It's been nearly eight years since author Geoffrey Gray first suggested that former Northwest Airlines employee Kenny Christiansen could have been the perp of the only unsolved skyjacking in U.S. history, in his 2007 article for the New York Magazine. Gray followed that up with Skyjack, a book that made the New York Times bestseller list. Was Kenny the guy, a disgruntled employee of the hijacked airline itself, who wrote home he was pissed off over the low wages at NWA and the occasional strikes? A guy who lived alone down in Sumner, Washington working for $512 a month before taxes?
The answer is MAYBE. New York private eye Skipp Porteous started the ball rolling with a phone call from Kenny's brother Lyle, a retired postal worker from Morris, Minnesota. Kenny and his famous semi-confession to Lyle on his deathbed in Bonney Lake, WA:
'There is something you should know, but I can't tell you...' Kenny said. He died shortly afterward in his home at Bonney Lake, WA of colon cancer.
A few days previously, alleged accomplice Bernie Geestman of Port Angeles, WA called Kenny on the phone and Kenny asked for privacy on the call, according to witnesses.
On the History Channel program Brad Meltzer's Decoded, Geestman is the last to appear on the show. He tells the cast and crew that he was at Kenny's deathbed. Multiple witnesses now say he only CALLED Kenny. He also endorses Kenny as the hijacker on the show. When Buddy Levy, Christine McKinley, and former state prosecutor Scott Rolle (now a judge) ask Geestman if he thinks Kenny could be Cooper, he says: 'Sure, he looks just like him.' (The FBI sketch of the hijacker)
Problem is, mulitple witnesses now place Geestman and Christiansen together, and missing, for the entire week of the hijacking.
After the Decoded show aired, Geestman's family started to come forward with details. They don't know everything, but some of them know enough. Geestman's niece now claims that she walked in on Kenny Christiansen shortly before the hijacking and saw him working with items that resemble the phony bomb used by the hijacker.