The Keeley Chronicles PART 13

The definitive account of the only case of its kind in Northern Ireland, the ongoing campaign for justice and a labour-of-love in memory of the victim of a murder mystery still officially unsolved after 32 years

123. Mar 21st (cropped)

By Keeley Moss

PART 13 - CONTENTS
Chapter 36 – You Do Me Wrong
Chapter 37 – Begging You
Acknowledgements for Part 13

Chapter 36: You Do Me Wrong

Inga classic pic better quality

Once Upon a Long Ago: Inga-Maria Hauser, Munich, Germany, 1987

Alas, my love, you do me wrong
To cast me off discourteously
And I have loved you oh so long
Delighting in your company

Greensleeves was all my joy
Greensleeves was my delight
Greensleeves was my heart of gold
And who but my lady Greensleeves

If you intend to be this way
It does the more enrapture me
And even so I still remain
A lover in captivity

Greensleeves was all my joy
Greensleeves was my delight
Greensleeves was my heart of gold
And who but my lady Greensleeves

Greensleeves, now farewell, adieu
God, I pray he will prosper thee
For I am still thy lover true
Come once again and love me

Come once again and love me

Greensleeves (Trad.)

Inga-Maria Hauser loved music. In the last part of The Keeley Chronicles I revealed for the first time that her favourite song was ‘Mocking Bird’ by Barclay James Harvest. Another fact that has never been in the public domain before now is that, like myself, she played guitar. She could also sing and loved to do so.

I have sought and received the permission of the Hauser family to make available, for the first time ever an extraordinary recording Inga-Maria made of herself singing and playing guitar. For one thing it is the unprecedented sound of her voice, the voice that was permanently silenced the night she arrived in Northern Ireland. It is the sound of a voice and guitar-playing that never had the chance to be recorded in a professional studio, never had a chance to be heard on a concert stage or from a radio. It is a sound that never had the chance to reach beyond her Munich bedroom. Until now.

It is the saddest and most beautiful thing I have ever heard. And is all the more heart-wrenching for the fact that when it was recorded she could have had no idea that within a relatively short period of time from when she made this home recording the ordeal she would go through in County Antrim that would result in her life being taken after what had been up to then a joyous week spent sightseeing abroad on her own for the first and only time.

The song you will hear is ‘Greensleeves’, the traditional English folk song and tune. Hearing how Inga-Maria handles the song indicates to me that she was someone who had a natural grasp of melody and was an instinctive interpreter of song, all then more so when you consider that the lyrics are not in her native language. The sparse, stark atmosphere and the acoustic finger-picking style in which she performs it is redolent of Nick Drake circa Pink Moon or the more tender and reflective moments on Suzanne Vega’s eponymous debut album. The recording is undated but was recorded at some point in the 1980’s.

It is the sound of a teenage girl alone in her bedroom, in the process of developing her music and honing her raw talent. And raw it is, but I think that makes it all the more human and all the more moving. There are none of the production tricks or sound engineering or mixing techniques involved in modern studio recordings, or even studio recordings as they were back in the 1980s. But there’s an expression I was once told that is particularly relevant where playing music is concerned, and that is “Less force, more power”. This is definitely the case where Inga-Maria’s music is concerned. As you will hear, when the song first commences she sounds a little hesitant, like many people who haven’t been singing and playing guitar simultaneously for very long. But when she hits the chorus her voice suddenly arcs up into an incredibly-beautiful falsetto. “Less force, more power” is something sadly not understood by so many people who are overly familiar with The X Factor and TV shows of that ilk and who have seemingly come to think that the bombastic bawling and over-emotional caterwauling that passes for “singing” on those soulless shows is a guide to being a good vocalist. But singing in such a way divests a song of the pure motive of what music should be all about which I believe is simply singing your own truth in your own voice. It’s not about volume or range, it’s not about fake vocal mannerisms – what I call “vocal gymnastics” – it’s not about technical proficiency and being a virtuoso show-off, it’s not about flashy clothes, and it’s certainly not about becoming rich or facilitating a path to the ultimately fallow fields of fame. I consider Gram Parsons to be the greatest singer to have ever lived and yet he was untutored and never had a hit record in his life. But he possessed a voice of such spiritual transcendence that the writer Ben Fong Torres in describing the song ‘She’ on Gram’s 1972 solo album G.P said that merely hearing Gram singing the word “Hallelujah” in that song could convert someone to Christianity, such was the spirit and emotional force with which he managed to convey that word in that song.

