Glenn Pew, Contributing Editor, Video Editor
August 3, 2011
An Oklahoma woman who was eight years old when the man popularly known as D.B. Cooper made his famous 1971 hijacking has come forward to say she is the man's niece, that he was really L.D. Cooper, and he's been dead since 1999. D.B. Cooper is the name that has stuck with a man who identified himself as Dan Cooper when he hijacked a Boeing 727 on Thanksgiving-eve, 40 years ago. He ultimately left the aircraft with $200,000 in cash and a parachute after opening the rear airstair. At the time, the aircraft was flying at night through weather en route from Seattle for Reno at approximately 10,000 feet as directed by the hijacker. He was never found. Marla Cooper says she's working on a book on the subject and her memories have come rushing back over the past few years.
Marla Cooper says her family lost touch with her uncle L.D. in 1972 one year after the famous hijacking. She says she recently remembered her family planning something prior to the hijacking, seeing her uncle (badly injured) shortly after the hijacking and being told by her father never to talk about the event. She says she called the FBI two years ago and has since passed a lengthy lie detector test, which may suggest that she believes what she's saying. The niece supplied an old guitar strap worn by her uncle to the FBI for DNA testing. She told CNN Wednesday that, to her knowledge, the FBI had been unable to retrieve any relevant evidence from the strap. For the FBI's part, they have not yet been able to rule out the possibility that L.D. Cooper was D.B. Cooper or if he was completely unconnected to the event.