D.B. Cooper's identity: Author claims infamous criminal was his best friend Walter Reca

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The question "Who is DB Cooper?" has fascinated people ever since a man calling himself by that name hijacked Northwest Airlines Flight 305 back in 1971. (WLS)

The question "Who is D.B. Cooper?" has fascinated people ever since a man calling himself by that name hijacked Northwest Airlines Flight 305 back in 1971.

Over the years many have come forward claiming they know the culprit, and now a Michigan author is claiming that the infamous criminal was his best friend.

In 1971, the man calling himself D.B. Cooper hijacked a plane, asked for money and parachutes, then jumped out into the night sky, never to be seen again. The FBI has long said he could not have survived the jump. Author Carl Laurin says he did, and that he has evidence to prove it.

Laurin claims Cooper is actually Walter Reca, his best friend and an accomplished parachutist and veteran living in Michigan.

"A toast to anyone that jumped out of a 727," Reca says on a video. "Have I got a story to tell you."

"My best friend Walter was a daredevil. He was determined. He was fearless," Laurin said.

At a news conference in Grand Rapids, Laurin and Principia Media released conversations he had taped with Reca over eight years, allegedly detailing the fateful moments of the 1971 hijacking.

"This is a hijack and I've got explosives," Reca says on a recording.

"So you did hand her the note and she kind of put it in her pocket like, and said 'I can't believe you're actually hijacking this airplane,'" Laurin asks on the recording.

"And I says I can't believe it neither, but I'm serious," Reca responds.

Reca's niece, Lisa Story, said her uncle often found himself on the wrong side of the law and had trouble holding a job, but loved his country and had the skills to commit the crime.

"He was in the Army National Guard. He was in the Air Force Pararescue. He served during the Berlin crisis. He served in South America with the Thunderbirds for a short time. He was also in Special Forces," Story said.

The FBI is no longer actively investigating the case and Reca died three years ago, but Laurin said the evidence is overwhelming.

"It just come to my head and I did it. I didn't even know if I was going," Reca says on another recording.

"But you did have a note. You did have a hijacking note," Laurin replies.

"I still did know if I was going through with it," Reca says.

Laurin's memoir is called "D.B. Cooper & Me: A Criminal, A Spy, My Best Friend." He also claims to have documentation about how the $200,000 was spent, and a life working for risky government contractors after the hijacking.

ABC7 Eyewitness News reached out to the FBI for comment, but have not heard back.
Related Topics:
historyunsolved crimehijackingu.s. airwaysMichigan
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