Rackstraw vs. Reca

Robert Rackstraw is a popular suspect for D.B. Cooper. How is he different from Walter Reca, and is there any truth in the accusations against him?



  1. Both Reca and Rackstraw used numerous aliases.
  2. Both had military training in parachuting and survival training.
  3. Both were accused of prior crimes. Reca was convicted of Big Boy robbery, committed other robberies and did enforcement work for the Teamsters and was on the run at the time of the hijacking. Rackstraw was a suspect in a burglary at a National Guard Armory in July of 1971. He was convicted years later and spent one year in jail for check fraud and possession of illegal weapons.
  4. Both had a storehouse of weapons. Reca’s house was raided in 2003 by ATF and the Michigan State Police where they found an arsenal of weapons, including a grenade launcher. Friends of Rackstraw reported that in 1979, Rackstraw showed them a room where he kept a military arsenal of large caliber rifles and a rocket launcher.
  5. Both had CIA connections.
  6. Both were supposedly money launderers.
  7. The Citizen Sleuths believe that the Tena Bar money was placed there.We agree.



  1. Rackstraw was briefly an FBI suspect in the hijacking because of his military and parachute training. Reca, with even more jumping and military experience, was completely overlooked by the FBI
  2. Rackstraw constantly lied about his military background even while in court proceedings and was discharged by the Army in 1971 for falsifying his college records and lying about his rank and medals. Reca didn’t need to lie; he had a decorated military career extending after two honorable discharges all the way into 1991 where he provided valuable intelligence to the US Army.
  3. Reca served the US and our allies for decades after the hijacking. Rackstraw was destitute and committed petty crimes long into his life.
  4. The Citizen Sleuths rely on a “secret code” found in some letters mailed to newspapers from someone claiming to be Cooper. They include an incredible tale of Rackshaw masquerading as a Swiss Baron named Norman de Winter shortly before the hijacking. Rackstraw is clearly, as they say, a "chronic liar,” but that hardly makes him D.B. Cooper. We are relying on decades of confession to Reca's good friend Carl Laurin, over three hours of audio tape between Carl and Walter, and eyewitness who saw Walt within an hour of the plane leaving SeaTac, the investigation of a premier forensic linguist, and Walt’s confession to his niece. 



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