Take the Money and Jump
Innocent Men Don’t Hide in Storage Bins
Seeing Jesus in the Toast
We all love a good mystery. Of course, we also love a definitive ending too, which is why the D.B. Cooper case has been one of the most prolific in history. This four-part documentary essentially looks at the phenomena of this case, even meta referencing itself in terms of our prolonged obsession with looking into what happened and how futile this has become over time.
For those unaware of what actually happened, the first episode does a great job getting you up to scratch on everything. In the early 1970’s, a man boarded a small commercial plane and held the crew hostage for a ransom of $200,000. In those days, that’s the equivalent of around $1 million.
After receiving his money, this strange man then exited from the back entrance of the aircraft, parachuting into the night and never seen again.
From here, the mystery of D.B. Cooper was born and it’s inspired a legion of fans and producers to try and find out exactly what happened and track down Cooper’s whereabouts. Not only does Netflix’s four-part docu-series dive into this hunt, it also looks at the idea of unsolved mysteries and why this case in particular has stayed in the consciousness for so long.
Like the Kennedy assassinations, there have been a litany of films, documentaries and shows about this incident and by now, it feels like the pool has all but dried up. But still, 50 years on and those theories still remain – only growing more outlandish as the years have passed.
Did the man gain his name from a comic book strip? Was he actually working in the military? Was D.B. Cooper a lowly worker in the aerospace industry who seized an opportunity to make a quick buck? Or was he a literal God of Mischief, touching down to spice things up only to disappear again?
The sheer number of ideas around what happened is baffling and D.B. Cooper: Where Are You leans into some of the more outlandish “what if” scenarios (some listed above) and it’s great to see the show creators just run with it. This investigation really is the holy grail of cold cases and although there are some inklings as to who Cooper actually was, the truth is we just don’t know.
The allure of a mystery is something that has been a mainstay of humanity since the early days of our ancestors looking up at the sky in fascination. Since then, we’ve had many legends and unsolved mysteries, ranging from Loch Ness and Bigfoot through to the Kennedy Assassination and ghosts.
D.B. Cooper is, in its simplest form, a ghost; a phantom that slipped out into the night and disappeared without a trace. This Netflix documentary shows that his memory has not faded from the public’s imagination, and it seems unlikely it will do anytime in the future either.
Verdict - 7.5/10