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D.B. Cooper: Where Are You?! Review

I adore this documentary because of the stylised way it was made, you can see the amount of time and effort that was put into the editing process to make it continually exciting as the episodes go on, and while I’ve had a few documentaries that have bothered me in the past due to being underwhelming or downright boring, this one kept me hooked from start to finish despite already knowing a lot about the DB Cooper case.

DB Cooper was a man who boarded a flight in America one Thanksgiving and went on to hijack it with a bomb that he showed to a stewardess. He asked for $250,000 in cash as well as four parachutes and once the money and the parachutes were on the plane it set off again where at one point he sends all of the crew on board into the cockpit and promptly jumped out the plane never to be seen again. Now how badass is that?

I think there’s a reason people call DB Cooper a hero instead of a villain and that’s because he didn’t harm anyone in the process. Yes of course there was fear around the fact that he had a bomb, but there’s never been any proof that it was a real bomb to begin with. When he opened the plane to jump out he made sure that the crew were safe in the cockpit and weren’t going to be sucked out after him and at no point did he use violence to see his plan through. It was all very well thought out, very clever and really gives off this James Bond-esque espionage to it that make you want to know who he is, but also not because you want him to get away with this perfect crime.

In the documentary we look at a few suspects that the FBI had on their radar but the biggest one was Robert Rackstraw, a man who was in the Vietnam war, understands planes and parachutes, and in some ways looks like the sketch that was made of DB Cooper. However despite this there isn’t a lot of other evidence apart from conspiracy theories that you can find online and people trying to put together parts that really could fit a different way and point to someone else. The hardest part of this documentary for me was seeing how people were hounding Robert because they were so sure that he was DB Cooper and how this man, despite not being perfect, had to deal with this until the day he died.

To me I think that’s the hardest part of Internet sleuths and true crime, that it can be so glamorised and pushed over the top that the smallest sense of a possible suspect can send the Internet into a whirlwind, where that person is suddenly the number one suspect and nothing they do is hidden or unscrutinised. I can’t imagine being a person who could easily be innocent and having to deal with that, especially when it seems that Robert was quite a quiet reclusive man into his later days, and you have to wonder was it all this madness around DB Cooper that caused him to be that way.

Of course even after the documentary we see that DB Cooper is still at large if he is still alive, but that’s very unlikely based on his age and him now being easily in his 80s or 90s. I don’t think people will ever stop pursuing this case because, especially for law enforcement, they hate being beaten and to them I feel there’s a lot more stake in it that they were never able to find him versus the internet sleuths who are just doing it for fun.

I really enjoyed this documentary and I highly recommend it if you enjoy true crime. It’s a brilliant look at a case that is so well known but added so many extra little details into it that really built up this character of DB Cooper and how glamorised he has become. Usually when bad people are glamorised I see that as a terrible thing but for him being a man who simply did an incredible feat and didn’t hurt anyone in the process, I think it’s thoroughly deserved and personally I hope it’s never solved because that just makes it all the more exciting.

What do you think of DB Cooper?

Until next time.

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