Girl, Interrupted: The Untold Story of Inga-Maria Hauser PART 11

A tribute to Inga-Maria Hauser, the definitive story of the only case of its kind in Northern Ireland and the continuing mission to uncover the truth behind a murder still unsolved after 29 years despite one of the largest DNA screenings in policing history

By Keeley Moss

 

PART 11 - CONTENTS
Chapter 33 - Belfast Child
Chapter 34 - Follow You Follow Me
Acknowledgements for Part 11

 

Chapter 33 – Belfast Child

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Your Silent Face: This extremely-rare photo of Inga-Maria Hauser has barely been seen before now

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

‘Doll Parts’ – Hole

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.

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Come In Alone: The first photo I took upon stepping onto the platform at Belfast Central station. Photo: Keeley Moss (c)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 spotted her and sought her out on the ferry and who drove her from the ferry to the horrendous ordeal that culminated in her savage murder, it is believed in the company of at least one other individual.

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Trans-Europa Express: At the gates of Belfast Europa bus station. Photo: Keeley Moss (c)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 raped, beaten about 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.

If hospitals cure, then prisons must bring their pain

‘Archives of Pain’ – Manic Street Preachers

 

Chapter 34 – Follow You Follow Me

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

I was greatly honoured that my work on Inga-Maria’s case was recently the subject of extensive newspaper coverage in the Belfast Telegraph. This was the first official print media coverage in Northern Ireland for The Keeley Chronicles, and indeed also for SESSION MOTTS’ Plundered Past 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 very 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 and granted my band SESSION MOTTS a full-page article which featured extensive portions of what I said in relation to Inga-Maria and her case. Obviously there was a lot more I said in the interview about Inga-Maria and music (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 rape and 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 only spotted during the ferry crossing by a mere two people who were travelling together (which is in itself mystifying to me, and I would like to appeal to that couple to please get in touch with me if you’re out there reading this). 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. 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.

Inga classic pic better quality

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 certain individuals in the North of my country 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 remembered. I hope so.

And now, finish. I sail on the next tide

Tonight, Belfast, I’m saying my goodbyes

Tonight, Belfast, the distance in your eyes

‘Belfast’ – Neon Neon

____________________________________________________________________

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

Please get in touch with me via email in the ‘Contact’ section if you have any information in relation to this case.

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

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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

‘Archives of Pain’ written by Bradfield/Moore/Wire/James. Published by Sony Music Publishing ©1994

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

Girl, Interrupted: The Untold Story of Inga-Maria Hauser PART 10

A tribute to Inga-Maria Hauser, the definitive story of the only case of its kind in Northern Ireland and the continuing mission to uncover the truth behind a murder still unsolved after 29 years despite one of the largest DNA screenings in policing history

By Keeley Moss

 

PART 10 - CONTENTS
Chapter 31 - The Song Remains the Same
Chapter 32 - In the World
Acknowledgements for Part 10

 

Chapter 31 – The Song Remains the Same

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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 (c)2017

 

There are no sunsets, just silence

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

 

My work on Inga-Maria’s case began with researching and writing this blog but it wasn’t long before it began to take on other dimensions. This is something that developed very organically – I didn’t have the intention or the expectation when I set out writing to become involved in a number of other areas in relation to her case. One of these areas is music. Many of the regular readers of this blog will probably now be aware that, possibly uniquely for a True Crime blogger, I’m also a singer, musician and songwriter, and specifically singer and guitarist in the group SESSION MOTTS (we spell our name all-caps – that’s not just me shouting!)

From the moment I read about Inga-Maria’s case and felt so intensely drawn to writing what has become this blog, I found that any time I wrote or co-wrote a new song, it was either about Inga-Maria personally or about some aspect of the case. This is something that has continued unabated for over a year now, and shows no sign of diminishing. I don’t know if I’ll ever write songs again about another subject. I would have expected to have at least started writing songs about other subjects by now, but it just hasn’t happened. As far as I know, being an avid student of music history, this is something that is unprecedented in music. But I feel I just can’t write songs about anything else, nor do I want to. In fact, so intense is this passion that I feel I’d rather not write any more songs than write about another subject. Maybe it’ll change someday. If it does it does, honest songwriting is all about ‘feel’ so I guess I’ll know whenever the heart charts a different course. But until whenever that might be, this will be the way it is.

It’s something my friends and bandmates Ingmar and Daniel have been I think very understanding about, and especially my songwriting partner Ingmar, who clearly never bargained on working with someone who just keeps writing about the same subject over and over again! After I think the fourth song I’d co-written with him that was about Inga-Maria’s case, he expressed some exasperation one night over dinner but when I explained that I felt simply unable to write about anything else, he rolled with it and the subject hasn’t come up again since. So although my bandmates and the manager of our band don’t share my obsession with the case, they’ve grown to accommodate it and been supportive of it. Although I’ve never discussed this aspect with them, it must have been strange for them to have this case appear as if from out of nowhere and then it having not gone away in all the months since. By now I’m resigned to that being the way it is, in some ways I feel like I’m a vehicle or a conduit through which this case can continue to gain coverage until it’s hopefully resolved, and I’ve been very honoured to hear from many people throughout Northern Ireland and beyond who tell me this blog single-handedly reignited interest in the case from the Autumn of 2016 onwards by refreshing the memories of many people who would have been aware of the case back in 1988 but for whom in the words of a number of locals “it had faded from memory”. In addition, I’ve been told by a considerable number of people in the communities of Co. Antrim that this blog has led to many younger people who were never aware of the case before to start asking questions and start becoming motivated to add their voices to the increasing calls for long-overdue justice to be done and to be seen to be done for Inga-Maria and her family.

 

Chapter 32 – In the World

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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

‘She’s a Superstar’ – Verve

 

In January 2017 SESSION MOTTS first emerged with our debut single, a track entitled Chip Shop Fights. It’s a song that’s not about Inga-Maria but rather a woman named Jean Jordan who was tragically murdered by The Yorkshire Ripper in Manchester in 1977, the reason being that we wrote Chip Shop Fights in the spring of 2016 which was just before I came across Inga-Maria’s case. When Chip Shop Fights was released on January 22nd of this year it almost immediately became – much to my surprise – a radio hit, played repeatedly for several months on both mainstream and Indie radio shows and entered the airplay charts in Ireland, which is very rare for a first release by a new independent group. Soon after I’d first read about Inga-Maria’s case, over the following months we wrote a dozen more songs, all of which were about Inga-Maria personally or were based on her case. One of these songs stood out to us almost immediately as a potential follow-up single to Chip Shop Fights. This song – entitled Plundered Past – approaches the case in a number of ways, which is no mean feat given how short the song is (clocking in at three and a half minutes). On the one hand the song refers to her youth spent in Munich, in the years before her extremely ill-fated decision to visit Northern Ireland in the course of her backpacking odyssey in the spring of 1988. And on the other hand the song’s lyrics refer to the circumstances of what happened on the night her life was taken. Furthermore Plundered Past includes a lyrical reference to an individual who was, in the words of PSNI Detective Chief Superintendent Raymond Murray that I first related in Part 3 of this blog, “A man in the rural area east of Ballymoney seen soon after the murder in April 1988 with scratches on his face and that there was concern in the community that he had some sort of involvement”.

Plundered Past is notable for a number of reasons – as well as being hopefully a strong piece of work it is the first song ever written about Inga-Maria Hauser to be commercially-released. Furthermore – and for me this is very significant and meaningful – the song features some of Inga-Maria’s own words, words that she wrote in her diary on the last day of her life, while she was in Stranraer in Scotland, shortly before she boarded the evening ferry to Larne for a crossing that would go on to prove significant for all the wrong reasons.

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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 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 live version of Live Forever by Liam Gallagher and Coldplay (recorded live at the One Love Manchester concert in aid of the victims of the horrific bombing at the Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena). Plundered Past is currently #2 in the Indie airplay charts in Ireland behind only All Tvvins Feat. James Vincent McMorrow, having risen up that chart fourteen times in succession from when it first entered.

In addition to the airplay the song is receiving, its relative success is affording me more opportunities to discuss Inga-Maria’s case on mainstream radio and via print media. I was interviewed on LMFM’s morning show recently and got to speak about Inga-Maria and her having inspired our new single, following on from the interviews about Inga-Maria’s case I’ve done on The Tom Dunne Show on Newstalk FM in February of this year (see Part 6 of this blog) and on Belfast 89FM in April of this year. There’s a full-page feature in the current issue of Hot Press in which I discuss Inga-Maria’s case in detail (for any overseas readers who may not be aware, Hot Press is Ireland’s longest-established music, culture and current affairs magazine. The Irish Rolling Stone basically). I see all of these moments as posthumous triumphs for Inga-Maria, which I’m merely facilitating. For me the most special and most spiritual moment of the promotional campaign around the single so far has been to hear the line in the song that features Inga-Maria’s own words in the knowledge that they’re resounding out of radios the length and breadth of the island of Ireland for three and a half minutes at a time. Think about that…Ireland, this country that she was so keen to visit but which she didn’t even get to set foot on the soil of before she was subjected to the most horrifying ordeal back in April 1988 that ended with her death, and here we are 29 years later and although the individuals responsible for her murder still haven’t been brought to justice, 29 years after her voice was taken from her, her words are for the first time being heard on radios throughout the Republic of Ireland. The people who murdered her have gotten away with it all these years, and yet here she is, in a way I suppose you could say she’s been addressing them on the radio via my voice every day and night over the past two months. And I’m going to see to it that she carries on addressing them for as long as we manage to get songs onto the radio, because as I’ve said I’m not planning to stop writing and singing about her any time soon.

Without further ado I would like to present this song and music video to all the readers of The Keeley Chronicles. Hope you like it.

Keeley

 

_____________________________________________________

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

As always, please get in touch with me via email in the ‘Contact’ section if you have any information in relation to this case.

