GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., July 23, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- All eyes were glued to the movie screen for three hours on Saturday, July 14, as a sold-out crowd watched the world premiere of the documentary, 'D.B. Cooper: The Real Story' at the Putnam Centennial Center in Cle Elum, Washington. D. B. Cooper, now known as Walter Reca, is the infamous skyjacker who boarded a Boeing 727 in Portland bound for Sea-Tac airport in Seattle on Thanksgiving Eve, 1971.
The groundbreaking documentary presented compelling evidence, including: the official drop zone in Cle Elum, Washington; a witness who saw D.B. Cooper less than an hour after he parachuted and landed near Cle Elum; and the conclusion of the investigation of 84-year-old Carl Laurin, who spent the better part of two decades proving that his best friend, Walter Reca, was D.B. Cooper. Laurin's evidence includes more than three hours of taped conversations that were interspersed throughout the documentary.
Proceeds from the premiere benefited local firefighters. They stood for the entire three hours, and most joined the audience in wiping tears from their eyes as the documentary concluded (spoiler alert).
According to premiere viewers, the most compelling evidence is the 2008/2009 taped conversation where Reca describes his very dark and rainy walk to a Cle Elum café, post-jump. During that walk, Reca was passed by a gentleman who was driving a dump truck and wearing cowboy attire. Reca later met that same man inside the Teanaway Junction Café and asked him to provide his friend directions via phone, so he could be picked up.
Years later, Laurin, a retired commercial airline pilot and parachutist, identified the correct flight path and Cle Elum as the drop zone. In 2012, he flew to Cle Elum in search of 'Cowboy,' now known as local resident, Jeff Osiadacz, who independently shared his story with Laurin. According to Forensic Linguist, Joe Koenig, it matched perfectly to the story previously shared by Reca. This, along with plenty of other evidence, convinced the investigative team at Principia Media, a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based publishing company, that the drop zone was Cle Elum, Washington – and that Reca was D.B. Cooper.
The daylong event continued with a Q&A panel, which addressed questions submitted by premiere attendees. The panel included:
- Vern Jones, documentary producer and CEO of Principia Media
- Dirk Wierenga, filmmaker at Principia Media
- Carl Laurin, Reca's best friend and author of the memoir, D.B. Cooper & Me: A Criminal, A Spy, My Best Friend
- Jeff Osiadacz, Cle Elum resident and eye witness
- Lisa Story, Reca's niece to whom he confessed
Jones and his Principia Media team spent the better part of two years corroborating the evidence put forth by Laurin,and working with Koenig to verify that the conversations between Reca and Laurin were based in truth. With such in-depth knowledge of the case, attendees were treated to very detailed responses to their questions.
The event also included a book signing by Laurin, a silent auction, and a dinner. Physical evidence was also on-hand for attendees to view. The evening concluded with the popular local band, Rusty Cage, who debuted 'Man and the Money,' a song about D.B. Cooper, with lyrics written by Jeff Osiadacz, based on his encounter with Reca, and music composed by his son Darian. The performance received a standing ovation.
"D.B. Cooper has long been part of the folklore of the Pacific Northwest. In fact, we shot more than 200 hours of film for this project over a two-year period, including several scenes in Cle Elum," noted Wierenga.
"We were thrilled with the enthusiastic response by the attendees," said Jones. "We enjoyed sharing the evidence that suggests a different story from the one told by the FBI regarding D.B. Cooper's flight path, background, landing zone, and eventual fate. We are looking forward to hearing what the public thinks, now that the documentary is available for viewing."
Documentary Available for Streaming
'D.B. Cooper: The Real Story,' a four-part documentary series, is available on iTunes, Amazon Prime and Google Play. Each episode can be purchased separately ($2.99 per episode), or in its entirety at $10.99. The documentary is also available in Canada, England, and Australia. DVDs will be available in the near future.
About Principia Media:
Principia Media is an independent publishing and documentary film company based in Grand Rapids, MI. With a focus on storytelling, they balance professional production and marketing skills with intimate client relationships. Their capabilities include publishing fiction and nonfiction and investigative storytelling through feature-length documentaries. To learn more about Principia Media, please visit www.principiamedia.com.
Diane M. Jones
SOURCE Principia Media