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  1. #1
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    Exclamation TN - Robert Dennis Blair Adams, 31, Knoxville, July 1996

    A very strange but classic unsolved murder profiled on Unsolved Mysteries.

    Blair_adams1.jpg

    Robert Dennis Blair Adams was a thirty-one year old Canadian resident who was found dead in the parking lot of a Knoxville, Tennessee hotel in July of 1996. Scattered around his body was almost $4000 in mixed Canadian, American and German currency. His death was later discovered caused by a blow to the stomach. His friends and family would like to know the events that resulted in his death. Authorities found that in the days before Blair's death, he acted very strange, claiming that people were trying to kill him, and traveled thousands of miles before arriving in Knoxville.

    More information about the case - http://unsolvedmysteries.wikia.com/wiki/Blair_Adams

    This case was so incredibly strange. He started acting strange before he died. He liquidated all his assets before coming to America from Canada, but then drove around everywhere before he ended up in Knoxville, TN. When he was found dead, he was naked from the waist down, but yet no one knows how exactly he died. Very strange.
    "When from a long distant past nothing persists, after the people are dead, after things are broken and scattered, still alone, more persistent, more faithful, the smell and taste of things remain poised a long, long time like souls, ready to remind us, waiting, hoping for their moment amid the ruins of all the rest, and bear unfaltering in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence the vast structure of recollection."

  2. #2
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    I am new to the forums and was so glad to see this case had a recent post for it is a very old unsolved case (1996).
    I have always believed Blair was in fact "followed", as erratic as his journey was, and he was unable to shake those who were not far behind.
    I know nothing more than what I have read up to this point but I believe his followers may be connected to what may have happened in Germany. The fact that his pants were "pulled off" and a lot of currency was scattered around may suggest a retaliation murder with the desire to humiliate.
    There are two terms "debagging" (slang meaning "To remove someone’s trousers by force, a form of humiliation popular among boys and young men, often used as an initiation rite, or as a punishment for undesirable behaviour or to enforce group norms") and the German word "toten hosen" (meaning literally "deadpants", the expression means "impotent" or "nothing going on").
    I had read he may have had a relationship with a "young woman" in Germany (whose age was questionable) and this may have angered someone to chase him (or have him chased) to get even in this manner (for obviously money was not the motive).
    Or perhaps he had "double-crossed" someone in Germany concerning drugs and a professional hit was placed on his life. He was killed by a fatal blow to his abdomen and only one scream was heard that night (so it was a surprise attack that was over very quickly and without much noise). I wonder what weapon that might have been?
    Knowing that Blair was terrified at every step along his route is incredibly heart-wrenching and I wish this case could be solved for his family's sake.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by kat913 View Post
    I am new to the forums and was so glad to see this case had a recent post for it is a very old unsolved case (1996).
    I have always believed Blair was in fact "followed", as erratic as his journey was, and he was unable to shake those who were not far behind.
    I know nothing more than what I have read up to this point but I believe his followers may be connected to what may have happened in Germany. The fact that his pants were "pulled off" and a lot of currency was scattered around may suggest a retaliation murder with the desire to humiliate.
    There are two terms "debagging" (slang meaning "To remove someone’s trousers by force, a form of humiliation popular among boys and young men, often used as an initiation rite, or as a punishment for undesirable behaviour or to enforce group norms") and the German word "toten hosen" (meaning literally "deadpants", the expression means "impotent" or "nothing going on").
    I had read he may have had a relationship with a "young woman" in Germany (whose age was questionable) and this may have angered someone to chase him (or have him chased) to get even in this manner (for obviously money was not the motive).
    Or perhaps he had "double-crossed" someone in Germany concerning drugs and a professional hit was placed on his life. He was killed by a fatal blow to his abdomen and only one scream was heard that night (so it was a surprise attack that was over very quickly and without much noise). I wonder what weapon that might have been?
    Knowing that Blair was terrified at every step along his route is incredibly heart-wrenching and I wish this case could be solved for his family's sake.
    So it's your thought that something happened to him in Germany? Interesting. Honestly, I remember this case from Unsolved Mysteries so many years ago, and I was looking up old cases from that show, and read about this case that I've forgotten a long time ago. The part of this case that has me wondering, was the fact that he wasn't able to start his car, only to find out that the key that he had was for a totally different type of car altogether. He obviously drove the car at some point with the correct key, so what happened?

    I think you're right about him being followed. I mean this guy seemed to be scared to death of someone or something.
    "When from a long distant past nothing persists, after the people are dead, after things are broken and scattered, still alone, more persistent, more faithful, the smell and taste of things remain poised a long, long time like souls, ready to remind us, waiting, hoping for their moment amid the ruins of all the rest, and bear unfaltering in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence the vast structure of recollection."

