DNA Test

DNA Test

Carl Laurin was convinced that his best friend Walter Reca was D.B. Cooper, and he continued to amass as much evidence as possible to support his case. In addition to their numerous conversations and the documents that Walt sent Carl to confirm his story, Carl had one more idea in mind.

Carl asked Walt for permission to submit Walt’s DNA sample for comparison to D.B. Cooper; however, Walt refused. During a visit to Walt’s home in July 2009, Carl took matters into his own hands. Walt was fighting a cold and used a Kleenex to expectorate. When he left the room, Carl used tweezers to pick up the tissue and placed it in a plastic storage bag.  

Upon returning to his Florida home, Carl made an appointment with David Damore, a local attorney. He explained to Damore that he believed that his friend, who he called “Mr. Blank,” was D.B. Cooper. Upon Carl’s request, Damore sent the sample to a laboratory for evaluation.

When the lab results came in, Damore called Larry Carr, the Seattle-based FBI agent who was heading the Cooper investigation at the time. Keeping Carl’s name confidential, Damore informed Carr that he would be sending the results to Carr’s office and inquired how long it would take to determine if it was a match. Carr assured him it would take two to three days. The DNA results were overnighted to Carr on July 27, 2009.  


About a week later, Walter called Carl and yelled at him saying, “What the f*** are you doing, DNA’ing me?” Walt stopped talking to Carl for a few weeks after that. Eventually, he forgave Carl and they didn’t really speak of it. However, Carl knew this was a turning point. Walt should have had no idea that his DNA had been taken, and yet somehow he was alerted. By whom, it is unclear.

When Carl informed Damore of the response from Walt, Damore again contacted Carr who reported that they did not yet have the match results. Damore frequently emailed Carr to get the results. Finally on October 8, 2019 - 74 days later - Carr sent an email to Damore indicating that the DNA did not match.

The response was not unexpected - even if a match had been confirmed, Carl was sure they would not reveal it. Someone had alerted Walt about the DNA test, and that was fascinating in and of itself. In addition, the 74-day delay was a far cry from the “two or three” days they had been promised. If anything, the denial was just one more confirmation that Walt’s story was true.