Murder of Sir Jack Drummond

The investigation

The investigation started straight away, the unknown fingerprints were taken from all the parts of the plane or parachutes that Cooper might have touched, many people were questions, including D.B. Cooper, resident of the area (in case the hijacker would use his real name). Due to mistake from one of the investigators instead of alias used as hijacker (Dan Cooper) media were given the alias D.B. Cooper (of other man) which remained as the name for the case and the hijacker.

According to the investigators Cooper jumped out of the plane over Washington and straight away they started the search of the area where he could have landed, but due to misunderstanding they were given wrong coordinates (of place according to planned route and not real one which was affected by the rainstorm). The later conclusion was that he landed somewhere near Washougal River in south-western Washington, which is large area of the mountainous wilderness.

Intensive search of the area provided no traces of Cooper nor anything he had with him (parachute or money). In February 1980 an 8-year-old boy named Brian Ingram, uncovered three packets of the ransom cash, significantly disintegrated but still bundled in rubber bands, as he raked the sandy riverbank of Columbia River. FBI technicians confirmed that the money was indeed a portion of the ransom - two packets of 100 bills each and a third packet of 90, all arranged in the same order as when given to Cooper.

To this day this is the only material evidence of hijacking. Dan Cooper was never found nor identified.

The investigation

Police could not find much evidence that would give them any leads to follow. They could not find any sign of robbery as a motive, no signs of sexual motives, no clues that would lead to anyone who would have any reason to kill the complete strangers.

Gaston Dominici said that he has covered Jack Drummond’s body with sleeping bag after returning from attending his goats. Police did ask him questions, but Gaston was acting gruff and was not cooperative, which gathered the attention of the officers. Local farmers were usually armed with simple shotguns, most of them during the war were active in Resistance and kept the weapons dropped by Allies, so there were a lot of guns in the area. Gaston Dominici was member of Resistance and did have a gun, but M1 carbine was American rifle, widely used by their army during the war, and they were never dropped as Resistance support (usually British Sten guns were dropped in France).

Police did take a good look at Gaston Dominici and his family, they admitted to hear the shots, but stated they did not know anything about it and never even had any direct contact with the Drummonds at any time. Gustave told police he came found little Elizabeth’s body first. But later a neighbour claimed that Gustave told him Elizabeth was still alive when he stumbled on the crime scene. Gaston’s nephew said he had seen Ann and Elizabeth call at the farm the previous evening asking to fill a water bucket.

Being under pressure from the superiors and British officials to solve the case as quickly as possible police conducted further investigation into involvement of Dominicis in the murder.

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