WA WA - D.B. Cooper hijacking mystery, 24 Nov 1971 - #2

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by chicoliving, May 24, 2007.

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  1. leftcoast

    leftcoast New Member

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    OD

    Yes, I agree that Teddy's idea of calling in to proclaim his innocence is one of the oldest tricks in the "criminal handbook".

    I understand how hard it is to believe that H-bach never once went over his list of suspects, just to make sure he didn't eliminate anyone harshly.

    IF his did, he probably would have had to re-do every investigation.

    I just can't believe that some of the suspects, not only didn't H-bach call back the tipster, but, he eliminated the suspect on the spot because they were too young.

    In one case, H-bach had a perfect suspect. A skydiver, who was compact, a loner, brawler, etc, and H-bach simply checked his timecard. Can you believe that. He never interviewed the guy, never asked for his version of an alibi, never checked his finances, never talked to him in person to see his reaction when accused of being Cooper, and never assumed that maybe his work records were altered to make certain he had an alibi.

    This is the kicker. When all the Flight Attendants were in Reno on Thanksgiving day, giving a press conference to reporters, H-bach was flying is own Cessna over the dropzone looking for Cooper. Hello. Trained searchers in Helicopters should have been looking for Cooper. Meanwhile, H-bach should have taken full advantage of having the FA's together, and he should have used this opportunity to interview each girl, get their own description of Cooper, their own take on what happened, while it was still fresh. It I was the agent, I would have done re-enactments with the FA's, using other agents as models, in order for the FA's to have a look at different sized men, in order to better estimate the height, weight, and age of Cooper. This re-enactment would also allow H-bach to determine which of the witnesses was the most observant, and the least. You know what, this one little change, that is H-bach flying to Reno on Thanksgiving, just could have changed the history of this case forever.

    Instead, H-bach is up in his Cessna, flying over a forest, looking for a man dressed in all black. Do you know how slim the odds of finding Cooper would have been if he had died during the jump? Slim to none in a Cessna. Now, if Cooper lived, do you really think he is camping out in the dropzone, waiting for the fBI search?

    And people wonder why the case was never solved.

    AS you can see, this case "never" had a chance of being solved. By 10pm on the night of the heist, this case had already been beyond repair.

    After hearing this, OD, does it change your mind at all about H-bach, and his investigative abilities?

    I know you think H-bach must be a decent agent, and I agree that he is. But, this case required making a strategy on the fly, versus all the other cases which had a set of SOP's prepared, along with instructions on how to proceed.

    The more I think about this case, the more I am frustrated.

    left
     
  2. AlwaysShocked

    AlwaysShocked Well-Known Member

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    Well, according to the nationwide statistic is is about 50-50 on getting caught, higher or lower depending on which district you are in. Rochester New York sounds good for a robber at 48%. But I suppose the more people get your description, it changes the odds?

    I live on the outer edges of suburbia, bordering on the outlying hinterlands. Many of the smaller municipalities do not have a police force at all. They rely on the State Police. Now, State Police barracks are not all that close. And there are certain days of the week when State troopers take their days off. Like Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so they can work traffic on the weekends. So if someone wants to rob a bank, looking at a map to pick a prime location, and choosing the proper day of the week would be crucial.

    Many years ago here in Pittsburgh (60's) there was a middle-aged guy who robbed a ton of banks. He was dubbed the "Commuter Bandit" locally. He would hit branch banks located within small semi-urban communities, always on a public transportation line. Composit sketches were shown all over local TV after each robbery - about every 3-6 months or so for a number of years! The guy was never caught.

    I remember it well because the sketch looked kind of like my father...... but he was always at work during the robberies and besides, we never had any money - do I figured it couldn't be him. (Rest his soul and he is probably turning in his grave right now as I write this. He was a lovely, law-abiding man who would have NEVER done anything like that!)

    On the other hand, the janitor at one place where I used to work robbed a local bank and was shot in the chest by the local police during his getaway. He ran from the bank, into woods and out into a suburban neighborhood street where he had left his car parked. A local police officer who was eating lunch in a restaurant located right next to the bank (I guess the janitor/robber failed to see the marked police car at the restaurant) heard the call, came out of the restaurant with gun drawn, ran after the guy, saw him get into the car and stood in front of the car with gun in both hands yelling "You are under arrest!". The guy started forward, so the cop shot him right through the windshield of the car!

