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Never-Before-Seen Last Photos Reveal The Man Believed To Be REAL Skyjacker D.B. Cooper Before His Death & ‘Netflix’ Documentary

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Source: Radar; FBI.gov

Aug. 2 2022, Published 5:25 a.m. ET

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These are the never-before-seen last photos of the man widely believed to be infamous hijacker D.B. Cooper before he died a free man in 2019.

U.S. Army paratrooper veteran Robert W. Rackstraw Sr. was unmasked in the recent Netflix mini-series D.B. Cooper: Where Are You?! as the man who hijacked a Northwest Airlines passenger jet in November 1971 and escaped with $200,000.

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last photos reveal man db cooper before his death netflix doc jpg
Source: Radar

Rackstraw, who died at 75 before he could ever face justice, closely resembled the police sketch of the skyjacker.

These previously unseen photos of Rackstraw were snapped as part of another proposed, albeit never aired, television documentary and were recently provided exclusively to Radar by filmmakers.

Producers of the project told RadarOnline.com they approached Rackstraw in his native San Diego in 2018 where he coyly refused to deny any involvement in the decades-old skyjacking mystery.

last photos reveal man db cooper before his death netflix doc jpg
Source: FBI.gov; Radar
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“They say that I’m him,” Rackstraw said in what is believed to be his final interview. “If you want to believe it, believe it.”

The FBI officially closed the 1971 heist investigation in July 2016 without conclusion, making it the only unsolved skyjacking case in commercial aviation history.

It was also one of the longest and most exhaustive investigations in FBI history.

last photos reveal man db cooper before his death netflix doc jpg
Source: Radar
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As history has it, a man dressed in a suit and tie hijacked a Northwest Orient flight bound for Seattle, Washington. He said he had a bomb and demanded $200,000 in cash and four parachutes.

Once he got his ransom, the man jumped into the night, never to be seen again.

last photos reveal man db cooper before his death netflix doc jpg
Source: Radar

Although many have been fingered as the culprit, none were more suspected to be the evasive D.B. Cooper than Rackstraw.

In the late 1970s, the FBI considered Rackstraw a suspect for years before moving on in their investigation – in part because witnesses said the skyjacker was in his 40s. (Rackstraw was only 28 in 1971).

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Investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker Tom Colbert, who is the star of the new Netflix series, made it his life’s work to prove that Rackstraw was D.B. Cooper.

Until now, the last known video of Rackstraw aired on the much-hyped Netflix series when sleuth Colbert confronted Rackstraw — but it was recorded years earlier as part of a two-part 2016 History Channel miniseries titled D.B. Cooper: Case Closed?.

last photos reveal man db cooper before his death netflix doc jpg
Source: Radar
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The new photos show the father-of-six and grandfather of 14 grandchildren at work at his Coronado Marina business in California in March, 2018, just 15 months before his death.

Born in Ohio in 1943, Rackstraw was a high-school dropout who became a decorated U.S. Army paratrooper during the Vietnam War in the late 1960s, before being run out of the military for lying and other misconduct.

He pursued various jobs and diversions in the years that followed, according to an obituary in The Oregonian, leading to trouble with the law.

last photos reveal man db cooper before his death netflix docjpg
Source: Radar

In 2019, The Oregonian reported:

Rackstraw was acquitted in 1978 of murdering his stepfather. Soon after the acquittal, and while still facing other charges, he faked his death and disappeared. He would ultimately be found and convicted of grand theft and passing bad checks. He spent almost two years in prison.

The prosecutor in the theft-and-forgery case, San Joaquin, Calif., deputy district attorney Clark Sueyres, called him “a helluva con man. You’d buy a used car from him every time.”

Along with his exploits in California, Rackstraw also spent time in Oregon – beyond the possibility that he purchased a plane ticket at Portland International Airport on Nov. 24, 1971, under the name Dan Cooper.

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He ultimately spent two years in prison for passing bad checks and committing grand theft.

Rackstraw died on June 9, 2019, at his Bankers Hill, Calif., apartment as a result of his long-standing cardiac disease. He was survived by his wife Dorothy.

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