If you want to know how confusing the legend of D.B. Cooper is, look no further than the name. The hijacker who boarded Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 305 on November 24, 1971 never called himself “D.B.” He bought the ticket as “Dan Cooper,” but that’s not how the world knows him now. It’s one thing on a long list of things that we don’t really know for sure, that are obscured by odd media games of telephone, and that can’t possibly be true but we believe them anyway.
Why does the legend endure? That’s one thing the new trailer for D.B. Cooper: Where Are You?! seems to know for sure. It’s a mixture of the rugged spirit of individualism, America’s love affair with scoundrels, the fact that he got away with $200,000 using an absurdly simple plan, and, of course, the unanswered mystery of what happened next. There’s where the easy answers stop. There are dozens of suspects (including Loki, naturally), and, like Alcatraz escape stories, who you think it is might depend on whether you think Cooper survived the nighttime parachute jump into the wilderness.
The Netflix true crime doc series from director Marina Zenovich will explore the lore when it lands July 13. Zenovich is a clear talent to bring this story to life, having focused her career on documentaries which explore the singular oddity of (in)famous men. That includes Robin Williams, Richard Pryor, and two films about Roman Polanski.
And, who knows, maybe Cooper will watch the series, too.