A tribute to Inga-Maria Hauser, the definitive story of the only case of its kind in Northern Ireland and the continuing mission to uncover the truth behind a murder still unsolved after 29 years despite one of the largest DNA screenings in policing history
By Keeley Moss
PART 10 - CONTENTS Chapter 31 - The Song Remains the Same Chapter 32 - In the World Acknowledgements for Part 10
Chapter 31 – The Song Remains the Same
There are no sunsets, just silence
‘The Girl Who Wanted To Be God’ – Manic Street Preachers
My work on Inga-Maria’s case began with researching and writing this blog but it wasn’t long before it began to take on other dimensions. This is something that developed very organically – I didn’t have the intention or the expectation when I set out writing to become involved in a number of other areas in relation to her case. One of these areas is music. Many of the regular readers of this blog will probably now be aware that, possibly uniquely for a True Crime blogger, I’m also a singer, musician and songwriter, and specifically singer and guitarist in the group SESSION MOTTS (we spell our name all-caps – that’s not just me shouting!)
From the moment I read about Inga-Maria’s case and felt so intensely drawn to writing what has become this blog, I found that any time I wrote or co-wrote a new song, it was either about Inga-Maria personally or about some aspect of the case. This is something that has continued unabated for over a year now, and shows no sign of diminishing. I don’t know if I’ll ever write songs again about another subject. I would have expected to have at least started writing songs about other subjects by now, but it just hasn’t happened. As far as I know, being an avid student of music history, this is something that is unprecedented in music. But I feel I just can’t write songs about anything else, nor do I want to. In fact, so intense is this passion that I feel I’d rather not write any more songs than write about another subject. Maybe it’ll change someday. If it does it does, honest songwriting is all about ‘feel’ so I guess I’ll know whenever the heart charts a different course. But until whenever that might be, this will be the way it is.
It’s something my friends and bandmates Ingmar and Daniel have been I think very understanding about, and especially my songwriting partner Ingmar, who clearly never bargained on working with someone who just keeps writing about the same subject over and over again! After I think the fourth song I’d co-written with him that was about Inga-Maria’s case, he expressed some exasperation one night over dinner but when I explained that I felt simply unable to write about anything else, he rolled with it and the subject hasn’t come up again since. So although my bandmates and the manager of our band don’t share my obsession with the case, they’ve grown to accommodate it and been supportive of it. Although I’ve never discussed this aspect with them, it must have been strange for them to have this case appear as if from out of nowhere and then it having not gone away in all the months since. By now I’m resigned to that being the way it is, in some ways I feel like I’m a vehicle or a conduit through which this case can continue to gain coverage until it’s hopefully resolved, and I’ve been very honoured to hear from many people throughout Northern Ireland and beyond who tell me this blog single-handedly reignited interest in the case from the Autumn of 2016 onwards by refreshing the memories of many people who would have been aware of the case back in 1988 but for whom in the words of a number of locals “it had faded from memory”. In addition, I’ve been told by a considerable number of people in the communities of Co. Antrim that this blog has led to many younger people who were never aware of the case before to start asking questions and start becoming motivated to add their voices to the increasing calls for long-overdue justice to be done and to be seen to be done for Inga-Maria and her family.
Chapter 32 – In the World
She climbed so high
I don’t know why
On her own
And I know
She’s in the air
And I don’t want it to go
‘She’s a Superstar’ – Verve
In January 2017 SESSION MOTTS first emerged with our debut single, a track entitled Chip Shop Fights. It’s a song that’s not about Inga-Maria but rather a woman named Jean Jordan who was tragically murdered by The Yorkshire Ripper in Manchester in 1977, the reason being that we wrote Chip Shop Fights in the spring of 2016 which was just before I came across Inga-Maria’s case. When Chip Shop Fights was released on January 22nd of this year it almost immediately became – much to my surprise – a radio hit, played repeatedly for several months on both mainstream and Indie radio shows and entered the airplay charts in Ireland, which is very rare for a first release by a new independent group. Soon after I’d first read about Inga-Maria’s case, over the following months we wrote a dozen more songs, all of which were about Inga-Maria personally or were based on her case. One of these songs stood out to us almost immediately as a potential follow-up single to Chip Shop Fights. This song – entitled Plundered Past – approaches the case in a number of ways, which is no mean feat given how short the song is (clocking in at three and a half minutes). On the one hand the song refers to her youth spent in Munich, in the years before her extremely ill-fated decision to visit Northern Ireland in the course of her backpacking odyssey in the spring of 1988. And on the other hand the song’s lyrics refer to the circumstances of what happened on the night her life was taken. Furthermore Plundered Past includes a lyrical reference to an individual who was, in the words of PSNI Detective Chief Superintendent Raymond Murray that I first related in Part 3 of this blog, “A man in the rural area east of Ballymoney seen soon after the murder in April 1988 with scratches on his face and that there was concern in the community that he had some sort of involvement”.
