Author Topic: General Questions About The Case  (Read 254221 times)

Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: General Questions About The Case
« Reply #2565 on: September 13, 2020, 11:29:02 PM »
Assessing the FBI's Investigation

What do you think the FBI got right, got wrong, didn't do enough of, etc. in Norjak?

Wouldn't it be great if Larry Carr and Curtis Eng came to CooperCon 2021 and anchored a panel discussion on this topic? What would you like to hear, say?

Please let me know. I'm developing a chapter on that theme. Below is a draft version:

Chapter 40
Assessing the FBI investigation


The FBI is arguably the world’s best investigatory organization. So, why can’t they solve the DB Cooper case?

I asked former SA Gary Tallis that question, and his reply surprised me: “Because they haven’t found a body. If we had a body, all the answers would follow.”

But what happens to an investigation when there isn’t a body? Adding to that conundrum, how should the FBI proceed when they have so little tangible evidence? It’s not an easy job, I admit. Losing evidence doesn’t help, either. But large bureaucracies have screw-ups, lose stuff, and have less-than-adequate agents sprinkled throughout the organization, even at managerial levels. So, after their 45 years of investigating DB Cooper, how did they do? And what can happen from this point forward?

Scanning through the issues, we can identify particular people, places, and events that have been problematic. Some items might have resolution; some might not. Here’s a list:

1. Cigarette Butts
- Where are they?
- If lost, is anyone looking for them?
- Were they processed for DNA analysis, as indicated by case agent Larry Carr?
- If so, where is the paperwork?

2. Ground Search
-  Why was the ground search called off on Monday, November 29, 1971?
- Why did Seattle FO tell FBI HQ that there was too much snow on the ground to continue, when there was no snow reported in the LZ-A by local officials.

3. Clip-on Tie
- Why did it reportedly enter the Seattle evidence cache four days after the hijacking?
- Where was it for that time?
- Was the chain of custody broken?
- What does it mean that no one involved in the evidence retrieval in Reno, specifically Tina Mucklow, Red Campbell, Jack Ricks, John Norris, and Alf Stousland, could remember the tie when questioned in the 1980s by Bernie Rhodes?
- To what extent, if any, did the FBI follow-up on the Citizen Sleuth's discovery of titanium and rare earth minerals on the tie?

4. Reno, fingerprints
- Who conducted the fingerprint search aboard 305?
- How many prints were obtained in that search?
- Why weren’t the “In-flight” magazines gathered into evidence?
    - Have any reconstructions of the fingerprints been undertaken?

5. Reno, behaviors of FBI agents
- What happened to cause the memories of the agents on evidence retrieval to be forgetful, fuzzy or in conflict with each other?
- Were these agents “victims of some strange post-hypnotic suggestion,” as Bernie Rhodes has written?
- Did MKULTRA play a part in Norjak?

  6. SOG and 727s
- What was the complete role of 727s in the Vietnam War?
- Were they used to deploy soldiers into combat?
- Did any combat units utilize techniques similar to those of DB Cooper, ie: jumping from a 727 with flaps at 15, gear down and locked, etc.?

  7. Money Retrieval
- How many shards of money were found at Tina Bar?
- Where are they, currently, especially the larger ones in the 2-3-inch category?
- Did the FBI find part of DB Cooper’s briefcase at Tina Bar, as reported by PIO Dorwin Schreuder?
- Why was the money found in a highly compressed state?
- What kinds of follow-up were done along the Columbia River, i.e.: fishermen interviewed, other sites dug-up, etc.?
- What does the discovery of springtime diatoms on the money mean?

  8. Richard McCoy
- What was he doing in Las Vegas on November 24–25, 1971?
- What was he doing there on November 2–3, 1971?
- How did he learn the details of hijacking an airplane?
- What was his relationship with “Dan Cooper?”
- Why does the Seattle FO accept McCoy’s alibi that he was home with family on Thanksgiving, refuting the findings from Salt Lake City FBI agents?
- How did he get that $6,000 in late 1971 that funded his family’s trip to North Carolina?

  9. Radar Findings
- What did SAGE radar record the night of November 24, 1971?
- Why do the Seattle transcripts have over one-dozen redactions?
- Did the F-106s and the T-33 following Flight 305 have any radar findings of Cooper or his jump? If not, why not?
- Why did NORAD tell Major Dawson to “back off” the F-106s, and pull out the chaff?

  10. Earl Cossey
- What was the true role of Earl Cossey in the Norjak investigation?
- Did he actually own the “back” parachutes delivered to the hijacker, as he claimed?
- Did Cossey influence the FBI’s perspective that Cooper was an inexperienced skydiver?
- Why did the FBI flip-flop on their assessment of Cooper’s skills?
- Why was Cossey murdered? Why is that crime still unsolved?

