There are few unsolved mysteries as interesting, hard to believe, or hard to forget as the tale of D.B. Cooper, a nondescript man who became a modern day urban legend in November 1971 when he held a plane ransom before parachuting out mid-flight with a briefcase full of cash. Cooper has never been found, but there have been countless true crime documentaries released over the years looking into the fateful flight and the man behind the presumed fake identity, including the 2022 Netflix series, D.B. Cooper: Where Are You?!.
If you have watched the four-part docuseries about the myth and the man believed to be behind the legend and want to check out more titles that tackled the remarkable story, you are in good luck because we’ve put together a rather comprehensive list of impressive documentaries, docuseries, and other specials detailing Cooper’s crimes and legacy…
The Mystery Of D.B. Cooper (HBO Max)
The 2020 HBO documentary, The Mystery of D.B. Cooper, details the infamous 1971 hijacking through a series of interviews with several passengers and crew aboard the plane, as well as those with various people convinced they know the true identity of the man in the suit.
If you liked the way D.B. Cooper: Where Are You?! handled the investigation into Richard Rackstraw and want to see more of the other suspects or names tied to the mystery, then this 87-minute documentary is going to be right up your alley.
Stream The Mystery of D.B. Cooper on HBO Max. (opens in new tab)
D.B. Cooper: Case Closed? (Amazon Purchase)
The 2016 History Channel documentary series, D.B. Cooper: Case Closed?, follows crime writer Billy Jensen and former FBI Assistant Director Tom Fuentes as they try to get to the bottom of the decades-long mystery through unprecedented research and extensive interviews with those associated with the crime.
A good chunk of footage shown in D.B. Cooper: Where Are You?! comes from the 2016 History Channel special, specifically that captured by Thomas J. Colbert in his investigation into Richard Rackstraw. If you want to see the finished product through a different perspective than that of Colbert’s, this is your best bet.
Buy D.B. Cooper: Case Closed? on Amazon. (opens in new tab)
I’ll Be Gone In The Dark (HBO Max)
One of the best documentaries of 2020, the HBO original, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, examines the life and crimes of the Golden State Killer as well as the tireless crusade by Michelle McNamara, the late true crime writer who dedicated her final years to bringing the notorious criminal to justice.
Although I’ll Be Gone in the Dark deals with a completely different crime, it does share some similarities with D.B. Cooper: Where Are You?!. Both series center on investigators who would stop at nothing to solve a cold case, even if it meant sacrificing everything.
The Most Dangerous Animal Of All (Hulu)
Released in 2020, the four-part FX docuseries, The Most Dangerous Animal of All, follows writer Gary L. Stewart as he sets out to find his biological father, only to discover the man could very well be the Zodiac killer.
Much like D.B. Cooper: Where Are You?!, this series dives head-first into one of the biggest unsolved cases of the second half of the 20th Century, two cases that continue to capture the attention and imaginations of countless investigators and true crime writers decades later.
The Sons Of Sam: A Descent Into Darkness (Netflix)
In 1978, David Berkowitz pleaded guilty to a series of homicides and other attacks known as the Son of Sam killings in New York City that brought the Big Apple to its knees between July 1976 and July 1977. One investigative journalist by the name of Maury Tenny, however, didn’t buy the official story and was convinced Berkowitz didn’t act alone.
The 2021 Netflix documentary series, The Sons of Sam: A Descent into Darkness, explores the late crime writer’s theories and investigations into the multiple suspects authorities failed to fully vet while also attempting to prove that there was no way one man could have pulled off all the killings.
Stream Sons of Sam: A Descent into Darkness on Netflix. (opens in new tab)
The Strange Disappearance Of D.B. Cooper (Buzzfeed Unsolved Network – YouTube)
Before branching out on their own with Watcher Entertainment, Ryan Bergara and Shane Madej made names for themselves with the Buzzfeed Unsolved Network YouTube series, Unsolved, which saw them investigate both true crime and paranormal stories. One of these episodes “The Strange Disappearance of D.B. Cooper” dives into the mysterious criminal while also shedding light on some of the biggest theories.
