Author Topic: New Forum & News Updates  (Read 554974 times)

Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: New Forum
« Reply #45 on: February 28, 2014, 12:37:53 AM »
It might make more sense to post a link to the Word Press blog, rather than to the Mountain News. On second thought, perhaps I should just post here what I post on the blog.  I'll try it unless it proves too unwieldy.
 

Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: New Forum
« Reply #46 on: February 28, 2014, 12:41:52 AM »
Here's my latest version of Chapter One from my book, currently titled: "DB Cooper and the FBI - A report on the only unsolved skyjacking in the history of the United States."

Chapter 1
An introduction to DB Cooper and the FBI’s investigation


The DB Cooper hijacking is a stunning true-crime story, filled with mystery and complexity. We don’t know who Cooper was or if he survived, nor the fate of the $200,000 in ransom - except for $5,800 in twenties that a kid found eight years later buried on a Columbia River beach. Plus, no one knows how the money got there or when.

The Cooper case is baffling and it remains America’s only unsolved skyjacking. Hundreds of FBI agents have worked the case along with scores of local police.

Yet, the Cooper case, called “Norjak” by the FBI – an acronym of Northwest Orient Airlines hijacking – also gives us a keen view into the workings of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

It is increasingly evident that the FBI’s investigation of Norjak has been flawed. Arguably, it has been compromised or even corrupted.

Most damning is the fact that the FBI has lost its most valuable piece of evidence - the eight cigarette butts DB Cooper smoked and left aboard the plane – and these butts were the ideal substances to reveal Cooper’s exact DNA.

Worse, the butts were not secured in the evidence room at the FBI’s Seattle office, which is the Office of Origin for Norjak, and should have been the repository of such important artifacts. Rather, they were stored in Las Vegas due to a bureaucratic turf battle.

Worst, though, the cigarette butts went missing only after their true value was realized.

Additionally, an FBI agent has vanished as well, and the FBI’s de facto technical expert in the case was murdered in his Woodinville, Washington home in 2013.

Further digging into the FBI’s investigation reveals numerous examples of inconsistency, sloppy police work, and hints of a cover-up, such as the FBI’s inability to pinpoint the plane’s flight path, and their inexplicable delay of nearly five months in mounting an extensive ground search.

Yet, to accurately assess the actions of the FBI it is necessary to fully understand the details of Norjak.

Cooper’s skyjacking was straightforward. In November 1971, he commandeered a Northwest Orient jetliner in Portland, Oregon, bound for Seattle, Washington, using a bomb in a briefcase for persuasion. At Seattle-Tacoma International Airport he released his 36 passengers in exchange for the $200,000 and four parachutes. After refueling, Cooper ordered the flight crew to head to Mexico, and he jumped into the rainy skies of south of Seattle with the money sack tied around his waist. However, nothing has ever been found - no body, no parachutes, no bomb, and no money - except for the aforementioned bundle of twenties discovered on the Columbia. His identity is still unknown.

In fact, it is as if DB Cooper came from nowhere and returned there when he jumped.

Thousands of us have looked for Cooper, seeking at least a shred of evidence or an inkling of who he was. Our quest is truly a hunt because it is primal, visceral and impassioned. One researcher told me that he puts himself to sleep at night thinking about the skyjacking, and I have frequently written about the case in the wee hours myself. When my fellow investigators and I gather, arguments about Cooper result in spittle flying across the discussion table along with verbal fisticuffs.

Culturally, millions champion DB Cooper as a man who beat the system – a master criminal who perpetrated a daring and innovative crime, completely outsmarting “the man.”

As for the FBI, the Bureau has investigated over 1,100 credible suspects. Officially, the case is still open.

Although the Norjak investigation is troubled, many FBI agents have worked diligently on the case. The night Cooper skyjacked his plane, every G-man in the Seattle field office, over thirty agents, were deployed on the case – either securing the perimeter of Sea-Tac Airport, interviewing the passengers and flight crew, or managing the actual hijacking via radio through the Seattle Center FAA tower.

Several hours later over two-hundred FBI agents and local police awaited Cooper’s plane in Reno as it landed for a second refueling.

