DBCooper.com documents the relentless investigation surrounding Robert W. Rackstraw Sr., an honored Vietnam pilot, paratrooper, explosives expert, con artist, four-time felon, and a former 1971 hijacking suspect that many believe outfoxed the Bureau.
For seven years (2011-18), a cold case team led by retired FBI agents tracked his trail through five countries, where he utilized 22 fake identities while engaging in six careers and raising three families. The Special Forces-trained veteran escaped not once, but three times by plane and once by river. More than 100 pieces of recovered evidence — from letter trails, to DNA, to cracked Army codes, to testimony from six of his women — all of it firmly points back at Rackstraw.
But just days before the team’s long-scheduled delivery of its evidentiary materials to the FBI (April 2016), the D.B. Cooper investigation was closed in Seattle and the files shipped off to archives in Washington, D.C. The last case agent claimed that, after almost five decades, the agency now feared such “a circumstantial case.”
The team soon learned something else was at play: Weeks prior to the rejection, History Channel had quietly negotiated for Bureau agents to appear on camera for a Cooper documentary featuring this very same hunt. When it finally aired (July 2016), the team’s top 18 pieces of evidence on Rackstraw had been edited out of the two-night program.
As a senior-ranking team member put it, “This door slam was politics, pure and simple.” (For readers’ further scrutiny, the cut-out evidentiary items are bolded in a Freedom of Information Act suit-filing against the FBI — now posted at the “Case Evidence” menu at top.)
Two more years of eyewitness interviews, judge orders and research digging would reveal the senior team member to be absolutely correct. Through this website, the news media, the courts and the investigation’s award-winning narrative, The Last Master Outlaw, the public is learning the truth about Rackstraw and his secret double-life — door slams be damned.
The cold case team was assembled by former law enforcement trainer, true-crime producer and author Thomas J. Colbert and his wife, Dawna — an inspiring character from one of his earliest stories. This is their 21st true tale for the big and small screen. For more, go to www.TJCConsulting.biz.
Attention, Documentary & Movie Makers: In 2018, FOIA records and four retired military brass (baring damning fed memos) definitively proved Rackstraw was the hijacker. And after our February press event in front of FBI Headquarters, Hollywood producers, talent agents and managers went directly after our daredevil’s rights.
Top production companies, studios and streaming services quietly flew up the San Diegan by private jet. Tinseltown tipsters alerted me, but I’d been long prepared for such an end-run – thanks to the cold case team’s eight lawyers, former US attorneys and judges.
All of the story negotiations failed because: 1) Rackstraw was the polar-opposite of the folk hero many had imagined; 2) all the case progress and evidence since his 1979 “clearing” are firmly copyrighted in my bullet-proof book – including his escape, chute recovery, coded letters and CIA history; and 3) because he had traded an FBI prison cell for spy work, authorities have warned him he’d go to jail if he claimed his fame.
The Industry can’t rely on public record either – all the 80 original articles and TV stories (most on this website) can be traced directly back to my media-release emails. And during my surprise 2013 walk-up in his hometown, the cordial Rackstraw twice admitted, regarding the details 47 years ago: “I don’t remember a lot of it.”
He was one of the first readers to buy our book (Amazon 7/26/16 record available). His review: “Full of unsubstantiated accusations and innuendos by the writers trying to sensationalize with consistently negative comments about their target with nothing but unearned credits given to themselves. Wish they would go after Hillary and Obama in the same ruthless manner.”
My wife and I spent years of our time, energy and money to own this amazing piece of history. We’re more than happy to share it with a production partner, but only one that gives us the respect we deserve.