11. Care of Evidence
   - Why weren’t pictures taken of the parachutes?
   - Why weren’t pictures taken at Tina Bar of the shards, and the specific activities of the money retrieval, like the beach slope, the actual location, close-ups of shards buried at three-feet, etc.

11. Suspects: Unanswered Questions –
      - Why was Robert Rackstraw dismissed as a suspect in 1979 after the FBI arrested him in  Paris, France on his return to the United States from Iran.
   - Did E. Howard Hunt, or someone like him, play a role in Norjak?

12. What was the full impact of the DB Cooper skyjacking
   - Did it affect national politics?
   - Did it enhance the efforts to federalize airline safety?

13. Would the FBI be willing to participate in a public debriefing of Norjak?
      - Will the FBI send agents such as Larry Carr and Curtis Eng to CooperCon 2021 to anchor a panel discussion assessing the FBI’s investigation?

Lastly, why aren’t these questions enough to re-open the case? How can the FBI reasonably walk away from Norjak with this amount of outstanding doubt?

Then we always have the issue of a cover-up, of a federal conspiracy to keep the public knowing the truth of Norjak. Certainly, there have been numerous instances of sloppy police work, systemic deficiencies within the FBI, and problematic decision-making. But does this mean there is an actual attempt to prevent us from knowing the truth of DB Cooper?
I don’t know. I have no direct evidence that supports a cover up. All I have is circumstantial evidence that suggests Norjak has been compromised.

But besides these specific concerns is the failure of leadership. This issue has impacted the case in every dimension. At times, no one seemed to be in complete command of Norjak—certainly in the early stages of the investigation. Farrell was in charge of Seattle-based activities, Manning on the ground near Ariel, Mattson in Portland and later Himmelsbach; and then Campbell and his Las Vegas-based crew in Reno.

But why didn’t Charlie Farrell jump on a plane and fly to Reno to ensure the proper retrieval of evidence, thus minimizing the predictable bureaucratic turf battles that followed?

Additionally, Farrell and his team worked in secrecy. The public knows little of his work. Farrell is reported to have penned a 300-page account of his experiences in Norjak, and Geoffrey Gray says he has read it. But my efforts to obtain access to a copy have been met by resistance from the Farrell family.

Similarly, the Norjak case agent at the time of the money find, Ron Nichols, remains totally silent on the money find, shards, and documentation. More troubling, why didn’t Nichols jump in his car and drive the three hours to T-Bar to supervise the money recovery?

Nichols’ failures are coupled with the stonewalling from Himmelsbach on the money controversies, making the whole situation unacceptable.

Another example of poor supervision was the care given to the evidence stored in Seattle. Before being shipped to HQ in 2016, the main pieces were stored loosely in a cardboard box that looked like it once held knickknacks from someone's attic. Concerns over the chain of custody pepper Norjak as well, such as the clip-on tie being torn apart by the Citizen Sleuths. It appears they were able to review physical evidence without any FBI agent present, although Alan Stone refutes that assumption.

Nevertheless, these breaks in the chain of custody are serious concerns. The DZ’s 377, an attorney in the Bay Area, offers a cogent view of the matter:

   The FBI has been amazingly cavalier about the handling of physical evidence (in    Norjak). It’s not normal practice. As a defense lawyer, when I had my experts    examine physical evidence or run lab tests the prosecution enforced strict protocols    so that the custody chain was unbroken and fully documented and that    contamination  or   alteration of evidence was prevented.
   Even in minor cases this was how things were handled. I represented a ghetto bar    owner who the cops hated. He was arrested for serving alcohol to a minor. It was a    major hassle just to get a sample of the drink which was preserved. My lab had to sign    for the sample and document its handling at every step. The prosecution wisely only    gave my lab a portion of the sample so that they had a control if my findings were later    to be disputed. My client got really lucky. My lab tested zero alcohol. When the police    lab repeated their test, they found the same thing. Case dismissed.
   It might be that the FBI has some undisclosed evidence that has been very    carefully    handled and that is highly probative in identifying Cooper, enough so that a conviction    could be secured without any other evidence. Cigarette butts might fit this description.    It just makes no sense that they would be ‘lost.’
   Peterson, a highly qualified suspect, was ruled out on DNA. Maybe it wasn’t tie    DNA but cigarette DNA, which would be more confidently linked to DB Cooper.