In April 1972, hundreds of soldiers and local law enforcement, plus dozens of FBI agents scoured the fields and woodlands around Ariel, WA, the area Northwest Orient officials declared was the most likely landing zone for DB Cooper.

Nevertheless, over the years Cooper has been cheered by many, including some of the cops looking for him. His exploits are a modern-day Call of the Wild, awaking both the inner sleuth within us and our longing to be Robin Hood by striking a blow against the Powers That Be.

Yet, even though I’d always been aware of Cooper’s iconic status in American folklore, I’d never paid him much attention. When Cooper hijacked his plane, I was living in New York and attending college, but after re-locating to Washington I became reacquainted with the story while covering an air-show for the Pierce County (WA) Dispatch.

While perusing the dozens of vintage aircraft gathered at Thun Field in Puyallup, Washington, I was elated to see a beautifully restored Fairchild 24, a single-winged plane from the 1930s, the “Rolls-Royce” of private airplanes for its day. While growing up in New York, I loved building model airplanes and the first balsa wood job I made was a Fairchild. Now, for the first time, I was seeing one for real.

Sensing my appreciation the owner, Ron Forman, came over and we started talking. But after a few minutes in the broiling sun Ron suggested we retreat to the shade under the starboard wing, where we camped in his lawn chairs and drank ice-cold cokes. Relaxing, I saw a book on the ground next to his chair that was titled, “DB Cooper...something…Legend…something…Death…,” and I said, “Are you into DB Cooper, Ron?”

“Heck, yeah!” he replied. “My wife and I just wrote that book!”

For the rest of the afternoon, Ron regaled me with his story.

“Besides the Fairchild, my wife and I have a Cessna 140, and for years on the weekends we'd fly with a few other Cessna 140 pilots here at Thun Field. One of them, Barb Dayton, confessed to being DB Cooper during one of our coffee breaks in some airport when we were arguing about an aspect of the DB Cooper skyjacking. Our book is about her life and how she did the skyjacking.”

“Barb? I thought DB Cooper was a guy!” I answered.

“Yeah, he was, and Barb also told us that she was the first person in Washington State to get a sex-change operation. She used to be Bobby Dayton before 1969.”

So right at the beginning I knew the DB Cooper story was going to be a wild ride.

As Ron continued I learned that Barb/Bobby was a sky diver and an exceptionally skilled pilot. In addition, she was also an explosive expert and dare devil – working aboard ammunition ships before her sex-change operation and sailed between San Francisco and Saigon where he killed a VC sapper with his bare hands during a late night sneak attack.

Bobby had also fought in WW II with head hunters in the jungles of Borneo against the Japanese. He was even chased by a grizzly in the Yukon while panning for gold.
Wow, what a story, I thought.

Ron and I spent the rest of the day talking Cooper. From what I gleaned about Barb, it seems she did the skyjacking to prove to herself that she still had cajones.

“Barb would tell us all these incredible stories that we only half-believed, but when she died in 2002 my wife and I started checking everything out and it all proved true – except the DB Cooper confession, which we haven’t confirmed yet, and for that we need a DNA analysis from the FBI, but they won’t even return our phone calls or emails – not a single one!”

I found such resistance very troubling. Doesn’t the FBI want to hear about a confession from DB Cooper?

It didn’t seem right. So, I decided to launch my own investigation and see what was wrong with the FBI. Plus, I wanted to know the truth of the remarkable Ms. Dayton.

Ron educated me on the basics of Norjak, arming me with the contact information for many of the individuals associated with the case.

Sadly, once I started contacting Norjak principals I encountered more official impediments.
Former FBI investigator, Ralph Himmelsbach, the Cooper case agent in Portland, Oregon and now retired, refused to discuss the case with me unless I paid him $600 per interview.

Additionally, Himmelsbach’s counterpart in Seattle, Ron Nichols, has thoroughly stonewalled me on all phone calls and letters.

The one official I did speak with about the case, Larry Carr, the FBI’s Cooper case agent from 2007-2009, was adversarial – bullying me throughout our twenty-minute phone call.

Organizationally, I have also been rebuffed.

The current case agent as I write this, Curtis Eng, declines to discuss the case with me in any form, nor has any representative from the FBI attended any of the professional gatherings focused on the skyjacking, such as the DB Cooper Symposium in Portland in 2011, or a similar event held in 2013 at the Washington State Historical Museum in Tacoma.

