Blair Adams

Robert Dennis Blair Adams (December 28, 1964 – July 11, 1996) was a Canadian man who was found m*rdered in a parking lot of a hotel under construction near Interstate 40, just outside Knoxville, Tennessee. His m*rder case remains unsolved.


Prior to mur-der

On July 5, 1996, Blair Adams, a resident of Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, withdrew most of his money from his bank account and emptied his safe deposit box of cash, jewelry, gold, and platinum. He then attempted to enter the United States by ferry from Victoria, British Columbia, to Seattle, Washington.

Immigration officials, suspecting Adams might be a drug courier due to the large amount of cash he carried, denied him entry after discovering his prior drug and assault convictions.

In the early morning of July 9, Canadian border patrol officers found Adams trying to cross the border on foot at the Pacific Highway Border Crossing. Officials noted he had scratches on his legs and hands. Adams matched the description of a suspect in a car theft, with the stolen vehicle found abandoned near the border crossing. However, he denied any involvement and was released due to lack of evidence.

Entrance to United States

Adams managed to enter the U.S. by car on July 10, using a Nissan Altima rented from Vancouver International Airport. He drove to Seattle and purchased a roundtrip ticket to Frankfurt, Germany, at the Seattle–Tacoma International Airport. Adams had previously worked on a project in Frankfurt for his stepfather’s construction company and had dated a German woman there, although she later told law enforcement that he had not contacted her about visiting.

Instead of taking the flight to Frankfurt, Adams exchanged his ticket for a one-way trip to Washington, D.C. Upon arriving in Washington, he rented a Toyota Camry at Dulles Airport around 6:45 am.

Later that morning, Adams backed his car into another vehicle on U.S. Route 250 in Troy, Virginia, causing minor damage. The other driver reported that Adams “seemed nice, but was in a hurry.”

Adams arrived in East Knox County, Tennessee, between Knoxville and Strawberry Plains, on the evening of July 10, approximately 500 miles southwest of Washington, D.C. The first sighting of Adams in Knoxville was at a BP gas station on Strawberry Plains Pike at 5:30 pm. Gerald Sapp, an Interstate Repair Service driver, was called to the gas station because Adams was having trouble with his car key and could not enter the vehicle.

Sapp realized that Adams was trying to use a Nissan key (for the car he had abandoned in Seattle) instead of the Toyota key. Sapp recalled, “I asked him to look in his pockets. I said, ‘If you drove this thing up here, you gotta have another key in your pockets.’ And he wouldn’t look. So I thought he was nuts. He was bound and determined that he had the key he needed for that car.” Sapp arranged to have the car towed to a local repair shop and dropped Adams off at a Fairfield Inn in Knoxville on Cracker Barrel Lane.

Upon his arrival at the Fairfield Inn, Adams was captured on closed-circuit television footage in the hotel lobby. He spent about forty minutes loitering before purchasing a room with $100. When the hotel clerk attempted to return his change, Adams exited the lobby and walked outside. It was later determined that he never entered the room he had booked.

Discovery of body

On the morning of July 11, 1996, around 7:30 a.m., construction workers discovered Adams in a parking lot of an under-construction Country Inn & Suites hotel at 7471 Crosswood Boulevard. This location was across from the Fairfield Inn, where Adams had booked a room, on the other side of the Strawberry Plains Pike-Interstate 40 interchange. Adams was found “half-naked” with his pants off and his shirt open. His pants, shoes, and socks were lying nearby. Scattered around his body was German, Canadian, and U.S. currency totaling nearly $4,000.

Additionally, police found a black duffel bag containing maps and travel receipts, and a fanny pack holding five ounces of gold bars, gold and platinum coins, jewelry, keys, and a pair of sunglasses.

The autopsy report from the University of Tennessee Medical Center revealed that Adams had sustained numerous cuts and abrasions, likely from fending off an attack. He had also suffered a violent blow that ruptured his stomach, leading to sepsis, which was determined to be the official cause of death. Adams had a wound on his forehead, likely caused by a crowbar or a club, and other injuries indicated he had been se*ually assaulted.

Read also:

  • The disappearance of Steven Damman—Steven Damman, vanished along with his sister Pamela on October 31, 1955, while he was left in a stroller in front of a bakery. Pamela was found unharmed a few yards from the shop, but Steven, aged 2 at the time, was never found.


Law enforcement initially suggested that Adams’s death might have been “se*-related” due to his near-nude state when found. The only physical DNA evidence at the scene was a strand of long hair clenched in Adams’s hand. In the weeks leading up to his departure from Canada, Adams had been acting strangely, according to his mother, though he refused to disclose what was troubling him.

Friends and family noted that Adams had been sober for two years and had recently stopped attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. He had also told friends that someone was trying to kill him and confided in his mother that “someone had been spreading rumors” about him.

In a 2010 interview, local law enforcement revealed that the Knoxville Police Department had “never received a credible tip” regarding Adams’s death, though a composite sketch was released. This sketch depicted an unknown man whom two women claimed to have seen Adams speaking with outside a Cracker Barrel restaurant near the Fairfield Inn where he was staying.

This case has been featured in several television shows and true crime podcasts, including a 1997 episode of Unsolved Mysteries and episodes of the podcasts My Favorite M*rder, Crime Junkie, and CreepTime the Podcast.

Read also:

  • Unsolved case of Kimberly Jackson—A teenage boy stole a five-month-old baby in her pram, as witnessed by her mother from the rear of her home in January 1968. The missing child was found drowned. Police interviewed 6,000 people but the culprit has never been identified.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Murder of Blair Adams, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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