The Untold Story of Inga-Maria Hauser PART 17

The definitive account of the only case of its kind in Northern Ireland, the ongoing campaign for justice and a tribute to the victim of a tragedy still unsolved after thirty years

By Keeley Moss

 

Part 17 Contents 
Chapter 44: Made of Stone
Chapter 45: Ceremony
Acknowledgements for Part 17

 

Chapter 44: Made of Stone

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Last Flowers: Anne Dallat lays one of thirty black-ribboned roses – to symbolise each one of the thirty years of life that Inga-Maria had stolen from her – while the author looks on with John Dallat MLA and Councillor Donal Cunningham standing directly behind. Photo by Justin Kernaghan © 2018

 

Your knuckles whiten on the wheel
The last thing that your hands will feel
Your final flight can’t be delayed

The Stone Roses – ‘Made of Stone’

 

Before publishing the next instalment of this blog, in which I hope to discretely discuss aspects of my and John Dallat MLA’s face-to-face meeting with PSNI Detective Chief Superintendent Raymond Murray at police headquarters in Belfast, I would like to devote an instalment to the memorial event held for Inga-Maria in Ballypatrick Forest Park on April 6th which coincided with the 30th anniversary of her murder.

With each new blog instalment every month I try to focus on a different aspect of the case or of Inga-Maria’s life, in the hope of keeping things fresh but also to hopefully ensure that this blog has as much depth and variety as possible moving forward, both in terms of paying tribute to the beautiful young life stolen at the centre of it all and also to expand the horizons of what for many years had been portrayed in the media in a rather more reductive and one-dimensional way. I have come to learn that there are many dimensions to this case, some of which are a lot more public than others – and some of which are not public at all. Even with the sixteen parts of this blog to date having amounted to some 50,000 words, there is so much more still to be said, and no doubt even more still to learn. I plan to delve into some of these issues in the future instalments of the blog but before doing so, I’d like to take this opportunity to reflect on the memorial event staged at Ballypatrick Forest, specifically for the benefit of those who were not able to be there in person and to acknowledge those who were and who made in some cases very long journeys to attend, and to also reveal a lot of the background to the event that is not known.

Another reason for my feeling that I should dedicate an instalment to the memorial event and the inscription stone at the centre of it before moving on to other areas is that it is my intention that this blog, by the time it is complete, will hopefully contain everything that is relevant to Inga-Maria and the case. And considering that last month’s memorial was the first public event of its kind arranged for Inga-Maria, I think it would be remiss of me not to include it in the blog, even though it has been covered extensively elsewhere. However most of those newspaper accounts, while obviously very welcome in terms of generating additional coverage for what is still an unsolved case at the time of writing, were by their nature fairly straightforward reports whereas as an actual contributor to the event, and someone who had been involved since its inception I was able to have a certain perspective on it that is perhaps unique so I hope I will be able to convey that here.

Soon after publishing Inga-Maria’s performance of ‘Greensleeves’ via this blog last November which was the first time the Northern Ireland public had gotten to hear her voice,  I travelled to John Dallat’s home in Kilrea near Coleraine where John had taken me into his confidence for an initial brainstorming session about his ideas for what became the memorial event in Ballypatrick Forest Park. That weekend in November John held a meeting with myself and Councillor Donal Cunningham at the Marine Hotel in Ballycastle during which John’s initial plans were discussed. John’s original idea was for a three-day event to take place over the weekend of Inga-Maria’s 30th anniversary from April 6th to April 8th and that was to have involved a night of music at the Marine Hotel on the Friday, followed by a ceremony at the Corrymeela Ballycastle centre on the Saturday and rounded off by a sponsored walk to Ballypatrick Forest on the Sunday with all of the proceeds going to support a charity that raise funds to assist those who have been victims of sexual violence. On the day of our meeting last November, both the Marine Hotel and the Corrymeela Ballycastle Centre were provisionally booked for this purpose. However, soon after this my band, who John had asked to perform a set of music at the event in honour of Inga, unfortunately broke up. Furthermore over the following months it became apparent that the plans for a three-day event, while ambitious and impressive in scope, might prove too elaborate an undertaking that would run the risk of the intended purpose of the original idea becoming unfocused, and that Inga-Maria’s memory would in fact be better served by streamlining the memorial plans to a one-day event, with a suitably-sombre ceremony centred around the unveiling of an inscription stone in her honour, the first of its kind, to mark the area where her life was so cruelly taken on the night of her arrival in Northern Ireland all those years ago.

So many people had messaged me over the past two years to say that it was a shame that there was nothing in the area to commemorate Inga-Maria’s tragic passing. This had weighed on my mind for some time, and I know it was the same for John for even longer. We also felt the absence of an inscription stone meant that aside from a photo of Inga that a local person had thoughtfully placed by a tree along the nature ramble in Ballypatrick Forest (see photo directly below) there was nothing to act as a focal point for people to pay their respects, all the more so considering that Inga-Maria is buried not in Northern Ireland but in her native city of Munich which is not easily accessible for the many people in Northern Ireland and in particular the communities of the rural Glens and Causeway Coast area who have touchingly taken Inga-Maria to their hearts.

Inga makeshift memorial (cropped)

Pictures of You: The poignant makeshift memorial at Ballypatrick Forest Park which prior to the creation of the inscription stone was the only marker for Inga-Maria anywhere. Photo by Keeley Moss © 2018

 

The weeks preceding the memorial were very hectic, with so much to prepare and the event needing to be promoted. John marshalled everything superbly and delegated extremely well, assigning various roles to people who he instinctively felt were right for each task. John himself crucially secured funding for the creation of the inscription stone and he co-ordinated with Councillor Donal Cunningham to make the necessary arrangements for the event. John nominated me to write the wording for the inscription. It meant the world to me to be asked to do that, especially as having communicated at length over the past few years with friends and family members of Inga-Maria, and with the desire I have felt from the outset in wanting this blog to focus on the person Inga-Maria was and on the events of her life as much as possible (and not just the grisly details of her death, or the many mysterious aspects of the case itself) I felt I was in a good position to choose a wording that would represent the person she was, and that I hoped she herself would have approved of.

John also asked me to create a four-page booklet to be distributed at the event and to perform music during the ceremony. For the memorial booklet I chose my favourite photo of Inga-Maria for the front, one that I felt captures her smiling youthful zest so poignantly, one in which her appetite for life and her hopes for the future are I think visible on her face, a future that would mutate into a nightmare on the night that very face was damaged beyond repair. Inside the booklet was an introductory message penned by John on the second page, with Clare McCotter’s triptych of poems for Inga-Maria taking up the third page (these poems can be read in Part 15 of this blog). The back page featured a poem John had written for Inga entitled No Beauty Hath Ever Been Seen (this can also be viewed in Part 15, a poem John was too modest to take credit for upon its inclusion in the memorial booklet) and lastly the back page also included the lyrics to a new song I’ve written from Inga’s mother Almut Hauser’s perspective. Finally, at the bottom of the back page the most well-known iconic photo of Inga was added and with that, once the correct margins, spacings and fonts were added, the memorial booklet was complete.

John enlisted Clare McCotter to read her poems for Inga during the ceremony and Donal Cunningham was asked by John to perform the role of MC. As a lovely additional touch, John bought thirty red roses and his wife Anne took care to tie a black ribbon around each and every one of the roses, to symbolise the fact that it had now been thirty years since Inga-Maria’s life was so brutally taken.

While John co-ordinated the preparations for the memorial and Donal liaised with the creator of the inscription stone (a local man named Donal Og Newcombe) I set up an event page on Facebook to which I invited several hundred people and generally handled the social media promotion of the event to get the word out. No sooner had word began to circulate about the event that we were contacted by a number of press outlets keen to cover the occasion. John and I undertook a round of interviews with local and national media to further try to ensure that anyone who would be interested in attending wouldn’t miss out. In the meantime I worked on the memorial booklet and the wording for the inscription stone. It struck me that the wording couldn’t be too elaborate – it needed to balance economy of language with as succinct a summarisation as possible of the message we wanted to convey. There were many things I could’ve said but I knew I wouldn’t have a huge amount of space to work with. Each word would carry a considerable weight as essentially the wording could come to be seen to define Inga-Maria’s life.

Which is all the more so as Inga-Maria’s grave at the Ostfriedhof in Munich doesn’t actually have any headstone, instead what is there is something I would describe more as a grave marker. There is no wording on this grave marker other than her name and the year she was born and died. Anyone looking at Inga’s grave who didn’t know her would have no idea of the sort of person she was, of what interested her, or of what her personality was like. These are the very things she was denied the chance to reveal to people by the man who murdered her and those who assisted him, which is one of the main reasons I’m so intent on trying to communicate those qualities of hers through this blog and in as many interviews as I’m asked to do.

Inga-Maria Grave 1

The Living Dead: This never-before-seen photograph shows Inga-Maria and her father Josef’s graves at the Ostfriedhof in Munich, Bavaria. Photo by Inga Richardson © 2017

 

After John had asked me to write the inscription, I had sat up in bed that morning in my flat in Dublin and tried to imagine what Inga herself might choose for the wording. It’s a subject I’d imagine most people rarely ponder, as it’s an understandably uncomfortable thought to think of yourself no longer being alive but…What epitaph would you pick for yourself if you could choose a few lines to summarise your life? It might be more difficult than you think. And as difficult as it might be to choose your own epitaph, imagine being tasked with writing the epitaph for someone you never met – and what’s more someone who has posthumously become so important to you, and indeed very significant to an increasingly large number of people, many of whom would in the future be taking time out of their day to travel to see the inscription stone and pay their respects. The stone would hopefully be a lasting testament to a person who none of us got to meet and who arrived almost totally unnoticed and unheralded in Larne on that Spring night in 1988 but whose incredibly-brief presence on Irish shores and it’s agonising aftermath continues to resonate in ways she never could have imagined on the evening she fatefully set sail from Stranraer Harbour. So, I knew the wording had to be perfect. Inga’s memory would deserve nothing less.

But…what to write? I instinctively felt that rather than grappling with any complicated ideas, I should start with the basic information that would need to preface any wording. And so I thought I’d reprise something I’ve written at the end of every part of this blog.

 

Inga-Maria Hauser
Born May 28th 1969
Died April 6th 1988
Never forgotten

 

Simple, but essential.

For the following lines however, I knew I wanted to make a statement that went beyond basic details, and into the realm of Inga’s personality and something that was important to her. The first thing that jumped into my mind here was music. She loved music of course, she sang and played music. And then I thought of friendship. The one character trait most associated with Inga-Maria is how sociable and friendly she was. The friends of hers I’ve spoken with all describe how easily she made friends, and how comfortable everyone felt in her company. Then-RUC Detective Chief Superintendent George Caskey when discussing Inga in 1988 had described her as “a friendly and outgoing young girl who made friends easily”. PSNI Detective Chief Superintendent Raymond Murray described her in broadly similar terms to me during our recent meeting with him. So with that in mind it struck me that the best way to arrive at the perfect wording to complete the inscription stone would be to somehow combine her love of music with her love of friendship. And then it occurred to me – her favourite song, as revealed for the first time in Part 12 of this blog, was ‘Mocking Bird’ by Barclay James Harvest. That fact had been revealed to me by a man named Walter who was one of Inga’s teenage friends, who was one of the people who described her most vividly to me. So here I felt was an opportunity to combine her love of music and friendship. I scanned through the lyrics of ‘Mocking Bird’ and it was then that I realised that this song featured what would be the perfect lines to complete the wording on the inscription stone:

 

Time will see your tears run dry
There’s a mocking bird singing songs in the trees

 

However, there was more…For not only would the inclusion of this line reflect Inga’s passion for music and her favourite song, and it also had a connection with friendship in the form of it having been revealed to me by her friend, but it seemed to eerily foreshadow the circumstances of what had actually happened on the night she would have cried very real tears “in the trees”. There was an additional relevance I felt in the notion of a mocking bird – one could say the mocking bird in this case is Inga’s killer and his accomplices, possibly having a good laugh for much of the preceding thirty years while presumably mocking the efforts of the police for valiantly trying but at the time of writing having been unable to bring them to justice. Which brings me to the title of this chapter, Made of Stone. For one thing it is the title of a song by The Stone Roses released on March 6th 1989 exactly 11 months to the day after Inga was murdered, secondly the subject of this instalment focuses on a memorial marker that is literally made of stone, and thirdly the killer of Inga-Maria Hauser and his primary accomplices must have hearts made of stone to have apparently never struggled with the evil enormity of what they did to an innocent young girl who only wanted to give Northern Ireland a chance at the height of the Troubles, a time when so few other foreign tourists were willing to visit.