As a reporter at the Dispatch, I have covered dozens of murders and major crimes that range from city jurisdictions to country sheriffs, and several cases have involved federal agencies, such as the DEA. From that I have long known that law enforcement is leery of the media. Their public information officers routinely tell us only what they want us to know, when they want us to know it. In effect, the police simply view us as a way to distribute their side of the story, and they rarely discuss complex aspects of a case with reporters.

From those dealings I have learned that the central mission of law enforcement is not to catch criminals or fight crime – if that was the case then half of our country’s cops would be camped on Wall Street. Rather, the primary purpose of the police is to protect the interests of the powerful, and the Cooper case is one of the most egregious examples of public disregard by law enforcement I’ve witnessed.

Further, not only has the FBI withheld information from the media, it has withheld evidence among its own agents and between field offices.

Agents are competitive and the Bureau isn’t very skilled in solving complex cases that involve multiple jurisdictions, as we saw in the 9-11 attacks when the FBI had trouble “connecting the dots.” In Norjak, three main field offices of the FBI shared the case: Portland, where the skyjacking began; Seattle, where the ransom exchange took place and the on-going skyjacking was managed; and Las Vegas, where the retrieved evidence was stored presumably because the lead agents in Reno were based in Vegas.

Later, as the dozen or so of Cooper copycats began hijacking airplanes, other field offices got involved in the Cooper investigation, particularly the Salt Lake City office. So a fourth, major FBI field office landed solidly into the Norjak mix.

In addition, the case is huge – generating rooms-full of documents – so it is understandable that the records are not properly organized. But the information on Cooper is so disorganized, contradictory or confusing that Cooper case agents appear befuddled when they speak publicly. At times agents, such as Larry Carr, have presented a haphazard view of the investigation, particularly when it comes to parsing details such on the role of parachute expert Earl Cossey and his assessment on the type of parachute Cooper selected for his getaway. In fact, it seems that Norjak investigators have not read much of their documents in the case file, and rely mostly on anecdotal narratives passed down from case agent to case agent. Additionally, Cooper case agents are rotated every two years on average, further eroding investigatory consistency.

As a result, the Norjak case appears to be in disarray. The mess is so complete that these days the FBI has to ask journalists for the phone numbers of Norjak’s witnesses.

In addition, young agents don’t have any personal knowledge of Norjak and they stumble in their efforts to identify the principals of the case.

With such a muddle it is not surprising there are rumors of an extensive cover-up within the Bureau, hinting at a deeper involvement with Big Money and Big Power.

Welcome to one of the greatest American crime mysteries.

Has there been a cover-up? Has the FBI’s investigation has been squashed by powerful sources claiming “national security” concerns? Or is the FBI just sloppy, overwhelmed, or unlucky?
Perhaps Cooper outsmarted the FBI and the feds don’t want the public to know?

Maybe Mother Nature stuffed Cooper into a tiny hole somewhere in the wilds of Washington along with his parachutes, the money, and a bomb in a briefcase?

Even though this book is about the FBI investigation as much as it is DB Cooper, I don’t solve the case or prove a conspiracy. I just offer my findings – who said what, and as far as I can determine, why.

It’s also my effort through truth-telling to deliver a measure of justice to the incompetent, the hubristic, and the power-hungry.

So, follow me through the details of this astounding crime and subsequent investigation, and come to your own conclusions.






« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 12:48:50 AM by Bruce A. Smith »
 

MeyerLouie

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Re: New Forum
« Reply #47 on: February 28, 2014, 02:52:53 AM »
Hi y'all, just checking in....Meyer
 

Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: New Forum
« Reply #48 on: February 28, 2014, 02:59:40 AM »
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It might make more sense to post a link to the Word Press blog, rather than to the Mountain News. On second thought, perhaps I should just post here what I post on the blog.  I'll try it unless it proves too unwieldy.


Here's the link:

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Offline Shutter

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Re: New Forum
« Reply #49 on: February 28, 2014, 06:32:38 AM »
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Hi y'all, just checking in....Meyer


Hi Meyer, welcome to the forum. If you have any problems just give a shout.
 

