An article in New York magazine has prompted the FBI to reopen its investigation of D.B. Cooper, the country’s only unsolved airplane hijacking case.
In "Unmasking American Legend D.B. Cooper," which appeared in the October 29 issue of New York, writer Geoffrey Gray uncovered a new suspect in the case: Kenneth Christiansen, a deceased Northwest Airlines purser and ex-paratrooper. The hijacker, known as D.B. Cooper, parachuted from a Northwest 727 airplane in November 1971 with $200,000 in ransom, and disappeared. The only trace-$5,800 in decomposing twenties-turned up in 1980 when a boy discovered a bag buried near a river.
Although Christiansen didn’t match Cooper’s physical description Gray’s story helped spark Seattle-based agent Larry Carr’s renewed interest in the case. On New Years Eve the FBI officially re-opened the case and posted on its Web site an open call for information in an effort to help solve the mystery.
"Gray’s was a fascinating, well researched story, and we’re not surprised that it continues to spur discussion and investigation," says New York spokesperson Serena Torrey. It took Gray about six months to research and write the story.