The Missing Hijacker: The Mystery of the DB Cooper Review – An Actual Twin Peaks | TV and radio

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Fyears of modern American folklore may be familiar with the story of The Hijacker Who Vanished: The Mystery of DB Cooper (BBC Four), but even those who aren’t should savor this authoritative opportunity to sit down and go out. popcorn. In November 1971, a passenger plane took off from Portland Airport for a short flight to Seattle. However, he was hijacked by a man who claimed to have a bomb in his suitcase. He quietly demanded $ 200,000 in ransom. The plane landed, his unsuspecting fellow travelers disembarked, the money was handed over, the flight took off again, then DB Cooper parachuted, at night and in bad weather, over difficult Oregon terrain. No trace of him has ever been found. It remains the only unsolved case of air piracy in U.S. history.This wonderfully entertaining Storyville movie goes a long way in finding a compelling account of who DB Cooper might have been. Writer / director John Dower talks to friends, family and acquaintances of different people who may have been the culprits. Its interviewees claim to have known of plans, heard confessions or seen documents that point to the person they knew.

Jo Weber, the tallest character in a documentary filled with them, believes her late husband Duane was DB Cooper. “’I’m Dan Cooper.’ These were his last words. Except, “I love you,” “she says to Dower, as she leans back on her couch with her feet raised, sipping a gourd of coffee. Her husband died in the 1990s and she has since tried to piece together the puzzles of the complex life he left behind. She discovered fake ID, a stint in jail, a tax return that suggests a bonanza from the time of the hijacking, and a magazine in a secure box containing an article about Cooper. He seemed to know Oregon, where the hijacker left the plane, and offers a plausible solution to the mystery of how $ 3,000 of the ransom was discovered buried on the banks of the Columbia River some distance away. of the supposed landing zone.

The problem is, there are a lot of plausible explanations here, and not all of them may be true. Jerry Thomas, an amateur sleuth caught by history since 1988, when he began searching for a parachute in the wild, is convinced that DB Cooper did not survive. Marla Cooper believes her uncle, LD, was the culprit. There’s a theory that Richard Floyd McCoy Jr, who hijacked a plane for ransom a year later, was repeating his previous crime, having kind of dropped the money on the way down the first time. What is most intriguing is that there is a theory that could have been taken directly from a fictional novel, such is its drama and plot. A likeable couple called Pat and Ron Forman recall befriending a woman they met on an airfield, Barbara Dayton, who ultimately told them she was transgender. Ron describes her as “a great pilot, very daring”. Eventually, the couple began to suspect that Barb had some similarity to the mysterious Cooper.

The FBI lost a lot of crucial evidence in the early days and finally closed the case in 2016, but it continues in the public imagination. In addition to spending time with the characters involved in the main story – the interviews with Tina Mucklow, the flight attendant who sat with Cooper as he revealed the bomb in her case, and the co-pilot William Rataczak, still moved by their own survival, are eerily touching – and myths derived from it, Weber does a great job of exploring why this tale is so compelling. Obviously, this is the mystery, which everyone is desperate to solve. But it is also daring and courage, the sense of great adventure and challenge. In a bleak economic environment in the region in the early 1970s, Cooper symbolized someone who stuck with man. Vox pop interview footage from the time shows that people wanted him to be successful, despite the crime.

The Hijacker Who Vanished has a Twin Peaks feel, from music to landscapes and character quirks. When Dower notes that Marla Cooper’s house is Twin Peaks-esque, it’s no accident. As much this captivating documentary is about the mysterious DB Cooper, as much about human nature. These brilliant characters, some deeply entangled in the story, some distant but connected, are believers. This movie asks what makes them believe, and that’s a question far bigger than the mystery itself.

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