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

————————————————————————–

 

 Acknowledgements for Part 10

Plundered Past, like this website, is dedicated to the memory of 
Inga-Maria Hauser.

Special thanks to Adam Hart, Mathilde van Ooijen, Sinead O'Quigley, 
Richard Deering, Sam Martin, Aaron Fahy, Dashiel Jordan, 
Ryan O’Dwyer, Suzanne Doyle and Lance Hogan. 

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

Thanks to the Port of Larne and Dublin Port for their co-operation.
BLOG
Thanks to the people of Ballycastle 
and the continued support of the following social media groups:
Things We Would Like To See In Ballycastle
Moving Forward in Northern Ireland
Unsolved Murder Cold Cases in Ireland

‘The Girl Who Wanted To Be God’ written by Bradfield/Moore/Wire 
Published by Sony Music Publishing ©1996

'She's a Superstar' written by Ashcroft/Jones/McCabe/Salisbury 
Published by Copyright Control ©1992
SONG
Written by Keeley Moss & Ingmar808
Produced, engineered, mixed & mastered by Ingmar808
Published by Copyright Control ©2017
An Early Doors release P&©2017
Available on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon & Google Play
VIDEO
A Ten Point Films Production
Director: Adam Hart
Producer: Sinead O'Quigley
Actor: Mathilde van Ooijen
Cameraman: Richard Deering
Editor: Sam Martin
Grading: Aaron Fahy
Grip: Ryan O’Dwyer
Video post-production by Ingmar808 & Keeley Moss
Technical engineer: Dashiel Jordan

 

Girl, Interrupted: The Untold Story of Inga-Maria Hauser PART 9

A tribute to Inga-Maria Hauser, the definitive story of the only case of its kind in Northern Ireland and the continuing mission to uncover the truth behind a murder still unsolved after 29 years despite reportedly one of the largest DNA screenings in policing history

By Keeley Moss

 

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

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To The End of the Earth: The author by the entrance to Ballypatrick Forest. Photo: Mags McCaw (c)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

‘Komakino’ – Joy Division

 

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, 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 (c)2017

 

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

‘A Glade Somewhere’ – Forest

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Standing Here: The author at Ballypatrick Forest Park. Photo: Mags McCaw (c)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 (c)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 (c)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 (c)2017

 

Beauty finds refuge in herself

Lovers wrapped inside each other’s lies

You exist within her shadow

‘She Is Suffering’ – Manic Street Preachers

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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 (c)2017

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Wilderness: The sky closes in as I look back towards the exit of the forest. Photo: Keeley Moss (c)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?

‘This Is Yesterday’ – Manic Street Preachers

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

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

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Chasing Yesterday: Inga-Maria Hauser RIP. Photo: Keeley Moss (c)2017

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 (c)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 rapist and murderers of an innocent teenage girl who was one thousand miles from home on her own for the first time, and who had only come to 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 MLA won’t stop. People in 67 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 blog I post.

Armoy, Cloughmills and Loughgiel – the world is watching.

Give up the fucking ghost.

 

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

As always, please get in touch with me via email in the ‘Contact’ section if you have any information in relation to this case.

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

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Acknowledgements for Part 9

Very 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’ & ‘She Is Suffering’ written by Bradfield/Moore/Wire/James. Published by Sony Music Publishing ©1994

Girl, Interrupted: The Untold Story of Inga-Maria Hauser PART 8

A tribute to Inga-Maria Hauser, the definitive story of the only case of it’s kind in Northern Ireland and my continuing mission to uncover the truth behind an horrific murder still unsolved after 29 years despite one of the largest DNA screenings in policing history

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.

In 1999 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. Never forgotten.

As always, please get in touch with me via email in the ‘Contact’ section if you have any information in relation to this case.

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

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Girl, Interrupted: The Untold Story of Inga-Maria Hauser PART 7

A tribute to Inga-Maria Hauser, the definitive story of the only case of it’s kind in Northern Ireland and my continuing mission to uncover the truth behind a horrific murder still unsolved after 29 years despite one of the largest DNA screenings in policing history

By Keeley Moss

 

Special Feature: The Tom Dunne Show Interview

Recently I was invited to appear on Newstalk FM’s The Tom Dunne Show to speak about Inga-Maria’s case in depth. I consider this a great honour as not only am I a regular listener to this show but it is the first time that Inga-Maria and her case have been discussed on national radio in the Republic of Ireland. In this post I would like to share with you that interview which I’ve uploaded below as although many people now follow this blog, many of you may not have heard the broadcast on the night.

On reflection I speak a bit too quickly during the interview I think, certainly faster than I ordinarily would, but I’m familiar with how compressed the formats of radio and TV broadcasting are and therefore I was conscious of the need to try to fit as much as possible into what I knew would be a tight timeframe. In addition I regret not specifically referring to Stranraer, Larne or Ballypatrick Forest by name and there are some aspects of the case I wish I’d focused on more than others but again due to my awareness of time restrictions I sensed it was best at the time to try to speak about the case more broadly and with not as much detail as there is in this blog. I was also conscious of the fact that most of the show’s listeners would be unfamiliar with the case so as a result I thought that giving a broad overview of the case might work better. Radio interviews are very much a one-take scenario, so it wasn’t possible to make any additions or omissions afterwards (although I did ask if I could re-record it. But the station felt it was fine as it was).

The interview was roughly twice as long as you’ll hear here but I subsequently edited it (and I’ve also left out my group’s song that the host aired) in order to include only the parts that are relevant to Inga-Maria’s case, out of respect to her and the case.

I’d like to thank the show’s producer Eoghan, and the show’s presenter the lovely Tom Dunne for giving me airtime to discuss Inga-Maria’s case and for having me on what is always a great show. I’m honoured to be the only person so far who has been interviewed in-studio on the show in 2017. Along with American singer-songwriter Ryan Adams we’re the only people this year to have been interviewed on the show at all.

Thanks also to the very many good people of Northern Ireland, in particular the local communities of County Antrim and most of all the remarkable community of Ballycastle for the enormous amount of interest, support and encouragement you have provided me with throughout my work on this case to date. It is always very much appreciated.

– Keeley

 

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

Please get in touch with me via email in the ‘Contact’ section if you have any information in relation to this case.

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

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Girl, Interrupted: The Untold Story of Inga-Maria Hauser PART 6

A tribute to Inga-Maria Hauser, the definitive story of the only case of it’s kind in Northern Ireland and my continuing mission to uncover the truth behind a horrific murder still unsolved after 29 years despite reportedly one of the largest DNA screenings in policing history

By Keeley Moss

 

Special Feature: UTV Live (2002 Broadcast)

As I alluded to in Part 1 of this blog, there are comparatively few examples of Inga-Maria’s case being highlighted by contemporary news media. For instance, despite extensive searches online I have only ever come across a single TV clip that is available, an RTE1 news item dating from 2009 (that is a mere twenty-five seconds duration). However, after a few more days spent searching I came across records pertaining to a visual library belonging to an amazing man named Peter Heathwood whose remarkable life story is worthy of a blog post in itself. Peter’s visual library consists of three decades worth of news broadcasts relating to the Troubles that he has been dutifully recording and preserving as part of a personal archive including most of the major British and Irish documentaries, history programmes and current affairs programmes about Northern Ireland networked between 1981 and November 2008 together with a few documentaries broadcast between 1969 and 1980, and also some independent videos during the same period.

Buried deep within thirty years worth of records that Peter has used to log each programme he taped I discovered a reference to an episode of UTV Live from April 16th 2002 that features a short piece on the investigation into Inga-Maria’s unsolved murder. After getting in touch with Peter he very kindly sent me a DVD featuring the clip and I edited it so it focuses only on the segment involving Inga-Maria’s case. Despite the feature being less than two minutes long, it contains some interesting and otherwise-unavailable information, such as the original RUC murder case poster from 1988 that I had never seen before. Upon close inspection of a freeze-frame of this poster I was able to identify a fact that had not been aired in any subsequent account of the case, namely that Inga-Maria had first arrived in the UK at Harwich before she went on to London. The news clip also features an interview with Detective Inspector Sam Harkness, who in 2002 was the detective in charge of the investigation into Inga-Maria’s murder, and footage of scientists poring over DNA samples.

The newscaster presenting this clip (Kate Smith) is a lady who would be a very familiar face to anyone who like myself has seen many’s an episode of UTV Live over the years, and seeing her referring to Inga-Maria by name I found strangely unsettling. It’s hard to explain but having lived with this case intensely for almost a year now, without having heard Inga-Maria’s name mentioned in full by anyone during that time, it was weird to hear it being intoned in that matter-of-fact style so typical of newscasters, especially from someone whose voice is so synonymous with that of ‘a TV person’ if you know what I mean. It seemed to make the terribly tragic facts of Inga-Maria’s horrific murder all the more real, but an even more poignant moment was to come…For this clip shows the crime scene in Ballypatrick Forest Park on the night of Wednesday April 20th and on the morning of Thursday April 21st 1988. Although it is visible for only a few seconds at a time, and might appear to the naked eye to be fairly nondescript segments of footage, to me it’s extraordinary and very moving to actually see the scene in real-time as it looked when her body was discovered on that long-ago Spring night in 1988.

An important point to bear in mind while watching this clip however is that at the time it was aired in 2002, the PSNI was still under the impression that Inga-Maria had died only hours before her body was discovered on the night of April 20th 1988 – meaning that with her having arrived in Larne on April 6th 1988 it was believed for almost twenty years that she had been held captive somewhere in the North for a full two weeks before being murdered, a thought that understandably greatly troubled Inga-Maria’s family for many years. However this notion was, as anyone who has read Part 3 of this blog may recall, a result of the time of death that had been established in the original pathologist’s report from 1988, a timeline which in 2007 was debunked entirely. That the initial estimated time of death was remarkably ruled to have been incorrect by a whole two weeks had unfortunate consequences for the RUC and later the PSNI, whose investigations were greatly complicated and compromised as a result. I would recommend that anyone interested in the full details of how and why that crucial revision came about check out Part 3 of this blog.

