Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Skyjack: The Hunt for D.B. Cooper” as Want to Read:
Skyjack: The Hunt for D.B. Cooper
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Skyjack: The Hunt for D.B. Cooper

3.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  891 Ratings  ·  147 Reviews
“I have a bomb here and I would like you to sit by me.”

That was the note handed to a stewardess by a mild-mannered passenger on a Northwest Orient flight in 1971. It was the start of one of the most astonishing whodunits in the history of American true crime: how one man extorted $200,000 from an airline, then parachuted into the wilds of the Pacific Northwest and into ob
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published August 9th 2011 by Random House Audio (first published January 1st 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Skyjack, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Skyjack

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,709)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
OK, it's time somebody stepped up, came out and just plain said, "Enough already."

Non-fiction authors, please, please, please, STOP trying to write historical narratives like Erik Larson. Please stop the slice-and-dice multiple-narrative juggling gimmick in which stories are divvied out in tiny spoonfuls, shifting back and forth over long spans of time and interrupted in mid-action in embarrassing Dan Brown Da Vinci Code cliffhanger style, and then resumed several chapters and dozens of pages la
Archer: What, no, I bet he faked his own death so he can expose the mole!
Lana: There is no mole, and faked it how?
Archer: Paging Dr. Cooper! Dr. D.B. Cooper! Lana, he obviously bailed out and --
Lana: And then... landed safely, buried his chute, ran ten miles to the crash site and then strapped himself into the still-burning wreckage?

Paging Dr. Cooper, Archer

This isn't the first time (and certainly won't be the last) that I decided to read a book based solely on an Archer reference. D.B. Cooper was the alias for the
Chris Dietzel
Oct 09, 2015 Chris Dietzel rated it really liked it
This is the type of true-life story that absolutely fascinates me. In the early 70s, a man boarded a plane, said he had a bomb, got a ransom, parachuted out the back of the plane while it was mid flight, and then was never found. I first heard about DB Cooper as a kid when watching an episode of 'Unsolved Mysteries.' This in-depth search for the identity of Cooper was incredibly interesting.
Who was Cooper?

"Skyjack" is an over the top story but then so was D. B. Cooper’s skyjacking of Northwest flight 305 on the day before Thanksgiving in 1971. Gray does a great job at engaging his audience no matter how many disparate characters and theories he stuffs into his tale. It takes some patience to suspend your belief until all the pieces are tied together or at least there’s an effort in that direction. This is a big story with lots of pieces. Gray packs a lot into 300 pages including so
Oct 03, 2011 Gail rated it did not like it
It seems that every couple of years, another book comes out with new information about D.B. Cooper. Remember him? He's the guy that hijacked a Northwest Orient plane back in 1971, got $200,000 and parachuted off into oblivion. He's never been found.
This latest offering recreates the crime and then introduces a whole cast of quirky characters. The tale jumps around at different time periods so remembering everybody can be confusing. The author had access to FBI files and supposedly "new" informat
Jan 08, 2012 Brian rated it liked it
Who is DB Cooper? This book is not the answer. The famed Skyjack of the 1970's that allowed someone by the name DB Cooper to hijack an airplane, jump out of it and disappear into the annuls of history has caused countless speculations over the years. A massive FBI Manhunt ensued that led to many arrests but no convictions or any real clue as to who the hijacker was. The author focuses on the hunt for the elusive DB and goes through the various theories about who and what the hijacker did. He cov ...more
This book had so much promise, and it started off well enough. The first part recreates Dan Cooper's hijacking of the Northwest Orient flight, from the moment he gets on the plane until the flight crew realize he is no longer aboard. The next section looks at the initial investigation.