 

Chapter 45: Ceremony

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Come Together: Some of the public and press who attended the 30th anniversary memorial event for Inga-Maria at Ballypatrick Forest Park near Ballycastle. Photo by Keeley Moss © 2018

 

The dark clouds in bouquet above
For how long will this dark age last?
For how long must we wait to learn?

And can others see…
Or do they navigate in dark?

If you ever want to dock your dream
Well you’ll need love to guide your fragile ark

The Dukes of Stratosphear – ‘Little Lighthouse’

 

The scene at Ballypatrick Forest Park on April 6th 2018 as the minutes ticked down towards the commencement of the memorial event was that of rural Northern Ireland at its Wintry worst. Strong winds and a continuous downpour were more than matched by an extremely biting cold that honestly felt more severe than any I have ever known. Having been to Ballypatrick Forest many times now, for all of its deserved status as a stunningly-beautiful location that is home to all manner of fauna and flora and where wildlife thrives, it always seems to me to be significantly colder there than anywhere else. It’s by some distance the coldest place I’ve been, and that’s from someone from Dublin, a city that’s no stranger to inclement weather. The freezing cold was appropriate however, in that it held a certain kinship with the chilling circumstances of the events that had taken place there exactly thirty years previously.

John and Keeley at Inga's Memorial 6.4.18

Never Forgotten: John Dallat MLA and Keeley Moss examine the inscription stone for Inga-Maria at Ballypatrick Forest Park, Co. Antrim, April 6th 2018

 

The crowd of locals and other well-wishers, accompanied by a large media contingent, was already assembling as John and I made our approach by car, alongside Clare McCotter and John’s wife Anne Dallat. We had announced that the event was due to take place at 1pm, which was largely in order to facilitate the participation of the UTV Live news team, whose chief reporter Barbara McCann and producer Chris Hagan have always been supportive of our campaign on behalf of Inga-Maria. Barbara as a young reporter in 1988 had actually been present, in her words, “As the body of Inga-Maria was carried from the forest with a respect not shown to her by the man who murdered her”.

As the ceremony got underway it was apparent that a significant number of people had taken time out of their day to venture in some cases many miles to this distant and remote outdoors location, and all the more so amid such terrible weather. That made it feel even more special that people had chosen to put the memory of Inga to the forefront of their thoughts, and had made a special effort to be there. At this point the memorial booklets were distributed and the event commenced.

Rather than my describing the event as it unfolded, I think there’s no substitute for reality, so I shall let the following footage instead bring the day to life.

This is the way, step inside.

 

___________________________________________________________

Inga-Maria Hauser.
Born May 28th 1969. Died April 6th 1988. Found April 20th 1988. Never forgotten.

Copyright: Keeley Moss ℗&© 2018. All rights reserved.

————————————————————————–

Acknowledgements for Parts 17

With thanks to John Dallat MLA, Anne Dallat, Daniel Kane, Suzanne Wehrly-Kane, Mags McCaw, Inga Richardson and Peter Heathwood. There is a Light that Never Goes Out.

Photography by Justin Kernaghan, Inga Richardson and Keeley Moss.

‘Made of Stone’ written by Squire/Brown. Published by Zomba Music Publishers Ltd. © 1989

‘Mocking Bird’ written by John Lees. Publisher unknown © 1971

‘Little Lighthouse’ written by Andy Partridge. Published by Virgin Music Ltd © 1987

The Untold Story of Inga-Maria Hauser PART 16

The definitive account of the only case of its kind in Northern Ireland, our ongoing campaign for justice and a tribute to the victim of a tragedy still unsolved after thirty years

By Keeley Moss

 

Part 16 Contents
Chapter 43: The Girl With April In Her Eyes
Acknowledgements for Part 16

 

Chapter 43: The Girl With April In Her Eyes

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Expecting to Fly: A rare photo of Inga-Maria Hauser and her father Josef taken in the early 1980’s

 

There once was a King, who called for the Spring
For his world was still covered in snow
But the Spring had not been, for he was wicked and mean
In his winter-fields nothing would grow
And when a traveller called seeking help at the door
Only food and a bed for the night
The girl with April in her eyes

Oh, oh, oh, on and on she goes
Through the winter’s night, the wild wind and the snow
High, high, high, on and on she rides
Someone help the girl with April in her eyes

She rode through the night till she came to the light
By the firelight she died
Oh the morning was bright, all the world was snow-white
But when he came to the place where she lay
His field was ablaze with flowers on the grave
Of the girl with April in her eyes

Oh, oh, oh, on and on she goes
Through the winter’s night, the wild wind and the snow
High, high, high, on and on she flies

She is gone
The girl with April in her eyes

Chris de Burgh – ‘The Girl With April In Her Eyes’

 

Referencing a song by Chris de Burgh may seem more than a little incongruous for a blog that regularly includes lyrical quotations from such doyens of musical credibility and rock royalty as Joy Division, The Smiths and Microdisney. But I quote the velvet-voiced Irish crooner with good reason on this night, April 20th, which is 30 years from the night Inga-Maria Hauser’s remains were discovered in the remote westernmost section of Ballypatrick Forest Park by the horrified sheep farmer who found her.

“Someone help the girl with April in her eyes” goes one of Chris de Burgh’s lesser-known songs. A song that, believe it or not, was one of Inga-Maria Hauser’s favourites, as revealed to me by one of her teenage friends in Munich. As anyone with knowledge of the facts of this case would know, Inga-Maria was murdered on the night of April 6th 1988, with her body not being discovered until April 20th. I have always found one of the saddest and most chilling facts of this case to be that this “Girl with April in her Eyes”, whose dream was to travel through the UK and Ireland that April, had written a postcard in which she spoke of how she was “Going to Ireland tomorrow. I think I’m looking forward to that the best” only to be murdered within minutes or hours of the ferry docking in Larne that night.

Inga Maria’s body lay unattended and uncared-for for fourteen days in the forest. It bears repeating that, contrary to the erroneous claim made in many media reports that have been published over the years, she was not buried in a “shallow grave” or covered up in any way. She was dumped, discarded with a breathtaking callousness as if she was nothing, and left to the elements, with her clothing deliberately disturbed and all of her belongings scattered throughout the trees nearby. It is facts like these that make John Dallat MLA and I feel all the more motivated to keep up the campaign to seek truth and justice on Inga’s behalf, especially as she does not have any family members in Ireland to fight for her. But as was made abundantly clear at our memorial ceremony at Ballypatrick Forest Park on April 6th 2018, the community of Co. Antrim have taken Inga to their hearts, and that community numbers some of the finest people I’ve had the pleasure to know. How bittersweet that this teenage traveller, who arrived in this country unknown and unnoticed by all but those involved in her murder, has posthumously gathered thousands more friends than she ever could have imagined.

The photo that I’ve chosen to illustrate this instalment is one of Inga-Maria and her father Josef rock-climbing together in the early 1980’s. It’s a rare and very special photograph that, although it’s been published a couple of places before, has never been widely circulated. For quite some time I’ve intended using it in a blog post but I wanted to wait for the perfect moment. This to me, the night of the 30th anniversary of Inga’s remains being discovered, is that moment. The phrase “Every picture tells a story” is a very true, and this picture I believe tells so much. In the background there lies a beautiful clear blue sky, the sort of dreamy, balmy sky that when overhead you look up at and bask in the glory of life, aware that you’re fortunate to be alive and in a position to witness such a stunning sight on the ultimate canvas, nature’s very own easel.

Inga looks very happy in the photo, in the first flush of her impending adolescence. I can imagine from looking at this photo that she was delighted to be outdoors with her Dad, at his side as they navigated the rocks together, spending time together as father and daughter in a way that’s only much later apparent just how precious that time was. And in this case that was far much more so, for obvious reasons in the light of what would transpire only a handful of years later in Northern Ireland. But looking at the photo now, it is heartbreaking to think that at the moment this photo was taken, as Josef Hauser and his beloved daughter paused on the rocks with such a beautiful clear blue sky above them, that all the hopes and dreams that he would have had for her, and that she would have had for herself, would never be able to be realised. Imagine being the girl in that photo, and imagine at that moment wondering just how your life was going to turn out…What career paths would you pursue, where would you live, what countries would you visit, what art would you create, would you get married or maybe have children? Except in Inga’s case, virtually none of those things would happen. Because within just months of becoming an adult she would get off a ferry and be murdered, and dumped in a forest, and for thirty years (and counting) those who are responsible are yet to spend so much as a minute in prison for it.

A further scan of the lyrics of ‘The Girl With April In Her Eyes’ reveals a striking number of eerie parallels with what ensued on the night Inga-Maria Hauser arrived in Northern Ireland: “He was wicked and mean…When a traveller called seeking help at the door…Through the winter’s night, the wild wind and the snow…Someone help the girl with April in her eyes…With flowers on the grave, of the girl with April in her eyes… She is gone, the girl with April in her eyes”. I found it extraordinary to learn, in the light of those lyrics and the circumstances of the fateful April night that echoes so many of the lines in the song, that this had been one of her favourite songs. Something regular readers of this blog will be aware of because I’ve referred to this a number of times over the past two years, most recently several times throughout Part 15, is something that became a feature of the PSNI’s 30th anniversary press release, namely a line Inga-Maria wrote in her diary on the last day of her life which was “Going to Glasgow now. Snowy mountains, wild landscape”. And of course those details too were unwittingly foreshadowed in the lyrics to ‘The Girl With April in Her Eyes’.

But on this day, April 20th, the second landmark anniversary in this case to occur this month, let us respond to that request issued in the song Inga-Maria used to play on the record player in the youth club she attended at St. Gabriel’s Church in Munich during the mid-1980’s, which poignantly was also the church where her requiem was later held on May 25th 1988 (further eerie coincidences are that Inga-Maria’s funeral occurred on both my birthday and the birthday of Clare McCotter who wrote the triptych of poems about Inga which I published in Part 15 and another strange but far sadder coincidence is that Inga’s remains were tragically discovered on her mother’s birthday). The line in the song that goes, “Someone help the girl with April in her eyes”. Let us redouble our efforts to help this girl with April in her eyes by showing those among the small group of people in the community who are in the position to enable police to bring those responsible for Inga’s murder to justice that they can do so with complete support from the rural communities of Co. Antrim, so many of whom I know deeply want this to happen.

It’s time to help the girl with April in her eyes.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Author’s note

I mentioned in Part 15 that it was my intention to publish in Part 16 an account of my and John Dallat MLA’s recent meeting with PSNI Detective Chief Superintendent Raymond Murray at police headquarters in Belfast but on account of today being the 30th anniversary of Inga Maria’s remains being discovered, I decided to postpone that instalment for a future post and instead produced an instalment for Part 16 that is I think more fitting to coincide with such a sombre occasion.

_____________________________________________________________________

Inga-Maria Hauser.
Born May 28th 1969. Died April 6th 1988. Found April 20th 1988. Never forgotten.

Copyright: Keeley Moss ℗&©2018. All rights reserved.

————————————————————————–

Acknowledgements for Parts 16

Special thanks to Walter.

