This story starts with a question, but ends with more. What happened in room 2805? On May 31st, 1995, a woman who went by the name Jennifer Fairgate checked into Room 2805 of the Oslo Plaza Hotel in Norway. She was discovered dead in the hotel room and police initially believed this was a suicide, but eventually realized something strange was going on. Was Jennifer an assassin? Could Intelligence Services be involved? Were people at the hotel in on things? There are more questions than answers in this case.
This story starts with a question, but ends with more. What happened in room 2805? On May 31st, 1995, a woman who went by the name Jennifer Fairgate checked into Room 2805 of the Oslo Plaza Hotel in Norway. She was young and elegant, wearing all black and had a very expensive Citizen Aqualand model CQ-1021-50 watch. Three days later, she was found dead in her hotel room. The woman checked in under a fake name and gave a Belgian address that didn't exist. She did write that she was from the tiny village of Verlaine (VERLIN) in Belgium and this place does exist. People that lived in Verlaine have never seen this woman and didn't know of anyone that had gone missing. On the hotel paperwork, Jennifer ended up misspelling the last name she used twice, she wrote FERGATE instead of FAIRGATE. When Jennifer checked in, she added a man named Lois Fairgate to her room.
On June 3rd, just after 7:30 PM, a receptionist at the Plaza figured out that something wasn't right in room 2805. Somehow, Jennifer was able to check in without giving a credit card, passport, or ID, which is against hotel policy. They were in a business class room and it was one of the best rooms the hotel had. Jennifer had been there for three nights, but she hadn't paid for any of it. Messages had been sent to the room on the TV screen asking for someone to contact the cashier. The system was controlled by a remote and someone in the room hit the OK button and acknowledged the message, but didn't respond. The hotel staff said the hotel room had been cleaned once and a do not disturb sign had been on the door. The hotel was a 5 star hotel and they often had very high profile guests and were pretty strict about following the rules. The Radisson SAS Plaza is now known as the Radisson Blu Plaza hotel. It was completed in 1989 with 1,500 beds, 673 rooms and 37 floors.
When the payment wasn't received, security was dispatched to the room and they arrived 15 minutes later, knocked on the door and heard a gunshot. The security guard took cover in a small alcove to wait. He didn't alert any other staff members because he didn't want to cause a panic. He headed back down to the guard station and left the room completely unwatched. The head of security was contacted and the police were as well. When the head of security arrived, they opened the door, which had been double locked from the inside and the room had a bad odor. The room was dark and Jennifer was lying on the bed in an unnatural position. She was freshly showered, wearing all black and had black shoes. The police showed up around 8:05PM which was 50 minutes later.
Investigators saw that Jennifer had one gunshot wound to the forehead and believed she was killed instantly. There was significant amounts of blood spatter in the room and on the bed, but there weren't any signs of anyone else being present in that room. The gun was in Jennifer's hand and it was in an unusual position. Jennifer's thumb was on the trigger and it had been fired twice. Once into the pillow, which appeared to be a test shot and the other was in Jennifer's head. Investigators believed this was a suicide and that means they didn't look at every detail and they didn't pull the footage from hotel cameras. The 9mm gun is very powerful and has a hard recoil. It should have fallen out of Jennifer's grip if she was holding it with her thumb on the trigger.
Both key cards were inside the room and the door had been double locked from the inside. The window was open, but it was 28 floors from the ground and would have been a really difficult spot for someone to enter or leave. There was one immediate problem with the scene. There wasn't any blood or gun residue on Jennifer's hands. The serial number on the gun had been removed with acid and the tags of her clothing had all been removed. Now, at first, I didn't think this was too strange because I cut the tags out of my clothes too, but the labels from the shoes were even removed. Only one label remained and it was on a jacket that had been purchased in Germany. Twenty five rounds of ammunition was discovered in Jennifer's bag, but that's all she had with her. There weren't any fingerprints on the gun or magazine. Jennifer didn't have a passport, purse, ID, credit card, nothing. Police had no idea who she really was. During her stay, she had placed two calls, but they were both wrong numbers. Perhaps she didn't remember the phone number correctly, but oddly enough, the numbers were for Verlaine and that's where she claimed she was from.
An autopsy was performed and the coroner believed that Jennifer was older than she claimed on the hotel documents. She said she was 21, but the coroner figured she was between 25 and 35. She had short black hair, blue eyes, was 5'3”, and weighed 147 pounds. Jennifer's dental work looked pretty expensive, but a dental match wasn't made and her fingerprints didn't match any records. There has never been a family that has come forward to say they were missing someone or believed they knew who this woman was.
