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Vancouver D.B. Cooper expert has doubts about new theory

A man claiming to be the best friend of the infamous plane hijacker D.B. Cooper released audio recordings and other evidence that he says proves Cooper’s real identity, Walter R. Reca. (CREDIT: FBI)

A new theory on the identity of the infamous D.B. Cooper emerged Thursday.

A Michigan man claims his friend, Walter R. Reca, was the infamous hijacker. Carl Laurin is the author of a new book, 'D.B. Cooper & Me: A Criminal, A Spy, My Best Friend." Laurin claims Reca admitted his role in the 1971 hijacking in a series of voice recordings.

But at least one local D.B. Cooper enthusiast is expressing doubt.

"It kind of feels like maybe somebody's trying to sell a book and there's so many people out there that have claimed to be D.B. Cooper -- I just need some hard evidence," said Rob Bertrand, owner of NW Escape Experience in Vancouver.

One of Bertrand's featured escape rooms has a D.B. Cooper theme.

"It's an escape room based on the D.B. Cooper legend," said Bertrand. "It's a live-action game where you get to search the environment, find clues that lead you to puzzles, solve those puzzles, and hopefully you can deactivate D.B. Cooper's briefcase bomb before it goes off."

Bertrand created the room because of his own obsession with the case. He has meticulously researched the story over the years. He believes his escape room educates younger people who may not know about the case.

"Not only are we entertaining people," he said. "We're actually educating people too and keeping the story alive."

Bertrand says he will research this new theory and decide whether he believes it.

"I really hope the case is solved," he said. "I hope this is it, I hope this is the guy, but until I see the evidence, I have other thoughts."

Bertrand believes the real D.B. Cooper is a man named Kenneth Christiansen, one of the many suspects linked to the crime in the past.

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