‘The Girl With April In Her Eyes’ written by Chris de Burgh. Published by Big Secret Music Inc. ASCAP © 1979

The Untold Story of Inga-Maria Hauser PART 15

The definitive account of the only case of its kind in Northern Ireland, our ongoing campaign for justice and a tribute to the victim of a tragedy still unsolved after thirty years

By Keeley Moss

 

Part 15 Contents
Chapter 41: A Flower Attracting
Chapter 42: Legacy
Acknowledgements for Part 15

 

Chapter 41: A Flower Attracting

Inga 1988 RUC poster - Cropped

Reaching Out: A portion of the original 1988 RUC poster that was distributed widely at the time requesting information from the general public

 

Beauty finds refuge in herself

She is suffering
You exist within her shadow

Beauty she is scarred into man’s soul
A flower attracting lust, vice and sin
A vine that can strangle life from a tree
Carrion surrounding, picking on leaves

Manic Street Preachers – ‘She Is Suffering’

 

Friday April 6th 2018 marks thirty years from the night Inga-Maria Hauser arrived in Northern Ireland and was subjected to the vicious and ruthless assault that culminated in her murder practically before she’d even set foot on land. On the 30th anniversary there has yet to be anyone held accountable for what remains the only case of its kind in Northern Ireland.

Recently John Dallat MLA and I travelled to police headquarters in Belfast for a meeting with the man leading the investigation into Inga-Maria’s murder, PSNI Detective Chief Superintendent Raymond Murray, to inform him of our plans for a first-ever memorial in Northern Ireland for Inga-Maria and to discuss the investigation in general. I hope to tactfully discuss some aspects of what was a lengthy and very positive meeting in the next instalment, Part 16, of The Keeley Chronicles.

Many people have mentioned to me over the two years I’ve been working on her case that there was nothing to mark the area where Inga Maria’s life was taken. With that in mind, on Friday April 6th at 1pm myself and John Dallat MLA are to host a special event at the entrance to Ballypatrick Forest Park just outside Ballycastle at the northernmost tip of County Antrim to mark the 30th anniversary and where we plan to unveil the first-ever inscription stone for Inga-Maria. The event will also feature a performance of music that will hopefully accurately reflect Inga-Maria’s artistic nature and her love of music. All are welcome to attend and I would encourage you to do so.

I would like to extend thanks to the followers of this blog for your patience as I’ve waited to follow-up Part 14. I generally publish a new instalment each month without fail but I’ve left a three-month gap this time, quite deliberately, out of respect to the PSNI as soon as I became aware that their preference was for a lull in all coverage of the case in the months leading up to the 30th anniversary in order to focus the attention of the press and public on the next major concerted push in April and not risk diluting the impact of such a landmark anniversary. In the meantime I’ve been working away quietly behind the scenes in a number of ways. But as we approach the 30th anniversary, I intend for this to be the first of three new instalments on the blog in relatively quick succession, which will hopefully compensate for the paucity of new posts over the last few months.

With each instalment of The Keeley Chronicles I always endeavour to try and do something new, focusing on a different aspect each time, partly because like many creative people I have an aversion to repetition and partly due to the fact that I’m mindful that this case is now on the cusp of its 30th year and I am wary of going over too much familiar ground. So the main theme of this month’s instalment is something I haven’t covered before, focusing primarily on poetry and song lyrics inspired by Inga-Maria’s short life and the long shadow her murder has cast ever since.

In recent days I’ve been heartened to receive not one but two sets of poetry written in honour of her. The first is actually a trilogy – or “triptych” – of short poems penned by a strikingly-talented poet from Kilrea, Co. Derry named Clare McCotter. As you’ll see, her ability at weaving words is quite brilliant. The triptych was recently published on the Poetry24 website and I have received Clare’s permission to publish it in full on The Keeley Chronicles (see below). It is a beautiful and very moving homage to Inga-Maria.

But that’s not all – I was very touched to receive a poem written by John Dallat MLA about Inga-Maria which he completed roughly around the same time as Clare’s poems. As anyone who takes an interest in politics in Northern Ireland will likely be aware, John is someone with a long and illustrious career in politics and who currently represents East Derry on behalf of the SDLP. He holds the notable distinction of having been the first-ever nationalist mayor of Coleraine and also spent nine years as Deputy Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly. But even more importantly in my opinion, he has been the only public figure to repeatedly call for justice in Inga-Maria’s case and previously made a direct approach to the then-RUC Chief Constable Ronald Flanagan. It is clear from numerous public statements he has published regarding Inga-Maria’s case over the years and from all my communication with him that what happened to Inga-Maria has had a profound impact on him. John’s touching poem is entitled No Beauty Hath Ever Been Seen and displays a real depth of feeling and sincerity. It is published below for the first time anywhere.

To make it a trilogy of works inspired by Inga-Maria, I’ve decided to round out this ‘Poetic Edition’ of The Keeley Chronicles with a piece of my own, ‘Plundered Past’, the lyrics to the song I wrote about her which was released as the second single by my now-defunct band Session Motts. I generally don’t like separating words from music as I prefer for the lyrics I write to live where I believe they belong: inside the song, beyond the clear comprehension that can strip a song of what I think is its most essential strength, its mystery. But I want to make an exception in this case, and publish the lyrics here for the first time in full (the Belfast Telegraph previously published the lyrics to the chorus of ‘Plundered Past’ on Page 3 of their July 12th 2017 issue).

For all the success my old band had with our two other singles last year (neither of which were about Inga-Maria) my own personal highlight of 2017 was in hearing one particular line in ‘Plundered Past’ regularly on the radio down South and seeing it as a posthumous achievement for Inga-Maria from beyond the grave, in defiance of her killers who must have thought they’d permanently silenced her on that night in Ballypatrick Forest. Although the line from Inga-Maria’s diary that I quoted in the song may at first glance appear to be innocuous, mundane even, and only consists of a mere four words – those being “Snowy mountains, wild landscape” – which she wrote on the train on her way to Glasgow on what would turn out to be the last day of her life, April 6th 1988, I felt there was something beautiful about the way those four words looked and sounded. I also feel that that line best expresses Inga-Maria’s wonderment at the beauty of nature and her appreciation of the world around her.

Snowy mountains, wild landscape. So simple and yet so descriptive and evocative, setting the scene exactly as she saw and perceived it on a Spring afternoon in 1988 as she gazed excitedly out of the window of a British Rail train while it whizzed past trees and fields en route to the Scottish city as the 1980’s itself raced towards the end of the decade. What makes those four words I think even more poignant is that they display the restless zest of a young person in love with the world, in love with life itself, living out a dream (and that is no overstatement on my behalf – Inga-Maria’s mum Almut was quoted as saying to the Bild newspaper in 2011 that “It was her dream” to travel to the UK and Ireland).

Snowy mountains, wild landscape. As Inga-Maria jotted down those four words in ink that day, she could never have imagined that they would be some of the last words she would write, that within hours she would be erased from this existence seven weeks and one day short of her 19th birthday, the precise circumstances of which remain a secret maintained by a clan of clones bereft of souls. She also couldn’t have possibly imagined that those four words which she penned in her diary as the train tracks beneath her feet clattered as the wheels met steel, each portion of track unwittingly carrying her closer to imminent catastrophe, that those four words would more than 29 years later be quoted in the form of a song inspired by her, and would resound from radios throughout the South of Ireland for several months (although it has to be said, to the obliviousness of most listeners who generally wouldn’t have known what or who the song was about). Plus it’s worth bearing in mind that Inga-Maria’s case has a much lower profile in my native South of Ireland than it has in the North. But it’s something no one can take from me that, however mundane it may sound, I managed to get something that she wrote so innocently and innocuously on a train in April 1988 onto the airwaves in 2017, and which I see as a posthumous vindication, one where the last line of the song would come true upon its release – “I’ll give you the voice they denied”.

 

Chapter 42: Legacy

glasgow-works-1-1988

The View From Here: British Rail train on the outskirts of Glasgow in 1988. Inga-Maria would have taken in this view on her approach to the Scottish city on the last day of her life

 

Triptych

By Claire McCotter © 2018

Back Packer

She is a swallow
on the heart hammering
brink of blue
for weeks her sleep
silvery with dreams
of maps and moons
and magnetic fields
now her bright brown eyes
on the edge of flight
the leap the drop
the rise the rise
the jolt of sky
the swoop the curve
the turn
her maiden voyage
a practice run
wound down at dusk
on a telephone line
her throat full
of sorrel and stars and sun
and miles
and miles of blue
and the miles and miles
of blue to come.

  

Solace

In her bedroom
she is a student of song
practising
guitar chords
before pressing record
not knowing
every time
her mother
presses rewind
the gold crocus
on her child’s tongue
candles the night.

 

Self Seeding

Left broken
in the place seed fell
they brought
their corn haired girl
back home
thinking of those
she might
have brought
to them
her mother
smoothed the earth
out over
her shoulders.
And yet
still in the forest
her dark eyes
blent with theirs
she waits at dusk
among the sika deer.

 

No Beauty Hath Ever Been Seen
A poem by John Dallat MLA © 2018

No beauty hath ever been seen
To compare with the Munich queen
Clad in blue jeans
And full of beans
Looking forward to meeting a mate
My God she is so stunning, so sedate.

Offered a lift in a lorry
Inga-Maria has nothing to worry
No tourist before has come to grief
For her parents at home this surely is a relief.
The lorry is for Belfast or so he said
My God hopefully Inga-Maria is not being mislead

A Province-wide search has begun
Is Inga-Maria in trouble or just having fun?
Sighted here and there, far and wide
Her family desperately want her at their side
They know she would not wander
And to strangers she would not pander

More sightings, who did she embrace
Surely this isn’t a murder case?
Inga-Maria is an intelligent child
Bright and creative, loving and mild
Who in their right mind would steal her life?
But such thoughts are now so very rife.

Sadly, those fears were well grounded
Inga-Maria in a forest has foundered
Died defending her honour
As deadly blows rained down upon her
A talented musician, a beauty so stunning
Please God her killers have exhausted their cunning.

 

‘Plundered Past’
Song lyrics by Keeley Moss © 2017

Singing The Beatles’ ‘Let It Be’
In the far-off lands of a plundered past
On this street lived a family
In the far-off lands of a plundered past.

You could use your pencils and paint
In the far-off lands of a plundered past
“Snowy mountains, wild landscape…”
In the far-off lands of a plundered past
In the far-off lands of a plundered past.

I love you, I live you
The old has become new
You crept in the back door of my mind
I need it, I feel it
I won’t let time steal it
I’ll give you the voice they denied.

Eerie glow that bathed the streets below
In the far-off lands of a plundered past
Twenty to 10 they’re lining up
In the far-off lands of a plundered past.

Scratches on his face hint at Hell
In the far-off lands of a plundered past
In the far-off lands of a plundered past.

I love you, I live you
The old has become new
You crept in the back door of my mind.
I need it, I feel it
I won’t let time steal it
I’ll give you the voice they denied.

You crept in the back door of my mind.

I’ll give you the voice they denied.

 

_____________________________________________________________________

Inga-Maria Hauser.
Born May 28th 1969. Died April 6th 1988. Found April 20th 1988. Never forgotten.

Copyright: Keeley Moss ℗&©2018. All rights reserved.

————————————————————————–

Acknowledgements for Part 15

With thanks to John Dallat MLA and Clare McCotter.

‘She Is Suffering’ lyrics by Richey James. Published by Sony Music Publishing © 1994

Triptych: Back Packer/Solace/Self Seeding written by Claire McCotter. Published by Copyright Control © 2018

No Beauty Hath Ever Been Seen Poem written by John Dallat MLA. Published by Copyright Control © 2018

‘Plundered Past’ lyrics by Keeley Moss. Published by Copyright Control © 2017

The Untold Story of Inga-Maria Hauser PART 14

The definitive account of the only case of its kind in Northern Ireland, our ongoing campaign for justice and a tribute to the victim of a tragedy still unsolved after thirty years

By Keeley Moss

 

PART 14 Contents
Chapter 39 – Universal Traveller
Chapter 40 – Caught in the Headlights
Acknowledgements for Part 14

 

Chapter 39: Universal Traveller

Newsletter article April 25th 1988

Murder Story: Article published in the April 25th 1988 edition of the News Letter newspaper in the aftermath of Inga-Maria’s murder. This was the first time a photo of Inga-Maria was ever published. Note the misspelling of her surname as “Hausser” and the erroneous information that her father’s name was “Hans Hausser” when in fact it was Josef Hauser and the incorrect claim that she was “believed to be hitch-hicking (sic) around Northern Ireland” when she had in fact never hitchhiked anywhere

 

In this sprawling landscape
How’d you know just where I’d be?

