Slaying of Woodinville man who packed D.B. Cooper's parachutes remains a mystery


WOODINVILLE, Wash. - King County Sheriff’s Detectives are asking for the public’s help in the investigation of a Woodinville man who was found slain in his home on Friday.

Earl Cossey, 71, was found dead in his home around 5:30 p.m. by family members who went to check on him when they had not been able to reach him for a few days.

Family members last saw him alive late Monday on April 22.

Cossey, a former skydiving instructor, played a bit part in one of the Northwest's most enduring mysteries.

Cossey packed the parachutes used by infamous airplane hijacker D.B. Cooper more than four decades ago.

On Nov. 24, 1971, a man calling himself Dan Cooper -- later mistakenly identified as D.B. Cooper -- hijacked a Northwest Orient plane from Portland, Ore., to Seattle. At Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, he released the passengers in exchange for $200,000 and four parachutes, and he asked to be flown to Mexico.

 Somewhere near the Oregon line, Cooper leapt out of the plane. Despite intensive searches, no sign of Cooper ever emerged.

  Investigators doubt he survived and have never been able to determine his true identity. But a boy digging on a Columbia River beach in 1980 found three bundles of weathered $20 bills - Cooper's cash, according to the serial numbers.

The parachutes provided to the skyjacker came from an Issaquah skydive center which had recently purchased them from Cossey.

  Detectives are asking anyone who had contact with Cossey from Monday, the 22nd,  to Friday the 26th,  or knows who he associated with, to call the King County Sheriff’s Office at 206-296-3311. This line is open 24 hours a day.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest in this crime.  In order to receive the reward you must call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).