Isdal Woman Day Date in the current year: November 29, 2022

Isdal Woman Day Isdal Woman Day is observed annually on November 29. It was established to commemorate the discovery of the body of an unidentified woman whose identity remains a mystery to this day, as well as honor the memory of those who died in mysterious circumstances.

On November 29, 1970, a man found a charred body of a dead woman while hiking with his daughters in an area known as Isdalen in Bergen, Norway. The hikers immediately returned to town to notify the Bergen Police who promptly launched a full-scale investigation.

The woman was lying on her back, and the front of her body had been burned beyond recognition, but there was no sign of a campfire nearby. Near the body, the police found an assortment of items, ranging from an empty liquor bottle to rubber boots, all affected by the fire and with all identifying marks and labels removed. Three days later, two suitcases belonging to the unidentified woman were found at Bergen Station. All items discovered in the suitcases also lacked any identifying information.

An autopsy performed at the Gades Institute of Pathology in Bergen revealed that the woman had died from a combination of carbon monoxide poisoning and being incapacitated by phenobarbital. She was still alive as she burned.

The police were able to determine that the woman was last seen alive on November 23, 1970. She had traveled around France and Norway using fake passports and aliases and stayed at several hotels in Bergen. People who had met her said she could speak Flemish, German, and broken English.

Despite deploying significant resources, the police were unable to identify the unknown woman and quickly closed the case, concluding she had committed suicide. The Isdal Woman was buried in a zinc coffin on February 5, 1971. Many questions about the mysterious woman and the circumstances of her death were left unanswered.

The case was reopened in 2016. Since then, American artist Stephen Missal has created several sketches of the Isdal Woman, and stable isotope analysis of her teeth has helped to roughly identify her birth year (around 1930, plus or minus four years) and birthplace (Nuremberg, Germany). However, as of 2022, the woman’s true identity still remained a mystery.

The Isdal Woman case is one of the many unsolved cases with unidentified victims. Some of the most famous Jane and John Doe cases include Bella in the Wych Elm, the Bear Brook murders (the Allenstown Four), the El Dorado Jane Doe (partially identified as Kelly in 2022), the Somerton Man (the Tamám Shud case), and many others.

The origins of Isdal Woman Day are murky, but its purpose is clear. It is observed to highlight unsolved cases and encourage people to look into them. You can observe Isdal Woman Day by reading blogs about unsolved mysteries or listening to true crime podcasts, digging deeper and doing your own research, starting a blog, a YouTube channel, or a podcast to spread the word about unsolved cases, donating to charities dedicated to such cases or fundraising campaigns started by families of the victims, and spreading awareness on social media with the hashtag #IsdalWomanDay.

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Category

Unofficial Holidays

Tags

Isdal Woman Day, unofficial observances, unsolved cases, John and Jane Doe cases, unidentified victims