The Autobiography of F.B.I. Special Agent Dale
As heard by Scott Frost
(Page numbers come from the 1st printing, May 1991)
A record of the life of Dale Cooper from
his own audio tape recordings since the age of 13.
book at Glastonberry.net
The Autobiography of F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Cooper
is a transcription of the audiotape journal of Dale Cooper
from the age of 13 up to his being given the assignment to Twin
Peaks for the Laura Palmer case 22 years later. The subtitle of the
book is My Life, My Tapes.
The book's author is Scott Frost, brother of Twin Peaks
co-creator Mark Frost. He also wrote a couple episodes of the TV
Characters appearing in this novel
Lewis Nordine - childhood friend of Dale's; USAF, Ret.
Jim Nordine - older brother of Lewis
Emmet Cooper - older brother of Dale; moves to Canada to be a
lumberjack to avoid the draft
Bradley Schlurman - childhood friend of Cooper's; minister
Marie Schlurman - sister of Bradley, first potential love interest
24th Street gang - a gang of young toughs in Dale's neighborhood who
steal from and bully other kids
Tom and Will Johnson - brothers, Tom was friend of Dale's, Will was
killed in Vietnam
Mr. Botnick - neighbor of the Coopers, goes crazy and runs down the
Mr. Barstow - a history teacher at Dale's school
Mrs. Winslow - girls sex education teacher at Dale's school
Mr. Brumley - the janitor at Dale's school; later won $50,000 in
Atlantic City and retired
Mr. Tooley - Dale's scoutmaster when he was 14
Daren Seedler - boyfriend of Marie Schlurman
Mr. Nordstrom - neighbor of Cooper's family, possibly the father of
Mrs. Nordstrom - wife of Mr. Nordstrom who painted a version of the
Last Supper, possibly the mother of Nancy Nordstrom
Newt Cummings - fellow scout member of Dale's
Al Cooper - Dale's uncle
Howard - another boyfriend of Marie Schlurman
Michael Bishop Tree - Native American dinner guest at the Cooper
Anne Sweeney - girl from the Midwest who moves to Philadelphia and
attends Dale's school, he develops an immediately crush on her, but
later realizes she is a lesbian
Nancy Nordstrom - student at Dale's school, lesbian girlfriend of Anne Sweeney
George - an employee at Cooper's Offset Printing who loses his hand
in a printshop accident
Star - hippy who picked up a hitchhiking Dale, boyfriend of April
April Larken - hippy who picked up a hitchhiking Dale, girlfriend of
Allen K. Boyle - men's hairpiece salesman who picks up Dale
Sparks - a man Dale meets while hitchhiking outside Reading, PA
Carl Engler - childhood friend of Dale's, electrician
Mrs. Peale - Dale's English teacher at Germantown Friends School
Mr. Hord - Dale's American history teacher at Germantown Friends
Mrs. Laudner - neighbor of the Coopers with a crooked nose
Jim - Dale's digging partner in a job digging holes
Andy - a woman Dale falls for from Bryn Mawr college
Tim - Andy's estranged husband
Howard Teller - friend of Dale's at college, U.S. Army Captain
Charlotte - a potter, Mr. Cooper's second wife, soon divorced
Lars - Dale's ski instructor
Lazer - a female artist Dale meets in New York City
Margaret Hastings - Dale's psychology professor in college
Dr. Perkins - Dale's mentor at the mental ward of the county
Allen - a mental patient with whom Dale interacts at the county
Betty - a mental patient with whom Dale interacts at the county
L.B. Johnson - Marriage officiant for Mr. Cooper and Charlotte
Lena Fraser- a girlfriend of Dale's from Bryn Mawr college
Todd Fraser - Lena's brother (mentioned only)
Bill Fraser - Lena's father
Joan Fraser - Lena's mother
Windom Earle - former FBI agent and partner of Cooper
Caroline Earle - wife of Windom Earle, lover of Cooper
Ted - a former member of the 24th Street gang
John Lewis - Dale's roommate at FBI Academy
Eugene L. Motts - an extortionist in an historical FBI case file
Robin Masters - classmate of Dale's at FBI Academy
Aldo Smith - FBI agent
Diane - Agent Cooper's secretary
Chris Roe - a kidnap victim in a case investigated by Cooper
Steven Petrini - owner of Petrini Smoke and Book Shop, kidnapper
Tess - beekeeper, kidnapper
Mr. Baldini - owner of the bakery below Cooper's apartment in
Louis Dante - an organized crime figure found tortured and murdered
Jimmy Lester - thief who is found murdered
Bill Raum - FBI agent
Gordon Cole - FBI Regional Bureau Chief and Agent Cooper's immediate
Shamrock - Mr. Cooper's third wife and current stepmother of Dale
Spider - friend of a male prostitute who was murdered in San
Mr. Bush - killer of a number of male prostitutes in the San
Randy - a male prostitute who became a murder victim
Dennis Bryson - DEA agent
Mr. Weller - owner of the Cross River Café
Teresa Mary Banks - murder victim in Deer Meadow, WA
The back cover of the book has the header "Give yourself a
present today". This refers to Cooper's advice to Truman in
"Realization Time", to give yourself a gift
once a day, every day.
Cooper's audio tape entries begin on December 25, 1967, when
he is 13 years old. This matches his birthdate of April 19,
1954 as stated in the Twin Peaks collector card
Dale is a Cub Scout of the
Scouts of America at the beginning of the book.
Later, he achieves Eagle Scout status.
As a boy, Dale lives with his parents and older brother at
1127 Hillcrest Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There is
an actual Hillcrest Avenue in Philadelphia, but there doesn't
appear to be an 1127 address.
On December 25, Dale mentions
Dale states that he requires a password to enter his
room and the password changes every week, this week being
"Dark Passage". This may be a reference to the 1947 film by
that name since he is seen to be familiar with crime noir
films from his having a poster of Jimmy Stewart in The
FBI Story (1959) above his bed.