Offline B-Ingram

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Re: New Forum
« Reply #50 on: February 28, 2014, 01:08:48 PM »
I'm glad to see someone change the pace of the cooper discussion! Shutter, nice job on the site! Hey Bruce,hope to read what you have to input Rather than Jo. That will be my one and only neg. comment. I've always enjoyed reading educated theories and facts Regarding to the whole DB Cooper Mistry. My involvement in 1980 was such a small part of the cooper Evolution,it's what you guys are doing that keeps it alive!  I Applaud you all!!!     Just remember to keep God first,and that will be my one and only Religious comment!    Thanks for allowing me to be here!  Brian Ingram
 

Robert99

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Re: New Forum
« Reply #51 on: February 28, 2014, 02:38:08 PM »
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I'm glad to see someone change the pace of the cooper discussion! Shutter, nice job on the site! Hey Bruce,hope to read what you have to input Rather than Jo. That will be my one and only neg. comment. I've always enjoyed reading educated theories and facts Regarding to the whole DB Cooper Mistry. My involvement in 1980 was such a small part of the cooper Evolution,it's what you guys are doing that keeps it alive!  I Applaud you all!!!     Just remember to keep God first,and that will be my one and only Religious comment!    Thanks for allowing me to be here!  Brian Ingram

Brian, Welcome to the forum.  Everyone here will be delighted to see what you have to say on the Cooper matter.  It appears you were following the Cooper thread on DZ.com and know what was going on there.

Again, welcome and please start posting regularly.

Robert99
 

Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: New Forum
« Reply #52 on: February 28, 2014, 05:13:39 PM »
Welcome aboard, Brian.  It's good to hear your voice.
 

Offline Shutter

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Re: New Forum
« Reply #53 on: February 28, 2014, 05:43:28 PM »
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I'm glad to see someone change the pace of the cooper discussion! Shutter, nice job on the site! Hey Bruce,hope to read what you have to input Rather than Jo. That will be my one and only neg. comment. I've always enjoyed reading educated theories and facts Regarding to the whole DB Cooper Mistry. My involvement in 1980 was such a small part of the cooper Evolution,it's what you guys are doing that keeps it alive!  I Applaud you all!!!     Just remember to keep God first,and that will be my one and only Religious comment!    Thanks for allowing me to be here!  Brian Ingram


Thanks for the compliment Brian, and welcome to the forum. I enjoy hearing first hand information, although you might think your part was small, your an icon to the Cooper case. I'm honored that you joined this group. I don't believe I've see you post anywhere else, so it's a pleasure to have you aboard sir. If you have any questions about the site, just give a shout, and I'll try my best to assist.

Shutter
 

Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: New Forum
« Reply #54 on: February 28, 2014, 06:50:09 PM »
Earl Cossey Update:

For those wondering whata been's going on with the Earl J Cossey murder investigation, here's the latest from Sgt Cindi West about what our boys and girls in blue have been doing in King County:



Deputy Arrested after Accident; Possible Medical Issue

Mill Creek- a King County Sheriff’s deputy was arrested this morning after he rear ended a car early in his shift.
 
The accident occurred just before 7 AM near NE132nd St. and Bothell/Everett Hwy.   Mill Creek officers responded and noticed signs of impairment from the deputy. 
 
A Washington State Patrol drug recognition expert was request after alcohol was ruled not a likely factor.   WSP obtained a search warrant and had blood drawn from the deputy.  The deputy was processed and released pending results of the blood test.

The other driver suffered very minor injuries but was taken for observation to a hospital as a precaution.

The deputy, age 47, is a 19 year veteran currently assigned to the City of Shoreline.

Mill Creek Police will conduct the criminal investigation. 

 The King County Sheriff’s Office will conduct a separate internal investigation into the matter.   “We will wait for the blood results to determine the cause of the impairment and then complete the internal investigation”, said Sheriff John Urquhart.

The deputy has been placed on administrative leave which is standard while the investigation is ongoing.   

