What is it about this unsolved mystery that intrigues so many?
Well, I still have questions and I still believe that Kenneth Christiansen is not the elusive DB Cooper, despite the comments and emails from Robert Blevins and Lyle Christiansen.
First, I understand that banks (and other businesses) didn’t watch out for the ransom money for very long. Probably 6 months tops. The serial numbers that were made public was 34 pages long and several rows wide!That’s a lot of serial numbers to look for and match up. I would have given up as well. It was just too much exhausting work to match every $20 bill that came in. I understand that. So the point about the money not being found in circulation (at the time) is quite straight forward. Banks gave up looking for it.
With that being said, since computers have come along quite well since 1971, money can easily be scanned and matched against a list of serial numbers within a matter of minutes, maybe seconds nowadays. And so far, not one single $20 bill has been found in circulation in any country. Even if the banks had given up after 6 months, there were several newspapers that offered rewards for finding bills from the ransom money. And these offers were years after the actual hijacking, and were attempting to reignite the story. No one found any of the ransom money.
Second, since I think “follow the money” is the way to solve this case, let’s look at the what we do know. One reason Kenny Christiansen is a suspect for DB Cooper is the fact that he was spending money like crazy just after the hijacking. Okay, the ransom money was $200,000.
We know that $5,800 was found in 1980 by Brian Ingram on the bank of the Columbia river. So that leaves an amount of $194,200 left for Kenny to spend. We know that he bought a house in Bonney Lake, WA for $16,500 within 8 months of the skyjacking. And he loaned $5,000 to Dawn J. That leaves $172,700 left of the ransom.
People who knew him said he always had money, even though he didn’t work much after the skyjacking. He only made about $6,000 a year when he worked for the airline as a purser. But his lifestyle changed after 1971. He bought a house, loaned money to friends, and supported other people that came looking for work. He only worked part time at Northwest Airlines after the skyjacking. If he lived off the ransom money, for the next 23 years until his death in 1994, that means that he lived on $7,508 a year for the next 23 years. I might could go along with that – except for the facts below:
Kenney, after he died, was found to have $186,276 in a bank account and $24,501 in a checking account. He was also found to have a stamp and coin collection valued at around $300,000. Just the bank accounts alone are more than $210,000. So where did this money come from? We know that he spent $21,500 already and supported himself and others. On a yearly personal budget of $7,508, Kenney couldn’t have supported himself, others, and blown money as previous statements have said. Nor could he have done all this and bought the stamp and coin collections. It just doesn’t add up. No way.
Okay, that’s my “follow the money” spew. But that’s not all. I have other doubts about Kenney Christiansen.
Here’s the famous picture of Kenney Christiansen looking like the description of the DB Cooper skyjacker. I’ve been told this picture was found behind another picture in an album of Kenny’s after he died. And it was developed in February 1972. And I’m told it was taken at Christmas time due to the Christmas wreath on the door.
Well, I have a wreath on my door all the time, so that doesn’t make it a Christmas wreath. You can’t tell that from this picture. And Kenny looks quite white to me, not very tan. This was just maybe 3 months after the skyjacking. And the briefcase couldn’t be THE briefcase that held the bomb. He jumped with it and wouldn’t have been able to hold on to that huge thing throughout the jump in those conditions. And it doesn’t even looked banged up. Kenny is practically bald, as you can see.
Like in my previous post, the FBI ruled out Kenny rather quickly. He didn’t match the physical descriptions of DB Cooper from eyewitnesses not only from the plane, but from witnesses on the ground. Kenny was too short, not fat enough, had blue eyes not brown, basically bald, and was white skinned not an olive complexion.
I rather think that the FBI would LOVE to solve this case. It’s the only unsolved skyjacking in history in the U.S. It wasn’t until 2007 that the FBI released some more of the evidence that they had in this case. Hmmmm. They kept some evidence secret? Yes, they did. They released the plane ticket purchased by ‘Dan Cooper’, they released the fact that 1 of the 4 parachutes DB Cooper requested was actually a dummy parachute, and that they found DNA on the tie left behind on the plane.
And DNA samples were taken from Lyle Christiansen (in 2003?) to match to the DNA the FBI had gotten from the tie tack and the tie. From what I have read in several places, the DNA was NOT a match. But Robert Blevins says that he contacted the FBI in January 2011 to get their position on Kenny being a suspect and the result of the DNA testing. He spoke with Frederick Gutt, the media liaison for the FBI Seattle office, and Blevins says he was told “that Kenny has not been eliminated as a suspect”. I can find no support of this on the FBI website. Although the FBI website hasn’t been updated since 2007.