Dale receives his first tape recorder as a Christmas gift, a Norelco B2000. I've been unable to confirm if
that was a real model made by Norelco.
In current times, the
Norelco brand name is used only on electronic personal care
devices such as electric razors, but in the 1960s-70s, the
Phillips, marketed a number of home electronics,
including tape recorders, under the Norelco brand.
Dale notes that for Christmas he got his father
(a brand of aftershave) and a pair of
Totes (probably referring to the cold-weather gloves
Germantown Friends School as a boy. This is a real world
private school run by the Quakers in the Germantown district
of Philadelphia. Quakers are a Christian religious
denomination most prominent in Pennsylvania.
The book implies that the Cooper family are Unitarians, a
branch of Christianity.
Dale's father owns and runs Cooper's Offset Printing on
Germantown Road. There is no Germantown Road in
Philadelphia, but Dale may be referring to Germantown
Avenue, which does exist.
One of Cooper's father's heroes is Benjamin Franklin.
Franklin (1705-1790) was one of the
founding fathers of the United States and a polymath. Like
Mr. Cooper, he was a printer as well.
At the end of the family's personal Christmas celebration at
home, Mr. Cooper reads a page from The Grapes
of Wrath rather than the Bible. The
Grapes of Wrath is a classic 1939 novel by John
Steinbeck about the plight of the poor during the Great
Depression in the United States.
On December 26, Dale purchases a battery pack for his tape recorder at
Simms' Hardware. This appears to be a fictitious business.
Young Dale suffers from occasional bouts of asthma,
treated by his mother with
Dales's mother often has disturbing dreams. She believes
people can see things in dreams they can't see in the waking
Dale's friend Bradley received a new Stingray bicycle for
Christmas. Sting-Ray is a bicycle line made by
Schwinn Bicycle Company.
Dale comments that members of the 24th Street gang were
arrested outside the Band Box Theater for stealing a car.
The Band Box Theater was a real art house theater in
Germantown at the time; Cooper returns to Philadelphia to
visit his father in 1988 to find that the Band Box has
burned down at some point in the past.
On January 10, 1968, Dale has written a letter to Efrem Zimbalist to
tell him how much he likes his show and if he has any advice
for someone who would like to make a career in the FBI. Efrem
Zimbalist Jr. was the star of the 1965-1974 TV series
The FBI. The series was partially based on The FBI
Story film mentioned earlier. Zimbalist soon sends Dale an
autographed photo, though does not appear to offer advice
(as expected since he's not an FBI agent, he only plays one
Dale also mentions enjoying The Wild, Wild West and
Hawaii Five-O. These were two popular TV shows at
Dale also considers writing to "Mr. Hoover" about his
interest in the bureau. This refers to J. Edgar Hoover, the
director of the FBI from 1935-1972.
On January 12, Dale notices that after eating asparagus, his pee
smells like asparagus. This is a known trait of that
A man seeks sanctuary in the school library from
the draft. At the time, the U.S. had a wartime draft
instituted for military recruits to send into the Vietnam
On January 14, Dale remarks that Marie's dancing was like an ice
skater on Wide World of Sports, a sports features
program that aired on ABC in the U.S. from 1961-1998.
Dale follows members of the 24th Street gang to
an alley next to Fairmount Park. Fairmount Park is the
largest park in Philadelphia.
On January 31, Dale takes his pledge to become a Tenderfoot
Scout. This is the first level of the Boy Scouts, having
graduated from Cub Scouts. He's already making his
preparations to become an Eagle Scout within two years; this
is the highest rank for Boy Scout members.
On February 8, Dale writes that the Schlurmans have a picture of Old Faithful
hanging in the hallway. Old Faithful
is a geyser at
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, which
erupts in a predictable manner, roughly once every hour.
On February 16, Dale tells of pretending to kill Japs while
playing WWII with his friends outside. The term "Japs" is
short for Japanese and is now largely considered an ethnic
On March 8, Dale explains that his Grandmother Cooper died
of a stroke in his house while making a cherry pie that day.
On March 30, Dale reports having finished reading the
Sherlock Holmes novel The Hound of the Baskervilles.
The novel by Arthur Conan Doyle was originally published in
On April 4, Dale reports on the assassination of
Martin Luther King. This was the actual date of his
Dale receives a
Timex watch for his fourteenth birthday and
he submerges it in water for 15 minutes to see if it still
ticks afterward. Presumably, his model was a waterproof one
and he wanted to prove it, based on the Timex commercials of
the time which used the slogan, "Takes a licking and keeps
On April 20, Dale performs the Heimlich maneuver on
scoutmaster Mr. Tooley when he chokes on a dandelion during
an "eating in the wilds" demonstration. The Heimlich
maneuver was developed by American physician Dr. Henry
Heimlich, the use of abdominal thrusts under the victim's
diaphragm to clear an obstruction in the windpipe.
On June 6, Dale reports on the assassination of Bobby
On June 14, Dale reports his friend Bradley is off to camp
in Maine to learn French and he doesn't know why Bradley has
to go to Maine to do that. Maine was first settled by the
French in 1604 and still has a fairly high French-speaking
The rest of the Schlurman family heads off for a tour of the
national parks for the summer, including the
On June 20, Dale writes to J. Edgar Hoover, stating his
intention to become an FBI agent and explaining that his
recent trouble at school with secretly audiotaping the
girls' sex education class was purely for scientific
reasons, not personal gain. Then he asks Hoover if he has
any experiences with the use of audio tape he could share
and discuss. Hoover was known for his use of audiotapes of
conversations of personal enemies, the politically powerful,
Mrs. Nordstrom painted a version of the Last Supper
on a visit to the Poconos. The Last
Supper was the final meal of Jesus before his crucifixion.