**************
Specific to the Cossey case, it got bumped to the Major Case Squad about six months ago.  I haven't heard a thing since. - BAS

 

 

 

Offline EVickiW

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Re: New Forum
« Reply #55 on: February 28, 2014, 07:23:35 PM »
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Earl Cossey Update:

For those wondering whata been's going on with the Earl J Cossey murder investigation, here's the latest from Sgt Cindi West about what our boys and girls in blue have been doing in King County:



Deputy Arrested after Accident; Possible Medical Issue

Mill Creek- a King County Sheriff’s deputy was arrested this morning after he rear ended a car early in his shift.
 
The accident occurred just before 7 AM near NE132nd St. and Bothell/Everett Hwy.   Mill Creek officers responded and noticed signs of impairment from the deputy. 
 
A Washington State Patrol drug recognition expert was request after alcohol was ruled not a likely factor.   WSP obtained a search warrant and had blood drawn from the deputy.  The deputy was processed and released pending results of the blood test.

The other driver suffered very minor injuries but was taken for observation to a hospital as a precaution.

The deputy, age 47, is a 19 year veteran currently assigned to the City of Shoreline.

Mill Creek Police will conduct the criminal investigation. 

 The King County Sheriff’s Office will conduct a separate internal investigation into the matter.   “We will wait for the blood results to determine the cause of the impairment and then complete the internal investigation”, said Sheriff John Urquhart.

The deputy has been placed on administrative leave which is standard while the investigation is ongoing.   

**************
Specific to the Cossey case, it got bumped to the Major Case Squad about six months ago.  I haven't heard a thing since. - BAS

When I was in Seattle  8) the weekend of February 8th, we went to look at Cossey's house. Because what else would I do when in Woodinville.  Here is a picture.

You're welcome.
You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.
 

Offline smokin99

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Re: New Forum
« Reply #56 on: February 28, 2014, 07:44:41 PM »
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Earl Cossey Update:

For those wondering whata been's going on with the Earl J Cossey murder investigation, here's the latest from Sgt Cindi West about what our boys and girls in blue have been doing in King County:



Deputy Arrested after Accident; Possible Medical Issue

Mill Creek- a King County Sheriff’s deputy was arrested this morning after he rear ended a car early in his shift.
 
The accident occurred just before 7 AM near NE132nd St. and Bothell/Everett Hwy.   Mill Creek officers responded and noticed signs of impairment from the deputy. 
 
A Washington State Patrol drug recognition expert was request after alcohol was ruled not a likely factor.   WSP obtained a search warrant and had blood drawn from the deputy.  The deputy was processed and released pending results of the blood test.

The other driver suffered very minor injuries but was taken for observation to a hospital as a precaution.

The deputy, age 47, is a 19 year veteran currently assigned to the City of Shoreline.

Mill Creek Police will conduct the criminal investigation. 

 The King County Sheriff’s Office will conduct a separate internal investigation into the matter.   “We will wait for the blood results to determine the cause of the impairment and then complete the internal investigation”, said Sheriff John Urquhart.

The deputy has been placed on administrative leave which is standard while the investigation is ongoing.   

**************
Specific to the Cossey case, it got bumped to the Major Case Squad about six months ago.  I haven't heard a thing since. - BAS

Surely they had something else to make them automatically think drugs since they are pretty much ruining his reputation.  :)
There's lots of things other than drugs -- TIA, stroke, hypo/hyper glycemia, electrolyte imbalance, thyroid imbalance, tumors -- to name just a few, that can cause someone to appear impaired. 
« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 07:46:43 PM by smokin99 »
 

Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: New Forum
« Reply #57 on: February 28, 2014, 08:20:16 PM »
I guess I'm quick to judge.
 

Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: New Forum
« Reply #58 on: February 28, 2014, 08:22:30 PM »
EVicki-

Yup, you've got Cossey's house.  Snow, too - wow.

By the way, EVic, are you going to tell us why you were in Seattle on the 8th of February????

(smile)....
 

Offline smokin99

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Re: New Forum
« Reply #59 on: February 28, 2014, 08:47:32 PM »
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I guess I'm quick to judge.

You didn't judge -  I wasn't referring to you, I was talking about the tone of the article and the info which obviously came from the sheriff's dept. I don't think they mentioned drugs, but with words like impairment, arrested, criminal investigation that's where my mind went. No words in the article about possible medical causes so just saying I hope they had more on him than just acting impaired.  :)  8)
Speaking of which...I think I'm gonna go fix me an impairment inducer.  ;D