Real Estate – ‘Horizon’

 

Something I have dwelled on a great deal is the distance between what’s known and what’s unknown in the case – and my underlying desire to find a way to bridge the gap between that crucial chasm. In an interview published in 2012 the detective leading the investigation, Detective Chief Superintendent Raymond Murray told RTE Crime correspondent and author Barry Cummins exactly what the police need in order to be able to advance the investigation into Inga-Maria’s murder, “What we need is the piece of information which helps to put all of this into proper perspective, that might help us understand the chain of events that brought Inga-Maria from Larne to Ballypatrick Forest, and that we learn what happened on that journey, be it on the coast road or an inland road en route which completes the picture”.

Inga-Maria knew no one in Northern Ireland, and she knew no one in the Irish Republic either. No one anticipated her arrival in Larne on the night of April 6th 1988. There was no one expecting her to arrive in Belfast that night by a certain time and therefore no one in a position to raise the alarm when she didn’t arrive. It is my information that those responsible for her brutal murder encountered her onboard the Galloway Princess. But how is it that they managed to notice her in the first place when almost none of the 420 other passengers aboard had?

I find it incredible that out of the 422 people on board the ferry that night, a mere two people (who were traveling together, so not even two separate people) were the only ones who reported spotting Inga-Maria at any point during the ferry crossing. I recently discovered some facts that are not widely-known – and these are indeed facts – verified facts, not just the sort of urban myths and Chinese whispers that have dogged this case, which I can reveal here. I have learned in recent times that as Inga-Maria was entering the ferry terminal in Stranraer on the evening of April 6th 1988 for the ferry journey that would unwittingly change the course of her life irrevocably, the two people who would later spot her on board the ferry had accidentally bumped into her as she was approaching the doors that led to the walkway up to the ferry. They were two women from Northern Ireland, one young woman and one older woman, who immediately followed Inga-Maria up the stairwell and onto the ferry. And what’s more, each of these two women separately spotted Inga-Maria at points during the crossing, and furthermore in two very different parts of the ferry, which is also something I had not been aware of until only recently.

The first sighting of her on the ferry itself was when the older woman saw Inga-Maria opening a door that led to the lounge, and watched as she crossed the lounge. She was still on her own but – and this is very interesting – she was without her backpack and any of her other bags. Bear in mind that her backpack and bags contained her expensive camera, her diary, her passport, and all her other belongings. Would she – would you – leave such essential and valuable personal items totally unguarded in a public place with more than 400 people in the vicinity, none of whom you knew? I know that I wouldn’t have. I consider it most unlikely she would have left those items unguarded, even just for a few minutes while she visited the lavatory or wherever it was that she was going when she crossed the lounge. It has never been established for certain but I consider it likely that she left her belongings with one or more people who had befriended her onboard the ferry, and considering these people have never come forward or made themselves known to investigators, I consider it highly likely that if that was so, then that person or persons included her killer or killers.

The second time Inga-Maria was spotted onboard the Galloway Princess that night was actually up on deck, and this sighting was made by the young Northern Irish woman who had followed her directly on to the ferry when boarding in Stranraer earlier that evening. This time Inga-Maria had gone up on deck for some fresh air and to take in the sight of the Irish Sea as the ferry made its way towards the port of Larne. The young woman, whose name is known to me but whom I have not spoken with so I shall refrain from naming as her name has never been published anywhere, saw Inga-Maria lifting up the ferry’s on-deck telescope through which a clearer view of the approaching land could be made. Again, Inga-Maria was alone and again she did not have her backpack or any of her additional bags with her. With the exception of a sighting made by a third female passenger aboard the ferry that night of Inga-Maria entering a lorry as the ferry docked in Larne, a sighting that wasn’t reported until 2005 and which has never been confirmed to have been Inga-Maria (this sighting I discussed earlier in Part 3 of The Keeley Chronicles) that was the last time she was ever seen alive.

Imagine being one of those women, imagine knowing in the aftermath of her murder that you very briefly crossed paths with someone who was about to be erased from this existence in such a tragic and shocking way, and in such a standalone case that the news of the release of her singing and playing guitar, something not heard before in Ireland or the UK became the lead item on the main evening UTV News on November 2nd 2017, almost thirty years after the murder. Imagine knowing that that night aboard the Galloway Princess that you were that close to the truth behind one of the most baffling murder mysteries of the last three decades, and yet still even for those women the precise truth of what followed remains tantalisingly out of reach. What would have seemed such mundane moments for them at the time – accidentally bumping into someone as they entered the ferry terminal in Stranraer, following her onto the ferry, later seeing her crossing the ferry lounge, and later still seeing her up on deck gazing out in wonder, hope and expectation towards the land she would barely set foot on before her life was so brutally taken. These apparently mundane moments were to become some of the most important and memorable details of those women’s own lives, for it’s not every day or even every decade that you become one of the only witnesses to have observed at least part of a sequence of events that are still making news headlines thirty years later.

All the same though, even considering the fact that due to the two Northern Irish women accidentally bumping into Inga-Maria as she entered the ferry terminal in Stranraer and them subsequently following her directly onto the ferry itself making it more likely that they would remember her, I still think it very strange that no one else among the hundreds of passengers later tracked down and questioned by the then-RUC reported having seen her on board the ferry. She was strikingly good-looking, and more unusual still she was a lone young woman, an 18 year-old tourist travelling to a region that was at that time in the midst of a vicious internecine conflict. How the hell could she not have been spotted by more people? Two out of 422? I know from the correspondence I have received that I’m not alone in finding that ridiculous.

Newsletter April 21st 1988 sidebar

Inside: From the April 21st 1988 edition of the News Letter newspaper. This was the first-ever newspaper report of Inga-Maria’s murder

 

Don’t believe his heart, I beg you please it lies
There’s murder in the eyes of men and treason in the sky

She crossed the room in honour and took his words in vain
He smiled the smile of murder
And in his head, shook his hand

The House of Love – ‘32nd Floor’

 

Another point I’ve mulled over a lot is relevant to the title of this chapter – Universal Traveller, which is the title of an excellent, eerie song by the French band Air and a piece of music that always makes me think of what it might have been like on board the Galloway Princess that night. For one thing, that’s what Inga was – a universal traveller. She could’ve been anyone – anyone’s daughter, anyone’s sister, anyone’s friend. To me she’s symbolic of young people everywhere with hopes and dreams setting off on their first journey abroad. Except where the vast majority of them will return home, ready to regale with their tales of the road, Inga never did and never will.

The murder of Inga-Maria Hauser is as I said at the beginning of Part 1 of The Keeley Chronicles, the only case of its kind – the only sexually-motivated murder of a tourist in Northern Irish history. But for the individual who drove her off that ferry and whoever else who may have accompanied him, she arrived totally unnoticed in Northern Ireland on the night she died and instead of receiving the warm Irish greeting she deserved, was instead subjected to a horrendous ordeal, which has long since left a significant shadow hanging in its wake and which will never be resolved for as long as her killers and those shielding them carry on denying her justice like they denied her her life. And yet although Inga may have been ‘just’ one person, she is in a way every backpacker, every overseas explorer, every human being who ventures outdoors to see the other side of this life. Not an hour goes by where I don’t think of her, and I know there are likewise so many people out there all across Northern Ireland who have never forgotten her, not least John Dallat who has campaigned long and hard for answers and justice on Inga-Maria’s behalf. I notice that she’s particularly on my mind whenever I’m in a train station or at a bus depot or in an airport, any of those places with a transitory ambience, that palpable melancholy atmosphere that seems unique to those places, where so many people are constantly moving, fleetingly passing in transit on their way from one point to another and perhaps leaving only the faintest trace of their souls as they roam.

 

Chapter 40 – Caught in the Headlights

Newsletter article April 22nd 1988

Caught in the Headlines: From the April 22nd 1988 edition of the News Letter newspaper, this was among the first full-length articles on Inga-Maria’s murder. Note football legend George Best pictured alongside

 

So maybe you’re standing
In some foreign town
You’ve walked for miles
And your jeans and your curls
Are bleached and split

As the words on these pages
Maybe I’m reminded
Caught in the headlights
And I’m yelling it at you
Why is it girl
When the world is lit by lightning

So you’re ten miles out
Of this city at night
When do coloured lights
Become paint and glass and dust?
How I wonder
What light to trust?
The light of the distance
Or the candle that might just burn?

Moonshine and starlight
Pockets full of rainbows

It will call you
Angel
When the world knows your name

Deacon Blue – ‘The World Is Lit By Lightning’

 

The one thing that has always puzzled me most about Inga-Maria’s murder isn’t the fact that she had seemingly taken a lift on the night of her death – even though that was something considered very much out-of-character, and actually unnecessary (due to her being in possession of a valid Interrail pass) and as a result something that has long baffled the detectives investigating her case. No. I felt I could relatively easily rationalise and envisage the sort of scenario that would have given rise to her diverting from her established code of practice, one I’ve outlined in a theory I spoke of in an interview I gave the Belfast Telegraph in July 2017. Inga-Maria’s last-ever diary entry written in Stranraer before boarding the ferry began with the heartbreaking words “Wonder where I stay tonight?”, and this I feel makes it at the very least conceivable that she would have been receptive to an offer of a lift specifically to a B&B or a hostel, considering it was night-time when the ferry docked at Larne and had she caught the train from Larne Harbour as planned it would have been approximately 11pm when she would have arrived at Belfast’s York Road station, far from an ideal time to arrive in a totally-unfamiliar city, especially considering it was in the middle of a war and she was an 18 year-old girl on her own with no friends or family there to call on, and bearing in mind this was an age long before smartphones and Google Maps made navigation of an unfamiliar territory so much easier.

No, what mystifies me more than anything else in this story is one very striking and very unusual anomaly, something I consider so unlikely as to be possibly unprecedented in the annals of criminal history. How could Inga-Maria be the only tourist ever to have been the victim of a sexually-motivated murder in the province? The extent of ruthlessness and savagery and the degree of confidence, arrogance even, deployed in the course of her battery and murder point to an individual or individuals who have committed such a crime at the very least once before, possibly numerous times. In all my many years of reading True Crime I have not once encountered a killer or killers who were ‘The finished article’ from the get-go, whose murderous methods emerged fully-honed and developed to the extent that Inga’s killers were. And yet, in 1988 there was simply no precedent in Northern Ireland – and what’s more, in all the years since there’s been no subsequent instance – of a sexually-motivated murder of a tourist taking place there. And furthermore, police went to the trouble in the last decade of painstakingly compiling a list of approximately 1000 ‘male nominals’ considered by them to be the individuals most likely to be capable of a crime involving sexual violence against a woman, on the basis of a previous conviction or due to having come into consideration in some way during the incredibly long-running investigation, and yet even in a geographical area as small as that of Northern Ireland, and with all of the geographical and behavioural profilers enlisted by the PSNI reportedly united in their belief that the offender or offenders were “very local” to the area where her body was eventually discovered, still the identity of the “crime scene donor” as the PSNI have pointedly described the man whose DNA profile they possess proved frustratingly, maddeningly elusive. For months I had put the various permutations of this equation to work in my mind. And time and time again I arrived back where I’d started. She couldn’t have been the first, the last, the only one. And yet the evidence shows that yes, she is.

The first, the last, and so far the only. Caught in the harsh headlights of history. Lured by the urge to wander, purged from the surface of the Earth, expiring in the expanse between the digits of the missing minutes that separate day and night from any afterlife. Squandered by a monster, the forever-frozen future of a universal traveller.