But back to this part of the story…In the otherwise-unavailable news clip I have posted below in addition to seeing the crime scene as it was on the night Inga-Maria’s body was discovered you will see and hear Detective Inspector Sam Harkness ask for people in the community to cast their minds back to try focus on any individuals who may have been behaving strangely or been uncustomarily absent during a two-week period from April 6th-20th 1988. Knowing what we know now, that would not have been the case, and all the scientific and other evidence points to Inga-Maria having lost her life on the night of April 6th or the early hours of the morning of April 7th 1988. That said, I believe the release of this newly-unearthed item is an important addition to the canon where this case is concerned.

 

 

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

Please get in touch with me via email in the ‘Contact’ section if you have any information in relation to this case.

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

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Acknowledgements for Part 6

Special thanks to Peter Heathwood.

Girl, Interrupted: The Untold Story of Inga-Maria Hauser PART 5

A tribute to Inga-Maria Hauser, the definitive story of the only case of it’s kind in Northern Ireland and my continuing mission to uncover the truth behind an horrific murder still unsolved after 29 years despite one of the largest DNA screenings in policing history

By Keeley Moss

 

 Part 5 Contents

Chapter 29 - Port in a Storm
Chapter 30 - Town to Town
Acknowledgements for Part 5

Chapter 29 – Port in a Storm

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Through the looking glass: This is from where foot passengers enter the terminal building at the Port Of Larne. The innocuous-sounding line “Attention all drivers!” is particularly ironic considering the circumstances of this case. Photo: Keeley Moss (c)2017

Stick to a story long enough and the story sticks to you

Conor O’Callaghan, Nothing On Earth

Recently I visited several places related to the case for the first time. One of these was the Port of Larne – the last place where Inga-Maria is known for certain to have been alive. I found it a very emotional experience. Over the months I have been writing and blogging about her I feel the case has seeped into my pores and burrowed a permanent space in my brain. That might sound melodramatic, but when you become immersed in a case and a labour-of-love to the extent that I have with this, it haunts the majority of your waking thoughts, you find your mind overtaken by it during so many moments of everyday life. Every song I listen to I hear as a soundtrack to a movie in my mind about the case. Anything I see that dates from long ago I think of the date in relation to it. I watch an interview with soul legend James Brown and notice that it was taped on April 4th 1988 – when Inga-Maria was making her way through the UK…I pick up a library book and see from the date stamps at the front of the book that it was borrowed in March and June of 1988 – the former while Inga-Maria was still alive, the latter after she had lost her life in such horrific circumstances. I think of her, and the various aspects of the case, constantly. It’s in my thoughts first thing in the morning, and on my mind last thing at night.

I’d like to share with you some of the images taken during my recent visit to Northern Ireland, involving some places unseen or only rarely seen by most people. There wasn’t enough time to visit Ballypatrick Forest, and I think I’d rather leave the emotional enormity of that place for another time anyway. Visiting the Port of Larne, and later travelling to both Cloughmills and Loughguile, which as I explained in Part 3 of this blog are two of the three villages confirmed as being linked to the case by the PSNI, was I think enough for one day. I also got to briefly visit both Ballymena and Belfast, the former being one of the places that could have been driven through by the killers and Inga on the night she was murdered and the latter being Inga-Maria’s intended destination from Larne that she never got to reach. That I subsequently travelled from Belfast to Dublin, the journey she had planned to make had she ever reached Belfast in the first place, made it all the more poignant.

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Bridge Over Troubled Waters: Ground-level view of the Port of Larne as dusk descends. Photo: Keeley Moss (c)2017

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Fly On The Wall: In Larne’s port terminal building. The significance of this image is that one of these directions effectively pointed towards safety on the night of April 6th 1988 – the other direction pointed towards a source of grave danger. Photo: Keeley Moss (c) 2017

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Don’t Turn Around: This passageway leads from the ferry disembarkation point to the railway platform at Larne Harbour. Had Inga-Maria reached this point in all likelihood she would have survived that night. Photo: Keeley Moss (c)2017

Although some things about the Port of Larne have changed in the almost twenty-nine years since the fateful night in question, much has remained unchanged. For instance, although the Stranraer-Larne route that Inga-Maria took in April 1988 has since been replaced by the Cairnryan-Larne crossing, the railway station at Larne Harbour is fortunately still accessible and appears pretty much identical to how it was in 1988, its station signs (see photo directly below) having been upgraded being the only obvious evidence I could find of time’s inexorable march onwards.

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Train In The Distance: Dusk is falling and there’s not a soul at the station. Photo: Keeley Moss (c)2017

There was no one on the railway station platform when my contact and I arrived, and no one in the entire ferry terminal building other than one staff member silently manning the front desk, adding to the eeriness of the experience. More eerie still was the knowledge that this nondescript-looking building, which I would imagine locals might take for granted to a certain if understandable extent, or perhaps not award too much thought to anyway, plays a crucial part in such a disturbing and enduring mystery. It’s interesting how something, or somewhere, can appear on the surface to be so mundane and commonplace, and yet as the saying goes, “If walls could talk…” Standing in the main hall of the ferry terminal, wandering around the lonely railway platform and most of all peering down the corridor where the foot passengers passed through after disembarking the Galloway Princess on the night of April 6th 1988 provoked a strange and very emotional feeling. I rarely detect atmospheres anywhere but here I honestly felt an unmistakable sense of sadness hanging in the air, a palpable aura of loss, the echo of the endless ether.

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Station To Station: The author on the railway platform in Larne. Photo: RJM (c)2017

Before we left the ferry port, I took one last look through the glass doors at the corridor that the foot passengers would have passed through on the night of April 6th 1988 (see pic directly below). All the while many questions strived for supremacy in my mind. Did she disembark from the ferry on foot just as she’d boarded (as a foot passenger) in Stranraer earlier that evening? In other words, was she abducted only after she’d already gotten off the ferry? Or did she leave not just the Port of Larne in a vehicle but the ferry itself in a vehicle, thereby accompanying someone willingly? Did she ever even get to set foot on Northern Irish soil once before being so wickedly whisked away? I had heard it is less than one minute’s walk from the ferry disembarkation point to the train station, a distance I had found hard to believe could be as short as that until I saw it with my own eyes.

The police are of the opinion that Inga-Maria never made it to the train station, a view I was recently advised may have been formulated as a result of security cameras in place that would have recorded her presence on the train platform were she to have been there. So, if she was abducted it had to have been either while on board the ferry, or during the extremely short distance from the ferry to the train station or, just perhaps, after exiting the terminal building via the front exit, although this would not have been in keeping with her plans to travel to Belfast that night with the use of her InterRail ticket. But if she was abducted, how could this have happened without any of the other passengers noticing anything untoward? And how could those responsible have smuggled her out of the building? Despite her youth she was a grown woman, as well as carrying no less than three bags in addition to her large backpack. Even more so given the extremely-fraught security situation in the North in 1988, arguably the zenith of the Troubles, it would have been immensely-difficult if not impossible not to have aroused suspicion and risked detection were the killers to have attempted performing such an audacious abduction in full view of some of the other 418 passengers besides Inga-Maria and the killers on board the Galloway Princess that night. In fact I find it very unlikely. I believe she had to have left the ferry voluntarily with her killers.

Despite her not ever having been a hitchhiker (contrary to what various news outlets have repeatedly and irresponsibly misreported over the years), despite the belief among senior detectives that she had avoided taking lifts at any stage of her journey that Spring of 1988, and despite what some have contested that Inga-Maria was as she’s been described “worldly” enough not to have taken a lift that night, I would point to the numerous examples littered throughout the case of the notorious American serial sex killer Ted Bundy. The majority of the women (horrifyingly, a number ranging between 40 to over 100 women) he is suspected of having murdered left what they had been doing and accompanied him willingly despite never having met him before he approached them with an often preposterous story devised to deceive them. Several of these women were sunbathing when he approached them, and despite their being otherwise-engaged, and being barely even dressed, hardly a state in which you would imagine any woman being willing to help an unknown man carry his schoolbooks or help him lift his sailing boat to list two typical Bundy ruses, off they went, no questions asked. A charming appearance and/or a persuasive viewpoint being unfortunately often all it takes in such instances. I have been informed that the ferry from Stranraer to Larne in 1988 would have taken longer than such a comparative journey nowadays, and in the words of inside sources, the ferry journey’s duration would have given one of the killers “plenty of time to work his charm”. Which is what I believe that particular individual did – with devastating consequences.

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Walk a Thin Line: The corridor the foot passengers leaving the Galloway Princess on the night of April 6th 1988 passed through after disembarking the ferry. But was Inga-Maria among them? Photo: Keeley Moss (c)2017

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The lights are on but no-one’s in: The passenger terminal at the Port of Larne. Photo: Keeley Moss (c) 2017

Chapter 30 – Town to Town

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Night Vision: Aerial view of Larne Harbour. Photo: William Marks (c)2015

Having left the Port of Larne, I was taken on a drive around the surrounding area. Again, just as in the vicinity of the port terminal and railway platform there wasn’t a soul to be seen out, despite it being only early in the evening. I saw rows and rows of houses, street lights and otherwise darkness, allied to the vague void of an untold story, an unsettled score, an unresolved past clinging valiantly to the present, tearing at the truth to fight the silence. I could sense it, smell it, a certain tenseness, a very urban sort of restlessness. All in all, Larne is a fascinating place. I would have loved to have explored it in greater depth but time was in all too short a supply.