When police interviewed the staff from the Plaza Hotel, they learned that Jennifer checked in at 10:44 PM on May 31st. She wasn't asked for an ID and said Lois Fairgate would be staying with her. The receptionist didn't see Jennifer with anyone else, but other employees did see her with a man between the ages of 35 and 40. She spoke English when she initially booked the room, but spoke German when she called to confirm. She stayed in her room for most of her stay except for the early morning of June 1st through June 2nd. She stayed out between 12:34 AM and 8:50 AM, but no one is sure where she went. A maid entered the room while Jennifer was gone and she saw a nice pair of shoes in the closet. The shoes were no longer in the room when Jennifer's body was discovered.
Investigators found an odd assortment of clothing in Jennifer's room as well. There were four jackets, one blouse, a sweater, pantyhose, and four bras. She didn't have any bottoms, no shorts, pants, skirts, she didn't even bring underwear. That part may not be too strange if she's a comando kinda gal. A witness at the hotel said that she had arrived wearing a suit jacket and a skirt and looked like a flight attendant.
Building a timeline for Jennifer was pretty easy. The key card for her room registers every time someone enters, but not when they leave. She first entered her room on Wednesday evening at 10:44 PM. She entered again on Thursday at 12:21 AM and again at 8:34 AM. On Friday, it was 8:50 AM and 11:03 AM. Police initially felt that this did point to suicide. They figured she stayed in her room most of the time until she was ready to take her life. During her stay, around 1:00 PM on Thursday, maids had cleaned the room and the room was empty. That means that Jennifer was not in her room and the next time she came back was at 12:21 AM. Does that mean she was with someone else?
Police didn't know what to think of this whole thing, but they were forming a few theories. They wondered if Jennifer was the missing wife of a mafia boss. They ruled this out pretty quickly though. Maybe this was drug related? They felt that intelligence services could be involved or Jennifer could be an assassin. Removing tags from clothing is a signature move for intelligence service. It stops the police from being able to track the clothing to certain countries or regions. There was no trace left of who this woman was. If she was an agent for intelligence services, they may just pay the family off to keep quiet.
On June 26th, 1996, the woman was buried in an anonymous grave and two months later, the police ordered the destruction and/or sale of all evidence, including clothing, jewelry, luggage, and the gun. The gun actually ended up being saved, but not for this case. It couldn't have been more lonely. Jennifer didn't get a funeral because no one knows who she is. She didn't get a headstone either. She was just buried and the case was closed.
Police forensics department wanted to keep the weapon that showed evidence of having the markings removed. The numbers were removed in a very professional way and the original numbers are very deeply ingrained, but a professional would know how deep they had to go to remove this. The gun was found by the Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang in 2017, a journalist named Lars Christian Wegner had been following the case since 1998. Experts contacted Lars regarding this finding and it was suggested that the weapon wasn't an authentic Browning 9mm like they originally believed. It was a Hungarian copy composed of different parts. The barrel was genuine, but the rest of the gun was much older than the suggested 1991 date of manufacture. Experts believe it originated in the 1960s or 70s and was an ex-military issue.
At 8:06 PM on the day before death, Jennifer ordered food to be taken to her room. She ordered a Hotbite which is a bratwurst and potato salad. Kristin Andersen, the room service supervisor, brought the food up, but she had been given the wrong room number. She took the food to 2804 instead of 2805. The mistake was realized and the food was delivered directly to Jennifer and she handed the supervisor an abnormally large tip.
Crime scene investigators found the majority of the ordered food in the hotel room. Not much had been consumed. The food had been ordered on Friday, June 2nd, but Jennifer didn't eat it until Saturday. Bringing the food to the wrong room may sound like a simple mistake, but what if the person that was after Jennifer, was in room 2805? Bringing food to this room, may tip the person off that someone was in the other room. Another weird mistake happened as well. There was a newspaper in Jennifer's room, USA Today. Newspapers were given to all of the guests, but the one in her room, was for room 2816. A fingerprint was recovered from the bag that contained the newspaper and was sent to Interpol, but the resident in 2816 has never been traced.
Now, there was a man at the hotel that has always been referred to as Mr. F and he stayed in a room next to Jennifer in 2804. The real credit for tracking this person down goes to Lars Wegner. He is the reporter who brought this story to the public in 1995 and again in 2017. There has never been a lot to go on, but he keeps researching and trying to find answers. Police documents show that Mr. F was in Oslo for work and was from the French speaking part of Belgium. He was never questioned and had already checked out on the morning of Jennifer's death. Investigators tried to speak with him, but he was very hesitant and cut off all contact when journalists tried to speak with him. Mr. F did end up telling Lars that on the morning he checked out of the hotel, the front desk clerk asked if he had seen or heard anything and told him a lady had died. Jennifer's death supposedly happened on the evening of Saturday and the front desk couldn't have informed Mr. F about a death that hadn't occurred yet.