 

___________________________________________________________

Inga-Maria Hauser.
Born May 28th 1969. Died April 6th 1988. Found April 20th 1988. Never forgotten.

Copyright: Keeley Moss ℗&© 2017. All rights reserved.

————————————————————————–

Acknowledgements for Part 14

Heartfelt thanks to Gary Watson and Inga Richardson.

‘Horizon’ written by Martin Courtney IV. Published by Domino Publishing Company ©2014

‘32nd Floor’ written by Guy Chadwick. Published by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC ©1990

‘The World Is Lit By Lightning’ written by Ross/Prime. Published by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC ©1989

The Untold Story of Inga-Maria Hauser PART 13

The definitive account of the only case of its kind in Northern Ireland, our ongoing campaign for justice and a tribute to the victim of a tragedy still unsolved after thirty years

By Keeley Moss

 

PART 13 Contents
Chapter 37 – You Do Me Wrong
Chapter 38 – Begging You
Acknowledgements for Part 13

 

Chapter 37: You Do Me Wrong

Inga classic pic better quality

Once Upon a Long Ago: Inga-Maria Hauser photgraphed in early 1988

 

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 I believe it 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 38 – Begging You

Inga 6

Inga-Maria Hauser in her bedroom in Haidhausen, Munich. The very 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 70 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, with the utmost gratitude, 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

___________________________________________________________

Inga-Maria Hauser.
Born May 28th 1969. Died April 6th 1988. Found April 20th 1988. Never forgotten.

Copyright: Keeley Moss ℗&© 2017. All rights reserved.

————————————————————————–

Acknowledgements for Part 13

With special thanks to the family of Inga-Maria Hauser

I would like to acknowledge the continued support of the Belfast Telegraph and the following social media groups:
Things We Would Like To See In Ballycastle
Moving Forward in Northern Ireland
Unsolved Murder Cold Cases in Ireland

‘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

The Untold Story of Inga-Maria Hauser PART 12

The definitive account of the only case of its kind in Northern Ireland, our ongoing campaign for justice and a tribute to the victim of a tragedy still unsolved after thirty years

By Keeley Moss

 

PART 12 Contents
Chapter 35 - Writing to Reach You
Chapter 36 - Archives of Pain
Acknowledgements for Part 12

 

Chapter 35 – Writing to Reach You

Inga at a zoo sometime around 1981 or 1982 (with copyright notice)

And Then She Smiles: This newly-unearthed and previously-unpublished photo shows Inga Maria Hauser at a zoo in the early 1980’s (Hauser family collection)

 

We get older every year
But you don’t change…

I think about it every day
…and then I feel it

Teenage Fanclub – ‘Everything Flows’

 

Since posting Part 9 of The Keeley Chronicles in early April, there have been some unexpected developments behind the scenes that I count among the most meaningful since I began publishing this blog one year ago this week. One such development is that I was overjoyed and very moved to hear from Inga-Maria Hauser’s nephew – the first member of the extended Hauser family to get in touch with me, after I had spent many months trying to track down Inga-Maria’s mother in order to send her a parcel that included a letter I had written that I’d then typed and had gotten translated into German with the kind help of a friend who first came in contact with me through this blog.

Within just a few days of my first correspondence with Inga-Maria’s nephew, I was surprised again, in a development that was completely-unconnected to the Hauser family, when I was contacted by a man named Walter who had been a teenage friend of Inga-Maria’s in Munich. I was quickly able to establish he was telling the truth, and like I have done with Inga-Maria’s nephew, it has meant a lot to be able to build a bond of trust with him. As with Inga-Maria’s nephew, I have found him to be a lovely person.

Hearing from Inga-Maria’s friend expanded things into another dimension for me, as here was someone who had actually known her and could attest to her character, the very first person I had contact with who was in a position to do so. But I couldn’t have known what was next in store…For in a further momentous development I then heard from Inga-Maria’s sister, which meant so much to me, as she has never spoken to the press or been interviewed in the almost thirty years since Inga-Maria’s murder and continues to shun all media contact. Out of respect for her privacy, I do not think it would be appropriate to divulge her name or anything she has said to me but I am very grateful to her for having gotten in touch.

I cherish the recollections about Inga-Maria that Walter and her sister have shared with me and in the light of what happened to her in Northern Ireland all those years ago any such information is precious. In the course of our correspondence I have been able to find out things such as what was her favourite song which for me as a musician, songwriter and a massive music fan was one of the things I was most intrigued about. All the more so when I learned that her favourite song was ‘Mocking Bird’ by one of my own favourites Barclay James Harvest – a beautifully-orchestrated ballad with a melancholy, mournful air, a preference I think indicative of Inga-Maria’s thoughtful, artistic nature. Here it is:

 

 

With Walter’s permission I am about to reveal some more of what has been communicated to me, for I feel it is of benefit to Inga-Maria’s memory which has in the past been tarnished by some preposterous and deeply-disrespectful claims published by a Sunday tabloid some years ago that I believe to have had not a shred of foundation to them, and which I have purposely avoided even referring to in this blog to date because I deem them not worthy of my nor anyone else’s time. Some other information I’ve been privy to and which I’d like to share with you now, in his words, “Inga was for sure one of the most charming and beloved persons I’ve ever met.” These are the words of someone who actually knew her and not the words of someone with an agenda to try sell newspapers off the back of scurrilous and ludicrous male fantasies involving a young woman who has already had her life so cruelly taken and didn’t in any way deserve for her dignity to be trampled on and ravaged in such a callous manner that is sadly a typical case of character assassination from a tabloid newspaper but one which is all the more reprehensible given the horrific circumstances of Inga-Maria’s murder, the abominable mistreatment of her as a visitor to Irish shores and the inability of the authorities to bring charges against those responsible for the crimes inflicted on her for almost thirty years at the time of writing.

Furthermore Inga-Maria’s friend later went on to say, “To know her means to love her. Most of your writings regarding her character I can verify. As far as I knew her, she’d never have gone with someone unfamiliar to her without a very very good reason. This is one of the disturbing facts in the case – how the hell she could get into such a terrible plight? Inga was not that dumb adventurer, she would never have gone with any person – even less persons (!) – that dangerous.” He added, “The most remarkable attributes of Inga were…her personality. Everyone felt comfortable in her attendance. I can’t remember any bad word.

Inga-Maria’s dream was to travel – and in one of her last diary entries written in Scotland she wrote, “The day after tomorrow I’m going on to Ireland. I’m looking forward to that the best”. And then for her to be treated like that, almost immediately upon arrival? There are no words.

I’ll conclude this chapter with the following words from Inga-Maria’s friend: “I would be honoured if you give your attention to some things out of our conversation to your blog. I totally agree with you – and have the strong conviction – it will be very very important to describe Inga not only as a victim or a cold case, but rather as that person, she really was or maybe she could have been in future, in our present… Perhaps it will help convincing the one or the other of the offenders, the witnesses or protectors, what they have done and still do to a human being, a real person, a young girl with all her talents, her dreams, her plans of life – maybe they can catch a small glimpse of the consequences their disgraceful act had“.

 

Chapter 36 – Archives Of Pain

Inga 3

Almut Hauser pictured in 2009

 

You have your very own number
They dress your cage in its nature

For the outside
The small black flowers that grow in the sky

They drag sticks along your walls
Harvest your ovaries, dead mothers crawl

For the outside
The small black flowers that grow in the sky

Manic Street Preachers – ‘Small Black Flowers That Grow in the Sky’

 

Another person to have contacted me since the Spring in relation to Inga-Maria’s case is John Dallat. John is a man with a long and illustrious career in politics and who currently represents East Derry on behalf of the SDLP. He holds the notable distinction of having been the first-ever nationalist mayor of Coleraine and also spent nine years as Deputy Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly. Most importantly of all in my opinion, he is responsible for Inga-Maria’s case having been reopened after a direct approach in 1999 to the then-RUC Chief Constable Ronald Flanagan.

I have written about John a number of times before. It is clear from numerous public statements he has published regarding Inga-Maria’s case over the years and from all my communication with him that the case has had a profound impact on him and he has I believe more than anyone strived to make a positive difference in honour of her memory. John travelled all the way from Derry to Dublin to meet with me, which is indicative of the lengths that he is willing to go to try help Inga-Maria’s case. I am proud to call John a friend and like the many fine people I have come in contact with through my work, the terribly sad thing is that it wasn’t any of these people who Inga-Maria encountered aboard the Galloway Princess on the April 6th 1988 instead of whoever was responsible for taking her life after “a vicious and ruthless assault” in the words of the PSNI.

Keeley with John Dallat MLA of the SDLP, Stormont Castle, Belfast, 26.3.18

Join Together: Keeley Moss & John Dallat MLA at the Northern Ireland Assembly, Stormont Castle, Belfast, March 2018

 

Reinhard Keck conducted an interview with Inga-Maria’s mother Almut Hauser for the German newspaper Bild in 2011. Here are several extracts that I have translated into English for the first time:

Her white blouses are ironed, neatly laid in the closet. And her bed is also fresh; a colourful blanket embroidered with horses, which gallop into the expanse. Her favourite blanket. Inga Maria Hauser could come home any day, any hour. If she entered her room, she would feel as if she had never been away. The world out there has continued, but here, within 20 square meters, Inga Maria’s mother has left everything as it was 23 years ago. When Inga Maria died.

Carefully we can enter it. It is a small room with a light parquet, in which the memories accumulated: on the desk, notebooks; Pins and brushes are arranged neatly. On the bedside table next to the bed, a golden hairpin and a silver necklace shine, on the windowsill are figures made of clay. For Almut Hauser sacred artefacts, all carefully selected and carefully arranged.

“Inga Maria’s things will always be with me,” says Almut Hauser with a firm voice. “I have not thrown anything away, I wanted to have everything around me to keep the memory alive.” Then she strokes the colourful horse’s corner: “They are also the things that belong to Inga”.

“It was her great dream to travel with her backpack through the UK during school holidays,” says her mother.

Would she have let her daughter go? Almut Hauser often thinks about this question. And perhaps it is so difficult for her to let her youngest go a second time. Just let go and not know her anymore, as soon as her room no longer exists.

Ten years ago it would have been possible to dissolve the room. Almut Hauser did not. She retired at that time and had to look for a new apartment. She did not need much space, there was only one extra room – for Inga Maria. “First I packed my things, then the ones from Inga,” says Almut Hauser, “in the new apartment I have automatically rebuilt everything as it was before.”

 

Can you imagine living like that every day, year after year after year? Imagine the impact all this would have on your marriage, and on the relationship you have with your other daughter. Imagine the impact it would have on your social life, on your health, on your work. That level of unsurpassable agony, the torment of those memories. Trying desperately to keep the worst thoughts as far away and the best ones as close as possible but all the time knowing that as both are inextricably linked, even the happy recollections are soaked in sadness. And the realisation that the rest of your life will be spent in this prison of pain while the very individuals responsible for causing that pain have never had to spend one minute inside any prison to atone for what they did. Maimed by the memory of losing your baby and being aware of what their last hour on this Earth must have been like, filled with the worst experiences it is possible for a young woman to be put through. Assaulted by the thought that you weren’t there to protect her, and faced every day with the feeling that you somehow failed her, that she spent the last moments of her young life being terrorised and brutalized in the most remote section of a pitch-black forest a thousand miles from home. Hounded by the horror of the utter terror she must have experienced during that ordeal.

Sometimes I don’t know how much longer I can carry on being immersed in this case and writing this blog, being exposed to that extent of human suffering, feeling haunted by this case day in, day out, every fact, each grim detail swirling around inside my head without end. It shadows my every step, follows my every breath. During the past sixteen months that I have been writing, researching and promoting this blog I’ve gone to some dark places psychologically-speaking. I’ve cried more about this than anything in my life…About her and what happened to her, about her looking forward most of all to visiting Ireland as she stated in one of her last diary entries and knowing what the reality entailed, about her family having to live the rest of their lives without her and imagining the silence and the sadness echoing endlessly, about her parents having to hold what would have been her 21st birthday party in her absence and them inviting all her friends to their home that day, about her body having been discovered on of all days her mother’s birthday, about Inga’s dad having to leave this life without ever knowing what really happened and without ever seeing justice…But I feel I have to try carry this on for as long as it is possible to do so. I can’t let it go. And neither can John Dallat.

