What is the real name of the woman who died mysteriously inside a locked room at Oslo’s Plaza Hotel?

CASE DETAILS

woman’s body lies on hotel room bed

A woman is lying face up on the bed.

It is May 31, 1995. A young woman, stylishly dressed in black, registers as “Jennifer Fairgate,” at Oslo’s luxurious, 5-star Plaza Hotel, the scene of many secret high-level international meetings. Her reservation for two includes “Lois Fairgate,” presumably the dark-haired man standing near her at the front desk. Their room, #2805, is expensive, with a beautiful view of the city. Their two-day stay is quiet–hotel housekeepers are surprised by how tidy the room is, as if no one is staying there at all.

After extending her visit, several notices asking Jennifer for payment appear on Room 2805’s TV screen. Someone in the room responds “ok” to each request, though no one shows up at the front desk to pay. This, along with the red “Do Not Disturb” sign that’s been hanging from the doorknob for days, catches the attention of the hotel supervisor. A part-time security guard is sent to check on Jennifer’s room, which is locked from the inside. He knocks on the door. Seconds later, he hears a gunshot coming from inside. While the guard runs back to the front desk to call police, Room 2805 is left unattended for 15 minutes.

Man in black sweater sitting in an office

Lars Wegner is drawn in by unanswered questions surrounding her death.

Oslo police arrive to find a woman dressed in black silk pajama shorts, stockings, and black pumps lying face up on the bed. A powerful 9mm Browning pistol is positioned awkwardly in her spotless right hand. A grisly gunshot wound marks the center of her forehead. There are no signs of forced entry so her death is ruled a sad and lonely suicide.

Two hands holding a gun

A team of experts examine the clues.

A simple wooden coffin is lowered into the ground, but other than a police detective, there’s no one to mourn the mysterious young woman inside. Because no one knows who she is.

The moment investigative journalist, Lars Wegner, hears of this baffling case, he is drawn in by the number of unanswered questions surrounding her death. In fact, “Jennifer Fairgate” doesn’t actually exist—it is discovered that she checked into the hotel using an alias and a false address in Belgium. The woman’s belongings, left behind in her hotel room, contain no identifying information. All tags from her clothing have been removed and the serial number on the gun has been meticulously removed using a method associated with organized crime. Lars and his team of experts, including a former Norwegian spy and a high-tech forensics lab, examine the clues and conclude that, based on the degree of effort made to conceal “Jennifer’s” identity, the most likely theory is that she was a professional assassin or spy. Lars is convinced that if he can find the identity of this woman, he will be able to solve the baffling mystery of her death.

If you have any information about her identity, contact VG newspaper at [email protected]


30 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Nouran

    I watched this one a couple of days ago but I think I remember them saying that they found where she grew up. couldn’t they go to schools there and see the documents of the students who went there? maybe they will be able to find her picture or they could just research and find every student.

    Reply

  2. Avatar

    Carmen Ortiz

    As someone already mentioned, with the aid of DNA data banks such as 23andMe or Accessory.com, it’s now possible to get a match to a close or distant relative of the woman to help narrow down her identity. I can’t believe this was not mentioned or tried. Of course if she was a secret assassin, then I’m sure there are ways to erase her DNA links from those data banks.

    Reply

  3. Avatar

    Juliana

    As everyone else on here, I have a few thoughts.

    1. Someone has already pointed this out, and I’m sure the journalist has thought about it as well, but, why would the killer wait for someone to knock to shoot the woman? They mention things had been cleared out – no toiletries or ID, the bottom garments, and so on. Why would a killer remove all of that first and then carry out the actual murder at the very last second? Perhaps she was actually staying at a different place, and she was only at this hotel room as part of her mission. Perhaps the clothes that she brought in were just meant to make it look like someone was staying there so there was nothing to actually clear out? Still, the timing of the shot doesn’t make sense to me.
    2. In any case, it’s fair to question if some of the hotel staff at the time were involved. She was given a room without any proper procedure, and again, the timing of the shot is weird. Perhaps the security guard that knocked on the door was actually alerting the killer of a cue, if indeed that’s when she was shot? Why did it take fifteen minutes for someone to come back up?
    3. I think it might be worth releasing some sketches with different hairstyles and different hair colours. People can look entirely different going from long hair to a shot pixie cut. Especially someone so young, it’s not unreasonable to think she looked fairly different up to her trip to Norway.

    Reply

  4. Avatar

    João

    This whole case is a bit strange.
    The security story is very poorly told and they must investigate the security. A person who wants to kill another person will not wait for someone to knock on the door to fire a gun and there will be witnesses, if the security guard knocked on the door if someone wanted to kill someone, they would not do it right now because they would be very exposed. If he heard gunshots because he left the scene and simply did not contact the supervisor by radio?
    Another thing that is strange is the fact that the hotel has a CCTV system and the police do not want to see them. Both on the bedroom floor and at the reception there must be at least one, and they could easily identify the man who appeared to be with her at check in.
    Both the hotel and the security guards appear to play an important role in the case, which the police simply dismissed.
    Another thing is that the address she supposedly put at check in really exists, you can check it on google street view, how did you go to the location and didn’t find the house? If on google street view there is a house with the number 148 on the street that she placed?