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In the Air Tonight: On the streets of Larne en route from the ferry port. Photo: Keeley Moss (c)2017

And so on we went from town to town, from the harbour to the hardcore. While talking about various aspects of the case the entire time. Driving at speed along winding country roads through a wall of thick fog, next up were the villages of Cloughmills and Loughguile in the heart of County Antrim’s rural splendour. By this point it was seriously eerie, knowing that as the police have formally stated, they are two of the three places (along with Armoy) where the answers to the case reside. That’s not just me saying that, having researched this case for ten months day-in, day-out – that’s the PSNI who, whatever you may think of them, have in their possession more pieces than anyone of the investigative jigsaw of this case.

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Are You Ready For The Country? Loughguile after dark. Photo: Keeley Moss (c)2017

One of the many things that saddens me about the case concerns something I’ve never heard mentioned before. Inga-Maria had come so far, and despite her youth and her total inexperience of travelling abroad alone, she’d almost made it. All the way throughout Germany, the Netherlands, England and Scotland she hadn’t put a foot wrong. Her travel plans had clearly been very well arranged and implemented. Each ferry and train connection across four countries had seemingly been made on time. Until she arrived in Northern Ireland it was plain sailing, no pun intended. And then, through no fault of her own other than probably her decision to avail of a lift, all of the minor triumphs she’d enjoyed en route were suddenly rendered null and void, her joyous journey brutally curtailed, her visionary mission so darkly derailed. It’s one of the aspects of the case that bothers me. She was that close to making it. If she’d met almost anyone else in the country on board the ferry that night she probably would have been fine. But that one chance encounter, that one moment of utter lucklessness, of cruel fate or disastrous destiny, would cut her adrift from her teenage voyage and deny her the chance to write any more diary entries or paint or sketch any more artworks, or make an imprint on any more lives around her, or do any of the many other things she could have and likely would have gone on to do with her life.

One night. One journey. One mistake. One instance of succumbing to the fiendish scheming of a heartless charmer. And that was it. Taken and torn. Dead and gone. Forever lost to whatever lies beyond.

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

Please get in touch with me via email in the ‘Contact’ section if you have any information in relation to this case.

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

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Acknowledgements for Part 5

Very special thanks to RC. YNWA.

Special thanks to a special person I shall refer to as IR for all her valued help and support with various aspects of my work on this case. Big thanks also to Jens, and thanks to Marcus Baumann.

Thanks to William Marks for very kindly volunteering the aerial photo depicting Larne Harbour and the surrounding landscape in all its panoramic glory.

Thanks to RJM for his valued assistance during my visit to a number of the key locations in the case.

Thanks to the very many good people throughout Northern Ireland in particular the local communities of County Antrim and most of all the wonderful community of Ballycastle for the enormous amount of interest, support and encouragement you have provided me with throughout my work on this case to date. It is very much appreciated.

Thanks are also due to the following groups on social media for their support and encouragement to date:

Things We Would Like To See In Ballycastle

Moving Forward In Northern Ireland

Unsolved Murder Cold Cases In Ireland

Tricks For The Barmaid – A Microdisney Group

Girl, Interrupted: The Untold Story of Inga-Maria Hauser PART 4

A tribute to Inga-Maria Hauser, the definitive story of the only case of it’s kind in Northern Ireland and my continuing mission to uncover the truth behind an horrific murder still unsolved after 29 years despite one of the largest DNA screenings in policing history

By Keeley Moss

 

Special Feature: SESSION MOTTS – 422

Having posted the third part of the blog and after once again witnessing a remarkable response, I thought that I had perhaps reached the end of my involvement with this case. But a case like this is hard to let go of. She is on my mind as much now as at any point during the months I wrote the previous three installments. The case is in my thoughts when I wake up in the morning, right the way through each day and last thing at night. But what more is there to say? Plenty, I am discovering. And plenty of ways in which to say it. One such way is via the uniquely-emotional and communicative fusion of words and music.

Without further ado I’d like to present this, a new song that I have co-written and recorded with my musical partner Ingmar808 in our new band SESSION MOTTS. It is to the best of my knowledge the first song written about the case, certainly the first to be made available. It is one of a number of songs about Inga-Maria and her journey through life and/or about the investigation we have written and recorded, and hope to release over the next few years. The meaning behind the title is explained in the introduction to the clip. Hope you like it.

– Keeley

 

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

Please get in touch with me via email in the ‘Contact’ section if you have any information in relation to this case.

422 written by Keeley Moss & Ingmar808. Published by Copyright Control ℗&©2017. All rights reserved.

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Girl, Interrupted: The Untold Story of Inga-Maria Hauser PART 3

A tribute to Inga-Maria Hauser, the definitive story of the only case of it’s kind in Northern Ireland and my continuing mission to uncover the truth behind an horrific murder still unsolved after 29 years despite one of the largest DNA screenings in policing history

By Keeley Moss

 

Part 3 Contents

  • Chapter 21 – True Faith
  • Chapter 22 – Over Your Shoulder
  • Chapter 23 – You Keep Me Hangin’ On
  • Chapter 24 – The Windows Of The World
  • Chapter 25 – Temple Of Low Men
  • Chapter 26 – Crooked Mile
  • Chapter 27 – I Keep Mine Hidden
  • Chapter 28 – Never Gonna Give You Up
  • Acknowledgements for Part 3
  • Further sources

 

Chapter 21 – True Faith

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Watching the Detectives: PSNI Detective Superintendent Raymond Murray with photos of Inga-Maria

On June 9th 1988 Inga-Maria’s case was featured on BBC1’s Crimewatch UK, in which a reconstruction of her last-known movements was televised, the first-ever case from Northern Ireland to be featured on this legendary long-running programme. On the night of the broadcast, more than 100 calls came into the Ballycastle incident room and the London television studio, a higher proportion than many lead cases that are featured usually generate. However none of the information received led to any significant breakthrough at the time.

In 1988, the coroner for North Antrim wrote to Inga-Maria’s mother Almut to inform her that the inquest into the teenager’s death hadn’t yet been scheduled due to ongoing police enquiries. Then in February 1989 Moyle District Council wrote to say that the inquest could still not be held due to the police investigation still not having concluded. To this day there has been no inquest held into her death.

On March 4th 1989 Inga-Maria’s parents Almut and Josef visited the murder scene and later took part in a press conference in Ballymena police station where they made an impassioned appeal for information, sadly without success. Almut remarked at the time, with her words translated by an interpreter, “It was unspeakable sadness just to stand there in that meadow where my child had lain. When a mother loses a daughter people forget very quickly but the mother left on her own never forgets.” During the same press conference, then-RUC Detective Chief Superintendent George Caskey remarked that there was still no trace of Inga-Maria’s movements between arriving at Larne and being found in Ballypatrick Forest Park two weeks later.

The investigation however inched forward. In the vast tranche of time since the brutal crime occurred, there have been long lulls when seemingly no progress was being made and the case appeared further than ever from being brought to a successful conclusion. And then suddenly as if out of nowhere, reports of a development would surface to give the ailing case fresh impetus. It quite simply seems to have a life of its own, bubbling away under the surface and never completely falling into dormancy, as if incubated by some mysterious force. I like to think that this is somehow a sign that the case will one day be solved and Inga-Maria will finally be properly allowed to rest.

On August 25th 1989, at that time more than sixteen months since the crime had been committed, police developed the first genetic evidence in the case to connect a man with the murder.

On April 23rd 1991 it was reported that Inga-Maria’s parents had poignantly issued a reward of £3,000 – their life savings – for any information that would lead to the arrest and conviction of Inga-Maria’s killer. Shamefully, no information came forward.

In May 1991 an appeal was made to the writer of an anonymous letter who had claimed to have seen Inga-Maria with a Chinese couple in the Botanic Gardens of Belfast on April 17th 1988, three days before her body was discovered. From what we now know, the author of that letter was either mistaken, or had deliberately attempted to mislead investigators.

1993 saw reports of fresh door-to-door enquiries being undertaken in the Ballycastle area. Following this however there would be no more heard about the case for several years.

 

Chapter 22 – Over Your Shoulder

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All the news that’s fit to print: Page featuring 1996 Irish Times article on Inga-Maria’s case, headlined “RUC to probe murder links”

On January 5th 1996, The Irish Times published an article shedding light on a possible new line of enquiry in Inga-Maria’s case under the headline “NI murder may be linked to hitcher’s killing”, the broadsheet unfortunately erroneously describing Inga-Maria as a hitchhiker when that had never been the case. The article reported that senior RUC officers had contacted West Mercia detectives to see if a link could be established between Inga-Maria’s case and that of French hitchhiker Celine Figard, who had been raped, murdered and her body dumped in a Worcester lay-by in late December 1995. A man was subsequently identified and convicted of Celine’s rape and murder and sentenced to life imprisonment, but no charges would follow in relation to Inga-Maria, due to Celine’s killer not being a match for the then-partial sample of DNA found at Inga-Maria’s crime scene.

In 1999 Inga-Maria’s case was reopened following a request by SDLP assembly member John Dallat to then RUC chief constable Sir Ronnie Flanagan.

On April 18th 2000 BBC News reported under the headline “New push in murder enquiry”, “Detectives investigating the murder of a German student in County Antrim 12 years ago have said new tests are being carried out in a new attempt to catch her killer…The police have said that due to advances in scientific techniques, items from the murder scene are being re-examined.” No more was heard thereafter for almost exactly two years to the day.

On April 17th 2002, Detective Inspector Sam Harkness on behalf of the PSNI renewed an appeal for information in relation to Inga-Maria’s case, stating that they had a DNA profile of a male believed to be her killer (this was reported as if it was new information but the previous 1996 article had already referred to police being in possession of the DNA sample). In the article he described Inga-Maria’s movements in Northern Ireland during the two weeks prior to her body being discovered as a “mystery”, the PSNI at that time having been mistakenly led to believe by a pathologist’s flawed report that Inga-Maria had been alive for as long as a fortnight after leaving the ferry in Larne and that she’d died only a short time before her body was discovered on April 20th 1988. Perhaps due to the case’s brief re-emergence at this time, “in late-April 2002” an anonymous telephone call which police believed at the time to be very significant was made to Ballycastle police station, with the call terminating in Ballymoney where the person spoke to an officer and left a message having been unable to directly reach a detective whom they had specifically requested to speak to. Detective Superintendent Pat Steele tantalisingly and intriguingly stated that the caller “confirmed many of our suspicions with regards to the identity of Inga’s killer”. He also revealed that police have “a very strong suspicion that there are a small amount of people who have significant information” about the murder. But further extensive enquiries by detectives were able to identify an individual who was subsequently eliminated.