In addition, there was an uncanny passivity to the FBI’s work at times. Ralph Himmelsbach never interviewed Tina even though she moved to the Portland area after the skyjacking for medical treatment and then spent decades in Eugene, just two hours south. Is this a proper handling of a primary witness in a major case? More troubling, Himmelsbach’s book reveals—and Dorwin Schreuder confirms—that for much of the Norjak era the Portland FO had a reactionary stance to the investigation, and only responded to leads as they came in to the office. Similarly, Seattle agents, such as Bob Sale and Sid Rubin, have also indicated that the Cooper case was near-dormant in the Seattle FO between the money find in 1980 and the resurgence in the late 1990s.

Further, did silence on the details of the case really serve the investigation? Why didn’t a single FBI agent attend the DB Cooper Symposium in 2011 or 2013 or the CooperCons in 2018 and 2019? What did that avoidance achieve? What kind of investigatory integrity did that maintain?

At times, it appears that FBI agents don’t talk with one another, either, even when working on the same case. Galen has a telling story on this subject:

   Seems like the NORJAK agents die by the vine, but DB Cooper lives on. The    Bureau must hate that. No one ever hears from Carr since he left. He e-mailed me    about six months after I started talking with Eng, but Eng wasn’t too enthused that        I was still talking with Carr about the case. Led me to believe that the agents    aren’t necessarily on the same page, and rather territorial of their own turf, even    among other agents.
   
Part of this non-sharing with fellow agents was fostered by J. Edgar Hoover. As discussed previously, Hoover awarded cash bonuses to agents who busted tough cases, so field agents had an incentive not to share since it could cost them money. Plus, we have the pressures seeping from the mundane area of internal politics: promotions based upon performance, and assignments determined by one's status within the office.

As for my relationship with FBI agents, when I ask questions beyond their initial set story they balk. I call it the “One and Done” scenario. I get one good interview—usually a recitation of their well-rehearsed narrative—then, nothing. Follow-up phone calls and emails go unanswered. Thus, I strongly suspect that what I was told initially was a spin job, and they don’t want me to scratch beneath the surface.

More troubling, formal communications with the FBI become seriously strained in 2015 when I was informed the FBI had a new policy for communicating with journalists. Simply, the FBI stopped talking to anyone about Norjak unless the contact was specifically authorized. After years of exchanging increasingly opaque emails with PIO Ayn Dietrich-Williams, she finally stated the obvious on December 7, 2015:

   The FBI’s media policy prohibits discussing ongoing investigations unless a    release is specifically thought to have potential benefit to the investigation.
   …I understand your continued interest in our investigation and apologize that I    will not be able to share additional information to answer your questions.

Nevertheless, I have not abandoned all hope in the FBI, and I will be providing them with a “Special Edition” of this book, complete with phone numbers and contact information for all of the major figures of the case. At least then, the Bureau will have a comprehensive overview of the case for future investigators to consult.

Of course, they can call me anytime for assistance. Or they can join the DB Cooper Forum!






 
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Offline georger

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Re: General Questions About The Case
« Reply #2566 on: September 14, 2020, 12:08:52 AM »
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Assessing the FBI's Investigation

What do you think the FBI got right, got wrong, didn't do enough of, etc. in Norjak?

Wouldn't it be great if Larry Carr and Curtis Eng came to CooperCon 2021 and anchored a panel discussion on this topic? What would you like to hear, say?

Please let me know. I'm developing a chapter on that theme. Below is a draft version:

Chapter 40
Assessing the FBI investigation


The FBI is arguably the world’s best investigatory organization. So, why can’t they solve the DB Cooper case?

I asked former SA Gary Tallis that question, and his reply surprised me: “Because they haven’t found a body. If we had a body, all the answers would follow.”

But what happens to an investigation when there isn’t a body? Adding to that conundrum, how should the FBI proceed when they have so little tangible evidence? It’s not an easy job, I admit. Losing evidence doesn’t help, either. But large bureaucracies have screw-ups, lose stuff, and have less-than-adequate agents sprinkled throughout the organization, even at managerial levels. So, after their 45 years of investigating DB Cooper, how did they do? And what can happen from this point forward?

Scanning through the issues, we can identify particular people, places, and events that have been problematic. Some items might have resolution; some might not. Here’s a list:

1. Cigarette Butts
- Where are they?
- If lost, is anyone looking for them?
- Were they processed for DNA analysis, as indicated by case agent Larry Carr?
- If so, where is the paperwork?

2. Ground Search
-  Why was the ground search called off on Monday, November 29, 1971?
- Why did Seattle FO tell FBI HQ that there was too much snow on the ground to continue, when there was no snow reported in the LZ-A by local officials.