    Reply

  5. Avatar

    James

    They only checked for alcohol! Then when they dug her up later what did they find in her system. Why did the security guy just run away when he heard the gunshot. Did anybody ask the check-in clerk why they let her in without a passport or ID. There is surely a reason for the tags on her clothes to be missing. The hand grip on the gun was fake and contrived by someone else.

    Reply

  6. Avatar

    Radu

    To me, the hotel employees seem very suspicious.

    Reply

  7. Avatar

    Denisse

    Wow me asombra la respuesta de las personas! Como es posible que el investigador que lleva años en el caso no se le haya ocurrido todas estas opciones de las que hablan los comentaristas???

    Reply

  8. Avatar

    Slick

    I don’t think it’s a matter of incompetence. Lets assume that she was a secret agent / spy or assassin. Maybe, there’s already a hit in a dna database but the records are sealed / confidential / classified.

    “Niclas” already referred to the “Isdal Woman”.

    But a more recent case (2009) is that of “Peter Bergmann”. Why are these people still unidentiefied? Maybe it should stay just the way it is…..

    Reply

  9. Avatar

    Mosa

    If you can’t find her family you’re just incompetent

    Reply

  10. Avatar

    Yoma

    23andMe… Ancestry.com lots of DNA places narrow down family members all around the world

    Reply

  11. Avatar

    Dalva

    According to the police report, was found food in the hotel room where she is found dead.
    The food was analizaed for the poiice? What type of food? Tipical region?
    She was left hand ou right hand?
    The police analized her caligrafy?
    Maybe the number adrees she give is a 14+8 or 1+4+8?
    She buy the food in the restaurant in Oslo or ordering the food on the hotel?
    The green bag has a brand name ou etiquet?
    The hotel room 2805 is on 2° floor ou 28° floor? If is the 2° another person could jump from the window?
    2805 is the hotel number room, she dies on 31/05 (3 days window), just the sames days she stay on the hotel.
    Check the birthadays womens on 28/05/1971 and 31/05/1971 in Germany and next locations;

    Reply

  12. Avatar

    Slick

    The only label that was left was in a grey blazer. The blazer was from the German fasion house, René Lezard.
    A turquoise travel bag was from the German manufacturer Travelite. The Travelite logo too remained in place, irremovable without cutting the bag.

    Reply

  13. Avatar

    Marcus Richardson

    I think her misspelling of Fairgate as Fergate could be a significant clue. The English word “fair” has been imported into the languages of the former Yugoslavia (Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian) as an Anglicism. In sport for example, the concept of “fair play” is rendered “fer plej”. Or when people want to say “it’s not fair” they’ll say “nije fer”. The “fer” is pronounced the same way as English “fair”, just with a Slavic accent. It’s not pronounced like the ending of “Jennifer”, for example. So this may be a case of accidental confusion of “fair” and “fer” in the fake name.

    Some other things that make me think she could come from the former Yugoslavia:
    1. She has a Balkan “look” to her, both in terms of facial features/hair color etc. and body type, and also the predominance of dark clothing, which was very typical of Bosnia/Croatia/Serbia in the mid-90s.
    2. By June 1995 war had been raging in Bosnia and Croatia for several years. One of the many consequences of those brutal wars was the birth of numerous mafia-style criminal groups, often led by (former) military/paramilitary leaders who were heavily involved in the commission of war crimes and organized crime that spread through Europe, particularly with drug trafficking and prostitution. These gangs – particularly Serbian groups – were ruthless and led by men with significant military training and combat experience. They had established a significant presence in Scandinavia by the mid 90s – particularly in Sweden and Denmark, but no doubt were always looking to expand their territories into the likes of Oslo. Just google “Serb mafia Scandinavia” and you will see more about this.
    3. The Browning pistol was commonly seen in military/paramilitary circles in the wars in the Balkans in the 1990s.
    4. A lot of speculation here has been on whether this was an intelligence-related thing or criminal underworld. Serbia in particular in the 1990s under President Milosevic blurred the boundaries between intelligence agencies/special forces and paramilitary thugs. See for example the notorious Special Operations Unit (aka Red Berets) which was formed by merging several notorious paramilitary units and placing them under the command of State Security. So outfits like this were in some ways both organized criminal gangs and extensions of a country’s state security apparatus. They had all the trappings and impunity of an intelligence organization, and the criminal mentality to commit ruthless crimes.

    So, I think there is a strong possibility that this is Balkan mafia-related. DNA profiling should be re-examined. Even if no close matches can be found, a good estimate of her ethnicity should be very easy to do and if she was from the Balkans this would show up very easily.

    Source: I speak Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian, have lived in Serbia in the mid 90s and have a lot of inside knowledge of the wars in the Balkans and related paramilitary activities and organized crime.

    Reply

  14. Avatar

    Mary Gorman

    I believe she can be identified using a genetic detective! I was surprised they hadn’t tried that!!

