(anonymised), 26-06-1975 16:00


26-06-1975 16:00



testimony record

Q: What can you tell me about (anonymised)?

A: Not much, it was her first expedition to Jan Mayen. She was from University College in London, her field of expertise was seismology.

Q: How did she get on with the others?

A: Well... not great, to be honest.

Q: Why?

A: Life in a place like this could be difficult the first time. There is very little space for privacy, you are stuck with a group of strangers in a hut in the middle of nowhere.

Q: And that was the only reason?

A: Yes... and no. She just seemed a bit bossy, that’s all.

Q: So, how do you cope with the lack of privacy and space in a place like this?

A: I... Well, you just have to get used to it.

Q: What can you tell me about the others?

A: I know (anonymised) pretty well, she is my former student.

Q: Where was that?

A: University of Oslo. She graduated a few years back and was offered tenure by the university. This is her third expedition to Jan Mayen. (anonymised) also was here last year with us.

Q: What about the others? (anonymised), (anonymised) and (anonymised)?

A: I don’t know much about them yet. Since arrival, we were pretty busy checking the equipment and bringing the base back to life. (anonymised) and (anonymised) seem pretty nice. (anonymised) is a football fan, so we had something to talk about. The (anonymised) is a bit stand-offish, I think. I was trying to learn some English terms, like "spend a penny" or "bangers and mash", but he was just telling me he is too tired or too busy. The English are a bit reserved like that, so I’ve been told.

Q: Do you have any idea who could have killed (anonymised)?

A: No, I’m still in shock.

Q: Were there any quarrels between her and the others?

A: No.

Q: But you said she didn’t get along with the others.

A: Well, yes... I mean... It wasn’t anything unusual. People in a confined space just have to learn how not to step on each other’s toes.

Q: What exactly do you mean?

A: She... had something against (anonymised), but I think it was just about a man.

Q: What man?

A: I think she was just jealous about (anonymised) and (anonymised).

Q: Are they a couple?

A: I don’t really know, I guess (anonymised) though so.

Q: What about the others?

A: Nothing major. As I told you, she just seemed a bit bossy, which the others didn’t really like.

Q: Did you hear anything unusual that night?

A: No, I’m a sound sleeper.

Q: Were you in charge of assigning the rooms?

A: No, there were only a few of us, so I let them choose on their own.

Q: So you don’t know who was where during that night?

A: Not really. In the bunk beds, only the bottom ones are comfortable, so usually people choose not to share rooms. It is the only place you really are alone here, so we use that luxury whenever we can.

Q: And which one did you took yourself?

A: Room seven, in the corner. I always take that one if it is available.

Q: And the victim was in which room?

A: Room one, across the corridor from mine.

Q: What do you know about the two soldiers?

A: I know (anonymised) pretty well, he was a few times with us on the expeditions. His colleague, (anonymised)... You can say he keeps himself to himself.

Q: Were there any arguments between them and (anonymised)?

A: No, they hardly speak any English. Besides, they were pretty busy checking the military equipment.

(anonymised), 26-06-1975 16:30


26-06-1975 16:30



testimony record

Q: You are an employee of University of Oslo?

A: Yes.

Q: How well do you know (anonymised)?

A: He was my tutor when I studied geology there.

Q: What can you tell me about him?

A: What... what do you mean?

Q: What kind of person is he?

A: He is... normal. Dedicated to his work.

Q: Is he married?

A: No. Why do you ask?

Q: I’m just trying to build a picture of the people involved here. Are you married?

A: Yes.

Q: What does your husband do?

A: He is an architect.

Q: Do you know (anonymised) well?

A: What? What do you mean?

Q: I’ve heard you two were pretty close during the expeditions.

A: Who told you something like that? I like him, that’s all.

Q: Did you have any quarrels with (anonymised)?

A: No! I mean... She was just... She was annoying everyone from the moment we boarded the ship.

Q: What do you mean?

A: She was complaining she can smell engine fumes in her cabin, they had to move her to another one. When we arrived here, she was just insufferable.

Q: What about?

A: Everything. Why she was given the task of cleaning the bathroom, why (anonymised) ate more fruit than she was assigned, why (anonymised) was taking so long on his trips to the outpost, why (anonymised) assigned her to the smaller research room, why (anonymised) and (anonymised) were sometimes speaking French, and she could not understand them. Just everything.

Q: Did you kill her?

A: What?! Of course not!

Q: Do you have any idea who could have killed her?

A: It could have been anyone. Apart from (anonymised) and (anonymised) I don’t really know the others that well.

Q: So you suspect everyone?

A: No. I don’t think (anonymised) would be able to kill anyone. And (anonymised)... Well, let’s just say he wouldn’t be capable for other reasons.

Q: What do you mean?

A: He... often drinks alcohol after dinner, so I guess he would sleep through an earthquake in his state.

Q: Did you hear anything unusual during that night?

A: Like what?

Q: I don’t know, footsteps in the corridor, sounds of doors opening or closing?

A: Yes, but they are not unusual. It’s not a very solid building, so you can hear many things, but after a few days you just tune them out.

Q: In which room do you sleep?

A: Number three.

Q: What do you know about the two soldiers?

A: I spoke to (anonymised) few times, he seems ok. (anonymised) was spending most of the time in his room.

(anonymised), 26-06-1975 17:00


26-06-1975 17:00



testimony record

Q: What is your scientific background?

A: I’m an assistant researcher in geophysics department at University of Bologna.

Q: So... what do you do here?

A: Study of weather and magnetic fields in Northern Atlantic.

Q: You’ve been here before?

A: Yes, last year.

Q: How well do you know (anonymised)?

A: (anonymised)? We met last year during the expedition.

Q: You two are... friends?

A: Yes, you can say that.

Q: Anything more?

A: What this got to do with anything?

Q: Which room have you taken in the base?

A: Room four.

Q: And (anonymised) was in a room three, just next door.

A: What are you implying?

Q: Were you in room four the whole night (anonymised) died?

A: Yes, of course.

Q: Did you hear anything unusual that night?

A: No, I slept all night.

Q: What can you tell me about the others?

A: Not much. (anonymised) is nice. (anonymised) is a football fan, so we had something to talk about. (anonymised)... I don’t know, I only spoke with him once or twice.

Q: How about (anonymised)?

A: I like him, he knows how to keep people happy in the base.

Q: What do you mean?

A: He makes jokes, he knows how to talk to people, so they wouldn’t be at each other’s throats.

Q: But (anonymised) wasn’t that happy here.

A: I don’t think she would be happy anywhere.

Q: Why?

A: She was... I don’t know how to put it. She seemed like a busybody, who looks for fights with people.

Q: I’ve heard she was jealous of you and (anonymised).

A: I know nothing about it.

Q: Have you noticed any signs she was interested in you?

A: I don’t know, most of the time she was driving everyone up the walls.

Q: Have you killed her?

A: No! I had no reason to.

Q: Do you have any suspicions who might have had a reason?

A: No.

Q: What do you know about the two soldiers?

A: Nothing. They seem ok, but we could hardly understand when they were trying to speak English.

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