The Poconos are a mountain range in northeastern
Pennsylvania that is a popular vacation destination for the
On July 3, Dale receives a letter back from J. Edgar,
congratulating him on his esprit de corps in the
taping of the sex education class. Esprit de corps
is a French phrase that has come to represent the ability to
optimistically plunge ahead towards a goal despite
On July 15, Dale meets J. Edgar at FBI headquarters in
Washington, D.C. (at the time still housed within the
Department of Justice building). He even gets his picture
taken with him, holding a Thompson submachine gun.
While touring FBI headquarters, Dale sees the eyeglasses
John Dillinger was wearing when he was shot in Chicago.
Dillinger was an infamous gangster and bank robber during
the Depression. He was killed by FBI agents during a
shootout in Chicago on July 22, 1934, wearing eyeglasses as
part of a disguise.
In his August 10 entry, Dale mentions Marie's visit to the
Grant Tetons. This refers to
Teton National Park in Wyoming.
Dale's entry for September 1 may explain why he does not
like birds. The 14-year old even says, "I do not like
birds," the exact phrase he uses in regards to Waldo the
myna bird in
Dale has an Uncle Al Cooper, his father's brother, who is
somewhat of a con artist, magician, and gambler.
Uncle Al teaches Dale card counting for playing blackjack.
The limited way he describes it here though (keeping track
of every card in the deck) does not sound like the real
world way card counting works. In real card counting, the
player assigns points to groupings of the card faces and
then adds and subtracts the points mentally to gauge how
likely it is the next deal will yield an advantageous card
to the current hand. Cooper seems to be using this
traditional method at One-Eyed Jacks in
On October 6, the Schlurmans go out to eat at Mr. Steak.
This was a chain of steakhouse restaurants in the U.S. at
On November 6, Dale reports that Nixon has been elected
president. This is true, Richard Nixon was elected November
6, 1968 and re-elected in 1972, serving until his resignation due to the
Watergate scandal in August 1974.
On December 18, Dale has a dream about a man he doesn't see
trying to get into his room. The man calls his name and
roars like an animal. This sounds similar to BOB or another
malignant entity from the Black Lodge (as seen in later
stories set in the town of Twin Peaks). When Dale tells his
mother about it, she claims she knows about the man and that
he must never let the man into his room.
On February 10, 1969, Dale witnesses a murder scene being
investigated by the police at the corner of Chelton and
Greene. This is an actual intersection in Philadelphia,
though "Chelton" should be spelled "Chelten".
On February 28, Dale expresses concern about the growing
frequency of his erections. He finds that thinking very
Disneyland can help suppress them. This may indicate
that he has been to Disneyland (located in Anaheim, CA) in
the past, despite the distance from his home.
On June 10, Dale sees Anne buying a Willa Cather book for
Nancy. Cather (1873-1947) was a novelist who embraced male
values and who whom some scholars believe was a lesbian.
Dale reports on the Apollo 11 mission and the Eagle
lander, July 16-21. The Apollo
11 mission lasted from July 16-24, putting the first men on
the Moon, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. The Eagle
is the lunar module that landed on the Moon during that
mission, landing in the Sea of Tranquility, a lunar mare
region of the Moon. The first men on the moon seems to be a
minor recurring motif in Twin Peaks; besides the
mention here, Dr. Jacoby is seen to have a labeled drink
unbrella in his collection from the date of the landing
Episode 7: "The Last
Evening" and a post card has a "First Man
on the Moon" stamp on it in
The Secret History of Twin Peaks.
On July 16, Marie tells Dale she has not used
amphetamines in six months.
Amphetamines are a type of stimulant.
On July 23, a rival scout troop fights with Dale's at the
Boy Scout jamboree and he suffers a chipped tooth. No
mention is made of the chipped tooth after this, but he
presumably got it fixed at some point.
It's not stated where the scout jamboree is taking place,
but page 34 implies it is about 176 miles from Dale's home
in Philadelphia. However, the official national scout
jamboree that year (held every four years), from July 16–22,
1969, was held in Farragut State Park, Idaho, over 2,000
Attempting to walk/hitchhike back home from the jamboree,
Dale stops at the Post and Beam restaurant on Route 487 for
a slice of warm cherry pie and his first cup of coffee. The
Post and Beam appears to be a fictitious restaurant, though
Route 487 is an actual highway in Pennsylvania running
north-south from Shamokin Township to Dushore.
On July 30, Dale is picked up hitchhiking by a hippy couple
in a VW bus on their way to protest at the
VW bus is
the classic automobile most associated with the hippy
lifestyle in the 1960s.
Dale is picked up hitchhiking by Allen K. Boyle outside of
Bloomsburg and a man called Sparks outside
In the early hours of November 15, Dale's mother is
in Philadelphia (now closed) for a brain aneurysm. She dies later that
morning. Dale's description of an aneurysm is fairly
The Unitarian funeral for Dale's mother is on November 17.
After the service, punch, ham, and
salad are served for the mourners at the Cooper house.
On April 20, 1970, Dale's father discovers a new crater on
the Moon with his telescope. According to page 194, he was
able to name it after himself, Cooper's Crater, just on the
edge of the dark side's shadow. As far as I can tell, there
is no crater by that name on the Moon.
On April 21, April reads the poem "Gloire de Dijon" by D.H.
Lawrence. Lawrence (1885-1930) was a British writer and
painter. Dale remarks that he only remembers the last few
lines of the poem, but those he records are just the last
few lines of the first stanza; there is actually another
stanza after it. Gloire de Dijon is a breed of rose
originated in France, in the poem compared to a beautiful
On May 25, Dale has a dream of being visited by his mother.
When he awakes, he is clutching a ring that fits perfectly
on his little finger. He shows it to his dad, who
remembers it as one she had worn when they first met; it had
been her father's and her mother had given it to her when he
died. She stopped wearing it when they got married; he had no
idea what happened to it after that.
In Fire Walk With Me, Laura Palmer also
sees a ring in a dream (the Owl Cave ring) and awakens clutching it.