After that no more was heard until 2005 when the biggest advances in the case to date were made, a full seventeen years after Inga-Maria’s brutal murder in that dark, dank forest.

 

Chapter 23 – You Keep Me Hangin’ On

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Karma Police: An RUC officer near to the crime scene, April 1988

In 2005 a cold case review was commissioned into the case, at that time spearheaded by Detective Inspector Tom McClure. Back in 1989 the partial DNA sample discovered at the crime scene that year could only give a match of “one in 2,000”, meaning one in roughly every 2,000 men would match the sample found. In the intervening years since, forensic science had developed to such an extent that the chances of this same sample matching more than one person would now be approximately one in a billion. Part of the reason for such a dramatic escalation in the mathematical certainty of these odds is that after Tom McClure had examined the full crime scene and the list of all the original materials which had been kept safe over the previous seventeen years, he was able to ascertain there were certain items which had hitherto not been subjected to forensic analysis, and which after they had been tested by scientists with the use of the latest technologies including a procedure named Second Generation Matrix Process (SGM+) they had managed to generate a new DNA sample which turned out to be identical to the original sample secured in 1988 but which this time allowed for the billion-to-one match with whoever left their DNA where Inga-Maria’s body was found. Furthermore, and even more crucially, the new sample the forensic scientists had in 2005 managed to raise from the then 17 year-old materials provided detectives with a full DNA profile, an unprecedented development.

One of the first results of the fresh impetus that this breakthrough provided the case with was a return to the studios of Crimewatch UK, the legendary long-running BBC television show that had originally featured a reconstruction of Inga-Maria’s last-known movements back in 1988. On July 13th 2005 her case was again featured, with Detective Superintendent Pat Steele being interviewed by presenter Nick Ross and this time a new witness came forward to say that they had been on board the Galloway Princess on the night of April 6th 1988 and had seen a young woman broadly fitting Inga-Maria’s description climbing into a lorry as the ferry docked in Larne. Also, even more remarkably, the caller claimed to have taken down the license plate of the lorry! This incredible lead could and surely should have been the breakthrough to finally solving the case, all the more so given that after speaking with this witness detectives do not believe that they were telling them anything other than the truth. The sighting was extensively-investigated but was not able to be substantiated as the witness was unable to provide specific details of Inga-Maria’s appearance. Given the fact that that potentially-crucial lead came to light twelve years ago now at the time of writing and the case still remains unsolved, and despite the Detective Superintendent currently leading the inquiry being on record as stating that the investigation has moved forward significantly since 2005, one would have to conclude that this lead was somehow yet another dead-end.

Also in July 2005 The Irish Times published a new article, erroneously stating “She may have died within hours of arriving in Northern Ireland on the 7am ferry from Stranraer on April 6th, 1988.” Suddenly the 7pm ferry had become “the 7am ferry”, wrong by a whole twelve hours. In the same brief piece, the hapless broadsheet also incorrectly claimed she “was discovered in a shallow grave” when that had not been the case. Then-Detective Superintendent Pat Steele was quoted as having revealed: “We are revisiting many of the passengers who were interviewed as part of the initial investigation in the light of new information.”

On April 18th 2006 – almost exactly 18 years to the day since his daughter was murdered – Inga-Maria’s father Josef very sadly passed away after a battle with cancer, his death rendered all the more tragic for him never having received justice for his daughter in his lifetime.

“We have come across paramilitaries as we have continued our screening process”, Detective Superintendent Raymond Murray told author Barry Cummins. “They’ve given their DNA sample like anyone else, they’ve been co-operative and they are anxious that Inga-Maria’s case is solved. We believe that Inga-Maria’s murder was discussed amongst paramilitaries. We think that they had their suspicions.”

The area where the teenager’s body was discovered is in the most western corner of Ballypatrick Forest, the single furthest point from all entrances, approximately 4km from the Glenmakeeran Road and well off the main scenic drive through the forest which is used by the general public. Furthermore, there were other remote locations a good deal closer to the main road where the killers could have brought her but that they chose instead to go to the trouble of bringing her to the furthest point within the forest suggests to investigators the confidence of someone who knew the area. The PSNI has obtained advice from both behavioural and geographical profilers who agreed that at least one of the persons responsible for the murder were very familiar with the specific location. The location was known to have been used at the time by people who rented forestry plots – also working in the area were Forestry Service employees and sub-contract labourers. The forest was also used by turf cutters who had turbary rights. Police appealed at this time to anyone who may have been familiar with that particular area of Ballypatrick Forest back in 1988 and urged them or anyone with any awareness of such people to come forward.

2007 saw further developments, this time regarding a revision of the likely date of Inga-Maria’s death, which would be essential in accurately pinpointing the movements of POI’s (those deemed to be ‘persons-of-interest’ to the investigation) during the relevant timeframe. Here I quote from the chapter on Inga-Maria’s case in Barry Cummins’s book The Cold Case Files, the details of which are indicative of the extraordinary lengths to which the PSNI have gone to in their determined efforts to solve this case:

A medical opinion was originally given that Inga-Maria had died close to the date her body was found on 20 April and this meant she might have been held hostage somewhere for almost two weeks before being murdered. However, as part of a cold case review sparked by the discovery in 2005 of a full DNA profile from the crime scene, police carried out a fresh assessment of Inga-Maria’s most likely date of death. The PSNI studied the footage of the crime scene from April 1988, and they conducted tests in Ballypatrick Forest in April 2007. Inga-Maria’s body had been remarkably-intact when it had been found; it had not been subjected to any animal interference and this had led to some people thinking she might only have been dead for some hours or days before she was found on 20 April.

In an effort to get a definitive conclusion on the precise date of Inga-Maria’s murder, the PSNI asked a botanist to study the growth of nettles at the crime scene and compare crime scene images with the nettle growth of April 2007. Detectives also asked an entomologist from Queens University in Belfast to assist in studying fly activity and animal activity in the forest. Over the course of the month of April 2007 it was established that the location where Inga-Maria’s body was found was a particularly cool environment with very little fly activity and no animals. On comparing the topography of the area with how it appeared in April 1988, it was clear the appearance of Inga-Maria’s body was consistent with it having been in the forest since the earlier part of that month. From the pathology report, detectives knew that Inga-Maria’s hair was clean when her body was found, and again this was consistent with her having been murdered shortly after arriving in Northern Ireland, rather than her having been held captive anywhere. The logical assumption, and what all the scientific and general evidence now points to, is that Inga-Maria was driven to her death at Ballypatrick Forest Park on the night of 6 April or the early hours of 7 April.

 

Chapter 24 – The Windows Of The World

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Don’t Give Up: Former SDLP MLA John Dallat whose intervention sparked the case being reopened

In 2008, after another three-year hiatus in updates on the investigation, there were over the course of several weeks a number of new articles published in the media, reporting on fresh pleas for information from police and seeking to revive public interest evident from the BBC News headlines “Tourist Killer Knew Murder Spot” and “Will Killer Ever Be Caught?” and, in the Coleraine Times, “Forest Holds Key To Inga’s Murder – Police”. More significantly, police provided to the media for the first time ever a map of the precise location where her body was found and a photograph of this location.

Following this, SDLP Assembly Member John Dallat issued a statement in which he welcomed the PSNI’s announcement that they expected developments in the case. John Dallat, an unsung figure, deserves much credit as the man who in 1999 took it upon himself to persuade then-Chief Constable Ronnie Flanagan to reopen the case, when presumably he would have had little to personally gain from such an intervention, given the continued low profile of both Inga-Maria’s case and her surviving family members.

2009 brought yet more tantalising reports of fresh developments, with a most intriguing lead. Having previously run the crime scene donor’s sample through the DNA databases of Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales without locating any match (the Republic of Ireland being one of the only countries in Europe still without a DNA database after repeated broken promises from successive Irish governments), the PSNI revealed that the sample had shown similarities with the profiles of a number of women stored on the UK genetic national database. Detective Superintendent Raymond Murray said: “DNA science is developing all the time. We can infer from the way that DNA characteristics are inherited that there is a possibility…that in this small female group there is a male relative’s DNA profile which could match the DNA profile from the crime scene.” It was reported in the Metro amongst other newspapers that police were “now focusing their enquiries on the samples of the females, who live across the the UK” and that police “plan to conduct these new inquiries, with the assistance and co-operation of the women concerned, in the coming weeks.” The same year Suzanne Breen, writing for the Sunday Tribune, had written of a fresh report that Inga-Maria had been watched on the ferry by a truck driver.

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The graph on the wall tells the story of it all: Map showing the precise location of the crime scene. From a briefly-circulated 2008 PSNI press release

Also in 2009, Inga-Maria’s mother Almut broke an 18-year silence to make an exclusive new appeal via the Belfast Telegraph, with the heartbreaking headline “Help bring an end to my 21-year nightmare”. In the article Almut showcased a never-before-seen photo of Inga-Maria and revealed that after the murder, RUC officers had travelled to Germany and interviewed all of Inga-Maria’s friends. She also said that she had received letters of support from across Ireland and remained in contact with Inga-Maria’s friends. She further revealed that on what would have been her twenty-first birthday she and her husband Josef invited all of Inga-Maria’s friends to their flat in her memory.