    Reply

  15. Avatar

    Den

    Reverse DNA

    Reply

  16. Avatar

    Den

    Reverse DNA, that’s the way to find her !!

    Reply

  17. Avatar

    sally

    check out the missing children’s names in different countries, she might be kidnaped …

    Reply

  18. Avatar

    Renee

    They should use Gedmatch- that is the company that solved the Golden State Killer murder mystery in California. It can show family lines and if any of her realtives are in the system thus getting us closer to her identity. I wondered about the cctv footage as well. They should be able to track her everymove. How did she pay everywhere she went? Cash? And who let her in the hotel not paying???? Someone checked her in- did they not ask for ID? I mean i get this was the 90’s but someone let her in and broke protocol checking her in. So many loose ends. Where was Lois? When was the last time he was seen?

    Reply

  19. Avatar

    Penca

    For me it ends in 98 as well…

    Reply

  20. Avatar

    adyel

    I think Cece Moore can Identify this woman. Why cant we ask her? This one case left me baffled similar to the feeling i had when i watched the Rey Rivera’s case. They never said anything about dental records…or if they could track down her clothes to a manufacturer, check distributors around Europe…make some sense of where she bought them. There must be still evidence on those clothes. And the gun, can they tell if it was fired previous to the event?

    Reply

  21. Avatar

    ally

    I think it was the security guard.
    1) he had access to the security cameras so he could have easily destroyed them which is why they had no way of checking them.
    2) why would they wait to shoot after he had knocked on the door? they wouldn’t if the security had gone in the room , the killer could have easily been compromised and intelligence wouldn’t have done that
    3) the security guard mentioned that he wait a long period of time to see if anyone came out of the room then ran down stairs, why couldn’t he just call for backup why would he have left the scene
    4) when he supposedly waited after the gun shot he could have easily been the one destroying all the evidence before notifying anyone else
    5) he is a security guard he could’ve let her in to the hotel which explains why she was let in without any sort of ID or credit card , if it was any other hotel there would have not let her in without any sort of identification or payment
    6) he could’ve had someone in the police force helping him which explains why he was never throughly interviewed considering that he was the only one on scene and their biggest lead
    7) also if he did have connections to the police force that would explain why the investigation why not throughly conducted
    8) he is a security guard for the hotel he had access to her room

    Reply

  22. Avatar

    Niclas

    There was a pretty similar case in 1970 also in Norway called “isdal women” which was talked about in a Podcast (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isdal_Woman?wprov=sfti1).
    Maybe the cases have more similarities than appearing on the first look, but obnvious are the missing tags on everything and that she was never identified with roots in europe, connections to belgium and germany as well.

    Reply

  23. Avatar

    Giani

    This case was covered up by the police. They’ve had a suspect murder and no one has checked the cctv’s inside the hotel ?! How it’s that possible ? Also, no drug tests ? I doubt that hey are so poor prepared. It’s sad but i think this was a counter Spionage murder due to the coverage and the missing evidence such as the labels of her clothes.

    Reply

  24. Avatar

    Dana

    If she wasn’t in intelligence then I think perhaps the man she was with was. She could have been his mistress or someone she was involved with who was involved with shady stuff. I agree, putting her DNA in ancestry websites is our best bet now. We can find out who she is possibly related to and work backwards from that. I am really upset that the police didn’t check cameras at all when they first reported. Also if her parents were like between 22-26 when they had her, her parents would be around 70-75 now, so possibly still alive now.

    Reply

  25. Avatar

    Cristi Whitehead

    I got really excited when I saw that Jennifer’s DNA was tested. But, I was expecting a little more, such as suggested above. Test her DNA through MyHeritage, Ancestry, 23&me, she is bound to have family who have tested. It may take time, but her family can be narrowed down with autosomal DNA.

    Reply

  26. Avatar

    Kimberly Krebs

    I said the same thing out loud to myself! lol
    They went to the trouble to exhume her body for DNA. There are several DNA and forensic companies (like Parabon Nanolabs) that work with law enforcement to solve cold cases. It’s worth a shot.

    Reply

  27. Avatar

    Kevin

    The unusual things in this case which were not fully explained or further investigated in the episode.
    1) Why was she allowed to check in and go to her room without producing any ID or credit card? I don’t know of any hotel that would allow that!
    2)What happened to the cctv footage of her in the reception? Why did that mysteriously disappear?
    3) The security guard heard the shot after he knocked on her door. Why would an assassin wait until someone knocks on her door before he shoots her?
    4) How could the assassin be certain the guard wouldn’t immediately open the door to find out what had happened? He would then have to also shoot the guard!

    Reply

  28. Avatar

    Aly

    I wish we knew more about the man she showed up with, Luis. Maybe someone out there would know/speak up about him.

    Reply

  29. Avatar

    Fred

    They said that the adress she gave
    « 148 rue de la station, Belgium » does not exists, but it exists in Google Streetview..

    Reply

  30. Avatar

    Kasper Grøndahl

    Has anyone thought about running the womans DNA profile through sites as Myharitage and s o forth. In case that could prove a match?

    Reply

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