by Bruce A. Smith
The murder of Earl Jay Cossey, aged 71, has been confirmed today by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.
They also announced that the cause of death was blunt force to the head, and that the murder occurred on Tuesday, April 23, several days before the body was found by Cossey’s daughter on Friday, April 26. Police say that Cossey last had contact with his family on Monday, April 22, when he went to a movie with a family member.
Mr. Cossey was the de facto technical expert for the FBI in the DB Cooper case on the matter of the parachutes used by the skyjacker, having packed the four chutes that were delivered to the skyjacker as part of a ransom deal.
In addition, Cossey became an outspoken proponent of the claim that DB Cooper chose an inferior parachute, thus proving himself to be an unskilled skydiver who most likely died during his getaway.
This analysis was incorporated into an emerging FBI narrative that shifted from the initial view that Cooper was a “master criminal” who beat the system, to an inept fool who panicked and was unable to pull his rip cord.
Cossey also said that he was the owner of the back chutes, a claim that has come under increasing disbelief as federal documents have come to light revealing that the parachutes were owned and delivered to Sea-Tac airport by a Kent pilot named Norman Hayden.
Further, scrutiny of Mr. Cossey’s analysis of the survivability of the Cooper jump and the parachutes used has also come into question as other experts in the field refute Cossey’s findings.
Sergeant Cindi West, the PIO for the King County Sheriff’s Department, addressed the issue of whether the murder of Mr. Cossey is being linked to the DB Cooper investigation, and said that she had discussed the matter with the FBI.
“I have had many calls asking if this case is related to the DB Cooper case,” she told the Mountain News today. “We have NO information that leads us to believe that this case has any relation to the Cooper case,’” Sgt West emailed the Mountain News.
In addition, Sgt West declined to comment on what kind of tool or instrument caused Cossey’s death.
“We’re not releasing that kind of information at this time,” she said.
© 2013 Bruce A. Smith
Mr. Earl J. Cossey. Our condolences to his family and many friends. Picture courtesy of the KCSD.