Richard McCoy Jr. talked about hijacking a plane like D.B. Cooper with his friends but he wasn’t the only one. The most well-known high-altitude highwayman was a cool-headed individual going by the name of D.B. Cooper, who, in November 1971, hijacked a Northwest Airlines 727 bound for Seattle.
Cooper demanded a $200,000 ransom, took four parachutes, calmly bailed out as the plane continued toward Reno, and was never apprehended. He, who is immortalized in songs and sweatshirts, has spawned nearly a dozen copycats, all of whom have failed.
However, a new wave of plane thefts appeared related to Richard Floyd McCoy Jr’s who came the closest to success since the Cooper caper. McCoy is 29 years old.
Meet Richard McCoy Jr, One Of The DB Cooper Suspects
With a hand grenade, a revolver, and prewritten instructions for the pilot, Richard McCoy Jr. had no trouble taking control of the United Airlines, Denver-Los Angeles 727 to San Francisco. Richard was listed on the passenger roster as T. Johnson. United provided everything he asked for, including four parachutes, $500,000 in tiny currencies, and fuel to last six hours.
The pilot was then led erratically eastward by McCoy, who eventually executed a parachute landing above Provo, Utah.
Had Richard not effectively used the hijack to hitchhike home, he might have gotten away with it. Close friend and highway patrol officer Robert Van Leperen recalled that McCoy, an eager skydiver, had mentioned stealing a plane in the manner of Cooper. The FBI won’t say how it solved the case, but he might have placed agents on the skyjacker’s trail.
A United passenger recognized Richard from his image, and the FBI determined that the handwriting on his service record matched the ransom note. Less than 48 hours after he took control of the aircraft, authorities captured Richard without a struggle. All but $30 of the ransom were soon recovered during a search of his home and yard.
Richard McCoy Jr Cause Of Death
Richard McCoy Jr. died in a shootout in Virginia. The injuries he endured during an open fire after meeting FBI agents Nick O’Hara, Kevin McPartland, and Gerald Houlihan became the cause of his death.
Richard McCoy Jr Age At The Time Of Death
Richard McCoy Jr. died on 9 November 1974. He was 31 years old at the time of his death.
Who Was Richard McCoy Jr Wife?
Richard McCoy Jr. was married to his wife Karen Louise Burns McCoy at the time of his death. They reportedly married in 1965 in Raleigh. Richard and Karen were parents to two children; Chanti and Richard. After Richard’s death, she married her second husband Donald John Froese in 1991.
In 1992, Karen admitted to helping her husband prepare for the hijack. She bought a parachute, helped him prepare his disguise, typed the instructions he read to the airline pilots, drove him to the Salt Lake International Airport on April 7, 1972, to begin the crime, and knew he took a gun and grenade aboard the plane.
At 3 a.m. the next morning, Karen also drove with her husband to a field near Springville to pick up and hide the $500,000 McCoy extorted during the day-long hijacking that ended when he parachuted over Provo.
Karen was born in June 1945 in Pitcairn, Pennsylvania, and raised in Canton, Ohio. She attended McKinley High School and graduated with honors, she received a scholarship from Brigham Young University, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in political science and history, two of her great passions.
Karen later earned a Masters’s in Social Work from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Utah. She earned both degrees working and raising two children as a single mom in the same year.
Hillcrest High School has Karen as a history teacher. She worked as a clinical social worker with an MA, assisting families with young children with disabilities. Dr. McCoy (also known as “Bones”) was an adjunct professor at the University of Phoenix who taught in the MBA program. She spent 20 years working for the Veterans Administration as a project manager in the Employee Education System, TQI master trainer, and education and research specialist.
Most recently, Karen served as the firm’s director of organizational development and co-founder of BurrCastleXR, a virtual reality startup that specialized in educational possibilities and worked on a project with the UN. She was also a proponent of the Utah Food Bank, Cottonwood Heights Arts Council, League of Women Voters, Assistance League of Salt Lake City, Habitat for Humanity, and many other organizations.
Daughter of Edwin Robert Burns and Mildred Ruth Ament Burns, she died in December 2020 at the age of 75.
Richard McCoy Jr Job
Richard McCoy Jr. was a decorated Vietnam veteran. He had served two hitches in Vietnam as a demolition expert and pilot and won both the Army Commendation Medal and Distinguished Flying Cross. He received the Purple Heart in 1964. Richard taught Mormon Sunday school till March of 1974 and studied law enforcement at BYU.
“All he ever talked about was sin,” recalled one of his students. “He’s a fine man,” insisted his landlord. A classmate at Brigham Young University, where Richard was a senior majoring in law enforcement, called him “an organized-crime freak” who “wanted to make his dent on the world by busting crime syndicates”.
A warrant officer in the Utah National Guard, Richard showed up for a scheduled training stint only hours after parachuting from the United plane in a risky night maneuver.
As reported his dream was to become an FBI or CIA agent.
Richard McCoy Jr Family
Richard Floyd McCoy Sr. (1916–2008) and Myrtle Helen McCoy (1922–2020) are the parents of Richard McCoy. They were first cousins. He was the only child born to his parents. Richar’s mother Myrtle later married Richard Edward “RE” Holland, on July 16, 1973.
Myrtle, daughter of Mark Hebrew McCoy and Willie Franklin Stroud McCoy, was born in Cove City, NC. She attended elementary school and high school in Dover, NC. She went on to graduate from the Durham Institute of Barbering.
Meanwhile, his father Richard Sr. also married Barbara Anne Hudson McCoy in 1970.
Where Was Richard McCoy Jr Born?
Richard McCoy Jr. was born in Kinston, North Carolina.
Where Did Richard McCoy Jr Pass Away?
Richard McCoy Jr. died in Virginia Beach, Virginia.