In 2010 a new book, Passport To Murder by Ali Bracken, was published by Gill & McMillan. Featuring “True stories of foreigners killed in Ireland, the inside story behind the killings of 21* foreigners in Ireland”, the very first chapter is devoted to Inga-Maria’s case. It is a very well-written and meticulously-researched account but even more importantly features several pieces of substantial information never before revealed in any other article or book extract on the case to date, before or since. One of the most notable revelations discussed within the pages of this book but never mentioned in any other account concerns the fact that there are two separate individuals, the first of whom was arrested and the second of whom was “spoken to under caution”, in relation to the rape and murder of Inga-Maria. From Passport To Murder by Ali Bracken:

*Actually 22.

In this decade, one person has been spoken to under caution in relation to her murder. In 1988, shortly after her killing, a man was arrested and questioned but was later released without charge. “Do we have a prime or chief suspect? They are not words I’d use. I can say that the person spoken to in the past decade is not the same person who was arrested shortly after the body was found. But I will only rule people out after we find out what happened to her. Until we know what happened, the enquiry will continue as far as we can go with it,” explains Detective Murray.

 

Chapter 25 – Temple Of Low Men

271_Ballymoney_high_street

Streets Of Your Town: Ballymoney, County Antrim. Detectives believe that the answers to who killed Inga-Maria lie in the rural area east of this small town

In 2011 Detective Superintendent Murray made the bold claim that they were “closing the net” on the killers. He also issued a previously-unpublished photo of Inga-Maria and released another statement to the media in which he revealed, “I have a report that a man in the rural area east of Ballymoney was 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. I want to acknowledge the assistance which the community in North Antrim has given to police in this investigation. We have been able to collect many pieces of the investigative jigsaw but there are still gaps. I believe those gaps can be filled by individuals with information, individuals possibly in the rural area east of Ballymoney. The investigation continues to make progress. We are tantalisingly close to making significant progress. We just need those remaining pieces of the jigsaw. To that end, police plan to conduct a new series of house-to-house enquiries in parts of north Antrim in the coming weeks.”

On March 22nd 2011 The Irish Times reported, “Detectives investigating the murder of a German backpacker more than 20 years ago have narrowed their inquiries to a cluster of villages in Northern Ireland”. Those villages were reported as being Armoy, Loughguile and Cloughmills – a very small and specific area. It’s apparent that the police have enough detailed information to be able to narrow the field so definitively to these comparatively-tiny locations, and yet to this day there has yet to be a single person charged in relation to the case. How could they come so near and yet apparently remain so far from a successful conclusion? The overall DNA screening had at last count amounted to some 2,000 individuals having had samples taken – the single-largest screening in Northern Irish history, and one of the largest-ever in the UK overall. And yet still the elusive final breakthrough remains frustratingly out of reach.

On March 24th 2011 the Ballymoney and Moyle Times, in an article headlined ‘A Murderer Among Us?’ featured the most forthcoming and frank interview to date from those leading the hunt:

“Police believe they are closer than they have ever been to identifying Inga-Maria’s killer or killers…A police source said that since October last year their investigation has taken on new urgency and up to 600 ‘actions’ have taken place involving seeing people and examining pieces of information. The source added: “There has been a change in tempo in the last three or four months and we feel very encouraged. We think there is still valuable information in the rural area east of Ballymoney – Armoy, Loughgiel and Cloughmills. We don’t think the well is dry there yet and we would appeal to people to think about the murder in terms of the possibility of more than one person being involved and maybe that will make people think a different way. We know this case has been discussed in detail in that area and we know people in that area have had suspicions both then and right up to now. We think there are still some suspicions that have not yet been aired because of family bonds or whatever but we would appeal for people to come forward. The last big jump was when we got the DNA profile and we want somebody to maybe decide that blood isn’t thicker than water to get in touch with us because a young girl did not deserve to be murdered and left in a forest.”

The police source also had an unprecedented direct message for the killers:

“We are not just casting about here, this is a driven line of enquiry. Come to us before we come to you. I hope you can’t sleep at night because of this and I hope you get worried when you see us turning up at your door.” The source believes that although almost a quarter of a century has passed he thinks the killers are still alive. “We would not want to see the Hauser family cheated of justice by the death of the person responsible. Inga’s father Josef passed away from cancer a few years ago without seeing justice. We keep Inga’s mother Almut up to date with enquiries and it would not be right if she does not see justice.”

 

Chapter 26 – Crooked Mile

cloughmills

Sign O’ The Times: One of the three villages officially identified as holding the answers to the 28-year old mystery

I think it’s fair to acknowledge that nobody is in possession of more pieces of the investigative puzzle than the PSNI and foremost the man who has been valiantly leading the investigation into the case for a number of years now, Detective Superintendent Raymond Murray. It is my firm belief that that he was in possession of very credible intelligence to have taken the extraordinary and unusual step of publicly naming Armoy, Cloughmills and Loughgiel AKA Loughguile as being suspected of harbouring the killers. And so to these three rural villages of east County Antrim…Places and communities that Detective Superintendent Murray, a cautious and conscientious man not given to overstating things, has gone on the record to state he believes hold the key to this ancient atrocity being solved. As he told journalist Barry Cummins:

“These are rural communities in east County Antrim, they are close, they are tight-knit. People talk and people know every blade of grass in a hedgerow. They know when something isn’t right. Because we have the DNA profile from the crime scene, we don’t necessarily need someone to give evidence. It would be very nice if they would and it’s the best way, but we don’t need that for the case to stand up in court. We don’t need written statements, what we need is the piece of information that 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 that completes the picture.”

Over the years there have been persistent rumours among the local community that one of the killers is a lorry driver from Loughguile AKA Loughgiel. The following is an excerpt from a comment left on this blog by an individual I shall refer to only as ‘RC’:

Stories going about it was a lorry driver in Loughgiel, police know it and had him in several times but can’t corner him, they don’t have the evidence, so they keep trying to smoke him out.

That would certainly explain the very unusual decision of the PSNI to publicly name three specific villages where they suspect the answers lie to the decades-long mystery, one of the three being Loughguile AKA Loughgiel. It would also explain the reason at least one of the perpetrators were aboard the Galloway Princess that night, transporting their lorry from the British mainland. They say there’s no smoke without fire, and whilst one has to keep an open mind in the continuing absence of any further confirmation, the fact that this particular rumour has persisted above all others for so long I would suggest is indicative of its credibility.

On April 17th 2008 on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the discovery of Inga-Maria’s body, in an article by Lisa Smyth the Belfast Telegraph reported, “It is understood police know who was behind the crime but have so far failed to gather enough evidence to bring him to justice.” This is to my knowledge the first and to date the only claim on record that the police know at least one of those who was responsible, rather than just where they are believed to be based.

In the same article, long-time champion of Inga-Maria’s case the SDLP’s John Dallat MLA said, “It is time for anyone who is protecting the identity of the murderer to break their silence and bring an end to the two decades of misery experienced by the family of the German teenager. It is frustrating that after 20 years the pieces of the jigsaw are missing.”

Furthermore he revealed, “The area where Inga was found is so remote that whoever killed her must have had a detailed knowledge of the forest and I believe that people do know who is responsible and (are) shielding this killer. They are not helping themselves by their actions, they are not helping the man who did this and they are not helping the Hauser family.”

To the communities of Armoy, Cloughmills and Loughgiel AKA Loughguile in that beautiful part of the world that is populated by a great many fine people, I can only add my voice to the calls that have previously gone unheeded. Who will break ranks and go to battle with brutality, rattling the inactive and lifting the veil of the vile and the violent? There is one thing of which I am certain – unless and until that day of deliverance arrives, the darkness that shadows County Antrim like a murky curtain will not be overthrown. The lingering spirit of an innocent murdered in your midst will not abscond. Until then – La tristesse durera. The sadness goes on.

 

Chapter 27 – I Keep Mine Hidden

Inga 6

Your Blue Room: Inga-Maria in her bedroom in Munich. This undated PSNI handout is the previously-unpublished photo released to the media in 2011 as part of a quest for new information

She knows nothing
Just pack up and go
But one day in your brand new home
You hear knocking on the door
And later in the dark
She calmly says

Are you happy now?
Laughing at the world

Since you went away
Each quiet day has taught me to say
Well who the hell do you think you are?
Where’s the point in what you’ve done

You’ve got what you want
Blank nights
And threats from your friends

‘Are You Happy?’ – Microdisney

The following passage I am quoting verbatim from the chapter on Inga-Maria’s case in Barry Cummins’ book The Cold Case Files, for I again feel it warrants printing in full.

Detectives have long been aware of the possibility that the name of the killer or killers may be in the investigation file somewhere. It may have been someone spoken to during door-to-door enquiries but who never raised the suspicions of police. Or the killer may have given a witness statement, or may have been stopped at a roadside checkpoint. There are many high-profile cases throughout the world where it turns out the killer was in the mix early on but simply wasn’t identified until much later. So once the PSNI had their new DNA profile which would allow for a one-in-a-billion match, they consulted with a behaviourist at the National Crime Operations Faculty in England. He gave detectives certain parameters so as to ‘score’ every male who featured in any way in the case. The higher the score the higher the possibility that someone might be the type of person who should give their DNA sample. It might be that they had lived in the area of Larne or East Antrim, or that they had worked driving a vehicle around Northern Ireland, or had come into the mix in some other way. Detectives built up a matrix of what they called ‘male nominals’ and eventually went and took DNA swabs from 1,000 men. Police put a huge effort into prioritising which people should be sampled but after completing what is one of the largest such ‘voluntary swab’ procedures, not one of the men was a match for the ‘crime scene donor’. Said Detective Superintendent Murray, “Once we didn’t get a match from the 1,000 men that we prioritised for sampling, we then got high-level approval from our head of Crime Operations to ask the DNA overseer in England to do a familial trawl on the database. This is where a certain process can be used to search for siblings or a parent or child of the crime scene donor. Basically if his DNA is not on the database, the science is so advanced that we can identify a close relative of his if they are on the database, and they can perhaps lead us in turn to the man we wish to identify. We did 500 such tests, we did a third of that number looking for a brother or sister of the donor and the other two thirds looking at the parent and child list but again we didn’t get a match.”

