Robert Dennis Blair Adams

Robert Dennis Blair Adams, most commonly known as Blair Adams, was a 31-year-old man from Surrey, British Columbia, in Canada.

In the weeks leading up to the 5th of July, 1996, Blair’s mother said that he was acting strange, having mood swings and not being able to sleep properly at night. He also told his mum that someone had been spreading rumours about him, but he refused to tell her any more information about what was bothering him. He told his friends that “someone was trying to kill him”.

At the time, Blair Adams had been sober for over two years, and he had recently stopped attending alcoholic anonymous meetings.

Blair Adams. Credit: Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

On the 5th of July, 1996, Blair Adams withdrew almost all of his money from his bank and emptied his safe that had been filled with cash, jewellery, gold and platinum. After doing this, he then tried to cross the border from Canada into the United States via a ferry. He was denied entry due to having previous convictions of drug and assault charges, and the fact that he was carrying a large amount of cash on him at the time made immigration officials weary that he could be a drug dealer.

A few days later, on the 9th of July, Blair was spotted again by Canadian Border Officers trying to cross the border into the US by foot at the Pacific Highway Border Crossing. Officers say that Blair had scratches all over his legs and arms. Blair matched the description of a man who was wanted in regard to car theft. Blair denied any involvement in the car theft and was later freed on lack of evidence.

Blair eventually was able to enter the US by car on the 10th of July, 1996. He had rented a Nissan Altima from Vancouver International Airport.

After passing through the border, Blair arrived in Seattle, Washington. Once he was in Seattle, he brought a return trip ticket to Frankfurt, Germany, at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. He then gave up his ticket to Frankfurt and traded it for a one-way ticket to Washington, D.C.

It is interesting to note that Blair had previously worked in Frankfurt for his stepfather’s construction company, and he had even dated a woman in Frankfurt. When police asked the woman about Blair purchasing a ticket to Frankfurt, she said she had no idea he was planning to visit.

When he arrived in Washington, he rented a Toyota Camry from Dulles Airport at approximately 6:45am. Later that same morning, on Route 250 in Troy, Virginia, Blair backed his car into another person’s car, which caused minor damage. The driver of the other car said that Blair “seemed nice, but was in a hurry.”

On the evening of July 10th, 1996, Blair Adams arrived in Knoxville, Tennessee. He had driven around 500 miles (800 km) from Washington, D.C.

At 5:30pm, Blair was seen at a gas station on Strawberry Plains Pike in Knoxville. An interstate repair service driver, Gerald Sapp, had been called to the gas station as Blair had told the clerk he was having difficulty with his car key, rendering him unable to get in his car.

When Gerald arrived, he realised that Blair had been using the key to the Nissan Altima he had hired in Canada, instead of using the key for the Toyota Camry he had currently been driving. Gerald asked Blair to look in his pockets for the key.

I said if you drove this thing up here, then you gotta have another key in your pockets. But he (Blair) refused to look. So I thought he was nuts. He was bound and determined that he needed the key for that car.” Gerald said.

Gerald then arranged to have the car towed to a local repair shop and then dropped Blair off at the Fairfield Inn hotel in Knoxville.

CCTV cameras show that Blair spent around 40-minutes waiting in the hotel lobby before going up to the hotel clerk and purchasing a hotel room for $100. When the hotel clerk tried to give Blair his change, Blair left the hotel lobby. It was later discovered that Blair never entered the hotel room he had purchased.

Blair Adams. Credit: Unsolved Mysteries

At 7:30am, on the 11th of July 1996, Blair Adam’s body was found in a parking lot of an under-construction Fairfield Inn located just outside of Knoxville, at the Strawberry Plains Pike I-40 Interchange. He was found half-naked, with his shirt open and his pants off. His pants, shoes, and socks were found close to his body. Scattered around his body was around $4,000 in German, Canadian and US currency. Police also found a black duffel bag that contained maps and travel receipts, as well as a fanny pack that held 5 ounces of gold bars, gold and platinum coins, jewellery, keys and a pair of sunglasses close to the body.

The autopsy revealed that Blair had received many cuts and abrasions to his body, which the police have suggested may have come from fighting off an attack. Blair’s official cause of death was sepsis, which was caused by a wound that ruptured his stomach.

Blair also had a wound on his forehead, which is suspected to have been caused by a crowbar or a club. There is also speculation that Blair had been sexually assaulted, however, no DNA was found to confirm this suspicion.

The only DNA evidence that was found at the scene was one strand of long hair that Blair had grabbed in his hand. The DNA found has not yet been matched to anyone in the databases.

The police have released a sketch of a man who was seen with Blair at several different restaurants, including a Cracker Barrel, on the night before his death. Police are unsure if the unidentified man has anything to do with Blair’s murder.

Sketch of the unidentified man. Credit: Knox News Sentinel

In 2010, the Knoxville Police Department said that they have “never received a credible tip” in Blair’s murder case.


Unsolved, Mystery, Murder, Homicide, Strange, Investigation, True Crime, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, 1996, Blair Adams, Unsolved Murder, Unsolved Homicide, Strange Circumstances, Real Crime

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