3. Clip-on Tie
- Why did it reportedly enter the Seattle evidence cache four days after the hijacking?
- Where was it for that time?
- Was the chain of custody broken?
- What does it mean that no one involved in the evidence retrieval in Reno, specifically Tina Mucklow, Red Campbell, Jack Ricks, John Norris, and Alf Stousland, could remember the tie when questioned in the 1980s by Bernie Rhodes?
- To what extent, if any, did the FBI follow-up on the Citizen Sleuth's discovery of titanium and rare earth minerals on the tie?

4. Reno, fingerprints
- Who conducted the fingerprint search aboard 305?
- How many prints were obtained in that search?
- Why weren’t the “In-flight” magazines gathered into evidence?
    - Have any reconstructions of the fingerprints been undertaken?

5. Reno, behaviors of FBI agents
- What happened to cause the memories of the agents on evidence retrieval to be forgetful, fuzzy or in conflict with each other?
- Were these agents “victims of some strange post-hypnotic suggestion,” as Bernie Rhodes has written?
- Did MKULTRA play a part in Norjak?

  6. SOG and 727s
- What was the complete role of 727s in the Vietnam War?
- Were they used to deploy soldiers into combat?
- Did any combat units utilize techniques similar to those of DB Cooper, ie: jumping from a 727 with flaps at 15, gear down and locked, etc.?

  7. Money Retrieval
- How many shards of money were found at Tina Bar?
- Where are they, currently, especially the larger ones in the 2-3-inch category?
- Did the FBI find part of DB Cooper’s briefcase at Tina Bar, as reported by PIO Dorwin Schreuder?
- Why was the money found in a highly compressed state?
- What kinds of follow-up were done along the Columbia River, i.e.: fishermen interviewed, other sites dug-up, etc.?
- What does the discovery of springtime diatoms on the money mean?

  8. Richard McCoy
- What was he doing in Las Vegas on November 24–25, 1971?
- What was he doing there on November 2–3, 1971?
- How did he learn the details of hijacking an airplane?
- What was his relationship with “Dan Cooper?”
- Why does the Seattle FO accept McCoy’s alibi that he was home with family on Thanksgiving, refuting the findings from Salt Lake City FBI agents?
- How did he get that $6,000 in late 1971 that funded his family’s trip to North Carolina?

  9. Radar Findings
- What did SAGE radar record the night of November 24, 1971?
- Why do the Seattle transcripts have over one-dozen redactions?
- Did the F-106s and the T-33 following Flight 305 have any radar findings of Cooper or his jump? If not, why not?
- Why did NORAD tell Major Dawson to “back off” the F-106s, and pull out the chaff?

  10. Earl Cossey
- What was the true role of Earl Cossey in the Norjak investigation?
- Did he actually own the “back” parachutes delivered to the hijacker, as he claimed?
- Did Cossey influence the FBI’s perspective that Cooper was an inexperienced skydiver?
- Why did the FBI flip-flop on their assessment of Cooper’s skills?
- Why was Cossey murdered? Why is that crime still unsolved?

11. Care of Evidence
   - Why weren’t pictures taken of the parachutes?
   - Why weren’t pictures taken at Tina Bar of the shards, and the specific activities of the money retrieval, like the beach slope, the actual location, close-ups of shards buried at three-feet, etc.

11. Suspects: Unanswered Questions –
      - Why was Robert Rackstraw dismissed as a suspect in 1979 after the FBI arrested him in  Paris, France on his return to the United States from Iran.
   - Did E. Howard Hunt, or someone like him, play a role in Norjak?

12. What was the full impact of the DB Cooper skyjacking
   - Did it affect national politics?
   - Did it enhance the efforts to federalize airline safety?

13. Would the FBI be willing to participate in a public debriefing of Norjak?
      - Will the FBI send agents such as Larry Carr and Curtis Eng to CooperCon 2021 to anchor a panel discussion assessing the FBI’s investigation?

Lastly, why aren’t these questions enough to re-open the case? How can the FBI reasonably walk away from Norjak with this amount of outstanding doubt?

Then we always have the issue of a cover-up, of a federal conspiracy to keep the public knowing the truth of Norjak. Certainly, there have been numerous instances of sloppy police work, systemic deficiencies within the FBI, and problematic decision-making. But does this mean there is an actual attempt to prevent us from knowing the truth of DB Cooper?
I don’t know. I have no direct evidence that supports a cover up. All I have is circumstantial evidence that suggests Norjak has been compromised.

