R.I.P. – Skipp Porteous: Private Eye, Freedom Writer, D.B. Cooper Sleuth, and FRIEND.

skipp
Skipp in 2008

It was tough getting the news that Skipp Porteous, my co-author on the book Into The Blast – The True Story of D.B. Cooper, had passed away. For the last few years he had suffered from aphasia, and he began having trouble using a keyboard or communicating verbally, although his mind remained sharp as a carpet tack.

 

 

Skipp1991BokThe Cooper book wasn’t his first book, however. Before forming Sherlock Investigations in New York City, Skipp had actually been a fundamentalist preacher. Over the years, he had a change of heart about that work, and detailed his journey in his 1991 book, Jesus Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, which is still available at Amazon. I bought a copy not long after we started working together on the D.B. Cooper case, just to get a handle on the guy who was sending me on interviews all over the Northwest USA.

In the nine years I knew Skipp, I never actually met him. But over the years I grew to KNOW him quite well. He had skills on determining when people were lying, or hiding something, or when someone needed to be questioned. In late 2008, I saw his name mentioned in an article by author Geoffrey Gray, who would later go on to write his own book on the Cooper case, Skyjack. There was a mention by Skipp that he was considering a book on the suspect discussed in the article, Kenneth Peter Christiansen, a former US Army paratrooper and an actual employee of the airline that Cooper had hijacked for $200,000.

On the day I read the article, I made a fateful decision that would change my life. I decided to contact Skipp and offer him my services as a book editor, and to possibly even publish his book. I also said I lived just down the road from where his suspect once lived, and I found the whole subject interesting.

Continue reading “R.I.P. – Skipp Porteous: Private Eye, Freedom Writer, D.B. Cooper Sleuth, and FRIEND.”

Advertisements

On Request – The Two Page Outline on Christiansen and Geestman in the D.B. Cooper Case

HeaderPicOutlineArticleRecently, I was asked by the film producers I am working with in Los Angeles to create an outline (limited to two pages for print in 8.5×11) laying out the case against Kenny Christiansen and Bernie Geestman.

Well, boiling down a multi-year investigation where you interview dozens of people and take page after page of notes isn’t an easy thing. However, this was the result, shown below:
Continue reading “On Request – The Two Page Outline on Christiansen and Geestman in the D.B. Cooper Case”

D.B. Cooper -The Bomb and What the FBI Withheld on it

no6-a-cells-x4When the F.B.I. or any law enforcement agency investigates a major crime, one of the things they do is to hold back a known fact or two from the public. They do this to weed out false confessors to the crime, or to eliminate (or confirm) suspects. The D.B. Cooper hijacking case was no different. It has recently come to light that the F.B.I. decided to hold back a key bit of evidence about the bomb the hijacker used to force Northwest Airlines to hand over $200,000 in cash and four parachutes.

Over the last forty-six years, only four things have ever been revealed about the bomb itself. First, that it was housed in a briefcase. Second, that there was a battery inside similar to the one in the picture. Third, that there were wires attached to both the battery and the bomb. Fourth, that the bomb was composed of red sticks. This last bit originated from stewardess Florence Schaffner, who was allowed a quick glance inside the briefcase. Schaffner was passed a note from the hijacker shortly after takeoff from Portland, OR that read:

Miss. I have a bomb here and I would like you to sit by me.

As soon as Schaffner did as she was told, the hijacker opened the briefcase for a quick moment. She later told the flight crew what she saw. Red sticks, lots of wires, and a battery bigger than one you would put into a flashlight. That’s been the story for several decades now, although FBI agent Ralph Himmelsbach has said occasionally that he was sure the bomb was phony because dynamite sticks are generally tan in color, and not red.

Red sticks. Could they have been road flares? The problem with road flares isn’t that they are red. It’s that they have an ignitor on one end, and a lot of instructions printed on the outside. Even a stewardess who only got a quick look would be able to tell the ‘dynamite’ was phony. So if they weren’t dynamite, and they weren’t road flares, then how could they pass for a real explosive? If the F.B.I. had even a clue that the bomb was a phony, they probably would have stormed Flight 305 right on the tarmac after it reached Seattle. But something created doubt in their minds about the whole thing, and somehow they assumed the bomb could be real, even if the alleged dynamite was the wrong color.

The answer was both simple – and a brilliant move by the hijacker. He not only fooled the F.B.I. and the flight crew, but the bomb itself had a purpose beyond just being a bomb.

It was a key part of the hijacker’s escape plan.
Continue reading “D.B. Cooper -The Bomb and What the FBI Withheld on it”

Life Imitates Art? REAL FBI Agents Raid TV Production Company Where EX-FBI Agents Were Researching Upcoming TV Special on ‘DB Cooper’ Hijacking Case

It’s a strange deal for sure, and the details are only slowly coming together. LMNO Productions, creators of content for cable television such as The Little People and Killer Confessions, put together a team to investigate a new suspect in the unsolved ‘D.B. Cooper’ hijacking. This team consisted of more than forty people, many of them ex-FBI agents and other Federal officers. They recently completed their work, and the end result was a four-hour special for History Channel that will premiere on Sunday, July 10th at 9PM-11PM, and conclude on Monday the 11th at 7PM-9PM. (All times Pacific) There is also a book on their investigation, which will be released in paperback and Kindle on July 12. The show is titled, D.B. Cooper – Case Closed?

However, in the last few weeks before the premiere, a complex situation arose that was so weird it could only have come from Bizarro World in a Superman comic. Continue reading “Life Imitates Art? REAL FBI Agents Raid TV Production Company Where EX-FBI Agents Were Researching Upcoming TV Special on ‘DB Cooper’ Hijacking Case”