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 suspect in the hijacking.
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, DNA, cracked Army-coded messages, to testimony from his women and former crime partners — all of it firmly pointing back at the mysterious Rackstraw.
But just days before the team’s long-scheduled delivery of its evidentiary materials to the FBI (April 2016), Seattle Division agents canceled the rendezvous, closed the Cooper investigation and shipped off the case files to archives in Washington, D.C. They claimed that, after almost five decades, the FBI now feared such “a circumstantial case.”
The sleuths, however, learned something else was at play: Weeks prior to this rejection, History Channel had quietly negotiated for these same agents to appear on camera for a Cooper documentary featuring this very same hunt. And when it finally aired (July 2016), the team’s strongest 18 pieces of evidence on Rackstraw had been inexplicably edited out of the two-night program.
As a former team G-man put it, “This door slam was politics, pure and simple.” (More on the cut-out evidentiary items is documented in a 2016 suit filed against the FBI; see “Case Evidence” menu at the top.)
Two more years of eyewitness interviews, judge orders and research digging would reveal our G-man to be absolutely correct. Through this website, the news media, the courts, and the team’s award-winning narrative, The Last Master Outlaw, the public has learned the truth about Rackstraw and why he hasn’t been charged: his secret double-life with the CIA.
The cold case team was assembled by former law enforcement trainer, true-crime producer and author Thomas J. Colbert and his partner-wife, Dawna — an inspiring character from one of his earliest stories. This is their 21st discovery to reach the big and small screens (www.TJCConsulting.biz).
ATTENTION, DOCUMENTARY & MOVIE MAKERS:
Court-ordered case records and four retired military brass (with confirming memos) collectively conclude that Robert W. Rackstraw Sr. is the missing hijacker. But before the mike hit the ground at our February 2018 press announcement at FBI Headquarters, the Hollywood race was on for the daredevil’s rights.
Tinseltown tipsters told the cold case team the San Diegan was flown up by private jet for a quiet meet-and-greet involving talent agents, leading producers, studios and streamers. My wife and I, however, were fully prepared for this end-run.
Their negotiations with Rackstraw failed because: 1) he was the dark polar-opposite of the folk hero many had imagined; 2) all the new case details and evidence have been copyrighted in our bullet-proof book – including his getaway with the help of crime partners, the parachute recovery, Army-coded letters and his CIA history; and finally, 3) when he traded an FBI prison cell for years of black ops work, authorities warned him he’d be re-incarcerated if he ever went public.
The Industry should also know that Rackstraw’s memory of the jump is now, ironically, cloudy. During a private 2013 approach and sit-down in his hometown, the cordial suspect twice admitted to me (also on surveillance team’s tape): “The problem is I don’t remember a lot of it.”
We believe that’s why, with our book release in 2016, “Bob” was one of the first orders on Amazon. Here’s his wacky 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.”
Dawna and I spent years of our time and money to organize the hunt and methodically document this man’s incredible true story. But there isn’t a race to make history here; we’re patiently seeking a production partner that shows us the respect we deserve. No jet ride necessary, of course! TJC