    Needless to say, the next day at work everyone was talking about "that azzhole, Tom" - who was a lousy janitor, too, by the way. Tom lived, but he never came back to work there. Don't know what amount of time he got.
     
  3. rightcoast

    rightcoast New Member

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    in my humble opinion, i think most crimes that do get solved practically solve themselves. the rest don't get solved. probably the real impressive stuff that gets done by law enforcement is in the gathering of evidence and convicting. i would guess that almost no crimes are solved by organized deductive reasoning ala sherlock holmes (probably in most cases, that's a good thing, unless a way could be found to actually teach it. who knows?), just like unfortunately almost no doctors spend a bunch of time thinking about a tough medical case ala gregory house (don't think they teach that, either).

    point is, if most cases pretty much solve themselves and the average is low, even a sub par agent is statistically going to look okay - hardly distiguishable from the rest. and HB could still be a hero not solving a crime. pride took a shot from us, and not before. hell, he probably still is a heroic celebrity from people that don't know any better.

    fantastic stats, always shocked!
     
  4. rightcoast

    rightcoast New Member

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    p.s. the stuff on wiki is fantasic, too. you guys are too cool.
     
  5. leftcoast

    leftcoast New Member

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    Yes, a wonderful job by "a friend" who did the side by sides.

    As for H-bach.

    I think OD's main point is simple.

    How could a FBI agent, with 20 years experience, skip 'over" a guy, with a criminal record, skydiving champion, high forehead, with money problems, who lives across from the airport, has a "wild" reputation, and calls in two hours after Cooper jumps to declare his innocence, and has at least a dozen people calling with tips related to his guilt?

    In those terms, it is "Impossible" to fathom, and I agree.

    We can give all the excuses in the world, such as caught off guard, bad description, etc.

    But, in reality, there is NO acceptable excuse for H-bach lack of investigating Teddy, NONE.

    So, I'm in agreement with OD and AS, what we differ on is WHY?

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  6. Old Dominion

    Old Dominion New Member

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    Well, this is indeed the $1.98 question. We've talked about elimination so often. I prefer to think of investigating a case more like a football team. You have starters and you have benchers. The starters are the suspects and the benchers are those you have suspect cards on or are former suspects who were taken out of the game because they weren't performing as suspects but could be reactivated at any time. H-B conducted this case like a baseball umpire who once he threw a player/coach out of the game they never came back. My argument is that any agent with a satisfactory ( not even necessarily good) record would have to have used some variant of the football technique to have solved any cases, and would have had to have put in a good amount of due diligence.
    Again they should have been on the bench... with suspect cards.
    You are absolutely correct on this. I like this example because I think that it really supports my theory. How about this? If I'm correct, by this time (or even from 10pm the 24th on...) H-B already knew who perp'd this heist. Checking out this suspect was a matter of doing his job. He's going to need to have a record of running down leads and working the case if for no other reason than it doesn't look good just chewing peanuts. In other words he HAS to do his job, or make it look like he is. So he goes down and checks this guy out and his time card shows he's at work. Why spend any more time when you know he's not the perp and your purpose has been served in showing some rundown on leads? There are actually two points that could be made here. One on Teddy's behalf is that the minute he gets an alibi he never goes any further. The problem is that he did check out the logger's alibi, and the logger didn't have a criminal record AFAIK. The other is my point that he already knows who the perp is and that this investigation was a game of ,keep away and make it look good, and therefore there is no consistency whatsoever.
    Yes this is UNBELIEVABLE. There was a very good survival show on the air a few years ago that showed what the ground looked like from just 200 feet in the air in a chopper. You could not even make out a Land Rover with it's hood up. A chopper also can hover and is much slower and more thorough in coverage than a Cessna.
    I'm guessing H-B would have said he was searching for small streams with a dead body lying perpendicular to the stream, as if taking his last drink....arhhhhh.
    Well, I would say that we just don't know anything about H-B's investigative abilities. We only know some of what he did in the Cooper case, which may or may not be indicative of his abilities for the reasons I outlined.
    I'm not sure that I'd go as far as saying he was even a good agent, but I have to believe that he was at least satisfactory. In all forms of Govt work this is the minimum for a passing grade. What bothers me about the cooper case, is that his performance on any level of analysis is sooo far sub-satisfactory that it boggles the mind. It is also inconsistent to boot. This really bothers me and I'm as frustrated as you are. OD
     
  7. Old Dominion

    Old Dominion New Member

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    RC,

    I would agree. This is why it's fundamental to be thorough and at least lay the groundwork for any investigation. Unfortunately, in the Cooper case, I don't see any method at all. This is what bothers me and you've brought up a very good point. That being that the argument that this case was "too big" or "too complicated" for one agent is just not so. If you just start with a little procedure and work from there, things will take shape. This is why it's taught if it isn't obvious.

