db cooper01.jpg
William Gossett. Kenneth Christiansen. Ted Mayfield. Richard Floyd McCoy, Jr. Jack Coffelt. Duane Weber. John List. Barbara Dayton.

These are all names of people who

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D.B. Cooper Hijacking Case Closer to Being Solved Thanks to Mysterious Clues

db cooper01.jpg
William Gossett. Kenneth Christiansen. Ted Mayfield. Richard Floyd McCoy, Jr. Jack Coffelt. Duane Weber. John List. Barbara Dayton.

These are all names of people who have been suspected by investigators to be the infamous "D.B. Cooper," the mastermind behind the nation's only unsolved commercial airplane hijacking.

None of these names, however, is that of the FBI's newest and "most promising" suspect in the 39-year-old case.

The P-I's Casey McNerthney has the scoop on a new development in the case.

The name of a man not previously investigated was given to the FBI, and an item that belongs to him was sent for fingerprint work at the agency's Quantico, Va., forensic lab, agency spokeswoman Ayn Sandalo Dietrich told seattlepi.com Saturday.

A law enforcement colleague spoke with someone who may have a strong connection to Cooper, and that law enforcement staffer contacted the FBI, Sandalo Dietrich said.

"With any lead our first step is to assess how credible it is," said Sandalo Dietrich, spokeswoman for the FBI's Seattle office, where the Cooper evidence is kept. "Having this come through another law enforcement [agency], having looked it over when we got it - it seems pretty interesting."

The original hijacking went down like so: A man purchased a plane ticket under the name Dan Cooper (through later misinformation, the name would be known as "D.B. Cooper") and got on a flight from Portland to Seattle.

After ordering a cocktail on the plane, the man slipped a note to a stewardess saying that he had a bomb and that he would like $200,000 in unmarked bills along with four parachutes.

The flight landed, the ransom was paid, the passengers were let off, and the plane was refueled and allowed to take off again (all while police and federal agents watched nervously).

Shortly after takeoff, the aft door opened and the suspect disappeared.

The new "item" given to the FBI has not been identified. Neither has the name of the person it supposedly belongs to.

Dietrich at the FBI office in Seattle says that agents are hopeful that fingerprints and DNA from the item will match that of evidence collected after the hijacking.

That the FBI is saying anything about this new clue at all hints that whatever suspect they are talking about is a dead one.

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