From there, it's downhill. This is now a record of Gray's descent into conspiracy. He starts with being given the name of a possible suspect and starts looking into him. We then get to hear about other suspects, an
Crazy. That is what I kept muttering to myself while reading this true account of a plane hijacker who not only successfully pulled off "the perfect crime" in the amount of $200,000 in the 1970s (not sure what the inflation rate is now) but also, to this very day, was not only never caught, but was also never identified. Crazy also because the plan was so straightforward (wear some shades, hand a simple handwritten note to a stewardess, take the money, then while in flight, parachute down into t ...more
Oh how quaint, those long lost days of the monthly air hijack that ended either in Cuba, or in a parachute jump with a satchel full of cash. Back in the early 70s, before metal detectors and pat-downs became a rite of passage in airports, the hijack was practically a spectator sport. And, so the legend goes, it was all started by a John Doe known to the media as D.B. Cooper.

My first encounter with the D.B. Cooper urban legend was in a book I had as a kid about unsolved mysteries. I remember the
Jul 15, 2011 Julie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, vine, non-fiction
I was absolutely riveted by Gray’s thorough investigation into the D.B. Cooper mystery. He explores not only the incident itself and the subsequent investigation, but the political instability of the nation and the structure of commercial aviation during the late 60’s and early 70’s. He uses his own experiences interviewing witnesses and investigators as the framework of the book, and intersperses his narrative with the biographies of possible suspects. Initially, I thought the writing was disjo ...more
Christian Petrie
There has always been something about a real life unsolved mystery that captivates me. Sometimes not knowing the solution can cause people to come up with interesting theories. The D.B. (Dan) Cooper is one of those mysteries that still captivates people.

When new theories are presented, they can go a couple of ways. Sometimes the theory is interesting, other times just off the wall. Skyjack is a mixture as it does help you understand the case, but is presented in a way that can turn people off

Jaclyn Day
Oct 27, 2011 Jaclyn Day rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was really, really excited to get this book from the library. I’ve always had a weird fascination with this incident, especially considering it happened long before I was born. I think I saw a few specials on the History Channel or some such thing and was intrigued by the mysterious hijacking case.

If you’re not familiar with who or what I’m talking about, in November of 1971, a man calling himself Dan Cooper (later turned into D.B. Cooper in the media) hijacked a plane, secured $200,000 in ran
Jul 16, 2012 jess rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook-d, 2012
In 1971, a normal-looking guy on a Northwest Airlines flight out of Portland hands a note to a stewardess. The note says that he has a bomb and he wants $200,000 and a parachute. The airline delivers. He disappears with the money and an urban legend is born. I've been interested in this case since I learned about it at the Northwest Mystery Museum a few years ago, so I was really glad I finally got around to reading a book on the subject.

The author starts from a position of nearly complete ignor
Aug 19, 2011 fleegan rated it liked it
This book is a good overview of the D.B. Cooper case. In 1971 a man going by the name Dan Cooper hijacked a plane and actually got away with it.

The book adds some new characters, and when I say characters I mean it. (Everyone in this book is awesomely crazy.) The author does a really good job of making these people very human and interesting. (read: crazy.) And even though he writes about these very dedicated/obsessed people he still manages to keep the tone respectful. Mr. Gray breaks the story
This book does not solve the mystery of D. B. Cooper's identity. Rather, it revels in the many treasure hunters, investigators, witnesses, and suspects unveiled by the cursed quest to solve this mystery. Gray gives a detailed portrait of the lives that have been touched by this case, and they are very interesting lives. My favorite of his suspects is Barbara Dayton--whose difficulty acquiring a male to female transgender operation in the early seventies is also well described--because I love the ...more
Nov 21, 2011 Samantha rated it liked it
I have to admit, I am so very conflicted about this fascinating and completely engrossing book. Author Geoffrey Gray's personal hunt for D. B. Cooper reads like a fabulously unbelievable fiction story and, knowing the current status of the case I was totally setting myself up for disappointment as I got sucked further and further into the story--waiting for the ending and it just ended. That's it. Gray totally left us hanging. Is he saving the last "clue" for another book? Or was it another ques ...more
Apr 01, 2014 Sunsettowers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating and comprehensive look at a crime that can never really be solved (no matter how hard those affected by the "Cooper Curse" try, Skyjack covers the suspects and theories that have been thrown around since the infamous hijacking and parachute drop by D.B. Cooper. The author has a great irreverent writing style, especially when he writes about being captured by the Cooper Curse himself, and as someone who is fascinated by D.B. Cooper, I learned a lot.
Jan 01, 2014 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had hoped for the definitive history of D. B. Cooper, especially given that author Geoffrey Gray was allowed access to the FBI’s D. B. Cooper files. Instead, I got some history of D. B. Cooper heavily diluted with forays into the lives of Cooper suspects and those obsessed with solving the case. This is a world of crazies, and whenever Gray plunges into crazyland, he extracts himself with a series of rhetorical questions, such as these: “How could I trust Knoss? The whopper he was telling coul ...more
Justin Mitchell
Aug 30, 2011 Justin Mitchell rated it really liked it
Lots of fun. Sort of reminded me of The Psychopath Test--starts on one track, and finds itself taken to bizarre and unexpected places in its examination of its subject matter. There seems to be a new trend in nonfiction I've read recently, a freer, more essay-like form in which the subject is allowed to become whatever it may care to be.