Music is the pursuit of truth through artistic expression. And the sound of Inga-Maria Hauser singing ‘Greensleeves’ is about as true and artistically-expressive as it gets. Although it’s not her own composition I think she makes the song her own – no mean feat given that the song was written several hundred years ago. To my mind, singing is more than merely a means to convey the melody of a song and its lyrics – singing is the sound of the soul. I believe the human voice is a portal through which the soul can be seen. In other words, if you’re shallow or a lousy human being, that will be apparent from the sound of your voice if you sing. If you’re a person of depth and kindness, it will be equally evident from the sound of your singing voice. It can’t be concealed – whatever is there will be revealed. And so it is I think very much apparent from the sound of Inga-Maria’s voice the kind of person she was.

It can be difficult to envisage now, and for some of the younger readers of this blog it might seem hard to believe at all but back in 1988 when Inga-Maria was murdered there was no internet and it was so much harder for someone to release their music independently and have instant access to a potential audience of people around the world. I consider this recording the most precious thing I have ever come in contact with. It’s an incredible honour to have been granted the opportunity to make this available for the first time and although given the circumstances that brings with it a heavy responsibility, my light and my guide is the compass of compassion that has steered me throughout the creation and promotion of this blog.

Chapter 37 – Begging You

Inga 6

Inga-Maria Hauser in her bedroom in Haidhausen, Munich. The cassette deck on which she taped herself singing ‘Greensleeves’ can be seen to her left in this photo

Here is a warning, the sky will divide
Since I took off the lid now there’s nowhere to hide
Now I’m begging you, begging you

Weigh it and say it, is it all in a name?
Does it call you or maul you and drive you insane?
Can it make you remember, time is a place
Now I’m begging you, begging you

The Stone Roses – ‘Begging You’

When I was fifteen years old I read an interview in the NME with Deborah Curtis, the widow of Ian Curtis, lead singer of my favourite band the legendary Manchester group Joy Division, and in it she described him in a way that has never left my mind. To her he was “A doorway to another world”. And this recording of Inga-Maria’s, taped in her bedroom on a long-ago day in the mid-1980s, I see in similar terms. For here is that very thing – “A doorway to another world”, that captured a moment in time that can never be repeated. A snapshot of a soul in motion, a poignant portrait of a person who was so viciously and ruthlessly erased from this life for no good reason. It was in the words of then Detective Superintendent Pat Steele when speaking about Inga-Maria’s case in 2005, “A stupid and pointless waste”.

That said I have agonised over when would be the right time to publish this recording, or even whether to publish it at all. It’s a heavy responsibility to handle something like this, and I want to be as certain as I can be that I’m handling it the right way. It can be a cruel and harsh world out there, and I know from experience the courage required to set foot on a stage or in a radio studio and put your voice, your heart and essentially your inner self on the line which then enables others to be in a position where they can critically maul you for it. And even though it isn’t my voice or my guitar playing on this recording, I have come to feel such a degree of protectiveness towards this person who is not around to defend herself nor has any family members who are in a position to publicly do so on her behalf. I’ve grappled with the question of whether or not I think Inga-Maria would have welcomed the release of what I think is the best recording she made. It is impossible to know of course, but she made this recording to capture the sound of her music, and I would venture a guess that she would have liked the music she was in the process of making to reach a receptive audience. The alternative is it one day getting lost, or the tape degrading and never having the chance to be heard, and I think that would be a further tragedy. And heaven knows there’s enough tragedy involved in this case already.

Back in the 1980s the opportunity to release a cassette recording made in your bedroom simply would not have been possible, as you would have been reliant on a major or independent record label to sanction its release, which their corporate mentality wouldn’t have entertained. And of course the eighties with all of the high-gloss production values of that era was an even more difficult and uncomprehending environment for a creative artist to try and have material released that possessed such pure, raw and rudimentary elements. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, it is now possible to override the prohibitive gatekeepers of the music business and utilise this technology at my disposal to try to achieve something outside the remit of the music industry and their commerce-oriented machinery. I see this as a chance for Inga-Maria to be seen in the wider world as more than just a murder victim. I have given a lot of thought to whether it would be of benefit to her memory to publish this, and I think it undoubtedly is. And I think it shows even more of her artistic potential and of what she could have gone on to do with her life had she been allowed to.