Plundered Past is notable for a number of reasons – as well as being hopefully a strong piece of work it is the first song ever written about Inga-Maria Hauser to be commercially-released. Furthermore – and for me this is very significant and meaningful – the song features some of Inga-Maria’s own words, words that she wrote in her diary on the last day of her life, while she was in Stranraer in Scotland, shortly before she boarded the evening ferry to Larne for a crossing that would go on to prove significant for all the wrong reasons.
The music video we’ve made to accompany Plundered Past is an elaborate affair despite our relatively-limited resources. Fortunately we had the biggest ‘star’ on the planet on hand to help out – the sun. Giving us the gift of perfect sunrises and sunsets that I think are so beautiful and that frame the reconstruction of many of Inga-Maria’s movements during her week-long 1988 backpacking odyssey in exactly the way I’d hoped we would. Filmed in no less than three separate counties – Dublin (where Inga-Maria was scheduled to visit just one or two days later had she reached Belfast as planned on the night of April 6th), Wicklow and Antrim. The County Antrim scenes were all shot at Larne Harbour which has a significant resonance as it’s the place she arrived presumably full of hope and wonder on that long-ago spring night in 1988. The role of Inga-Maria was played by Dutch actor Mathilde van Ooijen, who I think portrays her wonderfully well. Obviously it’s difficult, impossible even, to be certain we’re depicting a person accurately when it’s someone none of us ever had the chance to meet, but now since having heard from some of her family and one of her friends and having of course spent over a year year studying as much available material as possible, I believe we’ve done justice to her memory, or have certainly done our very best to try to. I’d like to extend everlasting thanks to the fantastic team at Ten Point Films – director Adam Hart, producer Sinead O’Quigley, cameraman Richard Deering, editor Sam Martin, grip Ryan Dwyer, Aaron Fahy on grading and of course lead actor Mathilde. All of whom were exemplary throughout in their diligence and professionalism and all of whom I cannot thank enough. In addition I’d like to say a big thanks to Dashiel Jordan for his technical assistance during the editing process, and to my songwriting partner Ingmar808 for jointly overseeing the video’s final edit alongside me. We got there in the end!
I think of the music video as more like a short film that manages to achieve what was actually a very difficult balance in telling the story about what happened to Inga-Maria without upsetting any of her family, which is something I was extremely-nervous about. I also felt it would be classier and less obvious to adhere to the old guideline in storytelling, namely that of “Show, don’t tell”. And also I believe that the single most important element in art is that of mystery. So certain things are alluded to rather than blatantly or bluntly stated. But I instinctively felt that was the right approach. And still do. Adam, the video’s director, originally conceived a very different treatment for the video, which although an excellent idea overall, I became concerned it would be too graphic and macabre, and would risk upsetting Inga-Maria’s surviving family members which is literally the last thing in the world I would ever want to do. So that idea was sidelined and in it’s place Adam conceived a different but equally-excellent and more subtle treatment that became the video that you are about to see.
As for the song at the heart of the video, it’s been several weeks since Plundered Past was released as the group’s second single and I’m delighted to say that so far it has eclipsed the success of even Chip Shop Fights. It’s been playlisted and/or played by 15 separate radio stations so far, from mainstream stations such as RTE Radio 1, RTE 2FM, Today FM, Newstalk FM & Dublin’s 98FM to the only alternative/Indie station in the country (8Radio) to regional stations such as Cork’s Red FM, LMFM which broadcasts throughout the counties of Louth, Meath and Kildare and KCLR 96FM which airs throughout the counties of Carlow and Kilkenny to Dublin’s main traffic station Dublin City FM. It’s been added to playlists by radio stations as far away as Philadelphia, Minneapolis and Toronto in the USA and Canada respectively and the video for the single was premiered by leading music website GoldenPlec. The song peaked at #5 in Dublin City FM’s airplay chart and is currently still in their Top 10, and entered the Newstalk FM airplay charts one place ahead of the live version of Live Forever by Liam Gallagher and Coldplay (recorded live at the One Love Manchester concert in aid of the victims of the horrific bombing at the Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena). Plundered Past is currently #2 in the Indie airplay charts in Ireland behind only All Tvvins Feat. James Vincent McMorrow, having risen up that chart fourteen times in succession from when it first entered.
