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Season One: Coming 9/29/20

Death in the West

Release Date: 09/07/2020

Episode 4: The Cooper Vortex show art Episode 4: The Cooper Vortex

Death in the West

More than fifty years after his legendary crime, people still gather--online and in person--to puzzle over the identity of the mysterious skyjacker who came to be known as D.B. Cooper. In episode four, Death in the West goes on location to Portland, Ore., for CooperCon, the annual summit of the subculture's most prominent voices, characters and scholars, to rub elbows with the people of the so-called "D.B. Cooper Vortex." What is it about this unsolved caper that still resonates? And how does it fit into the larger outlaw mythology of the west?

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Episode 3: A Half Million Dollars in Cash show art Episode 3: A Half Million Dollars in Cash

Death in the West

On episode three, after dodging searchlights and slipping through roadblocks, Richard McCoy makes it home, where he and Karen face a brand new problem: where to hide the cash from the skyjacking of United Flight 855? Elsewhere, Richard's plan begins to unravel. His friends are asking questions. The FBI is snooping around. Will the story of McCoy's crime ultimately end with him spending the rest of his life in federal prison? Not if he can help it. 

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Episode 2: Death is My Postage show art Episode 2: Death is My Postage

Death in the West

In episode two, Richard McCoy caps his audacious skyjacking plan by parachuting from the rear stairs of United Flight 855--but the jump does not go as planned. We also trace McCoy's journey back to his two tours of duty in Vietnam and examine the myriad ways flight revolutionized the lives of everyday Americans.

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Episode 1: The Taking of United Flight 855 show art Episode 1: The Taking of United Flight 855

Death in the West

In episode one, we meet Richard Floyd McCoy Jr., a Mormon Sunday school teacher and Vietnam veteran who friends said had become obsessed with skyjacking and D.B. Cooper in the months after Cooper's famous crime, committed during Thanksgiving weekend, 1971. By April 1972, McCoy's fascination led him to his own skyjacking--a caper that bore striking resemblances to what Cooper had pulled off, but had a very different outcome.

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DB Cooper 50th Anniversary Episode show art DB Cooper 50th Anniversary Episode

Death in the West

Before season two kicks off in earnest on 1/4/22, here's a quick primer into the legendary case that will be part of our focus during the upcoming series. Fifty years ago this week, on 11/24/1971, a man calling himself "Dan Cooper" hijacked a Northwest Orient flight from Seattle, Wash. to Portland, Ore. and demanded a $200,000 ransom. What happened next made the mystery man--who would be remembered as "DB Cooper"--an iconic figure in the outlaw history of the west: he jumped.

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Season Two Trailer show art Season Two Trailer

Death in the West

Season two of Death in the West officially begins 1/4/22, but we have a special episode marking the 50th anniversary of DB Cooper's legendary skyjacking coming on 11/23/21. Stay tuned, as we trade our whiskey tumblers and hardboiler mining hats for martini glasses and platform shoes. It's going to be a ride.

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The Great French Copper Scheme show art The Great French Copper Scheme

Death in the West

In this bonus episode to Season One, we plunge into one of the most audacious financial schemes of all timeā€”an international plot to seize control of the copper market that linked the fate of Butte, Montana to the wiles of a mysterious Frenchman.

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Season One Roundtable show art Season One Roundtable

Death in the West

The Death in the West team meets to debrief and answer some questions from listeners following the end of season one. What did we learn? What surprised us most about making the first season? Why do we think the story of Frank Little persists more than 100 years after his death?

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Episode 10: Butte/America show art Episode 10: Butte/America

Death in the West

In the final episode of season one, we examine Frank Little's legacy a century after his death and hear the theories of his murder from leading experts. Plus, one final trip to Butte, Montana, as locals grapple with the mining town's past, present and future.

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Episode 9: Why Copper is Red show art Episode 9: Why Copper is Red

Death in the West

In episode nine, after two years interviewing experts and sifting through the evidence, we present our best theory of who killed Frank Little. We also spend some quality time with the rogues' gallery of crooked cops, seedy businessmen, company gunmen, corporate lawyers and patriotic vigilantes who've been linked to the murder over the years.

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More Episodes

After two years of interviewing the people closest to the case, visiting the sites and sifting through the archives, season one of Death In The West is (almost) ready. We're excited to announce episodes will start hitting the airwaves on Sept. 29, 2020. Time to subscribe to the show at iTunes, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.