Recording D.B. Cooper

In 2008, Carl Laurin received permission from his good friend Walter Reca to record their conversations about the skyjacking. The documentary film “D.B. Cooper: The Real Story” contains excerpts of the 3+ hours of audio tape as the two friends discuss the details of the hijacking.

Walter’s detailed recollection of the skyjacking is impressive, given the three decades gap between the event and his conversations with Carl. In addition to the skyjacking, Walt had also completed dozens of clandestine assignments which were more dangerous, intriguing, and illegal than the hijacking.


The Taped Evidence

In the audio tapes, Walter fills in many of the details which had not been widely known regarding the skyjacking:


• D.B. Cooper left partial, distorted prints on the plane. Walt is recorded telling Carl he coated his fingers with a superglue-like substance to avoid leaving fingerprints.


• The stewardess waited to open the skyjacker’s note. Walt is recorded describing her delay in reading the note (she thought he was hitting on her), and then subsequent disbelief that he was really hijacking the plane.


• D.B. Cooper offered money to the stewardess, who refused. Walter repeated this story in his conversations with Carl. In addition, Walt demonstrated similar behavior when he offered stolen money to the female employee at a Big Boy robbery he had committed several years before the skyjacking.


• The stewardess wrote down the skyjacker’s demands to send to the cockpit. Walt describes how he dictated instructions to the stewardess, and the stewardess wrote down his demands to give to the captain.