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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

DB Cooper: Case Closed? Review

Last week, I think it was last week, there was a special on television (I think it was History channel, but I can't swear to it) about DB Cooper. For those of you who are unfamiliar with him, in the late 60s or early 70s, he hijacked a Northwest Airlines airplane and parachuted out somewhere over either Washington or Oregon. He's never been caught.

The first thing I'll mention is that this show was in two parts, each 2 hours long, so we're talking 4 hours here. FOUR! But I was hopeful because one of the "stars" of the show was Tom Fuentes, who is the former assistant director of the FBI. I also have a big interest in the DB Cooper thing because I worked for Northwest Airlines until the merger with Delta. I'd seen other shows before where they kind of came up with a prime suspect and ran him through a logic test. This is not what this show did.

This special looked at a few people very briefly. Many of them were dead and Fuentes and his reporter sidekick, Billy Jensen listened to stories told by people who knew them. Afterward they'd make comments on how credible they thought the potential suspect was.

So far it was okay. Even though I was exhausted and really needed to go to bed, I decided to stay up for part 2, which ended at 11pm. Gah! It was a terrible decision on my part.

One of the things this show did was rehash everything that had been covered earlier in the show after each of the many, many commercial interruptions. This was hugely annoying. Even a person with a horrible memory should be able to remember for the length of a few minutes. This is like two demerits right here.

The show also could have been done in two hours easily. If they'd cut out all the rehashing and had stayed focused, it all would have been over much more quickly even with two million ads. This is another demerit.

While Fuentes and Jensen were supposed to be the duo doing the investigation, most of the show was taken up by two reporters who had done their own four-year investigation into the DB Cooper thing and the show was basically the pair of them telling Fuentes and Jensen what they'd discovered. This kind of felt like a bait and switch thing. Some reporters can do excellent investigative work, but I was watching because I thought a former FBI guy would be doing the investigation part. Another check in the negative column.

Fuentes and Jensen then go to the FBI office and basically the suspect that the two reporters had presented was shot down--without really telling why the FBI had ruled out this guy. Major fail.

At the end of the show, I'd learned exactly nothing and I ended up feeling pissed off that I'd stayed up that late without any reward. So my review is to give this thing a pass and spend your time reading a book. Maybe one of mine. :-)