And neither can Detective Chief Superintendent Raymond Murray and the PSNI who it should be acknowledged have devoted years of work to trying to solve this case. I know there are people out there who bear a grievance towards the PSNI and certainly their former incarnation the RUC and would be loath to give them credit. However anyone who has really taken the time to delve into the extensive history of this case would surely have to acknowledge that back in 1988 and equally so from the early 2000’s until 2012 they committed significant resources and a huge volume of man-hours into trying to solve the case. If the PSNI didn’t care, or if there was a cover-up as some have suggested then it makes no sense why they would have taken it upon themselves to spend time and considerable effort in developing a full DNA profile of the ‘crime scene donor’ from the crime scene materials 17 years after the murder and then assembling a team of detectives to work full-time on the case from 2005 when they obtained the full DNA profile until 2012 when they hit a brick wall in the investigation. Not long after Part 1 of The Keeley Chronicles was first published I was contacted by a retired RUC detective who was among the first at the scene of Inga-Maria’s murder. In his words “This was the one case in my career I would have given my eye teeth to solve”. I believe that sentiment would have been broadly shared by his counterparts in the police force and by many of the subsequent police officers and detectives some of whom have worked long hours on the case for years at a time.

Every time I work on a new instalment of this blog I always try to do something different and present something new for you, either in terms of writing about the case from a different angle, or by featuring a new interview or song I have recorded or by including an otherwise-unavailable news clip about the case, or by publishing a new photograph of Inga-Maria whenever possible. Well this part, fittingly published one year on from the week when The Keeley Chronicles first emerged and went viral, is significant for the inclusion of the previously unpublished details about Inga-Maria that I mentioned in the first paragraph and even more so for another newly-unearthed photo of Inga-Maria at the top of the page. It shows this beautiful girl as she was on a long-ago day in the early 1980’s during an outing to a zoo, which given that Inga-Maria was born in 1969 I would estimate was taken around 1981 or 1982. In the photo she’s laughing, happy and so full of life…The very life that only a few short years later would be stolen from her forever.

I urge those in the rural area to the east of Ballymoney who are shielding those responsible for her horrific murder to simply take a look at the photograph at the top of this page and try telling yourself that the girl in that photo doesn’t deserve justice or that she could possibly be able to rest in peace without it.

Just try telling yourself that.

____________________________________________________________________

Inga-Maria Hauser.
Born May 28th 1969. Died April 6th 1988. Found April 20th 1988. Never forgotten.

Copyright: Keeley Moss ℗&©2017. All rights reserved.

————————————————————————–

Acknowledgements for Part 12

Thanks to Walter and John Dallat MLA. There is a light that never goes out.

I would like to acknowledge 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

‘Everything Flows’ written by Blake/O’Hare/Love/McGinley. Published by Universal Music Publishing Group ©1990

‘Small Black Flowers That Grow in the Sky’ written by Bradfield/Wire/Moore/James. Published by Sony Music Publishing ©1996

The Untold Story of Inga-Maria Hauser PART 11

The definitive account of the only case of its kind in Northern Ireland, our ongoing campaign for justice and a tribute to the victim of a tragedy still unsolved after thirty years

By Keeley Moss

 

PART 11 Contents
Chapter 33 - Belfast Child
Chapter 34 - The Everlasting
Acknowledgements for Part 11

 

Chapter 33 – Belfast Child

ing1 (with copyright notice)

Your Silent Face: This photo of Inga-Maria Hauser has never been published before 

 

He only loves those things because he loves to see them break
But some day you will ache like I ache

Some day you will ache like I ache

Hole – ‘Doll Parts’

 

Making my way from my home to Dublin Connolly I caught the Enterprise to Belfast (amusingly nicknamed “The Starship Enterprise” as I discovered recently), a train journey as long as it is expensive. €55 for a return train ticket would put a fair old dent in the Keeley coffers but needs must, and so off I went, boarding the high-speed train with my trusty electric-blue laptop, a cumbersome device with an increasingly-ravaged battery but one that is making a fine fist of valiantly refusing to give up the fight against the thorny forces of wear, tear and time.

WP_004368

Come In Alone: The first photo I took upon stepping onto the platform at Belfast Central station. Photo: Keeley Moss ©2017

 

On the way the train passed through Drogheda, Dundalk and Portadown. After two and a quarter hours I arrived in Belfast – where Inga-Maria would’ve arrived on had she managed to catch the train from Larne Harbour on the night she had her life taken from her – and I wondered what awaited me here. One thing I hadn’t expected being struck by however were immediate pangs of guilt upon stepping off the train. Here I was arriving in the city Inga-Maria had been in the process of trying to reach on the night she was so badly abused and her life was taken, and where she hadn’t made it, I had. Where she wasn’t allowed to arrive unhindered, uninterrupted, I was. So my immediate feeling upon arrival in Belfast was an overriding one of guilt. Why was it so easy for me and impossible for her? Why was I able to make it and she wasn’t? It might seem like a straightforward and mundane event, merely stepping off a train in Belfast but on April 6th 1988 it had been beyond her, this bright beacon of youthful exuberance who arrived in the province unknown and remarkably given subsequent events, totally-unnoticed. Unnoticed of course, except for the individual who it is believed spotted her and sought her out on the ferry and who drove her from Larne to the horrendous ordeal that culminated in her savage murder.

20170501_093414

Trans-Europa Express: At the gates of Belfast Europa bus station. Photo: Keeley Moss ©2017

 

This is something that I think is so easy to overlook, that we’re talking about a real person here, not some abstract concept or some mythical figure. Flesh and blood, heart and soul. A daughter. A sister. A friend. A classmate. Someone with hopes and dreams just like the rest of us. Someone who presumably expected to be able to arrive in a new country and get to explore the culture and the folklore for a day or two, and who never could have expected in her worst nightmares that how she would actually be received upon her arrival was to be beaten around the face and head, have her neck broken, end up murdered and her broken body left like an animal carcass in that forest. I’m sorry to be so graphic and I genuinely have tried not to be throughout the course of my writing, wary as I am of sounding in any way sensationalist and because I myself find it harrowing. But sometimes in life it’s necessary to tell it like it is and strip away the veneer, the screen and the sheen. Central to the need to speak so directly is a simmering sense of indignation. From one soul looking out for another it rankles with me that what happened to her could have been allowed to be overlooked and/or forgotten for years at a time, and that the perpetrators have never had to spend even one minute atoning for erasing her from the world and plunging her family into a permanent pit of pain.

 

Chapter 34 – The Everlasting

BELFAST TELEGRAPH: One of NI’s most shocking murders…and the singer who believes she can help solve a case that has baffled police for 29 years

BELFAST TELEGRAPH – Editorial: Singer Keeley helping keep Inga Maria case in spotlight

My work on Inga-Maria’s campaign was recently the subject of newspaper coverage in the Belfast Telegraph. This was the first official print media coverage in Northern Ireland for The Keeley Chronicles and for my work on the case overall. The Belfast Telegraph are notable for in addition to being I believe the most widely-circulated newspaper in the North, are also the newspaper who have consistently held a candle for Inga-Maria’s unsolved case over the years, and have broken more exclusives in relation to it than any other media outlet. I am very grateful to them, the author of the piece Claire McNeilly and their editor for the tact, sensitivity and support they have shown me and Inga-Maria’s memory in having conducted themselves in an exemplary manner throughout. I’m also indebted to Roisin Boyd for her involvement in facillitating the interview in the first place. I have included links to the two articles directly above.

I’m also grateful to Hot Press magazine, their editorial writer Peter McGoran and commisioning editor Roisin Dwyer. Hot Press is Ireland’s leading music, entertainment and current affairs magazine who interviewed me recently in Dublin for an article in which I was supposed to promote my band but which I instead predominantly used to discuss Inga-Maria’s life and the case. There was a lot more that I said in the interview about Inga-Maria and also about music than what ended up in the article (the interview lasted 90 minutes, only a relatively-small portion of which could be condensed into the article) but nonetheless it’s yet more significant coverage for Inga-Maria’s unsolved case and is I believe the first time news of her case has entered the realm of music media. I shall attach the link here for anyone who would like to read the interview.

HOT PRESS – One Hell of a Session. Session Motts’ lead singer Keeley Moss talks unsolved murders, the haunting past, and her passion for music

Although no one has ever communicated this to me it has crossed my mind that perhaps some people who have read this blog at some point have thought, “What has it got to do with her?” or “Why single out this one case from all the other tragic cases out there?” but if that has ever been the case, you know what? All it really has to do with me is that I’m a human being and she was a human being, end of. The fact that I’m Irish and from the South and that this happened in the North and that Inga-Maria wasn’t from either the North or South of Ireland is to my mind irrelevant. When I decided to work exclusively on her case it was with I felt good reason as I think I have more chance of doing something positive and hopefully-helpful if I give one unsolved case everything I’ve got rather than flit from case to case and have less of a chance of achieving something meaningful. Her interrupted journey through life has somehow many years later become part of my ongoing journey through life. In doing so I feel I am symbolically defying her destruction with my creation. The killers of Inga-Maria Hauser were able to freely murder her and get away with it for 29 years and possibly forever – they “achieved” that much. But I’m determined that that’s all they’re going to get. Because there’s a bigger picture I’m painting with all this. And that is to establish something that they won’t achieve. I am determined they won’t erase the legacy I think she unwittingly left behind on April 6th 1988, and which is at the absolute core of everything I’m trying to promote through this blog and through all the songs of my band that she is the beating heart of. The legacy that I’ve been trying to gradually grow for her in the course of all of my work on her case, a legacy that John Dallat MLA and the many good people of North Antrim are in support of. Inga-Maria Hauser didn’t even spend one day in Northern Ireland before she was murdered, not even one night. She was legally an adult for a little more than ten months when she died. But I would like to see to it that she effectively lives forever. That her memory far outlives those of her killers. And that the essence of her youth, her beauty, her adventurousness, her creativity can find a way to live on, in this blog, in the songs I’m involved in writing, in the music videos for those songs I’m involved in making with my band, in any and every way possible. She was murdered within hours or even minutes of arriving here. No one – no one (other than her killers) even knew she’d arrived in the country. She was spotted during the ferry crossing by a mere two people, both of whom were travelling together. The killers of Inga-Maria Hauser took it upon themselves to unilaterally alter the life-course of another human being and in doing so destroyed an 18 year-old girl who was just making her way through the world. But she’s going to live forever.

Forever

And that can maybe be her revenge of sorts from beyond the grave. The posthumous response of a knowing soul. The most dignified response possible. And as gentle and subtle as it might sound, a most powerful one too. As the saying goes, “Less force, more power”. We all only have a limited timespan on this Earth. But as the great Tony Wilson, the founder of Factory Records who gave the world Joy Division, New Order and the Happy Mondays said not long before his own death, “Great songs never die”. And I’m going to try see to it that the best songs I’m involved in writing are the ones inspired by her.

In recent months I have been privileged to have had correspondance with Inga-Maria’s family and one of her friends. They were kindly willing to share some recollections of her, and from that it is abundantly-clear to me that as well as being beautiful she was a beautiful person also. And she looked cool. Really cool, in an understated and very natural way. Take a look at the most commonly circulated photo of her, the one at the very beginning of Part 1 of this blog, an enlarged version which I’ve reprised below for the sake of comparison. The wind is blowing, she’s squinting due to the wind or the light at the time, she has no make-up on and is in the middle of searching in her bag for something. She looks as if caught unawares, certainly unprepared for the taking of a photo, not in ‘pose’ mode at all. And even so, even with everything against her, she still looks cool, effortlessly so. And what’s more, in 1988. In retrospect very few people looked cool in 1988. Off the top of my head I can only think of a handful of people (Emmanuelle Seigner, Johnny Marr and New Order). Looking back, the 1980’s was such a lovably-laughable decade where almost everyone – even the cool people – managed to look uncool a lot of the time. But not her. While most people were walking around in shellsuits, jumpsuits and massive shoulder pads, with permed hair and lashings of ozone-layer-decimating hairspray, cliched looks that have generally aged really badly, she – growing up in a quiet Munich suburb and unknown to everyone in the world except her friends and family – I think transcended her times and their accompanying fashion crimes.

