Skyjack: The Hunt for D.B. Cooper by Geoffrey Gray
Smiling, I am smiling. Because I’ve found a true crime book I can love.
And this is it.
Normally, true crime either freaks me out completely or makes me irritated because it’s all about some miscreant who doesn’t deserve the honor of having a whole book about them. (not so wild about criminal types)
But this book, from page 1, just worked.
And here’s why. The author is part of the story from the start. Sometimes this is a technique that fails spectacularly, and sometimes it’s a genius move. This was one of them genius examples.
Gray tells the story of how he learned about the (apparently famous, though I’d never heard of it) 1971 skyjacking case from a PI who was certain he had a solid lead on D.B. Cooper’s (the skyjacker’s) identity.
And then we’re off to the races. Gray senses a blockbuster story, and he chases it for three years, only to end up drinking the Kool-Aid himself by the end. (Cooper Curse, anyone?)
So, no, he didn’t discover the guy’s identity, but his search for information is filled with all kinds of wonderfully strange folks—suspects, families of suspects, and the people who have become obsessed with the search for the skyjacker and his loot. It’s a fabulous story, plus Gray’s writing is fun to read.
By the book’s end, I was kind of glad we don’t know who D.B. Cooper really was. Sometimes it’s kind of nice to just let the bogeyman roam.