Was DB Cooper a Grocery Manager From Michigan?

Writer offers new theory for the identity of the mystery hijacker
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2015 9:27 AM CST
Was DB Cooper a Grocery Manager From Michigan?
An FBI sketch of DB Cooper.   (AP Photo/FBI, File)

On Nov. 24, 1971, an airplane hijacker who would become known as DB Cooper donned a parachute, strapped $200,000 in cash to his body, and leaped out of a Boeing 727 jetliner somewhere between Seattle, Wash., and Reno, Nev. His true identity and whether he survived the jump remain a mystery to this day, though law enforcement has investigated thousands of leads. Now, WZZM reports, Michigan writer Ross Richardson has offered a new theory for the identity of Cooper: A grocery store manager from Grayling, Mich., named Robert Richard Lepsy, who disappeared on Oct. 29, 1969. Local law enforcement at the time determined that Lepsy left voluntarily. He has not been heard from since. "I strongly believe the proof is out there" that Lepsy is Cooper, Richardson says.

Richardson tells WZZM that, as he researched Lepsy’s disappearance, he uncovered more and more similarities between Lepsy and Cooper, among them:

  • Lepsy’s physical appearance matches witness descriptions of Cooper.
  • Cooper left behind a tie nearly identical to the type that Lepsy wore.
  • Cooper wore loafers, Lepsy’s favorite type of shoe.
Daughter Lisa Lepsy tells WZZM that family members noted the same similarities in 1971 when a sketch of Cooper was shown on TV: "Everyone looked at each other and said, 'That's Dad!'” She also recounts that in 1993 two mysterious men in black suits and sunglasses visited her home. "The first words out of their mouths," she recalls, "were, 'Have you found your father yet?'" They were gone in minutes, she says. The case of DB Cooper is the United States' only unsolved hijacking, WZZM notes. Read the whole fascinating story here. (This guy's quest to find Cooper's parachute nearly killed him.)

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