But besides these specific concerns is the failure of leadership. This issue has impacted the case in every dimension. At times, no one seemed to be in complete command of Norjak—certainly in the early stages of the investigation. Farrell was in charge of Seattle-based activities, Manning on the ground near Ariel, Mattson in Portland and later Himmelsbach; and then Campbell and his Las Vegas-based crew in Reno.

But why didn’t Charlie Farrell jump on a plane and fly to Reno to ensure the proper retrieval of evidence, thus minimizing the predictable bureaucratic turf battles that followed?

Additionally, Farrell and his team worked in secrecy. The public knows little of his work. Farrell is reported to have penned a 300-page account of his experiences in Norjak, and Geoffrey Gray says he has read it. But my efforts to obtain access to a copy have been met by resistance from the Farrell family.

Similarly, the Norjak case agent at the time of the money find, Ron Nichols, remains totally silent on the money find, shards, and documentation. More troubling, why didn’t Nichols jump in his car and drive the three hours to T-Bar to supervise the money recovery?

Nichols’ failures are coupled with the stonewalling from Himmelsbach on the money controversies, making the whole situation unacceptable.

Another example of poor supervision was the care given to the evidence stored in Seattle. Before being shipped to HQ in 2016, the main pieces were stored loosely in a cardboard box that looked like it once held knickknacks from someone's attic. Concerns over the chain of custody pepper Norjak as well, such as the clip-on tie being torn apart by the Citizen Sleuths. It appears they were able to review physical evidence without any FBI agent present, although Alan Stone refutes that assumption.

Nevertheless, these breaks in the chain of custody are serious concerns. The DZ’s 377, an attorney in the Bay Area, offers a cogent view of the matter:

   The FBI has been amazingly cavalier about the handling of physical evidence (in    Norjak). It’s not normal practice. As a defense lawyer, when I had my experts    examine physical evidence or run lab tests the prosecution enforced strict protocols    so that the custody chain was unbroken and fully documented and that    contamination  or   alteration of evidence was prevented.
   Even in minor cases this was how things were handled. I represented a ghetto bar    owner who the cops hated. He was arrested for serving alcohol to a minor. It was a    major hassle just to get a sample of the drink which was preserved. My lab had to sign    for the sample and document its handling at every step. The prosecution wisely only    gave my lab a portion of the sample so that they had a control if my findings were later    to be disputed. My client got really lucky. My lab tested zero alcohol. When the police    lab repeated their test, they found the same thing. Case dismissed.
   It might be that the FBI has some undisclosed evidence that has been very    carefully    handled and that is highly probative in identifying Cooper, enough so that a conviction    could be secured without any other evidence. Cigarette butts might fit this description.    It just makes no sense that they would be ‘lost.’
   Peterson, a highly qualified suspect, was ruled out on DNA. Maybe it wasn’t tie    DNA but cigarette DNA, which would be more confidently linked to DB Cooper.

In addition, there was an uncanny passivity to the FBI’s work at times. Ralph Himmelsbach never interviewed Tina even though she moved to the Portland area after the skyjacking for medical treatment and then spent decades in Eugene, just two hours south. Is this a proper handling of a primary witness in a major case? More troubling, Himmelsbach’s book reveals—and Dorwin Schreuder confirms—that for much of the Norjak era the Portland FO had a reactionary stance to the investigation, and only responded to leads as they came in to the office. Similarly, Seattle agents, such as Bob Sale and Sid Rubin, have also indicated that the Cooper case was near-dormant in the Seattle FO between the money find in 1980 and the resurgence in the late 1990s.

Further, did silence on the details of the case really serve the investigation? Why didn’t a single FBI agent attend the DB Cooper Symposium in 2011 or 2013 or the CooperCons in 2018 and 2019? What did that avoidance achieve? What kind of investigatory integrity did that maintain?

At times, it appears that FBI agents don’t talk with one another, either, even when working on the same case. Galen has a telling story on this subject:

   Seems like the NORJAK agents die by the vine, but DB Cooper lives on. The    Bureau must hate that. No one ever hears from Carr since he left. He e-mailed me    about six months after I started talking with Eng, but Eng wasn’t too enthused that        I was still talking with Carr about the case. Led me to believe that the agents    aren’t necessarily on the same page, and rather territorial of their own turf, even    among other agents.
   
Part of this non-sharing with fellow agents was fostered by J. Edgar Hoover. As discussed previously, Hoover awarded cash bonuses to agents who busted tough cases, so field agents had an incentive not to share since it could cost them money. Plus, we have the pressures seeping from the mundane area of internal politics: promotions based upon performance, and assignments determined by one's status within the office.

