachuted into the wilds of the Pacific Northwest and into oblivion. D. B. Cooper's case has become the stuff of legend and obsessed and cursed his pursuers with everything from bankruptcy to suicidal despair. Now with Skyjack, journalist Geoffrey Gray delves into this unsolved mystery uncovering new leads in the infamous case.
Starting with a tip from a private investigator into a promising suspect (a Cooper lookalike, Northwest employee, and trained paratrooper), Gray is propelled into the murky depths of a decades-old mystery, conducting new interviews and obtaining a first-ever look at Cooper's FBI file. Beginning with a heartstopping and unprecedented recreation of the crime itself, from cabin to cockpit to tower, and uncanny portraits of characters who either chased Cooper or might have committed the crime, including Ralph Himmelsbach, the most dogged of FBI agents, who watched with horror as a criminal became a counter-culture folk hero who supposedly shafted the system.
With explosive new information and exclusive access to FBI files and forensic evidence, Skyjack reopens one of the great cold cases of the 20th century.
©2011 Geoffrey Gray (P)2011 Random House
Dan ("D.B.") Cooper was one of many individuals who hijacked a jetliner for ransom money or transportation to Cuba in the '60's and early '70's. Cooper's ransom demand included $200,000 and parachutes, and he apparently jumped out of the back stairs of the hijacked 727...and was never seen again (although a small number of the marked bills in his ransom payment were found). To this day, this remains the only unsolved airline hijacking in the US.
Geoffrey Gray's book relates 3 tales---the story of the actual D.B. Cooper hijacking and follow-up investigation...the stories of some of the leading suspects...and the story of Gray's personal search for Cooper, which brought him into contact with some, umm, interesting characters. I didn't realize this when I started this book, but apparently, like the JFK assassination, the D.B. Cooper hijacking remains fodder for speculation, conspiracy theory and some unusual ideas. Of course, the D.B. Cooper mystery remains a mystery and there are some oddities in the case, so speculation and conspiracy are not unlikely outcomes, and there is still almost $200K to find...maybe...
Skyjack is well written and seems to be a fairly balanced account of the D.B. Cooper story. The book is narrated by the author and he does a very good job with that as well.
PS - One reviewer complained that the audiobook seemed to have technical difficulties. I didn't find anything missing or hear any problems.
This books seems to end practically in the middle of a sentence. It seems to have a couple of chapters missing or something. I checked it out from the library and it had this problem, so I figured it was a library problem. So, I used my Audible account and it has the same problem. I certainly can't recommend the book.
Okay - if I am going to read about the most notorious skyjacking in history- I expect to learn something. This book lead me to believe the mystery had been solved. it merely repeated rumors and guesses/speculative stories.
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