Well, D.B. Cooper, if you’re out there—and if that really is your name—it looks like you’ve gotten away with it.
Cooper, or a man calling himself that, jumped out of Northwest Orient Airlines flight 305 and into American criminal mythology on November 24, 1971. He boarded the plane in Portland, Oregon, ordered a bourbon and soda, and began smoking filtered Raleigh cigarettes.
A little bit after takeoff, Cooper handed the stewardess (it was the ’70s) a note saying he had a bomb and asking her to sit next to him. He flashed a briefcase full of wires and demanded $200,000 and four parachutes. She took the note to the pilot. The plane landed in Seattle, where Cooper let the passengers off and took the cash and the chutes. Then he and a few crew members took off again, bound for Mexico City, as he demanded. Somewhere between Seattle and Reno, Cooper jumped out of the plane. He was never heard from again.
On Tuesday—44 years, 7 months, and 18 days after the hijacking—the FBI announced it is closing the Cooper file for want of evidence. Or in the dry language of law enforcement, “The FBI has redirected resources allocated to the D.B. Cooper case to focus on other investigative priorities.” Over the years, agents had considered 800 suspects and whittled down the list to less than two dozen. Not that they’re giving up entirely. “Although the FBI will no longer actively investigate this case, should specific physical evidence emerge—related specifically to the parachutes or the money taken by the hijacker—individuals with those materials are asked to contact their local FBI field office,” the agency said in a statement.