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On the trail of the Isdal - Woman (part 2)


After the publication of the first article about one of the most mysterious murder cases in post-war history, we received numerous letters. Many thanks for all advises and comments.


Please read the first part.


Who was the beautiful stranger?


Of course, the question is allowed, why nobody misses the Isdal woman. This circumstance is extraordinary.


Were there people, one reader asked, who did not officially exist, but who rushed like a shadow army through the Cold War of Europe?


That well, maybe. In our research, we have found no evidence to deny or affirm this fact.


Of course, the trail also points to the former Yugoslavia. To the machinations of the days of Tito. This would be following what witnesses said, that the Isdal woman had met with two men of southern appearance. It must have been just before she died.


Yes, and Norway has done everything it can to cover its tracks and, as a deterrent to more Soviet spies, has invented one story after another to avoid the real reason. From the point of view at the time, this was quite understandable. This includes the history of the two check fraudsters who were arrested in 1972 using false identities in their crimes. The public never believed this story, which sounded like a legend of a former police officer who retired in 1976.


Nobody could or would believe in the suicide of the Isdal woman. According to the autopsy report, the Isdal woman was standing when the fire broke out. However, she could not stand any longer according to human judgement, because she had taken a lethal dose of Fenemal and alcohol, voluntarily or involuntarily, this could not be reconstructed. She choked to death on her combustion—carbon monoxide poisoning. Later, during the autopsy, a haematoma was found in the neck area, which could have been caused by a punch or a fall against a tree.


The probable time of death was Monday, 23 November 1970, at about 10 o'clock.


Surely the Isdal woman was not alone in her last hours. In the Hotel Hordaheimen in Bergen, where she was last seen alive, there was a meeting with an unknown man to whom she said she wanted to come straight away.


Since the death of the Isdal woman almost half a century ago, the world has changed—even the faces of the countries. The Isdal woman was a product of her time; that fact is often forgotten.


Her death cannot be atoned for, even if the perpetrator were to turn himself in. The murder is time-barred in Norway after 25 years, in 1995.


Based on a list of the objects that were recovered from the unidentified woman's suitcases and the site in Isdal, Norway, many facts can be reconstructed. Conclusions can also be drawn today from their almost hectic travel activities. At first, the trail of the Isdal woman leads across Europe, then to the German-French border between Pirmasens and Baden-Baden.


This was the result of the enamel analysis in 2016. There, in the vicinity, she must have stayed and also the train tickets found later in the suitcases at least point the way to Basel.


Twice it used the Hamburg - Basel railway line.


The discovery of the map of southern Scandinavia by the Reise- und Verkehrsverlag, Stuttgart, from 1970 speaks for this, according to the evidence list of the Norwegian police. Her handwriting was French; perhaps she was from Belgium or Luxembourg.


The intersection, however, can only be located in the Baden-Baden area.


This circumstance can be assumed if the tickets found in the suitcases of the NSB locker system in Bergen are not forged. Or were preliminary placed there later? There is a testimony from a witness, who is not mentioned in the documents, who claims to have seen several people with the suitcases before they were found by the Norwegian Criminal Police, two days after the Isdal woman was found.


In this connection, nine "passport identities" were found. It is not clear from the investigations at the time whether these passports were forged or were duplicates. So, issued by the state whether the passport forms had been stolen somewhere.




What she was doing in Isdal could, of course, be explained with the top-secret Norwegian Sea Penguin. Experiments with the novel rocket were carried out in all places where she was at the time. In November 1970 the paths crossed with two Soviet agents, named Rubanov and Popov, as the security police in Trondheim dutifully noted. Whether the persons met can no longer be determined from the files.


According to another point of view, based on the travel activities of the woman, described as more than elegant, it was a possibility that she was a high-class prostitute who travelled to a specific circle of clients throughout Europe. Perhaps also a drug courier who was killed because of a business in Isdal?


Only the names that the Isdal woman, as she was later called in the absence of a real identity, indicate an activity that had to do with intelligence services at the height of the Cold War.


Genevieve Lancier, Claudia Tielt, Vera Schlosseneck, Claudia Nielsen, Alexia Zarna-Merchez, Vera Jarle, Finella Lorck and Elisabeth Leenhouwer, in addition to other names during the first test phase of the Penguin Rocket: The unknown woman used the wrong names E. Velding and L. on this trip.


