Jennifer Fergate was discovered shot to death in room 2805 of the Oslo Plaza Hotel in June 1995, sparking a mystery that is still unsolved today.
Not only was the woman’s alleged suicide suspicious from a forensics point of view, but when Norwegian police began investigating, they learned that the woman gave a fake name, a fake address, and a fake phone number when she checked into the hotel three days prior to her death, according to a documentary by Norway’s VGTV.
The woman who chose the name Jennifer Fergate also signed another name into the hotel — Lois Fergate, yet it has never been fully verified that there was a second guest. Two receptionists who were working the night Fergate checked in remember two different scenarios. One remembers Fergate being alone, the other remembers that she was with a man who looked to be in his late thirties or forties, according to what they told VGTV.
Fergate’s death was ruled a suicide because no other fingerprints were found in the room and the door was locked from the inside, yet other evidence, like how there were no traces of blood or gun powder residue found on her hand — which still held the gun — raised suspicions because simple physics and typical suicide scenarios show that these elements would be on the hands of someone who shot themselves.
Professor of forensic pathology Torleiv Ole Rognum told VGTV, “You expect to find that when there is a gunshot wound and skin is flung off and blood hits the ceiling. There ought to be traces of blood on the hand that pulled the trigger…so the possibility that someone else contributed should be weighed carefully.”
Yet 25 years after the so-called “Plaza Woman’s” death, investigators still don’t know who she was or if she was actually murdered.
Several Personal Items Were Missing From Fergate’s Room Evoking the Idea That Someone Took Things to Cover TheirTracks
Beyond forensic anomalies regarding the gun, other unusual findings, or lack-there-of, have led some to suspect someone else was involved with her death. Almost all of the tags were removed from the woman’s clothing.
She’s described as “stylish” and well-dressed by all accounts but many things were missing from her room. According to websleuths, there were no toiletries in the room. No purse, no wallet, no keys, and no passport in the possession of a woman who listed her address as in Belgium.
Of the several items of clothing still in the room, including bras and jackets, there were no pants, skirts or underwear, according to Germany’s Kasaan Times. Also, an entire suitcase that hotel housekeeping staff saw in her room prior to her death was missing.
While many typical items a person would travel with were missing, investigators found a nearly empty bottle of men’s cologne in the room and a small black suitcase with over 20 rounds of bullets, according to VGTV. The Browning 9 mm gun found in Fergate’s hand, with her finger still on the trigger, had the serial number removed by the use of acid, The Kasaan Times reported, deeming the weapon untraceable.
Theories on who may have killed Fergate, if it was, in fact, a murder, are wide-spread. Naturally, the mysterious “Lois” is a person of interest, yet there is no proof he actually existed, according to VGTV. Other than one receptionist claiming to have seen this man with Fergate when she checked in, no one else remembered the man.
Theories of Who Killed Fergate Include Someone From the Intelligence Community to Other Hotel Guests
One person who has been considered Fergate’s possible murderer is a man simply known as Mr. F, who stayed at the hotel on the same floor as Fergate at overlapping times. What makes him suspicious is a conversation he had with Verdens Gang News Reporter Lars Wegner after Wegner tracked him down.
Mr. F said that he checked out on Saturday morning and the hotel staff asked if he’d heard or seen anything since his room was near Fergate’s. Mr. F told Wegner the staff told him that a woman had died, according to the website Dark Ideas. However, Wegner challenged the man because Fergate is believed to have died Saturday night, when gunshots were heard, not Friday, so hotel staff would not have asked him about her death on Saturday morning. Mr. F said he didn’t know but he remembers being asked, according to Dark Ideas.
The fact that Fergate had lots of ammunition in her room makes some wonder if she was on some kind of assignment. According to Dark Ideas, “One of the most valuable insights given to Lars Wegner in his investigation is the interview with Oal Kaldager, head of Norwegian Intelligence throughout the 2000s. The mystery surrounding Jennifer Fairgate has led to speculation that she was an agent killed in the line of duty. This could explain why no-one has claimed her.”
Kaldager told Wegner, “Well-known agencies like MI6 or the CIA would probably ask to have the agent returned, but for some services, it would be typical for the dead person not to be reported missing. The agency might notify the family of what happened and pay them a nice compensation, while the family would have to promise to never talk about what happened,” Dark Ideas reported.
According to The Kasaan Times, several theories about who she was may have given clues to who may want her dead, but many of those were ruled out.
Because of the mysterious nature of the situation and Fergate’s description as an elegant, well-put-together person who was clearly trying to hide her true identity, lofty ideas of terrorism were pitched, as well as involvement in high-stakes political issues involving the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, The Kasaan Times reported. Could she have been involved in the drug trade? A high-end prostitute?
All of those theories had been put to bed, according to The Kasaan Times, who also posited, “The only thing that remained was the intelligence gathering of information about the Bosnian war. Whole families had saved themselves to Norway. It was the first great wave of escape that had started during the siege of Sarajevo,” bringing back the theory that she was some kind of intelligence operative.
Finally, there is plenty to lead to the conclusion that Fergate took her own life with a single bullet to the forehead, but if she didn’t, someone went to great lengths to make it look like a suicide, only deepening the enigma.
Yet without confirmation of the woman’s identity and with very little to go on, the mystery of what happened to the woman who said her name was Jennifer Fergate may never be solved.