Wednesday, March 26, 2008

D.B. Cooper's Money

In some of the stories about D.B. Cooper's parachute possibly being found, the extortion money is mentioned. Now the FBI is claiming that none of the $200,000 made it into circulation. Some $5800 was found on the banks of the Columbia River years later.

Why do they think that none of the $200,000 from the 1971 crime never made it into circulation? Well, the FBI believes that Cooper died when he jumped out of the plane. They don't think he even opened the parachute. Of course, this is purely speculation on the FBI's part. Therefore, if D.B. Cooper died, then he didn't spend any of the money.

At the time, several rewards were offered for returning any of the money, and the serial numbers of all the $20 bills were distributed to banks. In his 1985 book, "D.B. Cooper, What Really Happened," Max Gunther wrote:

"Bank people feel in general that their chances of participating in any meaningful way in such rewards are slim. If an alert teller or bookkeeping clerk spots a listed bill, that is typically the first minor step in an investigation. The bill may have changed hands many times since it was originally spent by the criminal being sought. Tracking the bill back to that criminal would involve a long chain of people, most of whom will feel they have a greater claim on the reward than the teller who first spotted the bill. In most cases the biggest share of the reward--if not all of it--goes to the detective or witness who makes the final connections leading to the arrest. The teller, if lucky, gets ten bucks and a letter of official gratitude. More often, the teller gets forgotten."

It's doubtful that any serious attempt was made to spot any of the bills.

Now, Kenneth Christiansen, who was employed by Northwest as a flight attendant, purchased a house with cash about a year after D.B. Cooper carried out his daring crime. Also, his lifestyle was seemingly beyond the means of most Northwest employees.

I recently talked with Bill Rataczak, the co-pilot of Flight 305, the Boeing 727 that Cooper hijacked. He told me that Cooper insisted that the wing flaps be tilted 15 degrees, to slow the plane down. "He knew that airplane," he said. "A flight attendant wouldn't know to do that." I reminded him that Christiansen was a Northwest mechanic before he became a flight attendant. He said that he didn't know that. He also didn't know that Christiansen was a former paratrooper.

The FBI asked Sherlock Investigations to submit DNA evidence from Kenneth Christiansen. We did about nine months ago. It's probably in a box with all the other evidence from the case, in the basement of the FBI office in Seattle.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

D.B. Cooper's Parachute?

We got word today that the FBI in Seattle has had a parachute that a farmer dug up in a field in Clark County, Washington for 3 weeks now. Larry Carr, the Special Agent in charge of the case, said that the FBI is looking for parachute experts to help them determine whether the chute they have belonged to D.B. Cooper.

This is odd, because the FBI should have in their case files all the information they need on the parachute to readily identify it. I've maintained for some time that the FBI is dragging its feet, and some wonder if they really want to solve this case.

If the parachute was the one used by D.B. Cooper, it proves our contention that he survived the jump, something the FBI denies. It still doesn't prove that our suspect, Kenneth Christiansen, was D.B. Cooper, but we're still working on that. The FBI won't even investigate our claim because they think Cooper died when he bailed out of the plane. They think that he didn't even open the parachute. No body, or parachute (until now) was ever found.

The parachute was found exactly where it is believed that D.B. Cooper jumped from the 727 in 1971 with $200,000 in cash. A farmer was building a road through a field and his plow hit the buried shoot.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Private Investigators, Private Investigators, Private Investigators

If you googled private investigators you got 4,270,000 listings! That's a lot of competition. Somewhere not too far down the list you found Sherlock Investigations.

But, if you googled ny private investigators, private investigators in new york, new york private eyes, or any combination thereof, you found that Sherlock Investigations comes up near the top, even though there are a lot of private eyes in New York.

Why is that? For one thing, we've been around since 1995. That should tell you something. From the beginning in 1995, we've been on the Internet. In fact, besides word of mouth, and the occasional publicity in the media, the Internet is the only place we're listed. Once in a while we run ads on Google's Adwords.

However, coming up first in "natural" order is better than an ad appearing when you google a search term.

We've been around for a few years, and intend to be here a few years from now. So, if you need a private investigator to locate someone, run a background investigation, conduct surveillance, or perform a bug sweep, drop us an email at

Also, we welcome unusual investigations, and believe me, we've had them.

People Search

We do a lot of things at Sherlock Investigations. I like to think that what we do, we do well.

It's always so rewarding when we locate a person for a client. About of a third of our business involves finding people. We've located all kinds of people. From deadbeat dads to runaway teens. We've located people in Africa, and even under a bridge in Tucson, Arizona.

We take personal pride in locating people. Generally, we never give up until we find the person. Often, in hours or days we can find someone. In rare instances it takes a year or two. The main thing is that we never give up.

If you've tried Net Detective, or companies using computerized services to locate people, and still haven't found who you're looking for, let Sherlock Investigations handle your locate. We're pleased that you trust us with your business.

Contact Sherlock Investigations by clicking on

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Bug Detectors and Sweeps

I've always been interested in electronics. I found my first bug at 15. Since then I obtained my amateur (ham) radio license, KC2PYP, and even today, I have an amateur radio station in my home.

Formally trained in TSCM (technical surveillance counter measures) I've been doing wiretap and bug sweeps in the New York-metro area for a few years. My clients have ranged from ordinary people to celebrities, politicians, police, lawyers, accountants, hedge fund managers, socialites, and a famous auction house.

One thing that struck me a few years ago is that almost all bugs are found with a visual sweep. At least this is true where there is a fairly low threat. Of course, if the government taps your phone or bugs your office, it's going to be thoroughly professional and top notch. Even I probably couldn't find it, nor would I want to.

Most of my cases involves so-called infidelity cases. Jealous or suspicious spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, tap a phone, or place some bugs where they want to eavesdrop. Some of them do it themselves, others hire unethical P.I.s to do it.

In almost all these cases, the wiretap or bug can be found with a visual inspection, if one knows what to look for. With this realization, I wrote a manual so that people could learn to do it themselves. While it was aimed at my typical client, other P.I.s, who don't know anything about TSCM, could benefit too.

"Locating Wiretaps and Bugs...Without any Special Equipment" is a how-to manual for the do-it-yourselfer. It has about 36 full-color photos and describes in detail what to look for. I'm confident that almost anyone could find most wiretaps and bugs by following the steps in this manual.

Years of experience and knowledge have gone into this manual. In handy PDF form for downloading, it's only $29.95. TSCM work is expensive, but this little instruction booklet could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. To order, just click here.

Now, if you suspect the authorities are tapping your phone or have bugged your office, you need a lawyer, not a manual.

To contact the Technical Division of Sherlock Investigations click on