    In this case, thoroughly working the skydiving suspects who have criminal records, as a start, would have been page ONE in any investigative manual, not just the FBI's.

    Right now, I'm just having a hard time buying that H-B... "just wasn't a good investigator".


    OD
     
  8. rightcoast

    rightcoast New Member

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    but for the dirty HB theory to work, doesn't complicity or equally bad investigative skills plus bad management have to be found in his supervisor? or maybe this just happened to be one of those cases that didn't solve itself.
    so you have Himmy and his supervisors standing around scratching their collective heads of knuckle and eating peanuts (i love the eating peanuts thing, who came up with that? lol.) meanwhile, Himmy always assumed things (assumptions are silver bullets to an investigation). Himmy thinks to himself, "teddy has a plane like me. must be well off. owns his own business. age not right. doesn't look like bing crosby. doesn't smoke. db was wearing loafers and landed in the forest. AND ... he called for me while i was still chasing the bad guy in the helicopter or therabouts. and these guys think it's teddy? boy are they stupid!"

    yes people, even fbi agents can be that stupid and collect paychecks for the 45% of crimes that solve themselves. government jobs hide brilliant people, normal people and idiots alike.
     
  9. leftcoast

    leftcoast New Member

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    True, the FBI should have started with skydiver's, and especially those with criminal records.

    Even Teddy knew this, and that is why he phoned it.

    You and I take it as Teddy trying to throw off the investigation, by proclaiming his innocence.

    H-bach interpreted Teddy calling in as a way to avoid being embarassed, and having the FBI tear apart his life.

    Most investigators would have been smart enough to question this motive, while H-bach, was too busy flying the helicopter, flying in his cessna, and chasing a ghost, instead of stopping, thinking, and making a plan.

    I still wonder to this day, if H-bach has ever just sat down, thought about the crime, and wondered how in the world Cooper could not be identified. Probably not.

    I think one of two things happened.

    Teddy saw a vulnerability, and pounced on it.

    OR, H=-bach didn't want to check behind door number 3, just in case. Kind of like a guy who suspects his wife is cheating, but, just doesn't want to know. It's called denial.

    Many people are kings of, "if it's my idea, great idea, your idea, it stinks, and both could have the same idea".

    I think H-bach was not going to listen to logic from anyone, tipsters, or us, since, we just didn't have the same FBI training he did.

    AS a matter of fact, H-bach shared some of his fBI training with us at lunch, by explaining, "the academy teaches us not to put a what if, on top of a what if, on top of a what if, etc." That was H-bach's answer to Teddy being Cooper.

    I should have told H-bach that at Accounting school, they taught us, that you can only be one place at a time, to always get an alibi, and to always assume guilt, until someone can be proven innocent, and lastly, to do a timeline, and if it is possible, that a crime could have occurred within a timeline, then, you need to check it out, and to never assume that a leopard is going to change it's spots. In other words, once a thief, always a thief. Just look at the criminal convictions, does anyone see a pattern?

    Please, to think that someone could commit armed robbery because they are drunk? When millionaires get drunk, do they really commit armed robbery, or do they commit other stupid crimes, like DUI's, etc. People commit armed robbery for one reason, and one reason only. They need the money.

    left
     
  10. Old Dominion

    Old Dominion New Member

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    Yes, and I'm surprised that at some point in H-B's review this wasn't mandated or scrutinized. We'll never know what went on behind closed Bureau doors during this investigation, but I've got to wonder what anyone involved in this thought when they saw H-B in either the KOIN or IE segments. Was this the first time any of them were aware of Teddy and that he knew H-B? How about the questions that must have circulated in that panel that was assembled? Someone must have asked about either likely suspects, or sky divers w/ criminal records. I wonder what H-B told them?