In addition to the airplay the song is receiving, its relative success is affording me more opportunities to discuss Inga-Maria’s case on mainstream radio and via print media. I was interviewed on LMFM’s morning show recently and got to speak about Inga-Maria and her having inspired our new single, following on from the interviews about Inga-Maria’s case I’ve done on The Tom Dunne Show on Newstalk FM in February of this year (see Part 6 of this blog) and on Belfast 89FM in April of this year. There’s a full-page feature in the current issue of Hot Press in which I discuss Inga-Maria’s case in detail (for any overseas readers who may not be aware, Hot Press is Ireland’s longest-established music, culture and current affairs magazine. The Irish Rolling Stone basically). I see all of these moments as posthumous triumphs for Inga-Maria, which I’m merely facilitating. For me the most special and most spiritual moment of the promotional campaign around the single so far has been to hear the line in the song that features Inga-Maria’s own words in the knowledge that they’re resounding out of radios the length and breadth of the island of Ireland for three and a half minutes at a time. Think about that…Ireland, this country that she was so keen to visit but which she didn’t even get to set foot on the soil of before she was subjected to the most horrifying ordeal back in April 1988 that ended with her death, and here we are 29 years later and although the individuals responsible for her murder still haven’t been brought to justice, 29 years after her voice was taken from her, her words are for the first time being heard on radios throughout the Republic of Ireland. The people who murdered her have gotten away with it all these years, and yet here she is, in a way I suppose you could say she’s been addressing them on the radio via my voice every day and night over the past two months. And I’m going to see to it that she carries on addressing them for as long as we manage to get songs onto the radio, because as I’ve said I’m not planning to stop writing and singing about her any time soon.
Without further ado I would like to present this song and music video to all the readers of The Keeley Chronicles. Hope you like it.
Inga-Maria Hauser. Born May 28th 1969. Died April 6th 1988. Never forgotten.
As always, please get in touch with me via email in the ‘Contact’ section if you have any information in relation to this case.
Copyright: Keeley Moss ℗&©2017. All rights reserved.
Acknowledgements for Part 10
Plundered Past, like this website, is dedicated to the memory of Inga-Maria Hauser. Special thanks to Adam Hart, Mathilde van Ooijen, Sinead O'Quigley, Richard Deering, Sam Martin, Aaron Fahy, Dashiel Jordan, Ryan O’Dwyer, Suzanne Doyle and Lance Hogan. Thanks also to Jason Collins, Tom Dunne, Paul Mernock, Paul McLoone, Stephen Byrne, Stephen Kennedy, GoldenPlec, 8Radio, Fiachna O'Braonain and Kate Brennan Harding. Thanks to the Port of Larne and Dublin Port for their co-operation.
BLOG Thanks to the people of Ballycastle and the continued support of the following social media groups: Things We Would Like To See In Ballycastle Moving Forward in Northern Ireland Unsolved Murder Cold Cases in Ireland ‘The Girl Who Wanted To Be God’ written by Bradfield/Moore/Wire Published by Sony Music Publishing ©1996 'She's a Superstar' written by Ashcroft/Jones/McCabe/Salisbury Published by Copyright Control ©1992
SONG Written by Keeley Moss & Ingmar808 Produced, engineered, mixed & mastered by Ingmar808 Published by Copyright Control ©2017 An Early Doors release P&©2017 Available on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon & Google Play
VIDEO A Ten Point Films Production Director: Adam Hart Producer: Sinead O'Quigley Actor: Mathilde van Ooijen Cameraman: Richard Deering Editor: Sam Martin Grading: Aaron Fahy Grip: Ryan O’Dwyer Video post-production by Ingmar808 & Keeley Moss Technical engineer: Dashiel Jordan