NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The true, unsolved story of D. B. Cooper’s 1971 airplane hijacking, one of the greatest cold cases of the twentieth century
“Here is writing and storytelling that is vivid and fresh—a delectable adventure.”—Gay Talese
“I have a bomb here and I would like you to sit by me.”
That was the note handed to flight attendant Florence Schaffner by a mild-mannered passenger now known as D. B. Cooper on a Northwest Orient flight in 1971. It was also the start of one of the most astonishing aviation whodunits in the history of American true crime: how one man extorted $200,000 from an airline before parachuting into the wilds of the Pacific Northwest, never to be seen again.
The case of D. B. Cooper is a modern legend that has obsessed and cursed his pursuers for generations with everything from bankruptcy to suicidal despair. Now, with Skyjack, Geoffrey Gray obtains a first-ever look at the FBI’s confidential Cooper file, uncovering new leads in the infamous case.
Starting with a crack tip from a private investigator, Gray plunges into the murky depths of the decades-old mystery to chase down new clues and explore secrets of the case’s most prominent suspects, including Ralph Himmelsbach, the most dogged of FBI agents, who watched with horror as a criminal became a counter-culture folk hero; Karl Fleming, a respected reporter whose career was destroyed by a D. B. Cooper scoop that was a scam; and Barbara Dayton, a transgender pilot who insisted she was Cooper herself. With explosive new information, Skyjack reopens one of the great cold cases of the twentieth century.