Escape at 10,000 Feet: D.B. Cooper and the Missing Money

HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. (Unsolved Case Files: Bk. 1). Mar. 2021. 104p. Tr $21.99. ISBN 9780062991522; pap. $12.99. ISBN 9780062991515.
Gr 4-6–Kicking off the “Unsolved Case Files” series, this terse, clipped account of the only still-unsolved skyjacking in U.S. history offers a minute-by-minute recap of the crime, then a tally of the forensic evidence, a general overview of the ensuing (fruitless) investigation, and an assessment of theories about what might have happened. In late 1971, a time when, Sullivan writes, “virtually anybody could walk into any airport in the country and bring anything they wanted onto a plane,” a hijacker styling himself “Dan Cooper” (a false name later garbled by press reports) jumped from the rear stairs of a Boeing 727 in midair over Washington State with $200,000 in marked bills…and was never seen again. Nor was the money—aside from three bundles of shabby bills discovered near a stream in 1980 by an eight-year-old vacationer. The blocky art, which ranges from full spreads to pages of two or three unbordered but discrete panels, reflects the matter-of-fact tone with flat, simply drawn diagrams, aerial maps, news items, faux dossier pages, reconstructed events, and portraits of the crew and the mysterious perp, all rounded off with a set of period photos. Short lists of print and web resources offer young would-be sleuths further details to ponder.
VERDICT Elementary and middle school fans of the true crime genre will enjoy this puzzler.

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