Black Notice Interpol, 2017


Selling, according to the Norwegian secret service. Probably, to cover any possible tracks.


According to the language, as witnesses assure who saw her at the end, in November 1970, shortly before her death, she was German. However, she also pretended to be a South African antique dealer to an Italian gala, the photographer Giovanni Trimboli, who had invited her to dinner and took her in his car. That was a few days before her even more mysterious demise in the lonely gorge.


Indeed, she was a child from the time before the war, born around 1926-1930, knew the profession "Verziererin" in the porcelain industry, which is located in Franconia, near the then Czechoslovakian

border, in Selb and its surroundings, had a great tradition. At least she had to know about it. Perhaps through a direct relative or in the context of the so-called Kinderlandverschickung at the end of the Second World War.


She had, for whatever reason, made strange statements on registration forms.


This issue is also indicated by the analysis that was initiated decades later. After an almost creepy exhumation years ago. They got everything from the woman, fingerprints, DNA, the dentures, which raises more questions than it answers. Some sources indicate that the dentition in Latin America was processed in this way. There is no sure indication of this, except the time of the unknown in Spain, probably in the Burgos area, in the north. In December 1970 news came that the dental work had been done in Italy or Spain.


The question is, does anyone recognize this work?


The teeth must have been worked on about three years before her death.



 The lower jaw of Isdal woman, Kripos Norge, 2019



 The upper jaw of Isdal woman, Kripos Norge, 2019


The work could also have been done in former Czechoslovakia or the GDR. The gold, however, points to work in the Western world at that time. Probably in Germany.


Who can remember this specific set of teeth?


Next part: 


Does the trail lead to Ljubljana in former Yugoslavia?


Infiltrated and exfiltrated the beautiful unknown over Yugoslavia or optionally the


Czechoslovakia? The whole case refers to the KoKo and its international art trade.


The Isdal woman - file number 134/70 (1)


(br/mcvth/Bergen/ Norway)


Deaths in Isdal in Norway


Anyone who deals with what is by far the most mysterious criminal case in post-war European history must start on November 29,1970, in the Ulriken Bergen, in Isdalen. 


A father and his two daughters found the body of a woman on this Sunday afternoon, the first Advent of this year.


This case had all the ingredients of an espionage thriller, which could only have happened in the Cold War era. It made sense that Taxi nach Leipzig, the first crime scene in the ARD programme in Germany, was running that evening for the first time.


The Norwegian public prosecutor Carl Halvor Aas, then 30 years old, was on duty that day and found his own, quite real crime thriller with the case in a small valley, in a poorly accessible rocky gorge, in the area of Bergen in Norway.


The former prosecutor in charge recalled in an interview with NOK and the BBC, which was conducted many years later, that the smell of the charred body had particularly entered his nose before he even saw the body.


The area was picturesque. Between dense tree cover and mossy stones, at a safe distance from one of the paths, lay the half-carbonized body of the approximately 30-year-old and, as reconstructed later, quite a pretty woman. She had also already attracted attention during her short lifetime, as the rather slowed down police investigations revealed shortly afterwards. Braked by whomever, it was not clear and was not clarified.


It remained one of the many secrets in this case.


Even the place of discovery offered a criminally very confused picture. Burned rubber boots, which would later become a substantial lead in the case. A tube of phenobarbital sleeping pills, a packed lunch and an empty bottle of alcohol. Besides, two white plastic bottles, whose smell indicated gasoline, and a burnt passport. A purse? Wrong!


Allegedly the dead woman had succumbed to an overdose of sleeping pills and carbon monoxide poisoning associated with the fire. Soot was found in her lungs, although, according to instructions from above, suicide was indicated, it was almost impossible that the Jane Doe had committed suicide. A box of matches from the German sex shop operator Beate Uhse was found at the crime scene as a spicy detail. Later the matches were allegedly also found in one of the suitcases from the station.


Everything, in this case, was contradictory.