Well well. There we have it.
Larry Carr (pictured left), the prior FBI special agent, who resurrected the DB Cooper case and asked for the public’s help, is no longer talking or writing about the case. Someone else is in charge now. And it was during Carr’s time that new evidence was released to the public. This case had a chance to be solved with Carr in charge. But since then, it’s been all circumstantial cases by several sleuths and authors. Nothing more.
But my thought is that the FBI is STILL holding some evidence that has not been released. We know that. There were over 60 fingerprints lifted from the plane. There were 8 cigarette butts left behind. We have the clip-on tie and the tie pin. There was a cocktail glass left behind (with fingerprints). We have $5,800 of ransom money found. We have eyewitnesses, sketches, and so forth. We have the plane ticket. We have the notes and letters that DB Cooper sent. We have the left over parachutes Cooper left on the plane. This case can be solved. But has the FBI dropped the ball on this investigation? Maybe.
In 2009, the FBI confirmed that the 8 cigarette butts have disappeared from evidence. Wow! They lost evidence? How stupid is that! But I bet you anything that DNA was lifted from those butts. Or it could even be a cover story for all we know. They may just want to keep that to themselves. But they have DNA, that’s for sure. And they no doubt have fingerprints from the cocktail glass Cooper drank from. They have to.
(photo of DB Cooper with age progression from Wikipedia)
And now that the FBI has confirmed that they have DNA from the clip on tie and the tie pin, they can conclusively at least rule out suspects. Even though some say that the FBI hasn’t ruled out Kenny, they (the FBI) say that Kenny Christiansen is NOT A SUSPECT and was ruled out a long time ago. Now Robert Blevins states that the FBI requested a DNA sample from Christiansen in June 2011, and two copies of his latest edition of his book “Into the Blast: The True Story of DB Cooper”. But I have reservations on this. Mainly because I have read several other articles from several years ago regarding DNA taken from Lyle Christiansen, Kenny’s brother, to match to the FBI’s DNA. Why would the FBI ask for more DNA again now? And why would they want his book? And two copies? They could just go to the store and buy it. It sounds a bit of a stretch to me.
But, I have other questions still bothering me?
There has never been any body or bones found that point to being DB Cooper. No parachutes have been found, although a couple were found, but they weren’t DB Cooper’s. And what about the briefcase? That hasn’t ever been found either. DB Cooper jumped with the briefcase. Why? If it were you, would you have jumped with the briefcase? And what about skin cells on the seat and headrest (in and around) where Cooper sat in? What about the dirt from his shoes? Did the FBI collect that? Does the FBI have DNA from the cocktail glass or cigarette butts? Are they holding that evidence back from the public? We all know the FBI, don’t we. We have to assume that they have some sort of evidence that hasn’t been released to the public. But a nagging question comes to mind – Does the FBI really want this case solved?
But as far as Kenny Christiansen is concerned, he’s not DB Cooper. Here’s what he would have to have done:
- He would have to have worn high heels to make him at least 5’10” to 6’ as described
- He would have have to worn makeup to give him that olive complexion as described (on face and hands)
- He would have to gain some weight – maybe put on several layers of clothes giving the appearance
- He would have had to worn a toupee, for he was basically bald. And toupees back then were easily recognized as toupees (and wouldn’t the toupee have blown off when he opened the stairs to jump?)
- He would have to wear brown contacts, as he had blue eyes not brown as described
- He would have had to had another “illegal” scheme going on at the same time to come into some money to buy a house, make loans, and blow money in order to have so much money at the time of his death
- He would have had to say “Oh shit! I picked the dummy parachute” while he leapt from the plane and crapped in his pants on his way down
I say, that’s way too many things that Kenny Christiansen had to change in order for him to even be considered DB Cooper. I don’t believe that Kenny Christiansen was DB Cooper. That’s my opinion.
There are other suspects, mainly William Gossett and Ted Braden, that fit the facts much better than Kenney Christiansen. The picture left is of Gossett next to DB Cooper’s sketches. Gossett looks much more like DB Cooper’s sketches than Kenneth Christiansen. Remember, Kenny wasn’t the only one with a grudge, capable, and spending freely after the skyjacking.