Real Name: Lynn Ellen Amos
Nicknames: No Known Nicknames
Date: December 11, 1995
Location: Georgetown District, Washington DC
Details: Thirty-eight-year-old Lynn Amos worked as a financial consultant for a management consulting firm and moved to Washington DC in August of 1995. As part of her job, she made frequent trips to Mexico to assess the lending practices of large, Mexican banks. On December 11, firefighters arrived at her townhouse in Georgetown after it was set on fire. Inside, they found her unconscious in her bed, which turned out to be the only thing on fire. She was rushed to the hospital with third-degree burns over 80% of her body. A nurse asked her if she knew what had happened to her, but she shook her head "no". Tragically, she died ten days later on December 21.
Police at first believed that she had died in a tragic accident. Her blood alcohol level was .25, which was more than twice the legal limit in DC. A cigarette butt found near her bed suggested to investigators that she had accidentally set herself on fire while smoking and drinking in bed. However, her friends and family did not believe this; they did not believe she was a smoker and there was no evidence of cigarettes, matches, or ash trays anywhere else in the home.
A few days after the fire, insurance investigators examined Lynn's bedroom. They found the presence of accelerants on the mattress, floor, and pillow. They concluded that the fire had been deliberately set. A mixture of kerosene, gasoline, and turpentine was used. One of the doctors also stated that her burns were not consistent with an accidental fire. One month after her death, the cause of death was officially listed as "homicide".
At first, investigators could not determine why Lynn was killed. However, they soon learned from her family and friends that she may have been murdered because of an investigation that she was doing at her work involving Mexican banks.
Suspects: Police and Lynn's family believe that she was murdered because of her investigation into Mexican banks. One month prior to the fire, Lynn had lunch with her friend Emily Smith. While there, she told Emily that she was working on investigating the "Mexican equivalent of the Federal Reserve". She said that she was in charge of examining credit issues and had discovered some very bad lending practices. She also said that her report was going to be "ugly". However, she did not talk any more about the investigation.
In the weeks prior to her death, she inexplicably stopped talking to her friends and family about her job. Then, one day before the fire on December 10, she was at brunch with some friends when she said that she had seen some "dangerous" things during her investigation in Mexico.
She was last heard from at 10PM that night, when she called her office, claiming that she would be late for work the next day. Her friends and family believe that, sometime after midnight, the killer broke into the townhouse. Because there were no signs of forced entry, he may have had a key. They speculate that he forced her to drink enough alcohol to render her unconscious. He then spread the flammable substances on her bed and body and set it on fire.
Her friends speculated that she may have found something related to drug money or a fraudulent loan. Her family's attorney believes that her death was a professional hit. Interestingly, her report on the banks was never finished.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the December 13, 1996 episode.
- Lynn's case on Unsolved.com
- Family fears it never will have answers to DC arson-homicide
- Did the Mexican Federal Reserve Murder This Woman?
- Lynn Amos at Find a Grave