The Isdalen valley of Norway is often referred to as the “Death Valley”. It is located in Bergen a town in Norway. It is referred to as “Death Valley” not only because many mountaineers have lost their lives there but also it was a hotspot for suicides in the Middle Ages. However, the name “Death Valley” became more relevant on 29th November 1970 after a family discovered something scary while roaming through that area which led to the most mysterious death case of the woman of Isdal woman.
After the arrival of the police at the spot, they found a stinking smell of burning meat coming from the valley. On further investigation they found a body of women in a completely bizarre state stuck between rocks. Despite the bizarre condition of the body, the back was still mysteriously intact.
Later the autopsy was done and it revealed some shocking truths. The body was alive while it was burning despite more than 50 sleeping pills that were found inside the stomach. There were also many other strange yet bizarre pieces of evidence like the clothes of the body being heavily burnt but the tags were removed deliberately. Her jewelry and other accessories were placed around her body in such a way that it seemed that some sort of ceremony or ritual is going on.
The Isdal Woman: How The Investigation Was Carried On?
Though the case was very hyped and the news was spread across the town but the police officials were not able to recognize the identity of the woman therefore she was named “Isdal Woman”. Later her fingerprints were successfully matched with the fingerprints on the suitcase that was found at Bergen train station. The contents of the suitcase included clothes, a diary, and a postcard but no information was evident enough to get the identity of the woman. It seemed like someone had deliberately removed the evidence that would reveal the identity of the women. The postcard belonged to an Italian photographer who had given it away. Also, he revealed that he had dinner with the woman but none of the information was useful enough to solve the mystery or to even know the real identity of the woman.
On further investigation, the diary revealed some coded patterns which were found to be written by the woman during a military test of new rockets in Western Norway. Police officials believed it to be some sort of spying activity but later this part of the investigation went in vain. Rest all other items in the suitcase were ordinary and were similar to that of a traveler.
After many failed investigating attempts the police officials were finally able to trace down the origin of the items in the suitcase. They later went and interrogated the shopkeepers and other people who had interacted with the Woman Of Isdal.
Police Interrogation Regarding Isdal Woman
The police reports based on the interrogation stated that the lady appeared to be elegant, was well dressed, and spoke fluent English with some sort of accent. From the investigation, police officials were able to determine that the lady traveled throughout Norway and Europe. She used fake passports and fake identity cards and also changed her appearances throughout the journey. The codes in the diary were related to the places she visited but unfortunately, this is where the investigation ended.
The case was closed and the death of the lady was declared a suicide because of the sleeping pills found in the autopsy, although there was no explanation for the burning of the body and where it was found.
Later the woman received a Catholic funeral in 1971 and the case was closed with many unanswered questions.
New Aspect To The Investigation
After a decade the advancement in the field of forensic science helped police officials to reopen the case. The woman’s chin wasn’t buried in 1971 and was kept by police as a part of the investigation. DNA testing, isotopic analysis, and other advanced devices helped the investigator to draw out the timeline of the woman which indicated that she had moved from Central or Eastern Europe before or during World War II.
She was believed to be a spy as she spoke several languages and acted as a conman. Also, Norway was the hotspot for spies during World War II as it had front borders with both Russia and the West. That is why someone had killed her mysteriously so that her real identity should never be known.
However, investigators tried hard to at least know her relatives and origin so she can finally rest in peace but no real identification of the women was ever made.
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