I love this case. I come back to it again and again. It’s like a movie.
Here is what I think happened. It’s an incomplete hypothesis but answers some of the questions that come up again and again, like the meal and the missing companion.
I think this was a politically motivated killing, by security services or a private operative purporting to be security services. I think it’s tangentially related to the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli prime minister, in November 1995, shortly after the signing of the second Oslo Accord in September 1995, which (arguably) attempted to broker peace between Israel and Palestine. The Oslo Accords are so called because much of the negotiation between Israel and Palestine took place in Oslo, with Norway acting as (again arguably) a neutral third party facilitator. I have tried and failed to find out where the various parties to the negotiations were staying during their time in Oslo, but it’s entirely plausible that the Oslo Plaza may have hosted closely guarded VIPs, including, potentially, Rabin himself. I’ve tried to track his movements through press reports but failed so far to find any specific reference to the first week of June 1995. Suffice to say, this is a hotel that was used regularly by diplomats and visiting foreign dignitaries, and the hotel security staff would be used to liaising and cooperating with outside security/close protection personnel.
There’s been a lot of speculation about what happened to Jennifer’s male companion Lois (imho this is actually Aloïs but was mistranscribed by whoever took the booking). Did he kill her? Was he staying in the same room? What happened to him? Did he even exist?
My belief is that Lois/Aloïs and Jennifer were working together, or that one of them was part of the other one’s cover story, and that they checked in together. I think they were identified as a threat to someone important and an operation to neutralise them was planned. (Alternatively, I think they may have been part of a close protection operation and were identified and neutralised by someone posing as security services.) The hotel security logs show that someone left the room at some point (twice, iirc) so it seems to me that Aloïs left at some point but was dealt with and disposed of elsewhere in the hotel or the city and never returned. The fact that we’ve never heard anything more about him imo means that that all went according to plan and he was excised smoothly from the story.
Spooked by her companion’s non-reappearance, I’m speculating that Jennifer stayed holed up in her room to prevent anyone from, e.g., garotting her in an empty stairwell and smuggling her out in a laundry trolley. She eked out her room service meal over two days because she didn’t know when it was next going to be safe to move. Eventually – perhaps because the arrival of the VIP alleged to be under threat was imminent – a decision was made to force her hand. Reception was asked to send a message about unpaid room service via the in-house system to try and get her to go down to reception with a credit card. I believe that request was spurious because of the large sum of cash we know she gave to the maid who delivered her room service, which – depending on its order of magnitude – may have been payment for the meal itself or may also have been a tip for getting a message delivered discreetly to someone elsewhere in the hotel or beyond. Either way, reception does as they are asked while hotel security plus/minus external operatives wait for her to emerge… except that she doesn’t. She acknowledges each message but doesn’t react. After three attempts someone makes the decision to force entry to the room and neutralise her.
If I think about what might have happened next, I find myself noticing the muddled testimony from the part-time security guard/student, who was hiding something imo. What exactly? Well, here are some suggestions. Perhaps he was persuaded to corroborate a cover story that he couldn’t back away from later for fear of perjury charges, e.g. “Let’s say we had to go in because we thought we heard a gunshot.” Perhaps the reason he didn’t use his two-way radio is because everyone had been told to turn them off to avoid alerting Jennifer - but if he explained that it would blow the covert aspects of what unfolded (or the fact that they had been bamboozled into believing this was an authorised covert operation when it was actually a murder). Perhaps he was sent back downstairs by a colleague (or an outside agent) to keep him from knowing – and blabbing – too much. Or perhaps the poor scared boy absented himself to throw up in a stairwell and his colleagues agreed that they’d cover for him by excluding that from their account of what happened. Any of these, or a combination, might explain the inconsistencies his narrative presents. He is still active on the internet saying he feels a sense of responsibility towards the UID, btw, which suggests to me that some aspect of what happened eats at him.
Whatever the details, once they were in the room, Jennifer was despatched, the gun was wiped and arranged, the scene was staged, various things were moved for whatever reason, perhaps mistakes were made in haste (e.g. the clothes bag was removed instead of the ammunition bag). Any outside agents present then removed themselves from the scene and the hotel called the police and reported an apparent suicide.
Pure speculation/JMO obviously. (Except that Rabin was assassinated 5 months later.)
Yes, I like it. It's perfectly plausible, there's nothing you've written I have issues with.
Yes, the hotel was somewhere that hosted political VIPs and dignitaries, that's what adds to the mystery. If it happened at the Holiday Inn, it wouldn't have such an air of mystery.
Also, the actions of the part-time student security guard always strike me as being not quite right. If only he had entered the room! But then, maybe he was too frightened to, or hotel protocol was not to enter any room in security/safety concerns.
But I wish he'd have stayed outside and used his walkie talkie.
Also, Jennifer's luggage had, at some point, been disposed of, as the room service Maid reported seeing it when she took the meal up. But no luggage, suitcase or clothes were in the room afterwards. So it was obviously important that this went missing.....