610 Old Soldiers

That’s D.B. Cooper money …

Summary: A foiled armored car heist turns up money from an infamous old robbery case.

Original air date: December 4, 2009 (US)

Written by: Steve Cohen

Directed by: Ken Sanzel

Opening numbers:

  • 9800: Feet in the Air
  • 28: Square Miles
  • 50,000: Bills
  • 38: Years

Family Concepts: (character development)

  • Roger Bloom worked the D.B. Cooper case in 1971
  • Colby does not have a library card
  • Amita drives a red Volkswagen Bug license number 6BFX346
  • Kenny Caldwell was a friend of Don’s growing up
  • Charlie had a rock tumbler as a child and made all of Alan’s Father’s Day gifts with it

Episode Quotes:

  • David: Are you saying we’re here on a hunch?
    Charlie: I wouldn’t call it a hunch …
    Amita: (whispers): Induction
    Charlie: It’s an induction.
  • David: They have internet service in the mountain, right?
    Colby: I’m gonna take you camping if only for entertainment value.

Episode Synopsis:

The FBI is investigating a case involving the Federal Reserve similar to the Charm School Boys seen in the Episode Uncertainty Principle.  When the robbery goes down at the location Charlie specified, the team is surprised to discover some of the money recovered is from the D.B.Cooper case dating back to 1971. When pulling information about the original investigation, the name Roger Bloom pops up as one of the investigating agents.

Colby goes to talk to Roger and finds out the FBI and the airline in 1971, severely downplayed the amount of money Cooper got away with; it wasn’t $200,000, it was more like $1million.  Bloom also says the  body of Eddie Sawyer was recovered from the area Cooper was thought to have landed, however he was stabbed to death, the jump from the plane wasn’t what killed him.  Charlie suggests the math used in 1971 to estimate where Cooper would have landed was not very good and he and Roger try to recalculate where a possible landing zone would be and if Cooper could have survived after all.

The only person the FBI is unable to talk to regarding the armored car robbery right way is the driver of the armored car that was held up, Wesley Till.  He’d been given some time off to recover.  David and Nikki go to his house only to discover a body.  David however makes an even more surprising discovery when he finds another $61,000 hidden behind a wall.  Ray Till is visiting his nephew, Wesley and identifies the body found as that of Wesley Till.

Don discovers there really isn’t much opportunity to steal money once someone is in the Federal Reserve building.  Everything is covered by cameras and the armored car driver is searched and his personal cash counted before and after he leaves.  However, looking at the amounts Wesley would carry when he was driving indicate he was able to launder a large amount over time.  They also find evidence Till didn’t keep the money, he wired it to a flower shop belonging to Tina Tran.  Tina had no information on who had sent $60,000 to her shop and even tried to return it, however the bank involved refused to give her any information.

Nikki interviews Uncle Ray and has a theory that Ray Till might be D.B. Cooper. He had the experience from his tour in Vietnam for parachuting and there had to be some explanation as to where Wesley was getting the D.B.Cooper bills to launder.  Roger Bloom also talks to Ray about his service during the war in Vietnam.  Till refused to participate in the cover up of a US bombing of a Vietnamese village, and as a result he is dismissed the service on a medical discharge.  Bloom also points out Ray trained Eddie Sawyer and they were in the same unit.

David and Colby follow Uncle Ray to a local library where Ray is looking at old newspapers.  When he leaves the library they then follow him to a private club owned by Teddy Antell, a local crime boss.  Minutes later they hear gunshots and on entering the bar they find the body of Guy Russo on the floor and Ray Till drinking at the bar.

Searching Russo’s car, the FBI finds papers and blood matching Wesley Till.  Ray also states Russo shot at him first, a story the bartender confirms.  Roger suggests letting Ray go as a way to find out what he does next and David and Colby go to see Teddy Antell.  The FBI is sure Russo was contracted to kill Wesley by Antell and David and Colby give the crime boss a friendly warning not to do the same thing to Ray.

Charlie still can’t figure out while Cooper would have made such a dangerous plane jump carrying money Cooper had to know was marked.  What was the reward for taking such a risk?  Charlie eventually realizes while the money could be traced here in the US, other countries may not be so vigilant, thus reducing the potential risk. The risk would also be worth it if there was some sort of personal reason for taking the chance.

Nikki goes to Tina to try and get more information on who her father was and finds out Tina was born in the same village Ray Till’s unit attacked.  Her mother refused to talk about her father, though an American did come to their village and paid for both of them to escape to the US. While Nikki is passing this information on to Colby outside, Tina is kidnapped by Teddy Antell. Following up on the newspapers Till was reading in the library David suspects Tina is Ray’s daughter.  They also discover Teddy Antell is the son of Eddie Sawyer and Teddy has kidnapped Tina for revenge against Ray.

Roger figures out the meeting between Ray and Teddy will be at teh local library Ray has been visiting.  The FBI is there in time to hear Ray talking to Teddy and explaining the events from 1971: the idea for the heist was Eddie’s and Eddie was planning to kill Ray once they were both safe so Ray killed Eddie.  Ray also explains he’s been cleaning up after Eddie for years and that the woman Teddy is holding hostage isn’t Ray’s daughter, but Teddy half-sister.  Tina’s father was Eddie Sawyer. At that point the FBI moves in to arrest Teddy, and David suggests to Roger that Bloom has solved one of the most famous unsolved cases in the history of the FBI.  Roger suggests to Ray that he come in the next day to talk to teh FBI and David is shocked; Roger is in essence letting Till escape.  Roger simply explains there’s no way D.B. Cooper could have survived jumping from the plane in 1971 and watches as Till walks away.