On November 29, 1970, a professor and his daughters were hiking in the Isdalen Valley in Norway when they came across the partially charred remains of a young woman.
She was surrounded by a large quantity of sleeping pills and bottles of gasoline. All of the clothing she was wearing had the tags removed, and her fingerprints had been sanded off.
She was eventually traced back to two suitcases at the NSB train station in Bergen. Her luggage contained a prescription lotion, with the doctor’s name removed, a few pieces of broken glass with partial fingerprints.
They discovered the woman had traveled by train across Europe under nine different names: Jenevive Lancia, Claudia Tjelt, Vera Schlosseneck, Claudia Nielsen, Alexia Zarna-Merchez, Vera Jarle, Finella Lorck and Elizabeth Leen Hoywfer.
There were diaries found with her things that contained cryptic notes that the police deciphered were codes listing the places that she had been.
Witnesses said she wore wigs as she traveled and spoke several languages such as French, German, English, and Dutch. She stayed at several hotels in Bergen. After checking in to each, she would change rooms several times, always requiring a balcony.
A local man came to police saying that, five days prior to the body’s discovery, he came across a very elegant woman while hiking.
He noted that she wasn’t dressed for being outdoors, much less on a remote hiking trail, and that her face was distorted with fear. He claimed that she attempted to mouth something to him, but was followed closely by two large men in black coats.
The man waited 32 years to come public with this story, stating that when he contacted the police, the officer who answered told him, “Forget her, she was dispatched. The case will never be solved.”
Was she some sort of international spy? An innocent woman who knew too much? A battered wife on the run? I guess we’ll never know…
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