This is my second published article for which I was paid! Cheers!!
D.B. Cooper leaped from the Boeing 727 he had hijacked on Nov. 24, 1971, with a military parachute and $200,000 in ransom money strapped to his body. He vanished into the mist of a frigid Pacific Northwest night and instantly transformed himself into an American folk legend. “Dan Cooper” has since been the singular target of one of law enforcement’s all-time greatest manhunts. He also might have been the man who was like a second father to my younger brothers.
Ron Terry served as a paratrooper during the Korean War and was later stationed in Guam instructing Vietnam-bound troops in the fine art of assault parachuting. He became one of the first civilian sports parachutist in the U.S. With thousands of jumps under his belt, he wowed crowds as a stunt pilot and skydiver at air shows. He also opened a skydiving school and was a flight instructor, aircraft salesman and mechanic, accomplished farmer and building contractor.
In the late 1970s, Ron was flying DC-3s and Cessnas under the radar and across the Mexican border smuggling untold tons of marijuana into the U.S. He ended up serving five years in federal prison after his fingerprints were discovered on an aeronautical map inside a downed aircraft loaded with 1,000 pounds of Columbian Gold. Upon release, he found himself a prime suspect in the D.B. Cooper case — his background and recent stint in the joint fit the FBI profile to a T.