In 2012 SDLP assembly member John Dallat appealed through the media to call for renewed efforts to track down the murderers and solve Inga-Maria’s case. That same year Almut Hauser again spoke briefly to the media to say “It is good that police have this lead which they are working on” but also that “I cannot get my hopes up, the crime was so long ago, it was and still is unbelievable.”

Also in 2012, The Guardian revealed for the first time they had been briefed about the number of people suspected of involvement in Inga-Maria’s murder, reporting on April 11th of that year that “It is understood the police believe at least two people were involved in the teenager’s murder.” The German tabloid Abend Zeitung published an article the same year which featured a new interview with Almut Hauser with a new photograph of her in which her continuing anguish was clearly visible.

At the time of writing these have been the last media reports in relation to the case.

 

 Chapter 28 – Never Gonna Give You Up

Inga 1

Ceremony: Mass card for Inga-Maria’s funeral

In 2014 the now-retired Operation TRACE National Coordinator Alan Bailey, formerly head of the Garda taskforce founded to investigate the suspected victims of the so-called ‘Vanishing Triangle’ in Ireland, published a book entitled Missing, Presumed that featured a chapter on Inga-Maria. Although well worth seeking out, the author devoted little more than five pages of his book to her case. Within that chapter is the following passage:

She had travelled across Europe and up through England and Scotland by train, and did not try and hitch-hike on any part of the journey…The fact that there was no reported sighting of her leaving the boat after it docked would suggest that she had taken a lift from a person she had met while en route from Scotland to Northern Ireland.

It is worth bearing in mind just how tiny the three villages are that detectives have openly gone on record as stating they believe hold the answers to the now 29 years-long murder mystery. Cloughmills has a population of just 1,309 people (in 514 households) according to the most recent Census. An estimate in 2013 by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency stated that Armoy has a population of only 1,122.  Most remarkably, the most heavily-linked village of all, Loughgiel/Loughguile, was recorded in the most recent Census as being populated by a mere 396 people (in just 128 households)! So, roughly 2,800 people in total. The PSNI confirmed they had taken DNA samples from 2,000 individuals all over Northern Ireland by the year 2012. When they said they felt they were “tantalisingly-close” to a breakthrough, that confidence was clearly well-founded. And yet here we are another five years on, with not a word of any more progress. Almut Hauser is now 75 years old. I dearly hope that she receives the justice so long denied to her before it is too late.

It is now more than a quarter of a century since a young woman on her brave way through the world was so viciously violated and cruelly denied the rest of her life. And to this day justice is still delayed, still denied. It’s time – long overdue in fact – that an ancient wrong was righted and the killers of Inga-Maria Hauser finally be held to account for their murderous urges on that night in April 1988. I feel and I now know that many share the view that we owe it to her memory and that of her family’s solemn struggle to rectify at least some of the injustices and indignities inflicted on an innocent who did nothing to deserve the destruction wrought upon her in the darkness of a County Antrim night all those years ago.

La tristesse durera (The sadness goes on)

– Vincent Van Gogh

___________________________________________________________________________________

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

Please get in touch with me via email in the ‘Contact’ section if you have any information in relation to his case.

Copyright: Keeley Moss ℗&©2016. All rights reserved.

————————————————————————–

 

Acknowledgements for Part 3

Thanks to ‘RC’ for permitting me to publish in Chapter 26 his comments left on this blog.

‘Are You Happy?’ written and published by Cathal Coughlan and Sean O’Hagan ©1985

Passport To Murder by Ali Bracken. Published by Gill & Macmillan ©2010

The Cold Case Files by Barry Cummins. Published by Gill & Macmillan ©2012

Missing, Presumed by Alan Bailey. Published by Liberties Press ©2014

 

FURTHER SOURCES

The Police Service of Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency

Belfast Telegraph

Coleraine Times

Ballymoney and Moyle Times

The Guardian

The Journal.ie

Metro

Abend Zeitung

Sunday Tribune

BBC Northern Ireland

SDLP.ie

Wikipedia.org

londonweather.eu

weatherspark.com

Official Charts

Vincent van Gogh

Girl, Interrupted: The Untold Story of Inga-Maria Hauser PART 2

A tribute to Inga-Maria Hauser, the definitive story of the only case of it’s kind in Northern Ireland and my continuing mission to uncover the truth behind an horrific murder still unsolved after 29 years despite one of the largest DNA screenings in policing history

By Keeley Moss

 

 Part 2 Contents

Foreword (reprise) - Forward
Chapter 12 - Country Feedback
Chapter 13 - Everything I Own
Chapter 14 - I Started Something I Couldn't Finish
Chapter 15 - Lost In The Woods
Chapter 16 - Welcome To The Jungle
Chapter 17 - The Look
Chapter 18 - The Hardest Thing In The World
Chapter 19 - Unhappy Birthday
Chapter 20 - Shattered Dreams
Acknowledgements for Part 2
Further sources

Foreward – Forward

Thank you to the thousands of people, particularly the people of County Antrim, who have played a part in these book excerpts going viral, something that happened almost immediately upon my posting the first chapter, and much to my amazement. What’s more it is something that has happened organically, generated entirely via word-of-mouth, and ‘people power’ in the form of sharing on social media. It is a testament to the depth of feeling that I am now aware exists in Northern Ireland for Inga-Maria and the heartfelt desire so many people there have to see justice done for her and for the Hauser family who have suffered too much for too long. Special thanks to the many people who have emailed and posted comments with their recollections and views, a few of which I have included in chapter 12 below, and to all those who have encouraged me in my efforts.

 

Chapter 12 – Country Feedback

Ballypatrick-Forest.8

From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea: Map depicting all the key locations of the case – Ballypatrick Forest, Larne, Ballymoney, Belfast and Stranraer (plus Ayr)

Sound the victim’s song
The trial is gone
The trial goes on

‘The Rainbow’ – Talk Talk

Beneath the trees where nobody sees…” goes the age-old nursery rhyme. Ballypatrick Forest is a six-mile stretch of striking beauty but considerable remoteness, situated very close to the top of the most northernmost point of Northern Ireland. I have been greatly interested and encouraged in how many people have been getting in touch to share their memories about Inga-Maria’s case and the location, in addition to the thousands of views this blog has received in a mere matter of days despite my having as of yet undertaken no interviews nor done any other promo, and as a result revealing to me the huge extent of interest still prevalent in the case among the people of Northern Ireland even after all this time. The following extracts are from comments I have chosen from a select number of people who have kindly agreed to them being published here:

I was a secondary school student in the town at the time – I remember her picture on the school notice board – looking for information – it was awful. I can’t walk Ballypatrick Forest.

– Fi

I have since come to live near the place where Inga’s body was found and don’t walk alone here for that very reason.

– ‘J’

I live only 6/7 miles from where her body was discovered and was only 8 at the time it happened. Driving past the forest all these years later still frightens me.

– Aileen

Another individual who made contact with me who has asked to remain anonymous said:

Growing up in the area I have always been seriously struck by the case. From driving past Ballypatrick Forest as a young child and hearing the car doors lock from the inside – the only time the doors were ever locked! – to overhearing the whispers between local adults about it. It was very much something which shook the local community.

Another person got in touch to share an intriguing viewpoint, and like the others above has kindly consented to my publishing her words here:

It just strikes me as so weird a place to go from Larne docks – look at a map, there are NUMEROUS forests on the way north long before Ballypatrick – Beaghs, Slieveanorra etc…This is still in my mind even today as I remember it totally catching my breath it had happened in wee Northern Ireland, the randomness of WHERE it happened whilst backpacking.

– Roisin

Weird indeed. Later on we will see how the geographical and behavioural profilers both enlisted by police separately reached the same firm conclusion – that the killers of Inga-Maria were extremely familiar with Ballypatrick Forest, with one police source being quoted as saying that at least one of them knew it “like the back of his hand” – presumably the reason it was specifically chosen for their murderous purposes that night.

 

Chapter 13 – Everything I Own

Inga 8

I never thought that I would find myself
In bed amongst the stones
The columns are all men
Begging to crush me
No shapes sail on the dark deep lakes
And no flags wave me home

In the caves
All cats are grey
In the caves
The textures coat my skin
In the death cell
A single note
Rings on and on and on

‘All Cats Are Grey’ – The Cure

In the night all cats are grey

German proverb

Another of the most curious facts about this case is that far from having been “buried in a shallow grave” as the media have repeatedly misreported, the killer or killers made absolutely no attempt to bury or even conceal Inga-Maria’s body. She was left lying face down on the ground just off a dirt track. If, as detectives are convinced, the location where Inga-Maria’s body was discovered was a very familiar one to the killer or killers, then this represents a remarkably brazen move on the killers’ behalf, suggesting a quite breathtaking degree of arrogance in what is a close-knit rural area heavy with police activity at the time on account of the ongoing ‘Troubles’. “If she been carried fifty yards, her remains could have been left deep in the forest. If that had happened, she may never have been found”, revealed the investigator now in charge of the case Detective Superintendent Raymond Murray.

Yet another unusual feature of the case is that having left Inga-Maria’s body out in the open, in full view of whoever would find her, all of her personal belongings – her rucksack, her other bags, her clothes, running shoes, sleeping bag, passport, diary, even her expensive camera – were casually left strewn around her, with no attempt made to conceal her identity or even to take any items as ‘souvenirs’, a macabre tendency common among murderers. It was as if they had such supreme confidence in their never being caught that they didn’t bother trying to hide any of her personal belongings and considered it unnecessary to carry Inga-Maria’s body even fifty yards further into the forest that detectives believe would have made her body’s discovery far less likely. Remarkably, having gone to considerable effort to secure as remote a location as possible in which to carry out the sexual assault, battery and murder, the killers then made no effort to conceal their crime. Considering it is now twenty-nine years since Inga-Maria’s murder and the case remains unsolved, you’d have to conclude that, remarkably, despite the extensive evidence at the police’s disposal (more on which later) the perpetrators were correct in possibly surmising that they would be ‘untouchable’.

