The 'Jennifer Fairgate' Episode of 'Unsolved Mysteries' Will Send You Down a Rabbit Hole
In its most open-ended episode yet, Netflix's true crime reboot doubles-down on speculation about an unidentifiable woman found dead in a hotel room.
Whether it's by overloading the viewer with information or stopping short of pointing towards a definitive solution, certain episodes of Netflix's Unsolved Mysteries activate the theory-spinning part of the brain. "Death in Oslo," the second episode of Volume 2 of Netflix's hit reboot, is one of those episodes that will send many curious viewers scurrying to Reddit, an hour of television that intrigues and frustrates in equal measure. The narrative twists you might expect—the reveal of an identity or the emergence of a crucial piece of evidence—simply never come.
Compared to many of the other episodes, "Death in Oslo" feels stripped down and straightforward. It tells the story of a young woman found with a bullet in her head in 1995 in a room at the Plaza Hotel in Oslo, Norway. She checked in under the name "Jennifer Fairgate" without showing a passport or a credit card, which baffled investigators. A hotel worker arrived on June 3, three days after she had checked in, to ask for a credit card or another form of payment, and then heard a gunshot. He left to get help, leaving the room unattended for 15 minutes, and police found the women dead when they arrived.
Though the situation initially appeared to be a suicide, certain odd details—the position of the gun, the lack of blood on her hands, and the absence of serial number on the weapon—point to the possibility of a murder. To this day, her true identity remains unknown and her reasons for visiting the hotel remain shrouded in mystery.
Where a typical episode of Unsolved Mysteries might interview family or friends of a victim, the case of Jennifer Fairgate is primarily presented through the lens of a single figure: journalist Lars Christian Wegner, who doggedly follows the slim leads on the case and has remained committed to discovering Fairgate's true identity over the years. He stages a reenactment of the crime with the help of a team of specialists, visits the Belgium town she claimed to be from on her check-in paperwork, and digs up Fairgate's body, using a sophisticated new test that measures carbon-14 levels in her teeth to approximate her age. None of these efforts opens up the case in a significant way, but the information collected about the case, including bits not touched on in the episode, can be viewed in this interactive feature from the Norwegian newspaper VG.
At a couple points in the episode, Wegner speculates about the circumstances surrounding the murder. Could she have been a drug smuggler, a sex worker, or a secret agent? Unsurprisingly, people on the internet have taken the speculation even further, pointing to a possible suspect, known as Mr. F, who is mentioned in the VGarticle about the case but goes unacknowledged in the episode. In the article, the man claims that he was informed of the woman's death when he checked out on Saturday morning, hours before her death. "I just remember they asked me," he said as an explanation. "That’s all I know."
For anyone looking to dig further into the case, this Reddit thread from three years ago lays out many details that didn't make it into the Unsolved Mysteries episode and features a number of discussions about possible theories. As with all Unsolved Mysteries cases, the producers are looking for new information or clues, and encourage viewers to contact them if they know anything.
Need help finding something to watch? Sign up here for our weekly Streamail newsletter to get streaming recommendations delivered straight to your inbox.