The horrible find, Statsarkivet-i-Bergen


A disturbing puzzle of possible entanglements resulted from the objects and later in the two suitcases from the lockers at the station with the luggage of the unknown woman. These traces did not lead to the identity of the unknown person, nor a motive, nor the perpetrator. The circumstances are also more than strange and therefore also lead to the most adventurous speculations, which entwine themselves like a spider's web around the more than 48-year-old case. The find is still one of the most sensational criminal cases in Norway today and has been riding journalists worldwide for decades.


Nothing is defined in this case.


Hours later witnesses came forward who were treated very unconventionally for a murder investigation. It was not until the beginning of the millennium that further testimonies on this subject were given, which took the attention. Witnesses who saw the dead woman with two southerners were just didn't taken down as a note by the Police. The witnesses were forbidden to talk at all about their observation. Who or what the southerners were, who the person who died a few days later knew, with whom she had a lively conversation, remained in the dark. The unknown woman stayed at the Hordaheimen Hotel in Bergen days before her death, from November 19 to 23. This stay under a false name, an alias or one of the many identities that a person had. Was one of the strangers, with whom the later deceased in a summer dress was talking, the Soviet military attaché in Norway, who was in Bergen at the same time?


Who was that woman?


If anyone recognizes the woman or thinks he or she knows her, can give any clues as to her identity, can say anything about the so-called Isdal woman, please contact the local police.


There's a memo with Interpol.


It became mysterious when several suitcases were found in an expired locker, and the contents could be connected to the dead woman. In the suitcases, props were found that could have come from a spy movie or just a crazy person. So fingerprints of the deceased were preserved on fake glasses. These matched the body found on November 29, 1970. 


On the crime scene, Statsarkivet-i-Bergen


Another curiosity in the whole behaviour of the dead was the constant changing of identities, the creation of tables with seemingly coded groups of numbers that made up a systematic code. Not every woman of about 30 years of age was able to create codes in this form at that time and why would she, when she was travelling through Europe, create such codes at all?


The labels had been removed from the clothes.


Why did the unknown travel through Europe for several months during her lifetime, giving different names?


Later, one of the investigators involved in the case credibly claimed that the Military Intelligence had searched the two suitcases found in the locker before the police. Whether this was the case, no one can say how everything in the case was and is "a maybe" or "possible". 


For quite some time it had been suspected that the Norwegian Military Intelligence Service was trying to suppress the proceedings. There were several reasons for this. During the Cold War, Norway was the country on whose coasts Soviet submarines operated. Besides, spies from the Eastern Bloc infiltrated the West via Norway.


But why would Counterintelligence protect a foreign agent? According to several parties involved in the proceedings, the police investigation was considerably obstructed.


Part 2 Does the trail lead to the HVA in East Berlin?


Further unsuccessful search for the identity of the Isdal woman (1)

  • Published in Crime

Incredible tracks

In times of fake news, we want to make our journal more transparent.


First of all, it is our research; we have the copyright on everything we present here. Two Norwegian female journalists from a BBC forum had protested against this, because the conspiracy theories, which in this case of the Isdal woman are circulating everywhere, were more important to them than reality, which probably looks much more modest than the conspiracy theorists imagine. We have read the most absurd stories in forums.

We cannot understand why the BBC was looking in Belgium. The editors will have had their reasons to search in Belgium with colleagues from the NOK for documentation.

The Isdal woman is one of our hobbies, and usually, we only report on our successes, but when we have made a step forward, a new article is published. This time, although we only found "dead ends" in our rather extensive research. We had 40 theories about who the Isdal woman might have been, which we will present in the next articles.

We are not working on this fascinating reportage because we think that the perpetrator or perpetrators should be punished. Only the judiciary is entitled to demand this.

In Norway, the statute of limitations is extended.

We believe that every person has the right to have a name on their gravestone. It has to do with human dignity. Also, the mystery of the Isdal woman is one of the most compelling criminal cases ever revealed.

This time we want to list the individual work steps that did not get us anywhere. There are three of us, sometimes four of us, on the ball.

Already at the end of 2017, we slowly began to research the identity of the Isdal woman.

Later we learned from the isotope analysis from 2017 and the resulting

Conclusions that the Isdal woman must have been in the border area between France and Germany before her death. The isotope analysis showed that she must have been in the space between Pirmasens and Bitche, the former fortress town, in France. At least that is what the diagram of the university in Canberra showed, which carried out the isotope analysis.