There's something amazing about the D.B. Cooper case, and many other people agree with me. Love how Gray makes the last section of the book about the crazy subcu
Jul 27, 2015 Jesse rated it liked it
Nice book with lots of local interest. Just that the subject matter is a bit unsatisfying as we don't really know.
This is what I "read" for audiobook category in the 2015 Read Harder challenge.

One of the things that's interesting about taking on this challenge is how I keep book's 'category' in the back of mind as I consume the work. Case in point, I had Skyjack playing as I made a road trip. I suspect it might be tedious to read; lots of reviewers seem to be expressing frustration with the narrative jumping across time and place, going from subject to subject. Now, for me personally, I never really mind t
Gray starts the tale of famed plane hijacker D.B. Cooper with his own introduction to the tale — a visit from a private-eye friend who wanted to pitch a story. What follows is a three-year odyssey into one of the modern rabbit holes, a chasm of mystery littered with half-baked theories, impostors, and secrets. Gray does a nice job chronicling his own trip into the Cooper mythos, chasing leads, and learning all about the people who might have been the “Robin Hood of the skies.” A few thoughts:

- A
Matt Isenhower
Feb 07, 2014 Matt Isenhower rated it really liked it
No, the mystery has not been solved, and it probably never will be. For those of you who don't know, in 1971 a well-dressed man hijacked a Northwest 727, extorted $200,000 from the airline, then strapped on a parachute and jumped from the moving passenger jet over the Oregon wilderness, never to be seen again. Although Grey spends the first part of the book going over the details of the crime itself, the real story comes in the later part: the strange loners who top the suspect list, the weirdos ...more
Sep 02, 2014 Bonnie-Elizabeth rated it it was ok
Three stars for content; one star for the horrible writing. The research on the possible suspects was interesting, but the writer seems to have just transcribed his notes and strung it together with a bunch of "but we'll never know the truth!" It would have made better sense to devote sections of the book to each possible perpetrator rather than intersperse the stories in a seemingly random fashion, but I suspect this wasn't possible due to the relative sparseness of actual information versus co ...more
Dec 18, 2014 Deb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I became aware of this book while doing a little investigation myself. I had just read the book "Empty Mansions", and I was on a one day trip in New York City. I already knew that the Carter mansion was demolished. In its place was an apartment building, evidence that the city was expanding. I did visit the Frick mansion which contains an impressive collection of artwork. After that, I walked through Manhattan, watched for signs of mansions that still exist, and asked questions of those around m ...more
May 14, 2014 Landon rated it it was ok
The first part of the book details the D.B. Cooper plan hijacking from 1971- pieced together from news stories, and the accounts of passengers and flight personnel. The rest of the book talks about some of the "copy cat" criminals who went on to hijack planes, as well as a look at who D.B. Cooper might have been. Explores several different possibilities- all that have some convincing points, information not reported to the public, money with serial numbers matching the ransom money, and other in ...more
Paul Pessolano
Aug 22, 2011 Paul Pessolano rated it liked it
“Skyjack” by Geoffrey Gray, published by Crown Publishing.

