D.B. Cooper evades law again

Early DNA test fails to link skyjacker, latest suspect

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The local angle

Old Vancouver city directories show a Lynn D. Cooper living here about the same time as the plane was hijacked. But it's unknown whether our Lynn Cooper, listed as a plywood mill worker living on Unander Avenue, was the same man as the Oklahoma woman's uncle, let alone a criminal legend. It's long been speculated that Cooper, the legend, was likely familiar with the forest roads of Southwest Washington and the operation of parachutes. We do know this: some of his loot was found on a Columbia River sandbar near Vancouver many years ago.

-- Craig Brown, The Columbian

OLYMPIA — DNA testing has failed to link a new suspect in the D.B. Cooper hijacking to a necktie that he left behind on the plane in 1971, the FBI said Monday.

Special Agent Fred Gutt cautioned that the test does not necessarily rule out the deceased man because investigators do not know whether DNA on the tie is that of the hijacker. Gutt said there are three different DNA samples on the necktie and it’s not clear where the hijacker got it.

“There are some questions about the tie itself: Was it a used tie, a borrowed tie?” Gutt said.

Investigators compared the DNA on the tie to the DNA of someone in the new suspect’s family, Gutt said. A woman in Oklahoma recently came forward to say that she believes her uncle, Lynn Doyle Cooper, was the hijacker — which she based largely on memories from when she was 8 years old.

Gutt said the FBI had an inconclusive round of fingerprint testing on a guitar strap and that investigators are now working with family members to identify other items that could be tested further for fingerprints.

Investigators have checked hundreds of leads since the man dubbed “D.B. Cooper” parachuted from a flight with $200,000 dollars in ransom in 1971.

Cooper claimed after taking off in Portland that he had a bomb, and officials met his demands for parachutes and ransom money when the plane landed in Seattle. After ordering the flight back into the air, Cooper apparently jumped from the plane near the Washington-Oregon border.

FBI investigators have questioned over the years whether Cooper could have survived. Marla Cooper, the woman who believes her late uncle is the hijacker, recalled seeing him arrive at a family home in Oregon with serious injuries after the hijacking.