SEATTLE -- The man killed by FBI agents during a hijacking of a Northwest Airlines 727 jetliner to Portland Thursday tried the same thing in 1980 and in both cases falsely claimed to have a bomb.
Glen Kurt Tripp was shot to death Thursday after federal agents climbed into the jet through cockpit windows as Tripp was allowing half of his 41 hostages to leave via the rear stairs of the 727.
An agent ordered Tripp to freeze, but opened fire when Tripp attempted to throw a shoebox in which he claimed there was a bomb.
On July 11, 1980, Tripp, then 17, claimed he had a bomb in a briefcase and seized control of a Northwest Airlines 727 at the Seattle airport for more than 10 hours. FBI agents hiding underneath the jetliner finally overpowered him as he stepped from the rear stairs of the plane.
Tripp was tried in King County Superior Court and convicted Nov. 4, 1980, of first-degree kidnapping and first-degree extortion. He was placed on 20 years probation.
Washington State Department of Corrections spokesman Dick Paulson said Tripp moved from the Seattle area to Arlington, Wash., about 35 miles north, and had maintained 'at least monthly contact' with parole officers since December, 1980.
During the first hijacking, Tripp demanded and received $100,000 in cash and two parachutes and said he planned to jump from the jet into the mountains in what would have been an attempt similar to the 1971 skyjacking by the mysterious D.B. Cooper.
All 52 passengers and four of the six crewmembers were released unharmed several hours into the hijacking. The remaining two crewmembers also escaped unharmed as the agents overpowered Tripp.
FBI agent Ron Beiner convinced Tripp he would die if he jumped from the jet, then stalled when Tripp demanded a twin-engine Cessna. Eventually, he gave that up and settled for a rental car and three cheeseburgers, which is what he expected when he stepped off the jet.
In that hijacking, Tripp wore mirrored aviator glasses, a green Army fatigue jacket, blue jeans and jump boots.
His motive for the hijacking was unclear, and he did not specify a destination. He referred to 'a buddy of mine' who had been killed three years before in 'a big city back East' by another man.
'I want him dead and I'm gonna get him dead. Then I'll turn myself and the money in,' Tripp had told agents over the pilots radio. 'You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not that crazy.'
At one point, Tripp even had one of the parachutes strapped to his back and the money stuffed in his clothes in preparation for the jump. But agents informed him that the rear door of the 727 had been modified not to open in flight since the saga of D.B. Cooper, who disappeared along with $200,000 in marked bills after jumping from a Seattle-to-Reno-bound flight on Thanksgiving Eve.