As for my relationship with FBI agents, when I ask questions beyond their initial set story they balk. I call it the “One and Done” scenario. I get one good interview—usually a recitation of their well-rehearsed narrative—then, nothing. Follow-up phone calls and emails go unanswered. Thus, I strongly suspect that what I was told initially was a spin job, and they don’t want me to scratch beneath the surface.

More troubling, formal communications with the FBI become seriously strained in 2015 when I was informed the FBI had a new policy for communicating with journalists. Simply, the FBI stopped talking to anyone about Norjak unless the contact was specifically authorized. After years of exchanging increasingly opaque emails with PIO Ayn Dietrich-Williams, she finally stated the obvious on December 7, 2015:

   The FBI’s media policy prohibits discussing ongoing investigations unless a    release is specifically thought to have potential benefit to the investigation.
   …I understand your continued interest in our investigation and apologize that I    will not be able to share additional information to answer your questions.

Nevertheless, I have not abandoned all hope in the FBI, and I will be providing them with a “Special Edition” of this book, complete with phone numbers and contact information for all of the major figures of the case. At least then, the Bureau will have a comprehensive overview of the case for future investigators to consult.

Of course, they can call me anytime for assistance. Or they can join the DB Cooper Forum!

Is this a manifesto accusing the FBI .... of what?

"Of course, they can call me anytime for assistance. Or they can join the DB Cooper Forum!"    .......  are you requesting a meeting with the Director of the FBI or the US Attorney General? That would be NEWS! 

Bruce Smith VS The United States of America ?    :rofl:
« Last Edit: September 14, 2020, 12:16:14 AM by georger »
 

Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: General Questions About The Case
« Reply #2567 on: September 14, 2020, 08:20:46 PM »
I'm accusing the FBI of being a very large bureaucracy. As such, it has inherent deficiencies. I am merely pointing them our for remediation. After all, they closed the case saying they had investigated all known suspects and had examined all available evidence. Hence, they should be able to answer all the above questions.

But, I'll settle for a seat in a panel discussion at CooperCon with Larry Carr and Curtis Eng. I would also suggest to Eric that he feature Mud-Wrestling Contests between various Forum posters.

Wanna go at it with me in a mud pit, G? Smile. Might be fun. How about Eric facing off against Flyjack?
 

Offline MEYDC

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Re: General Questions About The Case
« Reply #2568 on: September 14, 2020, 08:29:05 PM »
Hi Bruce, Was Sheridan Peterson ruled out as a suspect by DNA? Eric Ulis has said that he wasn't.
 

Offline EU

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Re: General Questions About The Case
« Reply #2569 on: September 14, 2020, 09:31:55 PM »
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Hi Bruce, Was Sheridan Peterson ruled out as a suspect by DNA? Eric Ulis has said that he wasn't.

MEYDC, good catch in the article. The FBI never publicly cleared Sheridan because of DNA--or for any other reason--as they did with LD Cooper and Duane Weber. Bruce you should fix that comment.
Some men see things as they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?

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Offline grapesofwrath

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Re: General Questions About The Case
« Reply #2570 on: September 14, 2020, 10:12:03 PM »
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The FBI never publicly cleared Sheridan because of DNA--or for any other reason--as they did with LD Cooper and Duane Weber.

Hey Eric, i'm pretty new to the D.B Cooper case and am intrigued with Peterson's life. However, I haven't been able to find a clear answer yet to the question of Peterson's obvious lack of hair. What do you believe explains this imperfection with SP being Cooper?
 

Offline EU

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Re: General Questions About The Case
« Reply #2571 on: September 14, 2020, 10:42:39 PM »
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The FBI never publicly cleared Sheridan because of DNA--or for any other reason--as they did with LD Cooper and Duane Weber.

Hey Eric, i'm pretty new to the D.B Cooper case and am intrigued with Peterson's life. However, I haven't been able to find a clear answer yet to the question of Peterson's obvious lack of hair. What do you believe explains this imperfection with SP being Cooper?

Welcome to the case!

I have seen photos of Sheridan from the 1971 time period. His hair is receded and short. That said, I'm unclear what his hair would look like if he grew it out for a handful of months. I just don't know how close it would come to the original Bing Crosby sketch. However, a picture of Sheridan from 1962 is spot on.

Otherwise, he would have to have worn a toupee. I've looked into this before and referenced the fact that Sean Connery wore a toupee during his Bond films and that it was unnoticeable. Moreover, that men regularly wore toupees during the 1960's and 1970's.
Some men see things as they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?

