Former FBI agent speaks out after unsolved DB Cooper case closes - KPTV - FOX 12

Former FBI agent speaks out after unsolved DB Cooper case closes

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Former FBI agent Ralph Himmelsbach (KPTV) Former FBI agent Ralph Himmelsbach (KPTV)
Police sketch of DB Cooper. Police sketch of DB Cooper.

After a 45 year investigation, the FBI announced Tuesday that it’s no longer looking into the case of a 1970s plane hijacker DB Cooper.

Former FBI agent Ralph Himmelsbach said he was on this case the day it started until he retired ten years later. 

Himmelsbach said it's the longest case he has ever had, and all these decades later, it's a case he still doesn't have answers to.

"So you don't just say 'so what?', you're going to keep looking." 

For a decade Himmelsbach tried to figure out the nation's only unsolved sky-jacking case.

"Here's a guy who took over 40 people as hostages and threatening to blow them up and himself up with a bomb. That's a very, very serious crime."

In 1971, a man calling himself Dan "DB" Cooper hijacked a plane out of Portland. It safely landed in Seattle, but Cooper negotiated to get $200,000 in ransom money and parachutes. Then once he was back in the air, Cooper hopped out of the plane with the cash.

"I kept looking and we never did find him. Talked to thousands of people and didn't have any answers."

Since the case started, detectives have found bundles of cash along the Columbia River matching Cooper's ransom money by serial numbers.

Detectives also found evidence of a titanium tie clip which Cooper owned. 

Some people believe D.B. Cooper made it out alive. Five years ago, an Oklahoma woman claimed Cooper was her uncle, who passed away.

On Tuesday, the FBI announced they were no longer looking for the mysterious skyjacker and closed the case.

"They're not going to waste any more agents time. Even if we caught him, we still couldn't prosecute him."

Himmelsbach said what happened is a mystery but as for where Cooper wound up, Himmelsbach thinks he knows the answer.

"I think most likely he's still lying at, or very closely, where he fell."

The FBI said it has conducted searches, collected all available evidence and interviewed many people, and even after many tips, none led them to the hijacker.

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