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Someone, Somewhere (In Summertime): Inga-Maria Hauser

 

I would love to have known what she would have gone on to do with her life. But I’ll never have the chance. Because she never had the chance. Because those who likely encountered her onboard the ferry apparently decided to deceive her into believing they were going to give her a lift to Belfast and instead took her in the opposite direction to where they inflicted on her one of the worst ordeals a human being can be put through, before ending her life in such a bewilderingly-vicious way. The permanent theft of that existence, the decades-long denial of her life, and the nagging angst I feel about that heartless larceny is largely what propels me to promote her short-lived presence on the Earth. I suspect that like most of us she would have liked to be thought of and be remembered.

 

And now, finish. I sail on the next tide

Tonight, Belfast, I’m saying my goodbyes

Tonight, Belfast, the distance in your eyes

Neon Neon – ‘Belfast’

 

____________________________________________________________________

Inga-Maria Hauser.
Born May 28th 1969. Died April 6th 1988. Found April 20th 1988. Never forgotten.

Copyright: Keeley Moss ℗&© 2017. All rights reserved.

————————————————————————–

Acknowledgements for Part 11

With thanks to Roisin Boyd, Claire McNeilly, the Belfast Telegraph, Peter McGoran, Roisin Dwyer and Hot Press magazine.

‘Doll Parts’ written by Love/Erlandson. Published by Geffen Music Publishing ©1994

‘Belfast’ written by Hollon/Rhys. Published by Warp Music/Copyright Control ©2008

The Untold Story of Inga-Maria Hauser PART 10

The definitive account of the only case of its kind in Northern Ireland, our ongoing campaign for justice and a tribute to the victim of a tragedy still unsolved after thirty years

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

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Plundered Past: Starring Mathilde van Ooijen as Inga-Maria Hauser. Filmed approaching the Port of Larne in a still from the music video to SESSION MOTTS’ current single. Director: Adam Hart. Producer: Sinead O’Quigley. Cameraman: Richard Deering ©2017

 

There are no sunsets
Just silence

Manic Street Preachers – ‘The Girl Who Wanted To Be God’

 

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 lead singer and guitarist in the group SESSION MOTTS (we spell our name all-caps – that’s not a case of 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 bandmates have been understanding about, and particularly 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

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Morning Phase: Mathilde van Ooijen depicting Inga-Maria Hauser on the Scottish leg of her 1988 sightseeing trip in a still from the music video to SESSION MOTTS’ ‘Plundered Past’.

 

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

Verve – ‘She’s a Superstar’

 

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 I 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 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 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.

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The Sun, The Sea: Another still from the music video to SESSION MOTTS’ ‘Plundered Past’. Filmed at sunrise at the Port of Larne, Co. Antrim. Starring Mathilde van Ooijen as Inga-Maria Hauser

 

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 O’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.

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Star Sail: The film crew at work at the port on a rare beautiful sunny morning in Ireland

 

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 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.

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, although I would suspect that most listeners wouldn’t know what the song is about. 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. Found April 20th 1988. Never forgotten.

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.

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The Harsh Truth of the Camera Eye: Grip Ryan O’Dwyer, Cameraman Richard Deering and Director Adam Hart at the video shoot for Plundered Past at Larne Harbour, Northern Ireland (c) 2017

Thanks also to Jason Collins, Tom Dunne, Paul Mernock, Paul McLoone, Stephen Byrne, Stephen Kennedy, GoldenPlec, 8Radio and Fiachna O’Braonain.

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
'Plundered Past' written by Keeley Moss & Ingmar808
Produced by Ingmar808
Performed by SESSION MOTTS
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

 

The Untold Story of Inga-Maria Hauser PART 9

The definitive account of the only case of its kind in Northern Ireland, our ongoing campaign for justice and a tribute to the victim of a tragedy still unsolved after thirty years

By Keeley Moss

 

Special Feature: 29th Year Anniversary – Live from Ballypatrick Forest

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Follow You Follow Me: The author by the entrance to Ballypatrick Forest. Photo: Mags McCaw ©2017

 

This is the hour when the mysteries emerge
A strangeness so hard to reflect
A moment so moving, goes straight to your heart
The vision has never been met
Attraction is held like a weight deep inside
Something I’ll never forget

Joy Division – ‘Komakino’

 

April 6th marked the 29th anniversary of Inga-Maria Hauser’s murder and her agonising ordeal that preceded it. April 20th marked the 29th anniversary of the discovery of her body, an event which revealed the abominable atrocity that the intervening years have done little to diminish the barbarity of. I first discovered the case in May 2016, missing the 28th anniversary by just a few weeks. From the time I first read about the case in depth, as I have explained in previous parts of The Keeley Chronicles, it had an effect on me like nothing else, and it wasn’t long before I felt compelled to embark on what would become this website (and my accompanying investigation which has proceeded in parallel alongside my writing about Inga-Maria and her case). As the twin anniversaries most associated with the case approached, I wondered how I might mark these milestones. What would be the most appropriate and fitting way to honour her passing – and to draw further attention to the continued evasion of justice by the killers over the course of what is now twenty-nine long years?

The closer it got to the anniversaries I realised that trying to pay my respects from my native city of Dublin was just not going to suffice. I was also aware that after my previous visit to Northern Ireland to see first-hand many of the locations that are central to the case (as covered in detail in Part 5) the only relevant places in Northern Ireland I had yet to visit were Armoy (which I plan to cover in a future post) and Ballypatrick Forest near Ballycastle in Co. Antrim. Soon enough it was no longer a case of “Will I go?” but a case of “How can I not go?”

My reasons for going were several-fold. First and foremost I wanted to pay my respects to the memory of this young woman who I never got to meet but who has posthumously become a huge ongoing part of my life. I also wanted to see for myself Ballypatrick Forest, for as anyone who has been following this blog and indeed this case over the years will be aware, it is the location where her body was found on the 20th of April 1988.

There were other reasons I felt compelled to go back up North, in fact further North than I had ever ventured before, indeed practically as far North as it is possible to go without falling into the sea. I wanted to explore Ballycastle, the seaside town that is nearest to the location where Inga-Maria’s body was found. I wanted to examine the layout of Ballypatrick Forest, this place that has haunted my thoughts and become mythologised in my mind. I felt it might enable me to have a better understanding of why the killers of this intelligent, talented and much-loved young woman chose that particular location on the night that saw their murderous urges reach the cruellest and most chilling crescendo possible. I wanted to walk the forest on foot, examining the terrain and exploring the expanse. I wanted to see how far from the main road the exit was, and indeed where the exit was in relation to the entrance. All of these things can of course be viewed on a map but there’s no substitute for direct physical contact. Would it just seem like any other forest? Or would the fact that something so dark and desperately-sad occurred there that has still not been resolved leave a palpable aura of mystery and misery hanging over the place? I wanted to find out. In addition I wanted to make my first visit to Ballycastle and Ballypatrick Forest the subject of Part 9 of this blog. I also wanted to take my own photos of these places and not have to rely on anyone else’s, and not to have to navigate any copyright clearance hurdles. For the record, and as always, none of the photos have been doctored or enhanced in any way.

Most importantly of all however I was hoping to seek a better means of applying more pressure on the authorities to renew their efforts to bring the case to a close at long last. Given that Inga-Maria’s mother’s birthday agonisingly falls on the anniversary of the discovery of her daughter’s body every year, and the fact that her mum is now an elderly woman, I feel all the more urgency to try with all my might to pull out all the stops. Individuals responsible for participating in taking the life of a young woman on her first trip alone away from home, who had her whole life stolen from her, whose family have been denied her presence all these years and have been denied justice for so long, cannot be allowed to – literally – continue to get away with murder.

These were the thoughts lurking behind the curtains of my mind as I prepared to make my way to the place commonly known where I’m from as “the North”. But the first of several surprises would greet me on the morning of my journey. That very morning, entirely unaware that I was Belfast-bound on my way to Ballycastle, Belfast 89FM just happened to get in touch to ask if I would appear on their Mid-Morning Show to discuss Inga-Maria’s case to coincide with the anniversary. It was the first time I appeared on air in Northern Ireland to discuss the case, and followed on from my first mainstream radio appearance in the South on The Tom Dunne Show on Newstalk FM two months before (see Part 7 of this blog to hear the sections of the latter interview that focus on the case).

When my friend Mags and I arrived in Ballycastle we headed straight towards Ballypatrick Forest Park, passing such renowned landmarks as Loughareema AKA ‘The Vanishing Lake’ en route. I wanted to remain resolutely focused on the task at hand but it was impossible not to feel emotional in light of the tragic events that stained the place all those years ago. If that was how it felt upon our approach to the place, I wondered how would it feel upon actually entering the forest park and even more so, how would it feel upon arriving at where she was found? For here was not just any forest, not just the haven of nature such green spaces generally are, but for all its undoubted scenery and serene splendour the location or at least one of the locations of one of the most appalling crimes ever to be inflicted upon a foreign national on Northern Irish soil. And on a more personal note, this was one of the most testing frontiers yet in my ever-widening trawl in search for answers in what has been for me a true labour-of-love, a spiritual journey steered by the compass of compassion and a year of many all-nighters spent rigorously re-writing tracts of text, perusing documents, checking facts and pursuing contacts. It’s been a year in which I have seen the abundant decency and humanity evident in the best of people – and a year in which I have by nature of the circumstances of this case been forced to confront and recount the horrors capable of being inflicted by the very worst.

It was early evening when we drove in through the entrance to the forest, and although it was a sunny evening it was very cold and windy, as it so often seems to be anywhere on the island of Ireland. Not for nothing was the country originally named Hibernia, meaning “Land of Winter”. How best to proceed from here I wondered? The main pathway was off-limits to cars and from studying maps I could tell that Ballypatrick Forest is a big place. I also wanted to buy flowers to leave at the spot where Inga-Maria’s body was found, so after taking a number of photographs near the entrance for the purpose of including them in this post, we headed back to Ballycastle intending to return to the forest the following afternoon, when we would have more daylight on our side in order to explore the forest to the extent that it warranted.

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Taking different roads: Signs directly facing the entrance to Ballypatrick Forest Park. Photo: Keeley Moss ©2017

 

Today I went that way
Past empty browns and greys
The coldness chilled my face
The stillness filled the space

Forest – ‘A Glade Somewhere’

 

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Standing Here: The author at Ballypatrick Forest Park. Photo: Mags McCaw ©2017

 

After spending the evening in Ballycastle, we returned to the forest as planned the next day with the flowers I had bought in the town on our way. We parked the car upon our discovery that with it being harvesting season, all entrances to the forest had now been restricted to motor vehicles, not just the main entrance as had been the case the evening before. After consulting a map we decided on entering via the exit route, as we felt we would reach our intended destination far quicker. And with that we were off on foot. I had expected Ballypatrick Forest would be a large place – I was wrong. It’s huge. And I mean absolutely vast. Bigger than Knebworth. And that’s big.

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Forest Of Your Fears: Map of the layout located near the entrance. Photo: Keeley Moss ©2017

 

We headed towards the western part of the forest as I knew that that was where Inga-Maria’s body had been left, seemingly quite deliberately at the furthest point from all entrances. And so we walked. And walked. And walked. For miles. And miles. On the way we encountered more sheep than people. In fact during the entire day spent in the forest, on what was a dry Spring day, my friend and I curiously only ever encountered two people, both of whom were together walking their dog. The total sheep count by contrast was six.