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Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: General Questions About The Case
« Reply #2572 on: September 15, 2020, 03:40:04 AM »
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Hi Bruce, Was Sheridan Peterson ruled out as a suspect by DNA? Eric Ulis has said that he wasn't.

MEYDC, good catch in the article. The FBI never publicly cleared Sheridan because of DNA--or for any other reason--as they did with LD Cooper and Duane Weber. Bruce you should fix that comment.

I stand by my reporting. In my conversations with Mary Jean Fryar she was very clear with me that Petey's DNA was not a match for the FBI's samples. I know that is in direct conflict with what she has said to you, Eric.

As a result, I am reporting both statements in the 3rd Edition. It's not that I'm right or wrong - nor are you. We have received different information; hence, that's what I'm reporting.

As for the MN article, due to a formatting glitch the quote that Sheridan was ruled out by DNA is from Mark Metzler. The article doesn't make that clear. I'll work to make that clearer, but WP and their new editing functions are NOT making that easy.

Rest assured, though, those formatting glitches are not present in the 3rd Edition manuscript that I'm writing.

Yes, technically, Eric, you are correct. The FBI has not PUBLICLY stated that Sheridan is not a match. What MJF told me is that a colleague of hers at the SF Division told her off-the-record that Petey was not a match for the DNA sample they had on file. That doesn't exclude Petey as DBC, either. But that is what I was told by MJF. She also indicated to me the DNA findings meant Petey was not Cooper, in her mind.

Also, MJF was retired and out of the FBI when she was given this information, so acknowledging the receipt of confidential information under those circumstances might put her at risk, as does this posting.

But so it goes.

« Last Edit: September 15, 2020, 03:42:02 AM by Bruce A. Smith »
 

Offline EU

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Re: General Questions About The Case
« Reply #2573 on: September 15, 2020, 10:51:10 AM »
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Hi Bruce, Was Sheridan Peterson ruled out as a suspect by DNA? Eric Ulis has said that he wasn't.

MEYDC, good catch in the article. The FBI never publicly cleared Sheridan because of DNA--or for any other reason--as they did with LD Cooper and Duane Weber. Bruce you should fix that comment.

I stand by my reporting. In my conversations with Mary Jean Fryar she was very clear with me that Petey's DNA was not a match for the FBI's samples. I know that is in direct conflict with what she has said to you, Eric.

As a result, I am reporting both statements in the 3rd Edition. It's not that I'm right or wrong - nor are you. We have received different information; hence, that's what I'm reporting.

As for the MN article, due to a formatting glitch the quote that Sheridan was ruled out by DNA is from Mark Metzler. The article doesn't make that clear. I'll work to make that clearer, but WP and their new editing functions are NOT making that easy.

Rest assured, though, those formatting glitches are not present in the 3rd Edition manuscript that I'm writing.

Yes, technically, Eric, you are correct. The FBI has not PUBLICLY stated that Sheridan is not a match. What MJF told me is that a colleague of hers at the SF Division told her off-the-record that Petey was not a match for the DNA sample they had on file. That doesn't exclude Petey as DBC, either. But that is what I was told by MJF. She also indicated to me the DNA findings meant Petey was not Cooper, in her mind.

Also, MJF was retired and out of the FBI when she was given this information, so acknowledging the receipt of confidential information under those circumstances might put her at risk, as does this posting.

But so it goes.

I'm not sure what else to add to this other than to say that I have discussed this very issue with Mary Jean many times and she states unequivocally that she not only has no idea of the results, but, she also has no idea if the DNA was even compared. It was submitted from Santa Rosa RUC (Return Upon Completion). At that point, she's done.

Remember too, Sheridan's DNA was taken in 2003. It appears that the comparisons were made at Quantico sometime around 2006. Therefore, for anyone to know the results would necessitate a conversation after the testing was complete. Again, I do not believe this happened.
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Offline georger

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Re: General Questions About The Case
« Reply #2574 on: September 15, 2020, 01:53:51 PM »
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Hi Bruce, Was Sheridan Peterson ruled out as a suspect by DNA? Eric Ulis has said that he wasn't.

MEYDC, good catch in the article. The FBI never publicly cleared Sheridan because of DNA--or for any other reason--as they did with LD Cooper and Duane Weber. Bruce you should fix that comment.

I stand by my reporting. In my conversations with Mary Jean Fryar she was very clear with me that Petey's DNA was not a match for the FBI's samples. I know that is in direct conflict with what she has said to you, Eric.

As a result, I am reporting both statements in the 3rd Edition. It's not that I'm right or wrong - nor are you. We have received different information; hence, that's what I'm reporting.

