No Funny Stuff

::FOI Request::
Audio Excerpt:
FBI Interview 8/11/2016
Personnel: S.Agt. Clinton F. Ratajkowski
Interview Subject: {REDACTED}

{Subject} …He never said anything about skydiving.

{FBI Ratajkowski} Did you two plan it?

{Subject} Yeah. It was almost like clockwork. When we met we talked about going away to some warmer climate. You know, a fruity drink and a hut on the beach. I was okay with the prospect of stealing some dough — God knows the airlines have enough and they aren’t paying me shit. But jumping from a plane. No thanks.

{Unintelligible}

{Subject} Danny had this nebbishy look but could be a real charmer. His mind was sharp and he had a decent job. But he didn’t make much money and we both knew my stewardess job wasn’t going to pay the bills for both of us.

Back then it wasn’t much of a flying holiday, not like now. We’d both be on a flight leaving Portland right about Thanksgiving weekend. The airplane would be nearly empty and nobody expects a skyjacking in Portland.

It was a good plan — tell the airline he had a bomb, show it to a couple of us and pass a note to the pilots that he wanted $200,000.

{FBI Ratajkowski} Can you walk me through the day?

{Unintelligible}

{Subject} When he got on board I could see he was nervous so I got him a bourbon and soda. That seemed to calm him a bit. Then he was supposed to show the bomb to one of the other girls. I helped him pick who — that blond bimbo who couldn’t tell a couple of painted paper towel tubes from dynamite. The wires and clock parts were a good idea to make it look real but I added the finishing touch. After maybe one too many gangster movies in our hotel room I told him to say “No funny stuff”. That would surely get them all to stop being the hens I knew they were.

A couple of notes and the well-mannered crew were all it took back then. Long before 9/11 and Air Marshalls.

Anyway, like I said, a Swiss watch. You know, everything worked perfect except the part where he decided we should jump out of the plane to escape. We had planned on going out the tail section, you know the stairwell air exit? We had planned going out that way.

{FBI Ratajkowski} I read that they couldn’t take off with that open.

{Subject} That was the problem. We had practiced jumping while the plane was in motion. The parachutes were just a decoy. But they couldn’t take off with it open the whole plan was bust. We were cooked. He tried to get me to jump out with the parachutes but I just couldn’t.

{FBI Ratajkowski} So, do you know what happened to Mr. Cooper?

{Subject} Danny was always pretty resourceful. I’m sure he made it. I hope he’s got great grandchildren and is living the life somewhere in the Caribbean.

I wish it had all turned a bit different, though. You know, I haven’t thought about Danny in a long while but I keep thinking about the Rolling Stones song.

{FBI Ratajkowski} Which Rolling Stones song?

{Subject} “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”

{Unintelligible}

{Subject} Sometimes life works like that, I guess.


Read more about the citizen search for DB Cooper.

Week 22 of 52 Week Writing Challenge | Music to write by: 7–29–04 The Day Of by David Holmes


J. Curtis is writer and product developer living in the East Bay. He’s always hatching another story idea and balancing a dozen interesting projects at work and home.

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