In November of 2016, Jennifer's body was exhumed for a DNA analysis. Previous blood samples had been discarded like everything else in this case. Investigators took samples of the woman's teeth and bones. They sent a complete DNA profile for analysis at the Institute for Legal Medicine at Innsbruck Medical University, in Austria. The samples confirmed that she was most likely European and Professor Jurian Hoogewerf studied her teeth at the University of Canberra in Australia and narrowed the area to Germany. Professor Druid in Stockholm believes the woman was born in 1971 and was 24 years old at the time of her death based on her teeth. The jacket and bag found in the hotel room were both German and the woman spoke the language without an accent on the phone to hotel staff. Her dental work may have also originated in Germany.
I was so confused about the teeth study, how can people tell how old this woman was based on her teeth? I had never heard of this before, but it's super fascinating. During the Cold War in 1955 to 1963, there were above ground nuclear test bomb detonations. They created an increase in the C14 levels in the atmosphere. Structures, like the enamel in your teeth will incorporate the C14 that was in the atmosphere. They can take the teeth and look at the levels of C14 and compare that to the atmospheric levels. This is how it was determined that Jennifer was 24 years old.
I do want to talk more in depth about the day Jennifer died. When the autopsy was performed, they said that her death occurred on Saturday and that lines up with the day the security guard heard the gunshot at the door. I'm calling bullshit. Why would you order food and eat it 24 hours later? Where did she put the bratwurst so it didn't go bad? Why would she order food for the next night? If the partially eaten food was in her stomach, I think she died Friday and this gave someone plenty of time to clean up the crime scene. She didn't even have a house key, car key, or toothbrush with her. If you look at the timeline of when she was entering her hotel room, she entered the last time on Friday morning at 11:03 AM and. It's believed that Jennifer may have had a second room at the hotel as well. She was leaving 2805 for about 20 hours a day and the newspaper in her room was from 2816. It's possible that she somehow had both rooms and was spying on someone else in the hotel. When the hotel attendant brought the food to Jennifer on Friday night, she noticed that the room was really clean and the bed hadn't been slept in because the bedspread was still intact and there was an upright suitcase on wheels in the room. She noticed Jennifer's outfit and she was wearing a skirt. The skirt and suitcase were never discovered when investigators searched the room.
Now I know you're wondering why the security guard heard a gun shot on Saturday if Jennifer was killed on Friday. What if someone was in her room cleaning up and heard the knock on the door. They fired that second shot into the pillow as a warning to whoever was on the other side of the door. That would explain the second shot. Also, the guard claims the smell was awful in the room. If Jennifer was just shot, I don't think the smell would be that bad. Obviously you can smell blood, but her body wouldn't be decomposing yet and this suggests she died before Saturday.
One of the things in this case that drives me bananas is how Jennifer checked into the hotel. This is supposed to be a 5 start hotel that gets very high profile guests. I just can't believe that a hotel like this would be so relaxed about their check-in process. How did she check in without an ID, passport, or credit card? And it somehow wasn't discovered for a few days? It seems like people at the hotel were in on this whole thing. Perhaps someone was paid off? Why would a security guard leave after hearing gunshots and not tell any of the staff members? Shouldn't security guards be trained? This would be an active shooter situation, but the guard just disappeared for 15 minutes and leaves the room unattended. Also, the door was double locked from the inside and only security guards can get in when this happens. You could also argue that a double locked door wouldn't be a challenge for intelligence service as well.
There is one guest Borghild Strandenes who stayed in room 2818 on Friday, June 2nd. She didn't know anything about Jennifer until the following week when she saw the story in the newspaper. She realized that she was on the same floor and she contacted the police to let them know that she was woken up by a loud noise late on the Friday night. She heard a series of thumps or bangs and she remembers being very worried. She considered calling the front desk, but the noise stopped, so she decided against it. Now, room 2818 isn't necessarily anywhere near 2805, but you know where it's near? The mysterious 2816 room where the newspaper came from.
If you have any information about Jennifer's identity, contact VG newspaper at Jennifer@vg.no or you can go to unsolved.com
Watched Netflix Unsolved Mysteries Volume 2, Episode 2: A Death in Oslo