On page 46, Mr. Hord talks about George Washington's wooden
teeth disappearing after his death, only to be mysteriously
found 30 years under his bed by a maid. As far as I can
tell, this myth was made up for the book. Additionally,
Washington's various sets of false teeth were not made of
wood as commonly believed, but of ivory or human teeth.
For their vacation trip with the Schlurmans to Promised Land
Lake, Dale's father packs the
Scrabble game. Promised Land Lake is part of
Promised Land State Park in Pennsylvania.
Dale graduates from high school early by testing out of the
remaining requirements on September 10, 1970.
Dale's friend Bradley buys a
Charger in spring of 1973.
After travelling for three years in a largely unrecorded
portion of his life, Dale returns in spring of 1973 saying
only that the whole universe is one bright pearl. This is a
saying among followers of Buddhist religions.
During his travels, Dale found three things he is interested
in: the circus, puzzles, and sex.
In 1973, Dale takes the SAT and scores 800 in both English
and math. The SAT is the
Scholastic Aptitude Test, a standardized college
admissions test in the United States. 800 is the top score possible in
each section of the test.
On page 61, Dale lists some skills of his: fire building,
map reading, walking, knife throwing, chanting, breath
control, bread baking, juggling, rice planting, and sitting in
small dark rooms.
On page 62, Dale mentions Zen practice. Zen is a school of
Mahayana Buddhism in China.
On July 1, Dale accepts an offer to attend the all
Haverford College. Haverford is a real world
college outside of Philadelphia that started as a men only
school, but has since been made co-ed since the
Before heading off to college, Dale goes on a short vacation
with his father to see
Mt. Rushmore and
Custer State Park. At Mt. Rushmore, Mr. Cooper remarks
that Lincoln would not have wanted to be remembered as a
large piece of granite hanging on the side of a mountain
with rain dripping off his nose. Mt. Rushmore is a gigantic
granite sculpture, in the rock of the mountain called Mt.
Rushmore, of four of what have been considered America's
greatest presidents, George Washington, Thomas
Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.
Mr. Cooper protests that Mt. Rushmore should be given back
to the Sioux. The land was seized from the Lakota Sioux
tribe by the federal government after the Great Sioux War of
Returning home on July 15, Mr. Cooper finds that the
Service has ordered calendars printed from his shop.
On August 21, Dale witnesses his first pep rally at
Haverford College. A pep rally is a gathering popular in
U.S. schools to encourage school spirit and support for the
institution's activities such as sports, academic
On September 12, Dale receives a cassette recorder from his
dad to replace his old reel-to-reel.
On September 15, Dale visits the nearby women's college,
Mawr. He winds up with the worst case of post-alcohol
abuse he's ever experienced through conversation that
drifted through tequila, rum and
beer, bourbon, and common household chemicals.
On September 25, Dale calls his father and learns that he is
doing a brisk business printing "Imprison Nixon" posters. At
the time, President Nixon was embroiled in the Watergate
scandal, which had many citizens calling for his impeachment
On November 7, Dale attempts to follow someone who winds up
killing a young woman and he believes the killer was within
striking distance of himself when he discovered the woman's
body. Dale mentions his own shaking hand during the moment.
Is the killer related to the Black Lodge? Is Dale's shaking
hand related to the shaking hands of various individuals
(including Dale Cooper) in Episode
28: "Miss Twin Peaks"?
On November 23, Dale suffers from a 103-degree fever. He
does not believe it is an infection, but an attempt by the
evil that took the young woman's life to enter him.
On December 28, Dale begins a sleep-deprivation experiment
on himself. In
"Answers in Dreams", he comments on the effects
of 3 days of sleep-deprivation.
At 3 a.m., Dale wonders whatever happened to
Ronald Colman and what was the name of the fifth Marx
brother. I'm not sure what he means by the reference to
Ronald Colman; he was an English actor in the 1930s-40s who
died in 1958 from emphysema. The Marx Brothers were a comedy
vaudeville and film act of brothers Chico, Harpo, and
Groucho, and, during the vaudeville years and for a few
early films, Zeppo. The fifth Marx brother, Gummo, did not
appear in any films, leaving the act after vaudeville.
Dale remarks that the test pattern used
in television broadcasting is similar in its ability to
clear the mind to the Tibetan prayer wheel.
At 5 a.m., Dale sings along with the national
anthem on the television. The U.S. national anthem is "The
Star-Spangled Banner" by Francis Scott Key.
At 9 a.m. Dale admires the perfection of design of the
At 3 p.m., Dale views Miss December. This refers to the
Playmate of the Month in
magazine. Miss December of 1973 was Christine Maddox.
At 6 p.m., Dale checks all the closets in the house to be
make sure none of the "little people" are hiding in them.
At 8 p.m., Dale remarks that he has never liked the name
"Dale" and always wished he had been born an Apache named
At 11 p.m., Dale sings "99 Bottles of Beer". This is a
popular drinking song in the U.S. and Canada, based on the
British song "Ten Green Bottles". The Icelanders sing it in
On December 29, Dale states his conviction that Lee Harvey
Oswald did not act alone in Dallas. He also believes the
death of Marilyn and that of the President were not
unrelated. This refers to Oswald's alleged guilt in the
assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on
November 22, 1963 and the earlier death of Marilyn Monroe,
now known to have been one of Kennedy's many illicit lovers,
on August 5, 1962.
On January 10, 1974, Dale learns to ski at the Fernwood ski
area in the Poconos. This probably refers to the
On January 17, Andy gives Dale a book on the Kama Sutra. The
Kama Sutra is a world renown Hindu book on human
sexual behavior composed in India between 400 BC and 200 AD.
Throughout the night of January 20 and early morning of the
21st, Dale records a tally of 14 to 14 with Andy in a study
of mind/body limitations. This likely refers to the number
of orgasms achieved by each.
On March 10, Dale walks through Central Park.
Central Park is a public park in the
center of Manhattan and one of the largest urban parks in
On March 11, Dale mentions a coffee house in Chelsea.