But I’ll admit there is another reason I’ve decided to publish it. And that’s because I think it might be the best chance yet as we approach the 30th anniversary of her murder – maybe the best chance there will ever be at this stage – of trying to convince the person shielding Inga-Maria’s killers to find it in her heart to do the right thing before it’s too late. In doing so I’m appealing directly to that person, and I’m begging them – begging you – to do so for the sake of Inga-Maria’s soul, and for your own soul, for your own humanity, to release the immense burden that you must have been carrying with you for almost thirty years now. What a thing to be able to achieve in your life to be the one to bring closure to the family of a murdered daughter and sister. It’s a cliché but its true, especially so in this case – “Better late than never”. Just look for that strength and you’ll find that strength – nothing matters more. It is beyond wrong to be prepared to exit this existence leaving this unresolved. The Hauser family need justice and Inga-Maria’s soul must be crying out for it too. There must be some reason this is on my mind all the time, I’m an indie musician and writer from Dublin with no prior connection to Northern Ireland and no prior connection to Inga-Maria. This isn’t some hobby of mine where I flit from case to case. I write about no other case, no other person. I haven’t made a cent from my work on it, it’s a labour of love. But I wouldn’t have spent the past eighteen months writing the 45,000 words (so far) of this blog and travelling the country in pursuit of it if I didn’t feel with every ounce of my being that this passion, and this person, is of vital importance.

Regular readers of The Keeley Chronicles may notice that I try and distinguish every instalment with a different photo of Inga-Maria each time, and this part is a departure in that for the main cover image I’ve decided to reprise the most recognisable image of her, with I think good reason. For I feel that of all the parts of this blog, this is perhaps the most important yet, the one that maybe has the most potential of bringing about a breakthrough, maybe quietly behind the scenes. And so I want to make this part as recognisable as possible to give it the best chance possible of penetrating the areas it needs to reach. Despite the huge passage of time since 1988, a breakthrough in this case could still come at any time. It could come as a result of this blog, it could come as a result of one of John Dallat’s public appeals, or it could be triggered by something unrelated to either of us. Or it might not come at all. But there’s a saying, “Evil prospers when good men do nothing'”. I’m aware that all our efforts with this might be in vain. But I don’t care, I need to know I gave it everything.

And it’s not just me, everyone has a part to play in this. ‘People power’ is something very real, when enough people are united behind a common cause it can bring about extraordinary results. And it’s abundantly clear to me by now that there are many thousands of people across Northern Ireland and in particular County Antrim who have a fervent interest in seeing that this poor soul gets justice in this life, and a degree of mercy she wasn’t afforded in her lonely death. Every share on social media, every comment, every view of this blog, every new article that gets published are all like individual rivulets of water that if conducted simultaneously have the potential to amount to a tsunami. Next April will see the 30th anniversary of Inga-Maria’s murder. No inquest into her death has ever been held, and no one has ever been charged in relation to her murder. But those who are responsible are out there, in a cluster of villages so small you could walk through each of them in a matter of minutes.

This blog has a worldwide audience – from the analytics section on the site I can see that people in over 100 different countries around the world have read it. In particular it has a large following across Northern Ireland, and is widely read by thousands of people each month throughout County Antrim, many of whom share it via social media. It is those people I am again relying on to distribute this latest part to increase the chances it will be seen by the small group of people in the rural area to the east of Ballymoney who know who murdered Inga-Maria, and in particular the main protector of the killers. I’m begging that person to listen to this recording, listen to her extraordinary voice. Don’t let her song and her silent scream from beyond be in vain.

It will take two and a half minutes of your time.

Your pals took seventy years of hers.

Inga-Maria Hauser – Vocals & Acoustic Guitar

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Inga-Maria Hauser cropped-inga-classic-pic-better-quality
May 28th 1969 – April 6th 1988. Never forgotten.

© Keeley Moss 2017

All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced in any form without the permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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Acknowledgements for Part 13

With thanks to the family of Inga-Maria Hauser

‘Begging You’ written by Squire/Brown and published by Publishing Designee ©1994 Geffen Records. Inc. an MCA Company

Note: ‘Greensleeves’ was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago