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Extended Audio Sample SKYJACK: The Hunt for D. B. Cooper Audiobook, by Geoffrey Gray Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (375 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Geoffrey Gray Narrator: Geoffrey Gray Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2011 ISBN: 9780307735805
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“I have a bomb here and I would like you to sit by me.”
 
That was the note handed to a stewardess by a mild-mannered passenger on a Northwest Orient flight in 1971. It was the start of one of the most astonishing whodunits in the history of American true crime: how one man extorted $200,000 from an airline, then parachuted into the wilds of the Pacific Northwest and into oblivion. D. B. Cooper’s case has become the stuff of legend and obsessed and cursed his pursuers with everything from bankruptcy to suicidal despair. Now with SKYJACK, journalist Geoffrey Gray delves into this unsolved mystery uncovering new leads in the infamous case.
 
Starting with a tip from a private investigator into a promising suspect (a Cooper lookalike, Northwest employee, and trained paratrooper), Gray is propelled into the murky depths of a decades-old mystery, conducting new interviews and obtaining a first-ever look at Cooper’s FBI file. Beginning with a heartstopping and unprecedented recreation of the crime itself, from cabin to cockpit to tower, and uncanny portraits of characters who either chased Cooper or might have committed the crime, including Ralph Himmelsbach, the most dogged of FBI agents, who watched with horror as a criminal became a counter-culture folk hero who supposedly shafted the system…Karl Fleming, a respected reporter whose career was destroyed by a Cooper scoop that was a scam…and Barbara (nee Bobby) Dayton, a transgendered pilot who insisted she was Cooper herself.
 
With explosive new information and exclusive access to FBI files and forensic evidence, SKYJACK reopens one of the great cold cases of the 20th century. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Out of the wild blue yonder comes this pleasing tale of obsession and mystery. Geoffrey Gray has essentially parachuted into the early 1970s and found a nearly forgotten episode that elucidates a swath of our cultural history. The result is a clean, smart whodunit full of quirky characters, imaginative sleuthing, and thrilling surprises. Hampton Sides, author of Hellhound on His Trail

  • “Here is writing and storytelling that is vivid and fresh—a delectable adventure from a talented new author. Gay Talese
  • “With verve and assurance worthy of his protagonist, Geoffrey Gray pulls readers along on a kaleidoscopic chase through the cult of Cooper. Both a masterful re-creation of the paranoid 1970s, and an exhilarating firsthand account of an erosive obsession, Skyjack takes us down the rabbit hole with Gray—and what a journey it is. James  Swanson, author of Manhunt and Bloody Crimes
  • “Who was D.B. Cooper? In SKYJACK, Geoffrey Gray lures in the reader with this iconic unsolved mystery, and for the next 290 pages explores a story as attention-grabbing as a bag of hot money. D.B. Cooper emerges as the great McGuffin of 1970s America, a prism through which Gray exploits to the fullest with his propulsive writing style, mad commitment to detail, and explores everything from the early years of gender reassignment surgery to the birth of airline security culture to the ghostly legends of the Pacific Northwest's Dark Divide. Evan Wright, New York Times bestselling author of Generation Kill

    “SKYJACK tells the legendary story of D.B. Cooper in a way that’s as inventive and as engaging as the subject itself. Only a writer as talented as Geoffrey Gray could knit together the many strands of this mystery and the extraordinary characters who have dedicated, and in some cases destroyed, their lives in pursuit of the truth. Just as Gray finds himself sucked into the tale, readers will leap into the void alongside him, landing on their feet and smiling at the shared adventure.
  • “Easily one of the most delightful books I’ve read in a long, long time. In his obsessive search for answers in the legendary case, Gray becomes a little unhinged himself as well as encountering an array of characters I haven’t seen the likes of since Mark Twain sent Huck down the Mississippi. His style fits the case, and Gray can be compared with Tom Wolfe and Evelyn Waugh in his talent for unearthing the eccentrics of the world and the bizarreness of life. John Bowers, Associate Professor of Writing, Columbia University, author of The Colony and Love in Tennessee

