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9780197695753

The Hijacking of American Flight 119 How D.B. Cooper Inspired a Skyjacking Craze and the FBI's Battle to Stop It

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780197695753

  • ISBN10:

    0197695752

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2023-11-01
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Summary

He pulled off what some deem the crime of the century: skyjacking a commercial jetliner, collecting a ransom of $200,000, parachuting off the aft stairs of the Boeing 727 into the night, and simply disappearing. Since November 1971, "D.B. Cooper"—no one knows his real name or identity—has become a figure of enduring fascination and obsession. The FBI pursued him for over forty years, before closing the case and leaving it unsolved.

Unsolved, perhaps, but much admired. D.B. Cooper's exploit over the skies of the American Northwest has inspired books, films, and endless speculation. What's less known is that it inspired imitators. None were more daring than the hijacker of American Airlines Flight 119. After commandeering the flight from St. Louis with a machine gun and collecting $502,500 in ransom, he parachuted out over Indiana. Unlike Cooper, he was tracked down.

In The Hijacking of American Flight 119, John Wigger explores the wave of hijackings that swept over commercial flight between 1961 and 1972. One hijacker ran across the ramp in Reno, Nevada with a pillowcase over his head, gun in hand, to seize a United Airlines flight. Another collected a large ransom in Washington, D.C. before jumping over Honduras. Yet another rode a bicycle across the tarmac with a rifle strapped to the handlebars. Motivations involved an admixture of ideology, greed, derring-do, and a desperate need to be somebody. What they had in common was that their exploits transfixed the nation's attention, bringing about a transformation in airline security that remains with us still.

With its focus on the parachute hijackers, Wigger's book gathers together the stories of this period of daring criminality and recounts them in gripping fashion, showing their effect on the public, the media, and law enforcement. Using never-before- published interviews and first-hand accounts, he brings to life one of the most chaotic and fascinating periods in American aviation history.

Author Biography


John Wigger is Professor of History at the University of Missouri. His research focuses on American cultural history, including American religion and the history of flight. He is the author of PTL (Oxford University Press 2017), American Saint (Oxford University Press 2009), and Taking Heaven by Storm (Oxford University Press 1998).

Table of Contents


Prologue

Part 1: The Heist
Chapter 1: The Hijacking
Chapter 2: Sharon Wetherley
Chapter 3: David Spellman
Chapter 4: The Friendly Skies
Chapter 5: Heinrick von George
Chapter 6: The Money
Chapter 7: Mohawk Airlines Flight 452
Chapter 8: The Pilots
Chapter 9: The Parachutes
Chapter 10: D.B. Cooper
Chapter 11: Tom Parker
Chapter 12: Richard McCoy
Chapter 13: The Switch
Chapter 14: David Hanley
Chapter 15: Cadillac Impact
Chapter 16: The Boeing 727
Chapter 17: Snipers
Chapter 18: Chase Planes
Chapter 19: A Short History of Parachuting
Chapter 20: Wheels Up
Chapter 21: The Jump

Part 2: The Chase
Chapter 22: The Call
Chapter 23: Dead or Alive
Chapter 24: Peru, Indiana
Chapter 25: Nowhere Man
Chapter 26: The Sketch
Chapter 27: Survivors
Chapter 28: The Money, the Guns, and the Pants
Chapter 29: Show Me the Money
Chapter 30: Tell Me Your Name
Chapter 31: The Parachute
Chapter 32: The Tip
Chapter 33: A Life of Crime
Chapter 34: The Plan
Chapter 35: A Ride Home
Chapter 36: The Informant
Chapter 37: Fingerprints
Chapter 38: The Arrest
Chapter 39: Evidence
Chapter 40: Fallout
Chapter 41: Hijacker's Heaven

Part 3: Connecting Flights
Chapter 42: How It Began
Chapter 43: Take Me to Cuba
Chapter 44: Anywhere but Here
Chapter 45: Hijack House
Chapter 46: Security
Chapter 47: Ransoms
Chapter 48: A Means of Escape
Chapter 49: The Trial
Chapter 50: Prison Break
Chapter 51: Finding D.B. Cooper
Chapter 52: Arrivals

Acknowledgments
Index

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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