Chelsea is a neighborhood in the Manhattan borough of New
On page 88, one of Dale's former college professors mentions
him taking psychology courses Visual Information Processing,
Thinking 3005, My Mind, Your Mind 4001, and Why We Forget
4002. With the exception of Visual Information Processing,
these appear to be fictitious courses.
As he begins an internship in the mental ward of the county
hospital on March 16, Dale remarks, "Is it true that as a
species we are drawn to that one thing that most terrifies
and confounds us? I am most excited. But if what I have just
said is true, then I am not looking at a hospital. I am
standing on the edge of the abyss." This is likely a
reference to German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche's
(1844-1900) quote, "He who fights with monsters should look
to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when
you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you."
Later on, after returning from a 3-day disappearance, Windom
Earle tells Cooper he saw the abyss and found wonderful
On April 6, Dale remarks, "I would very much like to walk
hand in hand with a beautiful woman who I am deeply in love
with," (presumably referring to Andy). In
"May the Giant Be With You", he makes a similar
statement as he lies bleeding from a gunshot wound, "I would
very much like to make love to a beautiful woman who I had
genuine affection for," (presumably referring to Audrey). On
May 1, 1978, he also records, "I would like to be in a high
meadow in the Himalayas, living only for and within the
moment." The Himalayas is a reference to the Himalayan
Mountain Range in Asia which hosts the world's highest
On May 1, Dale attends a May Day ceremony at Bryn Mawr. His
description of the event is quite close to that of the
traditional European May Day celebration of the coming of
On May 20, Dale sees a man who appears to be painted blue
standing outside his apartment in the wee hours of the
morning. The sighting is unexplained.
At job day on the college campus, Dale picks up brochures
from the FBI
Dale's father marries Charlotte at a little red chapel in
Las Vegas, Nevada, the ceremony being performed by the
honorable L.B. Johnson. The state of Nevada is known for its
quick and easy marriage process. The marriage officiant may
be named for former U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson.
While in Vegas, Mr. Cooper and Charlotte take in the ice
skating show "Nudes on Ice". The real world show by that
name did not start until the 1980s, featuring topless (not
nude) women skating and performing song and comedy routines.
Dale recalls seeing Ice Capades when he was a kid. The Ice
Capades was an ice skating show that travelled around the
U.S., performing from 1940-1995.
Mrs. Johnson takes Polaroid snapshots of the Cooper wedding
Polaroid is the company
that introduced instant film to the camera community in 1948
and the photos taken on this film were often referred to as
Polaroid prints or just Polaroids. The Polaroid company has
not manufactured instant film since 2008 due to falling
sales as a result of the popularity of digital cameras.
The new Mr. and Mrs. Cooper spend their honeymoon in
While his father and stepmother are honeymooning, Dale
spends a day at
Hoover Dam. The Hoover Dam is a
large dam that produces hydroelectric power
on the Colorado River along the border of Nevada and
Arizona. Dale seems to be under the impression the dam was
named after J. Edgar, but it was actually named for
President Herbert Hoover, who began the construction as a
way of employing U.S. citizens through public works projects
during the Great Depression.
On July 5, Dale eats at the Lunch Pal restaurant in
Philadelphia. As far as I can tell, this is a fictitious
On September 10, Mr. Cooper learns that he has become
sterile and is not able to father any more children, which
ends his marriage to his pregnant wife.
One of Dale's classes at Haverford was Medieval Epics.
Dale's disturbed girlfriend Lena takes classes in Shame and
Mother and in Fear and Anxiety.
Dale and Lena visit her parents in Hershey. Hershey is a
town in Pennsylvania and is the home of the Hershey's
Chocolate candy factory.
On August 17, Dale says he thinks it was Holmes who said
that truth is often arrived at by two roads pointing in very
different directions. I have been unable to confirm a quote
quite like this by the character.
On December 18, Dale meets Windom Earle for the first time
at the FBI booth at a job fair at the Philadelphia civic
On December 26, Dale meets up with Ted, a former member of
the 24th Street gang at Don and Jim's Body Shop in
Philadelphia. This appears to be a fictitious establishment.
On December 27, Dale meets another member of the 24th Street
gang and is beaten up by the man and a couple of his
friends, with some other cloudy events also taking place in
his foggy memory of the incident. Dale's description of the
incident sounds somewhat similar to those that happen to the
character of Jeffrey Beaumont, played by Kyle MacLachlan, in
the 1986 David Lynch film Blue Velvet.
In 1976, Mr. Cooper sells the family house due to
bankruptcy. Dale empties his old room, keeping only about 20
items, including a Duke Snyder (sic) baseball card and a
copy of Moby Dick. Duke Snider was a Major League
Baseball player from 1947-1964. Moby Dick is a
classic 1851 novel by Herman Melville.
On February 10, Dale remarks he is completing his final
tests for early graduation from college and that he will
submit his papers to apply to the FBI "as soon as I get the
sheepskin." "Sheepskin" is an informal term for "diploma",
as school diplomas were originally written on sheepskin.
Dale finds that he is one year short of the minimum age
requirement to join the FBI. He would have been 18 years old
at the time, making the age requirement 19, or more likely, 20
(he takes the FBI written test and interview in June 1977,
after his 20th birthday in April). I have been unable to
confirm that age requirement in 1976. When J. Edgar Hoover
established the formal training course for new agents in
1928, the age requirement was 25-35. Currently, the age
requirement is 23-37.
Dale's whereabouts during the year until he turned 20 are
unknown. In February 1977, he records the sentence, "Evil
does have a face." No explanation is ever given. Possibly he
finally saw the face of the man in his recurring dreams who
is trying to get into his room who calls his name and roars
like an animal and whom his mother warned him to never let
In August, Mr. Cooper sells the remaining stock of his
moon maps to
National Geographic, the magazine published by the
National Geographic Society, known for its pull-out maps of
regions of the Earth and even other planets in the solar
In September, Dale reports to
FBI Academy in
Virginia for 14 weeks of training. The academy is located on
Marine Corps Base Quantico. The FBI's current academy
curriculum lasts 20 weeks; I've been unable to confirm a
14-week one in 1977.