As for the MN article, due to a formatting glitch the quote that Sheridan was ruled out by DNA is from Mark Metzler. The article doesn't make that clear. I'll work to make that clearer, but WP and their new editing functions are NOT making that easy.

Rest assured, though, those formatting glitches are not present in the 3rd Edition manuscript that I'm writing.

Yes, technically, Eric, you are correct. The FBI has not PUBLICLY stated that Sheridan is not a match. What MJF told me is that a colleague of hers at the SF Division told her off-the-record that Petey was not a match for the DNA sample they had on file. That doesn't exclude Petey as DBC, either. But that is what I was told by MJF. She also indicated to me the DNA findings meant Petey was not Cooper, in her mind.

Also, MJF was retired and out of the FBI when she was given this information, so acknowledging the receipt of confidential information under those circumstances might put her at risk, as does this posting.

But so it goes.

I'm not sure what else to add to this other than to say that I have discussed this very issue with Mary Jean many times and she states unequivocally that she not only has no idea of the results, but, she also has no idea if the DNA was even compared. It was submitted from Santa Rosa RUC (Return Upon Completion). At that point, she's done.

Remember too, Sheridan's DNA was taken in 2003. It appears that the comparisons were made at Quantico sometime around 2006. Therefore, for anyone to know the results would necessitate a conversation after the testing was complete. Again, I do not believe this happened.

I have read a ton of 302s at this point, most related to suspects ... it appears in spite of low confidence in the prints they had from the plane, they went ahead and had Quantico do a ton of print matching, in case anything might surface as a match or even a partial match. All matches were negative. The 302s confirm that whole story. So the FBI was using what they had to the best of their ability. It's an endless saga of searches and processing people .... through the 1980s. By about 1986 people were surfacing with memos being passed around suggesting the case should be closed ... the Ingrams were living in Oklahoma by then desperate for money and pressing their claim for a reward ... it was a mess going nowhere except for a John Doe warrant that kept the case open. 
« Last Edit: September 15, 2020, 01:59:28 PM by georger »
 

Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: General Questions About The Case
« Reply #2575 on: September 16, 2020, 04:54:09 AM »
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I'm not sure what else to add to this other than to say that I have discussed this very issue with Mary Jean many times and she states unequivocally that she not only has no idea of the results, but, she also has no idea if the DNA was even compared. It was submitted from Santa Rosa RUC (Return Upon Completion). At that point, she's done.

...

I don't doubt you, Eric, in the least. I'm merely stating what I was told, as best as I can remember it. Clearly, you were told something very different.

One reason for MJF's variations might be to protect herself from revealing information that she might not be entitled to know since she had retired from the FBI when she got the info on the DNA, as I recall, but that is complete speculation on my part.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 04:54:29 AM by Bruce A. Smith »
 

Offline Shutter

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Re: General Questions About The Case
« Reply #2576 on: September 16, 2020, 08:09:16 AM »
Not sure we can really compare someone to a Hollywood actor. they take hours sometimes in makeup. If I own a 1975 Gran Torino it doesn't mean I can do a 180 while parallel parking in between two cars.
 

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Re: General Questions About The Case
« Reply #2577 on: September 16, 2020, 10:11:50 AM »
If Sheridan's DNA was analyzed and confirmed to be a match, why was no arrest made? Why was their no follow up?

If his DNA was taken and analyzed, but nothing was done, that would suggest a strong indication that there wasn't a match.
 

Offline EU

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Re: General Questions About The Case
« Reply #2578 on: September 16, 2020, 11:55:08 AM »
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If Sheridan's DNA was analyzed and confirmed to be a match, why was no arrest made? Why was their no follow up?

If his DNA was taken and analyzed, but nothing was done, that would suggest a strong indication that there wasn't a match.

The problem is that the FBI has a partial DNA profile. Sheridan may match the partial profile 100% but not be DB Cooper. Or he may match the partial 100% and be DB Cooper, but the DNA evidence may not be admissible in court.
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Offline Shutter

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Re: General Questions About The Case
« Reply #2579 on: September 16, 2020, 12:07:03 PM »
It's my understanding the DNA can rule someone out..I don't think publicly saying what the conclusions were can be used for guilt or innocence...

Prints on currency would also be tricky, even fresh prints since dozens would typically be found in such a small area. a good usable print is not easy to find.

Money can be fingerprinted. However, money circulates around and there can be many fingerprints on money. It would be a call the investigating officer would have to make. If they get 50 prints from one bill, and 50 different prints on the next, it would be tough to narrow down the suspect list.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 12:07:41 PM by Shutter »