  4. #4
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    One thing that I did find was a report on this case about how authorities found in Adams' belongings a rental car receipt from Seattle signed by a fellow Canadian. Also, they are investigating the possibility his killing was a sex crime which seems kind of strange to me, but I assume they had good reason to suspect that. Maybe that is tied in with something or whatever happened in Germany. I do wonder if Adams was involved in some type of illegal smuggling activity.

    I've also wondered about the one single blow that killed him. Obviously that isn't impossible to do, but if this were a hit or a homicide, which I think it was, either you have someone that REALLY knows what they're doing, or it was just lucky. If it was just lucky, I don't think that the person that did it would risk it that way. You know, let me hit him in the stomach, and then run away. Very strange case indeed.
    "When from a long distant past nothing persists, after the people are dead, after things are broken and scattered, still alone, more persistent, more faithful, the smell and taste of things remain poised a long, long time like souls, ready to remind us, waiting, hoping for their moment amid the ruins of all the rest, and bear unfaltering in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence the vast structure of recollection."

  5. #5
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    How sad. I'm forced to post on my own thread which is basically me talking to myself. I really hate that JMO, IMHO, IMO, MHO, stuff. Duh! We know it's your opinion. Here I go again...talking to myself. Ugh.
    "When from a long distant past nothing persists, after the people are dead, after things are broken and scattered, still alone, more persistent, more faithful, the smell and taste of things remain poised a long, long time like souls, ready to remind us, waiting, hoping for their moment amid the ruins of all the rest, and bear unfaltering in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence the vast structure of recollection."

  6. #6
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    I hear ya Los288..
    I think he was switching cars around..he had rented 2...perhaps in his frenzy at the gas station he had put his key in his dufflebag for safekeeping and left that in his locked car and couldn't get back into his car.
    He was then confused why he couldn't get into his car. I think that was the car trouble he was having...not sure because do not understand why a tow truck was involved with a rental. Don't you usually wait for assistance from the company even if a mechanical problem? They said it was too late for help from the rental company so he had to get ride to a motel to spend night till the morning.
    He didn't do anything more than pay for a night (even leaving before his change was given) and leave and walk towards an industrial area for 8 hours. What was he doing and where was he going? I thought maybe he felt safer trying to find his way back to his car(maybe he realized the mixup of keys and had it straightened out by now) and was going back towards his car in the lot (it was somewhere nearby) or maybe he was very tired and wanted to get needed rest in what he considered a "safe" corner. He must have been exhausted after all these days of running. Not sure but I believe whoever had been following him was very good at tracking him. Quite scary actually!
    He had originally bought a ticket to Germany and then cashed it in and took the first flight available (which was Washington DC). So for some reason he was venturing back to Germany...I thought with his removal of all that money from his safety deposit box maybe he was trying to "pay" someone back in Germany to make something right. Wonder why there is no history of phone calls at all...did he not have a cell phone ? That seems a bit odd, no? Anyway this case is very eerie and wish there was some movement on it.

  7. #7
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    Does anyone know which hotel and general area in Knoxville? I vaguely remember this case. Very much the mystery

  8. #8
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    Miss J it was the strawberry plains exit off of I-40. It was near but not directly in Knoxville.
    There is a very good map here, on page five of this thread. It has all the case locations in Knoxville marked.

    http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/...ht=Blair+adams

  9. #9

    Blair Adams

    I've read quite a bit about this case - this a my first post so forgive me if I don't make sense!
    I don't think he had a clear plan. He was trying to trick or lose whoever was following him - hence tickets to Germany, two different rental cars, a winding path from Seattle to DC, then to Tennessee. He wanted the pursuers to think he was going to Germany but instead flew to DC. The DC flight was apparently the first flight leaving the airport that day and that's the only reason he took it (according to a friend of his that posted on another forum sitcomsonline.com).
    I think he originally wanted the killers to think he was renting a room and that's why he hung out in the lobby but then decided to get one to really make it believable, then he never went to the room with the intention of hiding out somewhere to rest. Unfortunately they found him. Very scary ... I have more ideas but am on my phone trying to type and it's difficult!

  10. #10
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    I happened upon this strange case on the Unsolved Mysteries wiki. To me, it sounds like he was having some sort of psychic break, perhaps associated with paranoid schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. My bf has an acquaintance who has the former, and he has been known to just take off and travel around (once he went as far as New Zealand!) in attempts to escape "the man" who he claims is following him and wants to kill him. This is all when he is off meds. I believe he was diagnosed with schizophrenia in his late 20s or early 30s. Prior to that he was living a pretty "normal" life.

    My point is that Adams's behavior sounds very similar to someone might do if they were experiencing a major mental health issue. I don't think anyone was actually chasing him. That said, he ended up murdered anyway. If he was acting irrationally, it seems entirely probable that he attracted the attention of the wrong person. I recall that he was killed by a blow to the stomach. Could have been a fight--maybe the killer wasn't intent on killing him, but he did. (That's actually how Houdini died.)