On September 12, Dale records, "Crime can be broken down
into three simple categories: crimes of passion, crimes for
gain, and crimes of insanity." In regards to crimes of
insanity, he goes on to say, "It can, and often does, manifest
itself as either of the other two. There is no more focused
mind than the one that has created its own reality. And for
that reason, it is the insane criminal who is to be feared
more than any other. There is no gray area in madness. It is
an absolute form of twisted truth." The crimes of both
Windom Earle and Killer BOB could be considered crimes of
On September 22, Dale records that he studied the case
history of extortionist Eugene L. Motts. As far as I can
tell, this is a fictitious case.
A female classmate of Dale's at FBI Academy who graduates to
become an agent is named Robin Masters. Possibly, Frost
borrowed the name from that of the unseen novelist who owned
the estate where private investigator Thomas Magnum lived in
Hawaii in the 1980-1988 TV series Magnum, P.I.
As a gift for his graduation from FBI Academy, Mr. Cooper
gives Dale his first pocket-size recorder.
Robin is the valedictorian for the FBI Academy graduation ceremony
that year. In
the U.S., the valedictorian is the student chosen to deliver
the closing statement at the end of the graduation ceremony.
After graduation, Cooper is assigned to the violent crimes
task force in the
Pittsburgh field office. There, he is assigned a
secretary named Diane. He describes her as a cross between a
saint and a cabaret singer.
After becoming an agent, many of Cooper's tapes are withheld
for reasons of security.
On January 10, 1978, Cooper begins investigating a
kidnapping in Perrysville. Perrysville is a town in
Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.
Also on January 10, Cooper explains why he has begun
addressing his tapes to Diane. "Diane, I hope that you will
not mind that I address these tapes to you even when it is
clear that I am talking to myself. The knowledge that
someone of your insight is standing behind me is
On January 11, Cooper visits the Petrini Smoke and Book Shop
as part of the Chris Roe kidnapping case. This appears to be
a fictitious business.
On February 4, Cooper meets Agent Albert Rosenfield for the
first time. Albert's last name is misspelled here as
Rosenfelt. This may have been a nod by Frost to the fact the
characters in the show and in the Twin Peaks fan
community often mispronounced his name.
On February 5, Cooper records that he fears the force behind
his latest murder case is the same one he encountered at
Haverford. He goes on to say, "I have not expressed this to
anyone. The recognition that evil exists as an entity
outside our understanding of life is not official policy of
On May 1, Cooper is stationed outside Eastern Savings and
Loan during a hostage situation. Eastern Savings and Loan
appears to be a fictitious business.
On May 2, Cooper reports that Windom beat him in chess in
seven moves. "I have much to learn about the game of chess."
On this same visit, Cooper meets Windom's wife, Caroline,
for the first time and comments that she is a remarkable
On July 2, Cooper discusses a dream he had as "more than
random synapses discharging electrodes into my
subconscious." I think he means "electrons" rather than
During the FBI agent portion of his recordings, Cooper
dictates into his recorder at times while in action. This
seems highly illogical, not to mention dangerous and
unlikely to be approved of by his superiors in the Bureau. At
one point (on page 135) he is even recording while moving
through a building in which suspects may be hiding,
potentially providing his location to the enemy from the
sound of his voice.
On August 2, a case takes Cooper to an abandoned barge on
the Ohio River. The Ohio River is a tributary of the
Mississippi River that runs from Pittsburgh, PA to Cairo,
On August 3, Cooper meets Gordon Cole, deputy director of
the Criminal Investigation Division, for the first time. The
real name of that division of the FBI is Criminal
In January 1979, Cooper is told to use some of his vacation
time. He takes Windom's advice and visits La Casa el Corazon
on a small Caribbean island where Windom and Caroline spent
their honeymoon. La Casa el Corazon is Spanish for
"House of the Heart". As far as I can tell it is a
On January 25, the old man Cooper meets at La Casa el
Corazon says to him, "La muerte." This is Spanish
During the night of January 26, Cooper has a dream or vision
under the spell of what he believes was a powerful narcotic
given to him without his knowledge. Part of the vision
involved a "monkey's hand". Possibly this is a reference to
the 1902 short story by W. W. Jacobs, "The Monkey's Paw", in
which the possessor of a severed monkey's hand is granted
three wishes which come true, but with an enormous price.
This is also somewhat similar to what seems to happen to
individuals who put on the Owl Cave ring (see
Fire Walk With Me
The Secret History of Twin Peaks).
On April 10, a report of a woman meeting Caroline's
description is reported in Lower Manhattan and the NYPD puts
out an all-points bulletin for her. Lower Manhattan is the
downtown portion of Manhattan Island, part of New York City.
NYPD stands for New York Police Department.
On April 11, Caroline is found, suffering from heroin
addiction and is checked into
Hospital. They also find small amounts of an
unidentifiable drug in her system; on April 15, the same
drug is found in her IV, causing a slight color change to
the fluid. Jean Renault and Blackie also attempt to addict
Audrey to heroin in early second season episodes of the
"The Man Behind Glass", Ronette Pulaski's IV is
tainted with a drug that colors the fluid blue.
On April 20, Cooper refers to Windom Earle as "the best mind
in law enforcement I have ever known." In
"Dispute Between Brothers",
Truman says something similar about Cooper, calling him,
"the finest law man I've ever known."
On May 20, Cooper reports that his father and Gordon have
met and seem to have hit it off.
Caroline dies in 1979 here, but Cooper tells Truman it was
in 1985 in
"Demons"; this may be an intentional discrepancy
in the established timeline as similar discrepancies occur
The Secret History of Twin Peaks.
On an unknown date after the death of Caroline, Cooper
records the entry, "I don't know who I am. We search and
search, and always end up looking into the same mirror, at
the same reflection, hoping that we will find something
different." This sounds like a reference to Leland's (and
later Cooper himself) looking into a mirror and seeing BOB.