But we were surprised that no one missed the Isdal woman. Publicly accessible missing-persons files led nowhere. The woman must, therefore, have come from abroad, even though she must have lived in Nuremberg during her childhood.


So the trail led us to Bitche in Lorraine. We were more interested in establishing the identity of the woman. Very close by was Pirmasens, at that time, in 1970, the German shoe production mecca, where many Yugoslavian guest workers travelled. It could be true because surely such a guest worker could not be reported missing. Perhaps she had also come with her parents to Germany. Or because it was cheaper to live in those days into France. The analysis also referred to Serbia, so the possibility was not far-fetched.




Bitche in Lorraine, kasaan media, 2018

After the hype caused by the BBC series 2014 the interest in the probably most mysterious murder case of Norway decreased quickly.

Many private people are still speculating, here and there an article appears about the mysterious woman, who is called Isdalskvinnen in Norwegian.

What we know is little. What goes beyond the known facts: Certainly, the woman did not set herself on fire. With a large hematoma in the neck, a rather complicated task. It was no longer possible with the tablets taken.


The Fenemal (phenobarbital) brand of sleeping tablets probably originated in the United Kingdom, as the pharmaceuticals were not marketed in Norway at the time. It is also not possible that she took the pills voluntarily. This issue was already established by the then investigators in the matter, as well by the investigating prosecutor Carl Halvor Aas. The police investigator, after later information from his he was severely handicapped in his work. Although the investigation wasn't finished yet, he was supposed to write a final report. The research was systematically obstructed by whomever, allegedly in this case the Norwegian military intelligence.

As with the suitcases, which the military intelligence service had already searched, when the ordinary police were still investigating for evidence at the place where the strange woman was found. Or the story of the boots that led two investigating authorities, independently of each other, to Rolf Rørtvedt's father's shoe shop in Stavanger.


What did the Norwegian secret service know about this woman, apart from posthumous interpretations? How was the military research in Bergen spied out at the time? The meeting between the Palestinians in Oslo was a possible motive. Possible Mossad operatives, who should then have selected targets.


Yes, and who travels through Europe under so many false names: Claudia Tielt, Vera Jarle, Elisabeth Leenhouwer, Geneviève Lancier, Claudia Nielsen, Alexia Zarna-Merchez: the passports are said to have poorly been forged. Alexia Zarna-Merchez supposedly came from Laibach in former Yugoslavia. At that time, people in Norway believed so.




We turned to the found matchbox of the Beate Uhse Versand.  

There were thousands of packages in the days, everywhere, even at railway stations, in the then DSG (Deutsche Schlafwagen- und Speisewagengesellschaft) restaurants. She could have taken the box with her at any place on her journey. Even on the train, she could still have acquired these matches. In the bar. It only proved that she had the box, and that proved nothing. With Beate Uhse Versand, there was also the slight possibility, which was purely hypothetical, that she had had a package sent to her by Beate Uhse to a German address. We rejected the idea because we had no other point of reference to her permanent residence in Germany. Beate Uhse Versand would also have no more records of possible delivery. It's just been too long and where should you look for the delivery address? And the deceased had nothing else of Beate Uhse with her, according to the list of evidence, which the Norwegian police made after finding the suitcases in the station. More on this in a later article.

Strangely enough, some of the evidence in the suitcase from the Isdal woman was already missing. As well as her bizarre behaviour in the last hotel, where she moved furniture and asked for another room. The systematic Caesar code with which she described her travels was surprising, but even that would not have been the task of an agent alone, which was attributed to her based on the many false passports. Also, all the labels in her luggage were missing.

But with the help of many small clues, the trail led us into the former Yugoslavia. To Maribor, to be precise. Because Tito was not an orphan boy, as one generally assumes today. There were murder squads, also in connection with dissidents from Yugoslavia in the Federal Republic, and numerous murders. Tito sent a murder squad to Munich as early as 1968 when three exiled Croats were hit.


Maribor 2019, dram/mcvth, kasaan media, 2019

Even in 1968, there was a report about an extremely mysterious murder in the Yugoslavia Express, which probably also belonged to the deeds of the Yugoslavian perpetrators and could never be solved.



Next part: The track leads to Maribor

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