Category – True Crime

If you lived in the 70’s it is highly unlikely that you never heard of D.B. Cooper. Cooper may have committed the perfect crime, that is if he lived.

D.B. Cooper hijacked (skyjacked) Northwest Orient flight 305 and demanded $200.000 ransom for the plane and passengers. The plane was a Boeing 727 that had an “aftstairs” that could be used for boarding and deplaning.

When Cooper obtained the ransom and parachutes he let
Oct 26, 2012 Ru rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An irreverent look at one of the most famous heists in world history. The legend of DB Cooper only seems to be growing with time; it's not unlike Elvis sightings, tied in with theories about what happened to Cooper and the money. This book asks those questions and also examines who Cooper may have been, which is a fascinating exposition unto itself.

Without spoiling anything, there are certainly prevailing theories now as to who Cooper likely was; and, as time moves on one theory in particular se
Sep 03, 2013 Dachokie rated it liked it
Shelves: crime
Introduces a Zany Cast of Crazies That Only Deepens the Mystery ...

This book was reviewed as part of Amazon's Vine program which included a free advance copy of the book.

The first time I ever learned about D.B. Cooper was elementary school back in the 1970s ... it was the first story in a compilation book of "strange but true" stories/mysteries that I got at a Scholastic Book Fair. While I recall all the other stories having rudimentary drawings to visually entertain elementary school-level read
Lady Knight
I'd never heard of D.B. Cooper until an episode from the How Stuff Works sponsored podcast Stuff You Missed In History Class (you'll have to go on iTunes to find the episode) covered the hijacking. It greatly intrigued me... how could this guy have never been caught? Maybe it's because I'm not American, but I'd never heard of this renegade nor of the massive treasure and man hunt he'd inspired, and was really interested to learn more about the case. When I saw this title come up as available fro ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 56 57 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Obsessed with Tru...: Review - Skyjack - The Hunt for D. B. Cooper 1 16 Sep 11, 2011 04:21PM  
  • Made Men
  • Killer Colt: Murder, Disgrace, and the Making of an American Legend
  • The Fence: A Police Cover-up Along Boston's Racial Divide
  • King of the Godfathers
  • The Best American Crime Reporting 2009
  • The Best American Crime Writing: 2003 Edition: The Year's Best True Crime Reporting
  • The Murder of Jim Fisk for the Love of Josie Mansfield: A Tragedy of the Gilded Age
  • Stalling for Time: My Life as an FBI Hostage Negotiator
  • L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America's Most Seductive City
  • Killers: the Most Barbaric Murderers of Our Times
  • The Snakehead: An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underworld and the American Dream
  • The Devil's Dozen: How Cutting-Edge Forensics Took Down 12 Notorious Serial Killers
  • Operation Family Secrets: How a Mobster's Son and the FBI Brought Down Chicago's Murderous Crime Family
  • This Is for the Mara Salvatrucha: Inside the MS-13, America's Most Violent Gang
  • Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History
  • The Art of the Heist: Confessions of a Master Thief
  • Final Analysis: The Untold Story of the Susan Polk Murder Case
  • The Crimes of Paris: A True Story of Murder, Theft,  and Detection
My mother worked as a caterer. From as early as I can remember, it was me and my younger sister lugging the soup pots and cookie trays and shrimp skewers from our kitchen into the van, then arriving at a client's house and trying to make them feel comfortable in their own home.

It was an incredible social experiment for a young child. I learned how to schmooze with the folks that hired us, and the
More about Geoffrey Gray...

Share This Book

“With your pleasant smile And your dropout style, D.B. Cooper, where did you go?” 0 likes
“At the FBI, Hoover argues that once a plane lands, the hijacker has violated federal air piracy laws; therefore, he is within the Bureau’s jurisdiction and should be apprehended immediately. It’s too dangerous to think otherwise. What if the hijacker had a manic episode, killed the pilot, and crashed the plane into downtown Cleveland? Hundreds of bystanders would die in the explosion. Or worse. What if hijackers demanded that pilots fly airplanes into skyscrapers?” 0 likes
More quotes…