On February 1, 1980, Cooper records that he believes that
Windom was taken over by evil during his disappearance and
then manipulated he and Caroline into falling in love so that he
could have the pleasure of destroying it.
On February 11, when Cooper records a conversation with the
insane Windom Earle in the institution, he asks Windom,
"Where is Windom?" and Windom responds, "Around, here and
there, over hill over dale . . . dale, I will hit the dusty
trail." Windom's response is a play on lyrics from the
official song of the United States Army, "The Army Goes
Rolling Along", Over hill, over dale, we will hit the
dusty trail. It is likely also a play on Dale Cooper's
On March 12, Cooper and Diane receive word they are being
San Francisco. In May, Cooper travels with his dad by
car most of the way to San Fran, passing through
Hannibal (where they visit the home of Samuel Clemens
and Cooper laments not having been born 100 years ago where
he could have been Tom or Huck),
the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains,
(where he sees a large number of Mormons floating in
formation just offshore of the Great Salt Lake), and Reno.
Samuel Clemens (better known as Mark Twain) was an extremely
popular American writer and humorist of the 19th Century;
Tom and Huck (from the novels Tom Sawyer and
Huckleberry Finn) are two of his most well-known and
popular characters, who spent their time rebelling against
authority and having adventures on and along the mighty
Mississippi River. The Great Plains are a broad, mostly
flat, expanse of land covering portions of the Midwest
states. The Rocky Mountains are a
major mountain range in the western portion of North
America. The state of Utah, and especially Salt Lake City,
is the cultural center of the Mormon religion.
On May 7, Mr. Cooper gets married again in Reno, to a woman
named Shamrock. They spend their honeymoon in a little hut
on top of the Continental Divide. A continental divide is
the (usually mountainous) hydrological divide of a portion
of a continent. In this case, the couple would be staying at
a peak of the Rocky Mountains.
Wondering at his father's whirlwind courtship and marriage
to Shamrock, Cooper wonders if he was left at his parents
doorstep by Gypsies. Gypsies are a nomadic ethnicity living
mostly in Europe.
On May 11, Cooper finds an apartment with a view of the
Golden Gate in San Francisco. The Golden Gate is the strait
that connects San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean. It is
spanned by the world famous Golden Gate Bridge.
On May 12, Cooper makes a tourist visit to
Alcatraz Island, home of the now-closed Alcatraz Federal
During Cooper's investigation of the murder of a male
prostitute, he notes that at least two other male
prostitutes in the Mission District are known to be missing.
The Mission District is a neighborhood of San Francisco on
land that used to belong to the Mission San Francisco de
During the prostitute murder case, Cooper goes undercover as
a gay man at a gay bar called Club Y. This appears to be a
fictitious establishment. The name of the club is a
reference to the Y chromosome of males. During Cooper's
undercover investigation, Gordon tells him to watch his
backside; this is probably a double-entendre joke by Gordon
in reference to gay sex. San Francisco is a city known for
its higher than average gay population.
On June 30, Cooper approaches a suspect in a blue Ford LTD
with California license plate 203-CYH. The suspect turns out
to be a salesman from Mill Valley. The LTD was a car model
Ford from 1965-1986.
Mill Valley is a city about 14 north of San Francisco.
Later on June 30, Cooper pursues a late model
On July 30, Cooper is assigned to the counterintelligence
task force where he remains for the next 6 years. The FBI
has not released any of his tapes from that time. Only two
short letters to his father in 1983 and 1986 are available.
In the 1986 letter, Cooper remarks, "To the best of my
knowledge and those here at the Bureau, you cannot contract
Legionnaires' disease from unwashed fruit. From the sounds
of it, you had a common case of food poisoning. Suggest
Shamrock rethink the diet you both are on. I don't seem to
remember a ban on refrigeration being an integral part of a
macrobiotic life-style." Legionnaires' disease is a form of
pneumonia contracted through inhalation of Legionella
bacteria. The disease got its name from the first recorded
cases of it among a group of people at an American Legion
convention in Philadelphia in 1976. The "macrobiotic
life-style" Cooper refers to is the macrobiotic diet, a diet
regimen of mostly grains and vegetables, with occasional
local fruits, seeds, nuts, and fish.
In August 1987, Cooper spends time in a joint FBI-DEA drug
interdiction program. It is here that he first meets DEA
Agent Dennis Bryson.
August 24-26, Cooper evaluates a new investigative technique
based on the writings of a Tibetan monk named Gumm. His
first substantial tests of the technique suggest that Lee
Harvey Oswald did not act alone on that fateful day in
Dallas, and Jack Ruby is still alive and living in Peru. I
am not aware of an historically prominent monk by the name
It may be someone Cooper met or heard of during his travels in
the unrecorded portions of his life mentioned in the book.
Jack Ruby was convicted of assassinating Oswald before the
man could be tried for the assassination of Kennedy; Ruby
died of a pulmonary embolism in prison in 1967.
In September, Cooper works on a case with Bryson in
on a covert operation in limited cooperation with the
Mexican government, entering from the U.S. border city of
The two agents stay at the Casa de Vista motel in Tijuana
during the operation; Cooper complains of a lack of the
advertised view from their room, so it's ironic that the
name of the motel essentially translates to "House with a
On September 4, Cooper records that the drug seller drives a
Mercedes four-wheel drive truck.
On September 10, Cooper mentions a maxim that Ulysses S.
Grant lived by: overwhelming firepower, with maximum force.
Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) was the victorious Union
general in the Civil War and, subsequently, the 18th
president of the United States. I have not been able to
confirm him living by such a maxim.
Page 181 mentions an article in the San Diego Mirror.
