Havonnah Johnson, News 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- A local woman claims she is the niece of the hijacker who jumped from a jetliner with $200,000 in 1971. It is believed to be the only unsolved hijacking case in United States aviation history. Marla Cooper says she is the person who is working with the FBI to solve the 40-year-old cold case.
The days leading up to Thanksgiving Eve, 1971, were like a big game for then eight-year-old Marla Cooper. "I was skipping and jumping and happy because I didn't really understand. All I heard was we are rich. I was eight years old we were extremely poor," she said.
Cooper claims her uncles were masterminding what they thought was the perfect crime, hijacking a plane by claiming to have a bomb then demanding money.
"The two of them were hung over, intoxicated. I think they were quickly sobering up," Cooper said.
Cooper says her uncle, war veteran L.D., or Lynn Doyle, Cooper jumped from 10,000 feet to his escape. Now at 48, she has provided the FBI with evidence that her uncle was the man who allegedly hijacked the plane and made off with $200,000. He left only a trace of $20 bills. Cooper told News 9 the cash came with misery.
"My father was crying. He was yelling and he was cussing out my uncle, well both of them for what they had done. He said 'You realize you have ruined your life,'" she said.
While the FBI investigated some 800 suspects, Marla says her uncle went into hiding. She claims her father and uncles have since died, so as therapy she's writing a book to say the things she never was able to say to them. "It's hard to put into words 'I missed you.' I would say that," Cooper said, her eyes brimming with tears.
She is working with publishers to get the book on stands on the 40th anniversary of the crime- which is this Thanksgiving Day 2011.