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The Oslo Woman Spy Theory, Explained


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Unsolved Mysteries suggests that the Oslo Plaza Woman was a spy, so what’s the evidence to support that theory? Here’s what Netflix glossed over.

Unsolved Mysteries Volume 2 suggests that the Oslo Plaza Woman was a spy, so what’s the evidence to support that theory? Since 1995, the unsolved murder case has baffled investigators and journalists, primarily due to the lack of evidence. Plus, the mystery woman known as “Jennifer Fairgate” (or Jennifer “Fergate”) has never been identified. Her body was buried in an unmarked grave in 1996, prompting VG journalist Lars Christian Wegner to immerse himself in the bizarre specifics.

Director Robert M. Wise prominently features Wegner in the Unsolved Mysteries episode “A Death in Oslo,” allowing for most of the relevant facts and theories to be documented. On May 31, 1995, a woman registered as “Jennifer Fairgate” at the luxurious Oslo Plaza Hotel, and listed a “Lois Fairgate” as her companion. Three days later, security visited room 2805 and discovered Fairgate’s corpse with a bullet hole through her forehead, presumably a self-inflicted fatal injury. As detailed in Unsolved Mysteries, investigators ruled the death as a “99 percent” suicide, and the case was closed one year later when nobody inquired about a missing woman matching the deceased’s description. When looking closer at the available evidence however, there’s reason to believe that the woman was a spy, and that her death — most likely a murder — was covered up.

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Related: Unsolved Mysteries Updates: Who Is The Oslo Plaza Woman (& What Happened)?

In Unsolved Mysteries, intelligence expert Ola Kaldager supports the spy theory. As the E14 group leader for the Norwegian Intelligence Service, he cites the position of the alleged suicide weapon as a major red flag. The victim fired a 9mm semi-automatic Browning pistol (later revealed to be a copy — evidence not included in the Netflix docuseries), and was found with her thumb gripping the trigger. Due to the weapon’s powerful recoil (one interviewee describes the pistol as an “assault weapon”), it’s highly improbable that the gun would’ve remained in the deceased’s grip being held in such an awkward way —  not to mention the suspicious lack of blood on Fairgate’s hand. More probable is that the gun was hastily placed there. The police destroyed the surviving evidence upon closing the case; however, the gun emerged years later during Wegner’s investigation, and tests revealed that it had been wiped clean (evidence not included in Unsolved Mysteries). If the woman killed herself, why does the lack of evidence point to a cover up of her death?

The Unsolved Mysteries Jennifer Fairgate Spy Theory Explained

Unsolved Mysteries - Death in Oslo Missing Jennifer Fairgate Evidence

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While the gun points to Jennifer Fairgate having been murdered, other evidence in the case suggests that she could have been involved in an international espionage or intelligence operation. The gun was untraceable — as Unsolved Mysteries describes, the serial number was professionally removed, possibly with acid. Furthermore, the woman checked into the hotel under a false name. How she was able to do so without providing a credit card on file remains a mystery, and suggests she may have had help — likely from whatever organization she was working for.

Fairgate’s bel0ngings found in room 2805 also support the Unsolved Mysteries spy theory. She removed all labels from all of her clothing (Kaldager describes this technique as “common practice” for spies), and curiously had monochromatic apparel (much of which is noted as being relatively expensive). Beyond that, Wegner was surprised to learn that the woman didn’t have any bottom-half clothing, nor did she have any toiletries — despite evidence she (or someone) had recently taken a shower. Even more perplexing is the total lack of identifying documentation. Somehow she had rented the room without a credit card or ID (such as a passport). The initial investigation also revealed that a briefcase was found with 25 rounds of ammunition, implying that the Oslo Plaza woman needed to protect herself for one reason or another. Yet, there were no personal effects: no house keys, no travel receipts, nor any of the items one would expect to find on a traveller.

What Unsolved Mysteries Leaves Out About The Spy Theory

Unsolved Mysteries - Death in Oslo Missing Jennifer Fairgate Evidence

Unfortunately, Unsolved Mysteries doesn’t include the most relevant evidence that supports a spy theory. Audiences learn how Fairgate died, and that room 2805 was left unattended for 15 minutes after security first heard the gunshot, but “A Death in Oslo” doesn’t acknowledge the troubling autopsy results. On Friday, June 2, the woman ordered bratwurst and potato salad at 8:06 p.m. (and also provided room service with a sizable tip). Yet, according to a Finnish article translated by a Reddit user, the autopsy revealed Fairgate’s room service meal in her stomach contents, suggesting she ate it the day she died. If Fairgate did indeed kill herself, she would have eaten one-day-old room service food before grasping a pistol, with her thumb, and then pulling the trigger.

The mystery woman may have been deeply depressed and didn’t necessarily care what she consumed, but the collective evidence suggests that she was murdered on Friday, June 2, and that room 2805 was staged to protect her assassin(s). According to Unsolved Mysteries, hotel employees initially noted an “acrid” smell upon entering the room, which suggests that her corpse could have been there for a while. Also, a newspaper with the number 2816 written on it was found in room 2805, leaving Wegner to theorize that Fairgate had a second room, or that she was tracking someone. Wegner discovered through his own investigation of hotel records and official statements from hotel employees that she had left her room for approximately 20 hours during her three-day stay — perhaps she was tracking someone during that time.

Wegner’s VG reports note that he linked room 2816 to a mysterious “Mr. X,” a mostly-uncooperative Belgian man who claimed that an Oslo Plaza employee informed him about Fairgate’s death upon his check-out on the morning of Saturday, June 3. In theory, the spy angle suggests that Mr. X, or an accomplice, killed Jennifer on Friday, June 2 after her room service order. The rest of the evening presumably involved covering up the crime scene, and the corpse (with undigested food inside) would’ve indeed had an “acrid” smell after sitting there for several hours. Another fact that Unsolved Mysteries doesn’t acknowledge: two shots were fired from the weapon: one into the woman’s forehead, and one into a pillow. The Netflix docuseries notes that security heard a gunshot upon initially knocking on room 2805, so it’s possible that someone was still in the room after killing Fairgate —  fired a warning shot to get rid of the knocker — and then fled in the 15-minute window when the scene was left unattended. Whatever theory Unsolved Mysteries audiences believe, the available evidence appears to eliminate the suicide theory.

More: Everything Unsolved Mysteries Leaves Out About The Oslo Plaza Woman

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Updated: October 30, 2020 — 6:02 pm

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