Netflix’s ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ takes the whole experience of true-crime investigations to another level. Instead of being just a documentary series that gives us a deep insight into a particular case thanks to interviews with law enforcement officials and the friends and family members of a victim, this series is a two-way interactive experience.
In simpler words, it means that it encourages viewers to provide information that might help solve the featured case, making it intriguing for both the makers and the audience members. This especially comes into play when a mystery is so baffling that not even the identity of the victim is known. ‘A Death in Oslo,’ a Volume 2 episode, chronicles such a tale. Curious to know all the details of it? Here’s everything that we know.
Who Was Jennifer Fairgate? How Did She Die?
On May 31, 1995, at 10:44 p.m., a petite, short-haired woman checked into room 2805 at the Plaza Hotel in Oslo, Norway, under the name “Jennifer Fergate.” For whatever reason, at that time, she was not asked to provide any identification or personal documents to be allowed to stay at the luxurious hotel. A cashier soon realized that she had neither previously paid for the room, nor given her credit card details, so they attempted to get in touch with her via the room’s television.
After getting no response for a while, when it was determined that a “Do Not Disturb” sign had been on her door for over two days, a security guard was sent to check in on her. At about 7:50 p.m. on June 3, 1995, the guard knocked on the door, and seconds later, a loud gunshot from inside the room rang out. The guard waited for a while for someone to come out, but then, he decided to go back downstairs to notify his manager and call the police. Of course, when this happened, the room was left unattended.
Around 15 minutes later, the security head arrived at the scene and opened the door ever so slightly, noticing a strange sour smell and the woman lying halfway on the bed. He closed the door, which was previously double-locked, and waited outside for the authorities to arrive, which happened half an hour later. Investigators found the woman dead from a single gunshot wound, right between her forehead and a 9mm Browning pistol in her right hand, wither her thumb on the trigger. She was alone, and there was no evidence of a struggle or of anyone else inside.
Due to the state in which she was found, the authorities were 99.9% sure that her cause of death was suicide, which they even mentioned in an official document. They then searched her room and found almost no personal belongings. There were no house keys, no identification, no toothbrush, or any other kind of toiletries, and even though she had clothes, the labels from almost all of them had been removed. However, the strangest part was that she had nothing for her bottoms, just shirts, sweaters, etc. The only information on this woman was what she had given to the front desk.
Her name was Jennifer Fairgate, she was born on August 23, 1973, and she hailed from a small village in Belgium called Verlaine. But, all of this information was false; Jennifer Fairgate never existed. Her fingerprints didn’t result in a match in any Norwegian or Interpol database, and the coroner determined that she was about 30 years old, give or take five years, not 21 as she claimed to be while checking in. In the weeks that followed, the authorities went about the investigation as if it was a homicide and hoped that someone would report her missing.
When nothing new turned up, they went back to their original theory of suicide. For a year, they kept her body, still hoping that somebody would positively identify her, but to no avail. Then, ultimately, in late June of 1996, they closed the case, got rid of all the evidence, and buried “Jennifer” without a headstone. Now, more than 25 years later, after her body has been exhumed, thanks to new technology, all we know is that she was of European descent, probably from East Germany, and was born between 1970 and 1972.
Who Killed Jennifer Fairgate?
First things first, “Jennifer” did not check-in alone. According to her registration card, she was with another person, “Lois Fairgate,” but again, he never existed. The investigators believed that she was in her room all alone for most of her visit, but a receptionist stated that she clearly remembers “Jennifer” standing with a tall man between the age of 35 and 40 while checking in. However, no one ever saw him again.
Since the investigators stuck with the suicide theory, they didn’t even check the CCTV cameras in the hotel, so there were no signs of “Lois” anywhere. Another thing is that the hotel room’s keycard only registers the entries, not the exits, and after talking to some of the housekeepers, it was determined that “Jennifer” was not present in her room between 1 p.m. (approx.) on June 1 and 8:50 a.m. on June 2. That’s almost 20 hours when no one knew where she was.
In the investigations that have been conducted over the 25 years, it has come to light that despite there being a lot of blood splatter all the way up to the ceiling and the adjacent walls, there was no blood on “Jennifer’s” hands or clothes, which makes her “suicide” highly suspicious. The gun that she used, the 9mm Browning pistol, is extremely powerful, so with the way she was gripping it, the gun should have fallen out of her hand with the hard recoil.
On top of all this, if she was depressed and just wanted to kill herself, she just needed one bullet; why were there seven others in the pistol’s magazine, and why did her briefcase contain nothing but 25 other cartridges? There could be a second person involved, maybe Lois, but then the question of an altercation arises. The only theory for this is that she could have been drugged and already unconscious. After all, her toxicology report shows that she was only tested for alcohol.
“Jennifer” was freshly showered, dressed in all black, and wearing heels at the time of her death, which raises several more questions about who she was and why she was in Oslo in the first place. Did she know someone there? Was it a business visit? Whom was she planning to meet? Was she a high-level prostitute? A secret agent? An assassin? Part of an illegal gang? These are questions that still need to be answered.
But in saying that, some professionals now believe that her death was nothing short of an execution performed by someone working for a government agency. After all, even the firearm’s serial number was partially removed to not be traced back anywhere. A professional hit appears to be the best theory until now, especially if the government paid her family to not claim her. Despite all this, though, right now, nothing has been or can be confirmed. Therefore, “Jennifer” and her death both remain a mystery to this date. (Featured Image Credit: Netflix)
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