A history and true-crime podcast dedicated to the American West’s strange crimes and historically resonant intrigues.
Episode 1: The Taking of United Flight 855
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.
Episode 2: Death is My Postage
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.
Episode 3: A Half Million Dollars in Cash
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.
Episode 4: The Cooper Vortex
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?
Episode 5: Nothing Ever Happens in Happy Valley
On episode 5, we trace what we can of Richard McCoy’s early life, from his rebellious childhood in North Carolina to his time as a restless but involved student at Brigham Young University. Death in the West co-producer Erika Fredrickson travels to present-day Provo, Utah to explore the town where McCoy planned and executed his skyjacking. Meanwhile, back in the 1970s, Richard makes a daring escape from federal prison.
Season Two Trailer
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.
A Must Liaten
I’ve listened to countless, really good podcasts through the years but have never left a review until this one. I rate but not good at writing and don’t review. This podcast was so well done and Frank Little is so worth knowing, had to write. Job well done.
Just turn it on, sit back and “watch”. It’s an amazing podcast.
Recommend to all my friends
Such great history & storytelling! I've listened to each episode twice, driven or walked the streets of Butte to place myself in its history. This is the story of us as a nation. It just happens to center itself in a fascinating, hardscrabble town.