Who was Richard McCoy, and did he have a secret?


Were Richard Floyd McCoy, Jr. and D. B. Cooper one and the same? 

In 1974, a man was serving a forty-five-year federal prison sentence.  In some ways, he was a clever fellow, and after some planning, he was able to escape by fashioning a replica of a gun out of a dental adhesive and overpowering a guard with it.  There was a large manhunt for the man and his fellow escapee.  He fled to Virginia where he was tracked down and fatally shot in a confrontation with federal agents.

     Perp killed, case closed, another one off the streets.  Not so fast, maybe.  The culprit was apparently a once-good man, who got into financial trouble and went bad.  What was so awful that got him a forty-five-year sentence?  In April of 1972, he had hijacked a plane going from Denver to LA.  He demanded $500,000 and got it.  Due to sophisticated investigative techniques, he was captured, tried, sentenced and incarcerated.

     Richard Floyd McCoy, Jr. had been a devout Mormon with a family when he got into severe financial trouble.  Some of the same investigators that had pored over the facts of his crime came to realize that his MO was almost the same as that of a man calling himself Dan Cooper when he hijacked a Northwest (then Northwest Orient) plane, a 727, going from Portland to Seattle in November of 1971.  Cooper demanded $200,000 and special parachutes, and he got them.  During a fueling stop, the passengers were let off the plane.  A man who would then be known as D. B. Cooper exited the plane via the folding staircase, somewhere over Centralia-Chehalis.  Some think he lived and ran to Mexico.

     Two former agents wrote a book in 1991 (D.B. Cooper, The Real McCoy by Bernie Rhodes and Russel Calame), giving their reasons that D.B. Cooper was Richard Floyd McCoy, Jr.  They are very convincing with handwriting evidence, fingerprint evidence, and many other juicy tidbits.  Then there is this:  If you look at the police sketch for D. B. Cooper and a photo of McCoy alongside, you can see the amazing resemblance.

     An old documentary I just watched showed that a man on the Northwest plane picked an image out of a photo line-up that was an image of the man claiming to be Cooper, the passenger on his plane.  The photo was of Richard Floyd McCoy, Jr.  The man that made the ID had gotten suspicious when he saw Cooper going into the lavatory and changing his appearance, in flight.  He tried to alert people on the sly but was not believed because he was a convict himself, being transported via the airways.

     When a skydiving instructor, was questioned about McCoy’s taking skydiving lessons—which he did—the instructor volunteered that McCoy was barely fair as a jumper and that he had never made a night jump.

     Were Richard Floyd McCoy, Jr. and D. B. Cooper one and the same?  Or, was McCoy so impressed by Cooper’s technique that he tried to copy it?

     I hope you will go to the FBI website and examine the page on Richard Floyd McCoy, Jr.  It is eerie, indeed.

Sara Marie Hogg is the author of It Rises from the Pee Dee. Please click HERE to find the book on Amazon.

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