The article mentions the Book of Job. The San
Diego Mirror appears to be a fictitious newspaper. The
Book of Job is one of the books of the Old Testament of
On November 9, Cooper is assigned to a drug case in
On January 7, 1988, Cooper receives a tape in the mail from
Windom Earle with a threatening limerick on it, stating
"There once was an agent from Dover". "Dover" is generally
considered to be a reference to Dover, England, but Cooper,
of course is from Philadelphia, PA.
On January 17, Cooper is assigned to investigate the Teresa
Banks murder in Deer Meadow, WA, the southwest part of the
state. This appears to be a fictitious town, though there is
a small village called Deer Meadows in the northeast corner of the
state, not too far from where Twin Peaks is alleged to be
located! The date here is different than that stated in
"May the Giant Be With You", February
Cooper catches a flight to
Portland, Oregon, then rents a car to drive to Deer
During the flight to Portland on January 17, Cooper asks
Diane to remind him to bring a Thermos of coffee in the future,
due to the low quality of the so-called coffee served on
commercial air carriers. The term "Thermos" is capitalized
because it is a registered trademark in many countries
(though it is considered a generic term in the U.S.). Cooper
also makes a disparaging remark about airline coffee in
"Diane..." The Twin Peaks Tapes of Agent Cooper.
The investigation of the Teresa Banks murder presented here
does not conform with that seen in
Fire Walk With Me,
largely due to Cooper himself being assigned to investigate
the case, with no mention made of Agent Chester Desmond.
This book was written before
Fire Walk With Me was
even considered, and when the film was being cast, Kyle
MacLachlan only agreed to participate if his role was
limited, so Agent Desmond was written in as the major FBI
investigator of the case. This may be
considered another discrepancy in the established timeline
similar to those in
The Secret History of Twin Peaks.
In Deer Meadow, Cooper meets with Sheriff Cable, an
ex-marine. Cable appears in
Fire Walk With Me.
Cooper refers to Cable's report on the murder investigation
as a work of fiction worthy of a Pulitzer. The Pulitzer Prize
is an award for achievements in journalism and literature.
Cooper states that Teresa's residence was unknown, but
Fire Walk With Me reveals it to be the Fat Trout
Trailer Park in Deer Meadow.
Teresa's body was found wrapped in plastic and duct tape.
This is how Laura Palmer's body is also found in
"Wrapped in Plastic". But here, Teresa's
body is said to have been found in a ditch, while in
Fire Walk With Me, it was in Wind River.
Cooper records, "Teresa Banks last worked at a roadhouse
about ten miles outside of town at a whistle stop called
Cross River." Cross River appears to be a fictitious town.
In Fire Walk With Me, the roadhouse she works at
was called Hap's Diner, but here Cooper refers to it as the
Cross River Café.
Cooper stays at the Loggers Inn in Deer Meadow. This appears
to be a fictitious motel.
Cooper feels that the unknown evil he has come into contact
with before is also responsible for the Teresa Banks murder.
On January 18, Cooper records what he knows of Teresa Banks'
past: "She was born Teresa Mary Banks in
on July 11, 1970, to Ellen and Tony Banks. At age twelve her
parents were killed in a car accident, and she became a ward
of the state. At age fifteen she ran away from a state
facility and was not seen again until the day her body was
On January 20, Cooper reports that the small piece of paper
with the letter T on it found under Teresa's fingernail was
an acid-free typing paper, very expensive, with the typed
letter appearing to be from an old
Smith-Corona Model 99. I've been unable to confirm Smith
Corona producing a typewriter Model 99, though it's
On February 2, Cooper reports having a dream the night
before of dancing with "a tiny little man, and a very
beautiful young woman." This sounds similar to his dream in
"Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer".
In June, Cooper receives a tape from Windom Earle that
mentions Bobby Fisher (sic) giving up chess and turning to
Bobby Fischer (1943-2008) was an American chess grandmaster,
considered by many to be the greatest chess player of all
Fischer went into semi-retirement a few times and
was a religious person, but did not officially quit chess
due to his religious beliefs.
Cooper and Diane once had a social dinner together at a
Chinese restaurant. Diane's description of the preparation
of Peking duck is roughly accurate.
On June 11, Cooper admits that he does not know Diane's last
In July, Cooper has stops in
Medicine Hat and
These are both cities in Canada.
On July 24, Cooper remarks that his brother Emmet is now in
South America and they have not seen each other in over 20
On August 5, Cooper tells Diane that if she is ever in Flin
Flon, she should stop at the Florida Cafe for a piece of
strawberry mousse pie.
Flon is a mining city in Canada. The Florida Cafe
appears to be a fictitious establishment there.
On a visit to Philadelphia in 1988, Cooper recalls having
seen Bonnie and Clyde at the Band Box Theatre.
Bonnie and Clyde was a 1967 film about the notorious
bank robbers Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker.
On September 27, Cooper makes mention of the Civil Corps of
Engineers. Possibly he is referring to the U.S. Navy's Civil
November 20, Cooper gives a talk at the Rotary. This likely
the service organization
Cooper laments on not being able to combat the malaise of
boredom, remarking that Holmes' use of cocaine is
unacceptable to him. It is true that Sherlock Holmes was
depicted as a cocaine user in his stories. Cooper goes on to
wonder if there are any more great cases like the Lindbergh
kidnapping, a Brinks robbery, a John Dillinger, a Professor
Moriarty. The Lindbergh kidnapping refers to the kidnapping,
and eventual murder, of the 20-month old son of famed
American aviator Charles Lindbergh in 1932.
is an American security and protection company.
Moriarty was the arch-nemesis of
detective Sherlock Holmes in the Holmes novels of Arthur
Conan Doyle. Cooper ends his thoughts with, "As the saying
goes, be careful what you wish for, you may just get it." Of
course, he does get it very shortly, with his assignment to
the Laura Palmer case.
On February 20, 1989, Cooper quotes Groucho Marx as having
said, "Harpo, you talk too much." I have not been able to
confirm Groucho making that statement, but Harpo did not
speak in the Marx Brothers films since he was not good at
memorizing dialog, so fell into the classic vaudeville
character of the silent dunce.
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