D.B. Cooper's purported niece: Money was all lost

Aug 5, 2011

The woman who claims her uncle was the legendary hijacker D.B. Cooper believes he lost all the money from his heist.

At SeaTac Airport in 1971, a hijacker exchanged a planeload of passengers for 200,000 dollars in ransom and four parachutes. Transplanted Oklahoman Marla Cooper now says the fugitive and a previously unknown accomplice were her uncles.

Cooper said she remembers a specific discussion in 1995 with her late father. They talked about whether her uncle was D.B. Cooper.

"I questioned what he did with the money," she said. He told her Cooper dropped it. "I said, 'What!'"

Cooper believes her father must have heard about the parachute jump from his brother.

"He said, no Marla, he strapped it to himself. Then when he was falling from the sky something went wrong the parachute. In working to get the parachute opened, the money got unattached and it fell away from him."

The FBI recorded the serial numbers of all the ransom bills. None were ever detected in circulation. In 1980, boys playing along the Columbia River did find a few bundles of the cash in a sandbank.

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