    “…An exciting journey into the byways of popular culture. This is hardly the first book about Cooper, but it may be the first to treat his story for what it has become: an ongoing phenomenon, like the search for Bigfoot, with a remarkable ability to consume the imaginations and lives of generations of searchers.
  • “Gray organizes this, his first book, like a Tarantino film, cutting chronology into strips, then reassembling them in a sequence that readers may consider (pick one) eccentric, confusing, artistic, random, maddening, fun, revelatory. It's all of the above. Cleveland Plain Dealer

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Charles | 2/12/2014

    " Disappointed, thinking this was a pretty clear and researched study. Turned out more like a way-too-long "This American Life" (for which the author also reports) article, ending up inevetibly no closer to a solution. I lost track so many times of who the players were, I didn't know half of the people involved. At some point I realized all were suspects, and I guess it shows how even the FBI simply couldn't process the information overload; but a pointless review, leading to no conclusions, narrowing down nothing, turning into conspiracy theories & cohorts who eventually clam up when they think they've found out enough to write their own book. Back to pure fiction or well-analyzed true crime, this was a bit of neither for me... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christiane | 2/12/2014

    " I never knew until I read this book how common plane hijackings were in the 1970's. Yet D.B. Cooper is the only unsolved case; no one really knows what happened after he parachuted out of that Boeing 727 somewhere over the Pacific Northwest. This book is a great attempt to solve the mystery once and for all, but much like the final fate of Percy Fawcett in the Amazon jungle (which I read in The Lost City of Z by David Grann), there is endless speculation, but no certain answers, and probably never will be. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark Nader | 2/7/2014

    " Love it or hate it. I loved it. Well done. Well researched and engaging. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aaron | 1/27/2014

    " An update on the DB Cooper Skyjacking case. Its a good read but the conclusion kind of sucked. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Steve | 1/4/2014

    " I think this is the first time I've bothered writing something here, but I feel the need to explain the two stars. It's primarily for the writing and organizational skills of the author. Scatterbrain, at best. Very interesting topic. I'll probably seek out some of the other books on Cooper. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paul Kratochwill | 12/24/2013

    " This book gave me a lot of the background information on the hijacking carried out by DB Cooper, but it sorta rambled from place to place. It was an average book at best. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa Allen | 12/21/2013

    " Enjoyable. But the way the book ended was problematic. Going into it, I knew there would be no clear ending to the case. But I'm not sure that the way this book ended was necessarily the most engaging, effective choice. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dot | 11/20/2013

    " Northwest Orient flight from Portland to Seattle is skyjacked. Man bails out in flight with 200k. Fellow passengers & crew had good look at him but descriptions varied. Over the yrs several prime suspects emerged but D.B. Cooper never identified so ending is a anticlimax and somewhat disappointing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Thomas | 10/18/2013

    " Wow. A lot of people seem to have hated this book. I found the mildly pretentious style to be a bit annoying at first, but I ended up getting used to it quickly. I really, really enjoyed the book overall. I'm surprised it rubbed so many people the wrong way. Whatever. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan Paxton | 5/20/2013

    " Mostly useful in pointing out that the DB Cooper hijacking is as packed with weirdos and lunatics as any conspiracy theory you can think of. An adequate book, but a first book and it shows. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Evelyn | 3/30/2012

    " Author spent many years researching the unsolved hijacking by DB Cooper. He thoroughly investigates three likely suspects but doesn't pick one of them as his choice suspect. A new angle is CIA involvement. Very interesting and I learned a lot. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Thomas Greaves | 12/13/2011

    " This is a strange, fascinating case, and I've long wanted someone to write a serious book about it. Alas, this isn't it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dave | 8/15/2011

    " The most interesting stuff wasn't the search for Cooper...but the previous suspects. Well written...I like a nonfiction book that reads like a novel. Last bit of the book was a bit hodgepodgey and the ending abrupt but overall a fun read. "

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