DBCooper.com documents the relentless investigation surrounding Robert W. Rackstraw Sr., an award-winning Vietnam pilot, paratrooper, explosives expert, con artist, four-time felon, and a former hijacking suspect that many believe had outfoxed the Bureau.
For seven years (2011-18), a cold case team led by 13 retired FBI agents tracked his trail through five countries, where he had utilized 22 fake identities while engaging in six careers and raising three families. And he escaped not once, but three times by plane and once by river. More than 100 pieces of the team’s recovered evidence — from letter trails, to DNA, to testimony from estranged relatives — firmly point back at Rackstraw.
But just days before the team’s approved delivery of its evidentiary materials to the FBI’s Seattle Division (April 2016), the 1971 D.B. Cooper file was suddenly closed and shipped off to archives in Washington, D.C. Special agents explained that, after 45 years, they feared such a circumstantial case. Now they would only accept direct evidence, such as the missing parachute or ransom cash.
Former feds on the team suspect it wasn’t about fear, but being shamed in court by a group of retired G-men, private investigators and civilians. As one senior-ranking member put it, “This door-slam was politics, pure and simple.”
Feeding into that: Weeks prior to the rejection, History Channel and its partner, LMNO Productions, had quietly negotiated for the Bureau to collaborate and appear on camera for a Cooper documentary featuring this same hunt. When it finally aired (July 2016), the team’s top 18 pieces of evidence on Rackstraw had all been cut from the two-night special. (For readers’ scrutiny, the edited-out items are bolded in a FOIA filing posted at the “Case Evidence” menu, above.)
Through the news media, the courts, this website, and the team’s multi-award-winning book, The Last Master Outlaw, the public is learning the historic truth — door-slams be damned.
The cold case team was assembled by former law enforcement trainer, media exec and co-author Thomas J. Colbert and his wife, Dawna — a hero in one of his earliest crime stories. This is their 21st true tale for the big and small screen. For more on Tom’s career and coming projects, please go to www.TJCConsulting.biz.
NOTE: Since this began, Rackstraw has threatened to sue anyone who called him the hijacker. So why hasn’t he ever taken anybody to court? Thanks to the team and esteemed legal experts, the investigative book is bullet-proof.
The historic narrative contains 578 numbered end-notes, each corroborated in the tome’s last 50 pages — through old source court documents, letters, graphs, charts, articles, photos, and interview transcripts.
Rackstraw has posted more than a dozen online pleas for legal representation, but those discussions end when the reading begins. That’s why we believe, beyond a reasonable doubt, we have identified D.B. Cooper.