Like most of the Unsolved episodes, “The Strange Disappearance of D.B. Cooper” finds the perfect balance of humor and history in a brief video that is incredibly informative. If you want a more lighthearted and simplified approach to the story, this is the way to go.
Undercurrent: The Disappearance of Kim Wall (HBO Max)
On August 10, 2017, Swedish freelance journalist Kim Wall boarded a small submarine owned by Peter Madsen to conduct an interview with the Danish entrepreneur but she would never be seen again. The two-part 2022 HBO documentary Undercurrent: The Disappearance of Kim Wall tackles the disappearance and the criminal case that followed in its wake.
Although Undercurrent: The Disappearance of Kim Wall has more of a conclusion that D.B. Cooper: Where Are You?!, this incredible documentary does have some things in common, including dealing with missing persons and a media circus.
Stream Undercurrent: The Disappearance of Kim Wall on HBO Max. (opens in new tab)
Unsolved Mysteries (Netflix)
The original Unsolved Mysteries documentary series featured some truly bizarre cases (including that of D.B. Cooper), and the 2020 revival on Netflix has followed in its footsteps but with a little more nuanced approach and a lack of a host (R.I.P. Robert Stack).
If you were a fan of the original series and D.B. Cooper: Where Are You?!, the two-volume collection (with more on the way) has all the trappings of a great binge-worthy show, especially for those true crime and paranormal enthusiasts with a Netflix subscription.
Stream Unsolved Mysteries on Netflix. (opens in new tab)
Tickled (HBO Max)
After reading about the world of competitive tickling, New Zealand reporter David Farrier finds himself covering what could very well be the most bizarre and unsettling story of his career. What starts out as a fun and quirky adventure into a strange subculture quickly devolves into something more sinister when he uncovers the players behind the scenes in Tickled.
If you were a fan of the journalistic approach to the story in D.B. Cooper: Where Are You?!, then you’ll feel right at home with Tickled. But beware, this documentary (which is best when you go in as blind as possible) is truly something else.
Don't F**K With Cats: Hunting An Internet Killer (Netflix)
What starts out as a collaborative effort by a group of amateur internet sleuths to track down the man behind a series of videos depicting the torture of cats unfolds into an international search for a sadistic murderer in the 2019 Netflix documentary series, Don’t F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer.
Although much more traumatizing than anything covered in D.B. Cooper: Where Are You?!, this multi-part documentary does have some things that will intrigue fans of the hijacker’s story. One aspect in particular is the focus on the internet sleuths who banded together to find and bring the killer to justice.
Stream Don’t F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer on Netflix. (opens in new tab)
The Disappearance Of Natalee Holloway (Peacock)
Eight years after 18-year-old Natalee Holloway was reported missing on the island of Aruba and became one of the biggest news stories of 2005, her father’s journey to find out what happened to his daughter was turned into a six-episode investigative series that showed him return to where she was last seen.
The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway, which originally aired on Oxygen in 2014, features an incredibly detailed investigation into the disappearance that is insightful, to say the least, and shows the lengths some will go in order to get closure.
Stream The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway on Peacock. (opens in new tab)
Buy The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway on Amazon. (opens in new tab)
The Pursuit Of D.B. Cooper (Tubi)
Loosely based on the 1971 hijacking that has since become one of the greatest urban legends of modern times, the 1981 crime thriller, The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper, sees Treat Williams portray the notorious criminal as he escapes with $200,000 cash and becomes the target of Bill Gruen (Robert Duvall), an insurance investigator who needs to take back the loot.
The movie is brought up a handful of times throughout D.B. Cooper: Where Are You?!, and although it takes some major liberties with the real-life story, the comedic approach of the film makes the adventure all the more fun.
Each of these titles have at least one thing in common with D.B. Cooper: Where Are You?!, and hopefully a few catch your attention. If you want even more of these types of stories, there are a ton of other great true crime documentaries on Netflix worth a watch.
Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.
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