  11. #11
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    I lived in Knoxville when this happened. I recall the case well. Its the parts of the story regarding his pants being off and money scattered around that is most curious to me.

  12. #12
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    I just found out about this case, but I have a few immediate thoughts that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere. First of all, with respect to the car keys. By the mid-90's it was common for new cars to have transponder chips. Meaning you could have a key that is cut right, but if it doesn't have the chip or if it has the wrong chip, the car won't start. If he was being followed, it would be possible for someone to swap the key with another one that fit the lock, but wouldn't start the car. I had a 96 F-150 that had this, and when I had a copy made, the truck wouldn't start.... just a thought.


    Secondly, I keep seeing people say how hard it would be to follow him from place to place. What if he was in contact with someone whom he thought he could trust, but that person was actually allied with his attacker, or WAS the attacker. He could have called someone and checked in, unwittingly giving away his location.


    Finally, the blow to the stomach/pants removed makes me wonder if possibly he had eaten something like a key. Perhaps the killer(s) thought they could induce a bowel movement with a blow to the gut, and ended up killing him before he could expel whatever it was they were looking for. I've got some more reading to do, but that's what I've got so far.


    Also, I saw someone mention the lack of a cell phone. This was 1996, and for all practical purposes, cell phones were only about 5 years old. I didn't buy my first cell phone until almost 10 years later.

  13. #13
    I've just come across this case (and this is my first post so forgive any errors) and it seems to me that one explanation could be that he was meeting someone, and they were directing him to the meeting site. He tried twice to cross the border, then got a ticket for Germany, then continued on in the US, only to be murdered in a construction site car park. Could the reason for this erratic behaviour be that someone was letting him know that they should meet in the US, then Germany was suggested, then TN? That would mean he wouldn't need to be 'followed' by his attackers, they posed as people who wanted to know the information he (supposedly, could have etc) had and got him to meet them where they killed him? He could have had a pager or another device with which to contact them, not just a mobile phone (which he might not have even had, as coolaid213 mentioned).

    Just a thought. I know that it seems a bit far fetched but let's be honest, things like this have happened before, especially in the shady world of money laundering etc.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by los2188 View Post
    How sad. I'm forced to post on my own thread which is basically me talking to myself. I really hate that JMO, IMHO, IMO, MHO, stuff. Duh! We know it's your opinion. Here I go again...talking to myself. Ugh.
    The spleen in on the left side of the upper abdomen and it can be ruptured by contact. That can lead to internal bleeding and death.

    This can happen even to experts. One of the most famous Shotokan Karate practitioners in Japan, Sensei Oishi, a former world champion, had his spleen ruptured by a kick during practice sparing and needed emergency surgery.
    Unless I provide a link, every one of my posts are to be considered rumor, Speculation, or simply MY OWN OPINION.

    “It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it.”


    The missing and murdered cannot cry out for Justice. It is the duty for the living to do so for them.

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    We spoke, prayers were answered!

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/army-grant-...ry?id=43969890

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolaid213 View Post
    I just found out about this case, but I have a few immediate thoughts that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere. First of all, with respect to the car keys. By the mid-90's it was common for new cars to have transponder chips. Meaning you could have a key that is cut right, but if it doesn't have the chip or if it has the wrong chip, the car won't start. If he was being followed, it would be possible for someone to swap the key with another one that fit the lock, but wouldn't start the car. I had a 96 F-150 that had this, and when I had a copy made, the truck wouldn't start.... just a thought.


    Secondly, I keep seeing people say how hard it would be to follow him from place to place. What if he was in contact with someone whom he thought he could trust, but that person was actually allied with his attacker, or WAS the attacker. He could have called someone and checked in, unwittingly giving away his location.


    Finally, the blow to the stomach/pants removed makes me wonder if possibly he had eaten something like a key. Perhaps the killer(s) thought they could induce a bowel movement with a blow to the gut, and ended up killing him before he could expel whatever it was they were looking for. I've got some more reading to do, but that's what I've got so far.


    Also, I saw someone mention the lack of a cell phone. This was 1996, and for all practical purposes, cell phones were only about 5 years old. I didn't buy my first cell phone until almost 10 years later.
    Hi Coolaid (I think in this case, there's a Hawaiian Punch joke in this somewhere ). This is definitely one of the most puzzling mysteries I've heard of, there isn't one explanation that really makes sense, but the keys may be, well, the key in this case. My only working theory on this was that maybe in his paranoia he took two sets of car keys from the hotel, and the owner tracks down Blair, assaults him, and pulls his pants to find them when Blair couldn't produce them due to confusion. Kind of bizarre, but every angle seems pretty bizarre!

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