    The first law of any investigation is that EVERYONE is a suspect and no one is "eliminated". What do you think that panel would have told H-B if he'd told them that he eliminated a skydiver with a criminal record years ago w/o even so much as kicking his tires? The big word is "IF" because we can be pretty damn sure he didn't.


    I'm sure he's thought about it. I don't think there has ever been a question in his mind. :D




    Then he's not going to solve any cases at all. When RC mentions cases "solving themselves" he's obviously not talking about perps walking into the Bureau and confessing with proof. I'll agree that a robot armed with a program in its head called "procedure" could definitely solve the majority of cases. What would H-B's training say about that??

    Yeah I can see the logic. Eventually w/ enough what ifs you could whittle Teddy probability to less than 1%. The tough part is determining what to do with all those empty "Planters" cans.

    Or how about this? That at the end of any B.S. day (errrr BS=Balance Sheet....heh) the left column HAS to equal the right, and If it doesn't then Houston's got a problem. The problem here is that in the H-B world of accountability, there aren't any columns at all.


    OD
     
  11. leftcoast

    leftcoast New Member

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    I can guess. Well, Julius, we just don't have any good suspects. I just can't seem to find any criminals with skydiving history, with dark piercing eyes, who likes to drink, knows the Portland area flight paths, that is 47 years old. Everybody is just too young, and trust me, I've done a very thorough investigation. (ps, Can someone pass the peanuts? ) lol

    I think H-bach would have been sent to the mailroom to sort incoming mail for the rest of his career.


    H-bach would tell us that he saved us taxpayers millions of dollars in this case by eliminating young skydiver's, and using his crystal ball, to see that Teddy and the young skydiver's were not on that plane. How could they be? Teddy called two hours later.


    The thing about H-bach's "what if" theory, is that he probably picked it up from other agents, like it, and started using it at rotary club presentations.


    It doesn't apply to this case. It's use is intended to stop agent's from getting tunnel vision, and focusing on one suspect, when the evidence points away from the suspect. That is why the "what if" theory was started, to prevent tunnel vision, not to eliminate suspects prematurely, before even asking them for an alibi.

    Yes, I seriously doubt that H-bach entered the FBI with an accounting degree. I wonder what H-bach's degree is in, probably Philosophy, or History. Nowadays, agents are required to be CPA's, Lawyers, or certain types of Engineers. I can see why.

    Anybody with even a basic accounting class, or any knowledge of business, knows what a crappy business skydiving is with regard to Profit and Loss. The cost of airplanes, fuel, insurance, gear, instructors, pilots, land, building to house the business, advertising, etc, eat up any and all revenues. When I mentioned this to H-bach, he argued with me, and told me I didn't know what I was talking about.

    Then, five years later, at lunch, Teddy tells me, ya, the skydiving business is next to impossible to make a dollar. The overhead is very high, and you basically have to do everything yourself just to survive. AS a matter of fact, Teddy told a friend not to open a skydiving center, because of the costs involved, the guy didn't listen, and went bankrupt in two years. Meanwhile, Teddy somehow managed to live off of his skydiving business for twenty years, and some of that time was spent in the hokey.

    I think the biggest difference was in "location". Teddy wisely opened his center 70 miles from Portland, 30 miles from I-5, and in the middle of nowhere. His friend, was stupid enough to open his skydiving center just off of I-5, which is not a high traffic area. lol.

    If only H-bach listened, just once.

    Or was H-bach trying to talk us out of looking at Teddy?

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  12. Niner

    Niner Long time Websleuther

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    just bumping up the thread, so it stays on page 1!! :)
     
  13. leftcoast

    leftcoast New Member

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    Thanks Niner

    Ya, the thread has lost momentum.

    Which is kind of a good, and bad thing.

    Good, because very few people argue that Teddy could be the man.

    Bad, that everybody lost interest now that it is likely the case has been solved.

    People have a tendency to lose interest, once they figure out how a crime was committed, and how he escaped arrest for so long.

    I guess it's human nature.

    left
     
  14. Old Dominion

    Old Dominion New Member

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    The big question is, does the FBI think the case has been solved, or are they even interested? Obviously we don't know. It could be interpreted two ways. First, that they're not interested because they haven't called on you to give them what you've got which might be part of their investigation. Second that they are taking this up and once they've got a name and a few facts can tear his life apart with their resources.

