Real Name: Robert Blair Adams
Case: Suspicious Death
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Date: July 11, 1996
Details: Blair Adams was a thirty-one-year-old Canadian resident who was found dead in the parking lot of a Knoxville, Tennessee hotel on July 11, 1996. Scattered around his body was nearly $4000 worth of mixed Canadian, American, and German currency. His death was later discovered to be 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. First, according to his family, he began suffering from mood swings. He also started having trouble sleeping. When his mother asked what was wrong, he said that he couldn't tell her about "it". On July 5, 1996, he took all the money out of his savings account, along with thousands of dollars in jewelry, gold, and platinum. On July 7, he went to the Canadian-American border, but was denied crossing because he was a single man with a large amount of money, which fit the profile of a drug trafficker.
The next day, Blair arrived at his work, a construction company in Surrey, British Columbia, and quit. That afternoon, he spent $1600 on a round-trip airline ticket from Vancouver to Frankfurt, Germany. His flight would leave the following day. However, just hours after buying the ticket, he went to a friend's house. He said that he needed to get across the border because somebody was trying to kill him. His friend said that she was unable to help. Then, the next day, July 9, he turned in his ticket, rented a car, was able to cross the border, and went to Seattle.
Blair left his rental car at the airport. He then bought a one-way ticket to Washington, DC. This was strange to investigators because it cost twice as much as a round-trip one. After arriving in Washington, DC on July 10, he rented a white Toyota and went to Knoxville. This was also strange because he did not know anyone in the area.
Blair arrived at a gas station at 5:30pm and told the attendant that his rental car wouldn't start. The attendant told him that he had the wrong keys, so he was stranded in Knoxville. A mechanic took him to a hotel and made a lasting impression on the manager. He acted nervous, walking in and out of the lobby a total of five times before getting a room. Afterwards, he went out of the hotel and was never seen alive again.
Twelve hours later, Blair's body, which was naked from the waist down, was found in a parking lot about a half mile from the hotel. There were several strange clues at the scene. His pants had been removed in a pulling motion and were turned inside out. His socks were too. His shoes were off and his shirt was ripped open. Along with the $4000 in various currencies strewn around his body, there was also a fanny pack filled with jewelry, gold, and platinum next to him. Perhaps the most strange clue at the scene was the key to his rental car, which he had apparently lost hours earlier.
The cause of death was a violent blow to Blair's stomach. The weapon, possibly a club or a crowbar, also sliced open his forehead. He did put up a fight; his attacker ripped locks of hair from his head and he had defensive wounds on his hands. Investigators recovered one long strand of hair from his hand, believed to have belonged to the killer. Certain injures also seemed to indicate that he was sexually assaulted.
Blair's odyssey had come to a violent end, and although authorities believe that the danger he thought he was in was imaginary, he was murdered, just as he had feared. To this day this mysterious case remains unsolved, but his family hopes that one day someone will be able to tell them the circumstances of his death.
Blair was killed on July 11, 1996, near Interstate 40 in Knoxville. Authorities believe the fatal attack occurred at around 3:30am; a construction worker claimed to have heard a scream coming from the parking lot at that time. Interestingly, he believed that it was a woman's voice.
Suspects: None known; police at first suspected that Blair's murder was a robbery gone wrong. However, that was ruled out because none of his money or valuables were stolen. They also looked into the possibility that it was drug-related. However, no evidence was found to support that either. Finally, they looked into the possibility that he may have been killed by a prostitute or pimp. However, they could find no evidence that he had ever used a prostitute.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the April 18, 1997 episode.
Results: Unsolved. Investigators have exhausted most of their leads in the case but are still working on it. DNA was recovered from the hair found in Blair's hand. However, a match has not been found. Recently, his mother was re-interviewed. She claimed that he traveled to the American South to attend the Olympic Games. It is unknown why she never told investigators about this before.
- Blair Adams on Unsolved.com
- Blair Adams on Orton's Crime Blog
- Half-nude with fanny pack of gold, Canadian's killing a Knox County mystery decades later
- Canadian’s killing a mystery decades later
- Blair Adams on Find a Grave