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…And Dream of Sheep. Photo: Keeley Moss ©2017

 

Ballypatrick Forest is a singularly-beautiful place. But one with a singularly-harrowing past and a brutal truth that still lies locked within its tree-lined confines. The entire time we walked I was conscious that over this very same ground, the killers had driven on the night of the murder. How strange that felt, how eerie and utterly frustrating to know that had I been here exactly 29 years before, I could have seen them, could have tried to do something, could at the very least have clocked their car as it menacingly moved through a Northern night clothed by the cloak of the dark. Except I have to remind myself that in reality, even if I had have been there, there would surely have been nothing I could have done, being only a child at the time. At best I could have noted the make and model of the car and perhaps a portion of the registration plate. But I might as well have been half a world away, as like anyone else reading this now I couldn’t have known anything of the events about to transpire that would many years later enact such a quizzical grip on my psyche. The fact that I know there’s probably nothing I could’ve done at the time doesn’t lessen the lingering impact of impotent guilt nagging away at me. Ultimately that guilt is no bad thing, for such restless regrets form a function as the fuel that compels me to do whatever I can to try make some kind of difference now. But still it bothers me that for roughly an hour I was on the same island at the same time as she was, and I knew nothing to be able to do anything to prevent what happened.

 

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In Dark Trees: The stark beauty of Ballypatrick Forest laid bare. Photo: Keeley Moss ©2017

 

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New Dawn Fades: Near the beginning of what would turn out to be an incredibly-lengthy trek through the forest. Photo: Keeley Moss ©2017

 

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Wilderness: The sky closes in as I look back towards the exit of the forest. Photo: Keeley Moss ©2017

 

All this and more was clattering the tracks of my thoughts as we wound our way through the forest. It took us three and a half hours on foot walking from the closest entrance to reach the place where Inga-Maria’s body was left on that night in April 1988. That’s how enormous the place is. And how far the killers drove into it (in pitch darkness, remember) to wreak their wretched wrongs.

I find it increasingly difficult to process and come to terms with, even in a blog devoted to her and to the investigation into trying to track her killers. The closer I’ve become to the subject the harder it is becoming for me to comprehend what occurred that night. The level of violence used by the killers against someone who was not only a vulnerable young woman but was someone they didn’t even know is even to me, someone who has read and studied true crime cases since I was ten years old, quite shocking. I cannot get my head around the phenomenal viciousness involved in her murder. What they did to her you wouldn’t do to your worst enemy. Could having lived through two decades of the Troubles by that point really have had that much of an effect on their capacity to destroy a totally-innocent human being and seemingly not feel even a slither of guilt afterwards? Or were they that sociopathic to begin with? I suspect the latter, although with perhaps a trace of the former.

Given how difficult I find it to come to terms with what happened to her, can you imagine how her Mum and Dad felt? Their baby, not just attacked but destroyed. What had she done? Apparently, merely accepted the offer of a lift. The perpetrators remain free to live their lives, never having had to spend a moment atoning for this atrocity. How must it have felt for Inga-Maria’s Dad to have to fly into Northern Ireland to identify his baby’s body, seeing her in the morgue like that, having last seen her so full of life as she set off on her Interrailing adventure, him going through the torment of that trauma…and then never receive any answers for the rest of his life. No one ever charged let alone convicted. Hour after hour. Day after day. Night after night. Week after week. Month after month. Year after year. Decade after decade. All the while there have been three life sentences served in this case – Inga-Maria’s Mum, Dad and Sister. Full-term. No remission. No time off for good behaviour. A constant hammering in their heads, a caustic gnawing at their hearts. And all the while a small group of people in those rural communities who the PSNI have gone on record as revealing have for all these years been protecting the killers, have had in their possession the crucial pieces of the puzzle, compliant in their silence, blood on their hands for as long as their mouths are muzzled.

 

Why do anything when you can forget everything?

Manic Street Preachers – ‘This Is Yesterday’

 

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Harvest Breed: This image conveys only a tiny part of the vast expanse of Ballypatrick Forest Park, taken during harvesting season. Photo: Keeley Moss ©2017

 

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Horizon: A very remote section of the forest taken in the early evening of April 6th. Photo: Keeley Moss ©2017

 

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Bare Trees: Deep into the forest the isolation and remoteness is palpable. One of the most silent places I’ve ever been. Photo: Keeley Moss ©2017

 

Finally, three and a half hours after entering on foot via the exit (which was actually the closest entry point from which the relevant part of the forest park could be accessed) we reached a point at which the walking trail led off on one side to a dirt track that would be very easy to overlook, appearing nondescript and overgrown and with a sort of gate in front of it. Armed with a map and with photos of the crime scene as it looked from various angles in April 1988, I would be able to assess whether this was indeed the place where this young woman’s body had been left. It was a particularly innocuous-looking path, with nothing to indicate its shocking and painful past, but I was pretty sure that here at last, we’d found it. After only a minute or so of walking up the path, we were there.

Having been to the crime scene one thing that was and is now abundantly clear to me is that the geographical profilers and behavioural profilers enlisted by the PSNI could not be wrong about one key belief that may yet prove crucial in this case: the killers of Inga-Maria Hauser had very intimate knowledge of Ballypatrick Forest. There is not an iota of doubt in my mind that the detective anonymously quoted who said at least one of the killers “knew the forest like the back of his hand” could be wrong. Let me emphasise – it takes three and a half hours on foot (and that’s with no breaks or stops en route) to reach the crime scene from the nearest entry point. Even in a vehicle that’s a long distance. And in a vehicle at night, with no lights for miles around but the paltry glow of one car’s headlights? On at times very narrow and extremely-winding routes throughout? It would be hard enough to drive during daylight to the particular part of the forest availed of to dump her body. It would however be simply impossible for anyone to access that sort of terrain under the cover of near-total darkness without an amazing level of familiarity of that forest. And now having walked it, having witnessed it, that much to me is absolutely undeniable. This was no random killer with no connections to the area. Rather these were individuals who knew the location as only those most familiar with it could.

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Too Late For Goodbyes: RIP Inga-Maria Hauser. Photo: Keeley Moss ©2017

 

I felt an overriding wave of sadness and of helplessness, being here all these years after the fact. I was still holding the flowers that I’d carried with me from where I’d bought them hours before in Ballycastle. I looked at them resting in my arms. They were pretty, they were nice but what good would they do? In that moment I felt hamstrung by helplessness. Flowers, these pretty trinkets of conscience and compassion, are no match for the haughty finality of death. And the most meagre compensation possible for all the suffering she endured and the subsequent smothering of truth and justice that her family have had to bear witness to over the following twenty-nine years.

But flowers and a promise were all I had to offer on this day in the forest. So I placed them on the grassy bank and stood there soaked in sorrow as the day gave way to dusk. But within me that familiar desire to fight the silence and defy destruction with creation was brewing. And so I left Ballypatrick Forest Park that day not disillusioned by the zipped-up lips and muzzled mouths that keep Inga-Maria’s case frozen in cold storage, but rather encouraged by them. You’re going to remain silent and continue shielding the killers of an innocent teenage girl who was one thousand miles from home on her own for the first time, and who had only just arrived in the province to do some sightseeing and was willing to give Northern Ireland a chance during the height of the Troubles? Well I’m going to keep telling the world who she was and what was done to her. 20,000 readers of The Keeley Chronicles want justice. The good people of North Antrim want justice. The good people of Ballycastle who have had their beautiful area tarnished as a result of the killers using their local forest as killing fields want justice. The Hauser family needs justice. I won’t stop. John Dallat won’t stop. People in 75 different countries around the world now read this blog. This is the internet equivalent of a protest march, gathering and growing, expanding and enlarging with every instalment I post.

The world is watching.

Give up the fucking ghost.

 

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Inga-Maria Hauser.
Born May 28th 1969. Died April 6th 1988. Found April 20th 1988. Never forgotten.

Copyright: Keeley Moss ℗&© 2017. All rights reserved.

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Acknowledgements for Part 9

With special thanks to Mags McCaw

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

‘Komakino’ written by Curtis/Sumner/Hook/Morris. Published by Fractured Music ©1980

‘A Glade Somewhere’ written by Welham/Allenby/Welham. Published by Arf Arf Music ©1969

‘This Is Yesterday’ written by Bradfield/Moore/Wire/James. Published by Sony Music Publishing ©1994

The Untold Story of Inga-Maria Hauser PART 8

The definitive account of the only case of its kind in Northern Ireland, our ongoing campaign for justice and a tribute to the victim of a tragedy still unsolved after thirty years

By Keeley Moss

 

Special Feature: A fresh appeal from John Dallat MLA

I am honoured to have received a personal email in relation to Inga-Maria from John Dallat MLA, a man with a long and illustrious career in politics and who currently represents East Derry on behalf of the SDLP in the Northern Ireland Assembly. Mr Dallat holds the notable distinction of having been the first-ever nationalist mayor of Coleraine and also spent nine years as Deputy Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly. Most importantly of all in my opinion, he is single-handedly responsible for Inga-Maria’s case having been reopened after a direct approach in 1999 to the then-RUC Chief Constable Sir Ronnie Flanagan.

I have written about John before, in several sections of Part 3 of this blog, where I drew attention to his efforts on Inga-Maria’s behalf around the turn of the millennium. It has been clear from several further public statements that he has never forgotten Inga-Maria and so it remains the case today, more than ever in fact. John has furnished me with a copy of an open letter he has written to mark the 29th anniversary of the murder of Inga-Maria and the subsequent discovery of her body in Ballypatrick Forest near Ballycastle. He has informed me that he has written to the three main provincial newspapers in Northern Ireland a new appeal that he has requested I feature on my blog, a request I am only too happy to comply with. Here is the full text of the letter he has written.

Through the medium of your blog I would like to remind your readers that the 29th anniversary of the discovery of the body of the murdered young German backpacker Inga Maria Hauser is approaching and no one has been charged with her murder despite police claims that they were “tantalisingly close” to solving this horrific murder in 2011. At least one person out there and more than likely a few know exactly what happened to Inga when she disembarked from the Larne ferry and accepted a lift from a lorry driver believing she was on her way to Belfast rather than to an untimely grave in Ballypatrick Forest near Ballycastle.

Inga’s unsolved murder isn’t the only one in Northern Ireland – of course it isn’t – and all of them deserve to be solved. However this young girl, hardly more than child, was the daughter of a German family who believed they could trust us to look after her, protect her from harm and allow her to return home to Munich safety after visiting a friend. They were wrong because someone broke her trust, broke her neck and disposed of her body, which wasn’t found for two weeks while police were frantically searching for her.

Time doesn’t heal unsolved murders for anyone and while Inga’s father has since died her mother and other members of her family deserves justice just like any other family that has experienced the dreadful experience of having a family member murdered. There is no one that I am aware of to speak for the Hauser family but as a public representative and a father of a daughter who travelled to different parts of the world safely I felt it was my duty to adopt that role. I also believe I continue to appeal for justice on behalf of everyone, appalled and disgusted by what happened all those years ago.

The then Chief Constable Ronnie Flanagan, at my request, re-opened the case and individual police officers worked hard to solve the murder of Inga but they have not been successful to date. Advances in DNA, it was hoped, would help and perhaps it could if only the police had a little more help. I appeal to anyone who knows anything about this murder to take the honourable course of action and make a valuable contribution to justice which will allow the Hauser family to bring closure to Inga’s death. They may also be taking a dreadful burden off their own chests as they get older and prepare for their own departure from this life.

It is so terribly cruel that the Hauser family must approach yet another anniversary with no solution in sight as to who took their beautiful daughter’s life and robbed them of a normal family life where it is expected that children grow up, travel the world, if that is what they want to do, and return home safely to settle down and be there for their parents in later life. Not so in the case of Inga. 

John Dallat MLA

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Inga-Maria Hauser.
Born May 28th 1969. Died April 6th 1988. Found April 20th 1988. Never forgotten.

Copyright: Keeley Moss ℗&© 2017. All rights reserved.

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