    Let's hope it's #2 and that they don't want to tip their hat. If it's #1, let's hope you score a big show like 60min where once the facts are out it'll be hard for the Bureau to ignore strong public opinion. Can you imagine Wallace interviewing Teddy-boy and H-B? I seriously doubt he'll bail H-B out of his own shuttering, mid sentence.

    Yup. The answer is rather simple isn't it? Having H-B on the "other side" can definitely be beneficial. And it doesn't matter which theory you buy ;).

    OD
     
  15. rightcoast

    rightcoast New Member

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    i don't think the fbi will get interested in a case that would be tough to get through a grand jury. this many years later, it would take moral outrage to drive a circumstantial case through. i don't see anyone ever gaining moral outrage this late in the game on this case alone.
     
  16. rightcoast

    rightcoast New Member

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    maybe if teddy could get popped for something more recent.
     
  17. Old Dominion

    Old Dominion New Member

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    Given the rather lean business model the Sky Diving School profession represents, I just have to wonder how many more crimes we're not aware of that Teddy-boy *hasn't* been popped for.

    Besides, you gotta' figure that with Ralphie-boy patrolling the neighborhood, those "Federal" type crimes like bank robbery have got to look awfully enticing.

    OD
     
  18. rightcoast

    rightcoast New Member

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    i dunno, but i bet teddy dosn't have a lot of time to eat peanuts.
     
  19. leftcoast

    leftcoast New Member

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    Good point OD

    Why do I get the feeling the skydiving school was just a front, to make it look like someone has a "regular" job.

    I'll bet ya the 200,000 didn't last more than 4 or 5 years. "Buying" planes, rather than stealing, is an expensive thing to do.

    Not only that, but, a supposed "mortgage" on the building, lease payments on the land, lease or buy a plane, there is no way in He**. he ever made a profit in the skydiving business.

    Plus, you need a place to live, food, car, child support. Please, there is no way.

    And you wonder why the FBI hire's accountants. Heck, a fifth grader could figure out his expenses exceeded his revenue by at least 4 fold.

    It's funny, but, H-bach acted as if the FBI had really figured out a master plot when they nailed Teddy for the stolen Cessna 172 in 1976. Ralph was like, ya, we "nailed" him in 76 for the stolen plane.

    My response was, and you think that was the only one?

    What about 1971?

    If Teddy was "so well off", why is he committing armed robbery, and stealing high dollar planes?

    Truth is, the FBI didn't nail Teddy in a sting?

    The FAA went out to investigate a fatality, and ran the tail number of the plane in Teddy's hangar, and it came back stolen.

    Wouldn't anyone with half a brain in the FAA, or the FBI, say hey, what about DB Cooper? What about researching stolen planes from the western half of the United States, and see if there is any other evidence? What about tearing apart his finances, and seeing if he is cheating the IRS?

    NO, nothing. And we wonder why people have little faith?

    As far as investigating Teddy, I don't know.

    I do know that if the FBI had "found" Teddy via a cold case detective, they would be patting themselves on the back at a press conference.

    But, two schmucks, heck no, why give them a reward and credit, and at the same time make the one agent look bad.

    I'd love to look at a certain individuals income tax returns, including business, since 1961, and figure out how he survived, and why he worked a blue collar job, when he was so wealthy?

    Disgusted>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    left
     
  20. leftcoast

    leftcoast New Member

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    Agree. Knowing H-bach would have been a goldmine for a criminal.

    Imagine robbing a bank, and telling H-bach, ya, I don't want to think it was me. Oh, ok, thanks for calling in.

    BTW: Anybody think Teddy called in to Salt Lake City, when the McCoy hijacking occurred, and asked them if they needed any help, or called to make sure they didn't think it was him as the hijacker.

    This case is so frustrating. How can anyone be fooled this long? OD, I;m starting to see your side, or H-bach has an IQ that makes Forest Gump a NASA engineer.

    Let's assume H-bach is fooled in 71. How in the world could he not figure it out in 76 when Teddy gets popped for a stolen plane? Howwwwwwwwww? I sure hope the FBI looks into this case, including the supervisers, the FAA, and how to prevent this from happening again.

    I think it is a mistake to tell the world, that you are in law enforcement, and that you are assigned hijackings in Portland. Security and safety techniquest rely heavily on secrecy, that is why the saying, "need to know basis", is so popular and necessary when it comes to security. That, and "loose lips sink ships". I sure hope H-bach wasn't in the Navy in wwii.

    left
     
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