On April 9th 1988 Inga-Maria failed to make the appointment to meet up with a university friend from Germany in Cardiff. On April 11th she failed to make an appointment to meet another friend in London and by that point it was becoming clear to her mother and father back in Munich that something was terribly wrong.

 

Chapter 14 – I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish

larne harbour station

Hard Station: Larne Town, April 5th 1988. The very next day after this photo was taken, Inga-Maria would arrive nearby. Photography by Albert Bridge (c)1988

I went with someone and I woke to find

Nothing is what you’ll you hear from me

I can no more stop it in the state I’m in
Than I can walk a tightrope in a gale force wind

‘Gale Force Wind’ – Microdisney

Inga-Maria had boarded the ferry as a foot passenger in Stranraer and on the ferry that night there were 422 people onboard. As Alan Bailey, formerly the national coordinator of Operation TRACE (the taskforce formed to investigate the circumstances surrounding a number of suspicious disappearances of females in Ireland) stated in his book Missing, Presumed, Inga-Maria was “an attractive girl who would have stood out in any company”, particularly in Northern Ireland in 1988 where for obvious reasons it was rare for any backpackers to visit the war-torn region, let alone a beautiful young woman on her own. Her camera, when it was later found close to her body would reveal that while there were a great many photographs (precisely eight rolls worth) taken in England and Scotland, there was not one of Northern Ireland, presumably because she never had the chance to take any. Furthermore not one of the several hundred people later traced and interviewed by police remembered seeing her get off that ferry. All the evidence suggests that Inga-Maria, who had boarded the ferry as a foot passenger in Stranraer, did not disembark by foot in Larne. Why? The only other way she could have gotten off the boat was in a motor vehicle – a motor vehicle driven by someone else. Was it someone who befriended her during the crossing and offered her a lift to Belfast, possibly even offering accommodation or an offer to show her where accommodation was available? However, the police remain perplexed as to why she would have boarded a vehicle, as once she’d reached Larne she had no reason to – she had her InterRail ticket and had always avoided lifts from strangers. Despite extensive efforts by police that vehicle has never been identified.

larne harbour station 1988

End Of The Line: Train at Larne Harbour Station, 1988

Ultimately the crucial juncture, the point at which opportunity intersects with tragedy, is that at which the ferry docked. She should have been on that platform in Larne Harbour station on the night of April 6th 1988. She should have been on that train. She wasn’t. The fact is, she never made it to Belfast. No one reported even seeing her on the way from the ferry to Larne Harbour station let alone on the platform itself or on the train, and it has been suggested to me that CCTV footage from Larne Harbour train station available to investigators is the greatest indicator of all that she never appeared on the platform. Whatever way she made it off that ferry is crucial in determining who was responsible for her subsequent death. After April 6th the daily phone calls to Inga-Maria’s parents in Munich suddenly stop. There are no more postcards from her sent after that date.

 

Chapter 15 – Lost In The Woods

Ballypatrick Forest

Shadows and Tall Trees: Ballypatrick Forest

Come closer and see
See into the trees
Find the girl
If you can
Come closer and see
See into the dark
Just follow your eyes
Just follow your eyes…

‘A Forest’ – The Cure

Imagine. In the depths of that forest. In the night. In complete darkness, with not a light around for miles. And many many more miles from the familiarity of her family’s sanctuary. She must have been absolutely terrified, a thought I find most upsetting. Having barely set foot on the Irish soil she’d so hoped to explore, a young woman barely an adult is losing her life. Having given Northern Ireland a chance at a time when not many tourists would have ventured there on account of the Troubles, she had been taken and torn, beaten and brutalized. The moment whoever killed her snuffed out the light of her life, what was going through their minds? And what had gone through hers in the hour preceding the assault that led to her death? Did she harbour a hope of being saved, of her assailants being seized by the police? Was the attack she faced that night such a fierce and furious onslaught that there simply was no time to do anything but bear the blows, not even a second to come to terms with the enormity of what was occuring? At what point during the journey after leaving the ferry did she realise she was in deep trouble?

Ballypatrick Forest is approximately forty miles distance from Larne, and in the opposite direction to Belfast. It being late at night, and dark, and the area being totally unfamiliar to her, she may not have even suspected that those sharing the vehicle with her were taking her in the opposite direction to that which they presumably had promised to take her until the attack commenced, or possibly just before. Did she get to look out the window of the car or lorry and see the streets and surrounding countryside even once without fear or apprehension of what was about to ensue, and even briefly see a part of Northern Ireland, the land she had come to explore? Or had she been overcome by an assailant in the vehicle so soon after disembarking the ferry that she never had the chance to even momentarily take in the sight of Northern Ireland at night? The exact circumstances of what preceded her murder that night are unknown.

What is known is that they took her life – and there’s that phrase, sounding almost flippant given how often we hear it…”took her life”. Took. Her. Life. Hers, not theirs. And yet they ended hers and plunged her loved ones into a pit of pain while continuing to live their own. What goes through the mind of rapists, of killers? How can they reconcile themselves to the horrific pain, suffering and indignity they’ve inflicted on an innocent victim? Is it the absence of a conscience and some sort of mental compartmentalisation aiding this capacity for detachment? Or is sadism such a driving force that they only ever gain glee from their victim’s plight, and revel in others’ revulsion or at best be totally apathetic about it? Leaving a young woman’s broken body to the elements with her once-living flesh left to rot in a forest. Apart from the Troubles, and yet somehow slightly caught in their tragic tail-lights. Which leads neatly on to our next chapter…

 

Chapter 16 – Welcome To The Jungle

IRA Patrol

Down with the kids: An IRA man in West Belfast, 1987

The lanes were silent
There was nothing, no one, nothing around for miles

I started something
I forced you to a zone
And you were clearly never meant to go

‘I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish’ – The Smiths

It was into this toxic cauldron that Inga-Maria inexplicably sailed on that fateful Spring night in April 1988. Although she was not a victim of ‘the Troubles’ per se, certainly her killers benefitted from the fact that, with so many other murders to investigate, the RUC’s investigation into Inga-Maria’s case would be to a degree compromised by a shortage of manpower and resources that were it not for ‘the Troubles’, they would surely have been in a better position to give Inga-Maria’s case priority. So in that sense she is a victim of ‘the Troubles’, although not directly. It also could well have had an effect on the thinking patterns of the perpetrators, who may have felt they could slip under the radar in the course of carrying out such crimes as those inflicted on Inga-Maria, and would stand a better chance of getting away with it.

The following passage I am quoting verbatim from the chapter on Inga-Maria’s case in Barry Cummins’ The Cold Case Files, for I feel it warrants printing in full. The book is an invaluable resource on Inga-Maria’s case and six unsolved murders in the Republic of Ireland, and I recommend it:

In the year that Inga-Maria Hauser was murdered, 106 people lost their lives as a result of ‘the Troubles’. 1988 was one of the most violent years in Northern Ireland and it was a year that also saw Troubles-related deaths in the Republic of Ireland, Gibraltar, Holland, Belgium and England. However, 95 of the 106 deaths that year due to ‘the Troubles’ occurred in Northern Ireland. On the very day that Inga-Maria Hauser arrived in Larne on the ferry from Scotland, an IRA bomb had exploded under a car in Co. Fermanagh close to the Cavan border. A 51 year-old father of five who was a part-time member of the Ulster Defence Regiment was killed. Less than a week after Inga’s body was found in Ballypatrick Forest, the IRA killed two more people. A 23 year-old man was shot dead as he collected dustbins in Co. Tyrone on the 26th of April. The father of one was also a part-time member of the UDR. On the same day a 20 year-old British soldier was killed in an IRA booby-trap bomb while he was on patrol in Co. Tyrone. The previous month had been one of the most violent and bizarre in the history of ‘the Troubles’. On 6th March the SAS shot dead three IRA members in Gibraltar. Their funerals were being held on March 16th at Milltown Cemetery when a UFF man opened fire during the funeral ceremony and killed three men, one of whom was an IRA member. His funeral was being held three days later when two British soldiers in plainclothes drove into the cortege in West Belfast. The car was surrounded and the two men were pulled from the vehicle and beaten savagely before being shot dead. The moments leading up to the deaths of the two soldiers had been captured by television crews who were filming the funeral of the IRA member. The harrowing scenes were broadcast on television screens around the world and Northern Ireland was at one of its lowest of many low ebbs. It was into this environment that Inga-Maria chose to visit Ireland. The 18-year old German was not deterred by news reports of violence, shootings, bombings, maimings and murder…

belfast-ira-men-on-patrol-with-new-drogue-bomb-in-1987


Here comes trouble: Paramilitaries in Belfast in 1987 with the then-new ‘drogue’ bomb

 

 Chapter 17 – The Look

Inga 7

Easter’s heir uncrowns
Another destiny lies leeched upon the ground

A gilded wreath on reason
The flower crushed conceives
A child of fragrance so much clearer
In legacy

‘Eden’ – Talk Talk

Another factor that would have endangered Inga-Maria upon her arrival in the North is the simple fact of her physical beauty. With all due respect to my fellow countryfolk, Ireland, much like the British Isles, would probably not be renowned for the physical beauty of its people. We have a great many qualities as nations and as people, but striking good looks would generally not often be among them. On this point, a friend of mine from the North was once discussing the murder of Captain Nairac and how his demise had been brought about when he had blown his cover during an undercover surveillance operation. He had entered the Three Steps Inn near Forkhill where my friend lives, and had very foolishly attempted to ingratiate himself with the locals by openly claiming he was a “provo”, an announcement that swiftly aroused suspicion among those present. However, in addition to that blunder, he would surely have drawn attention to himself by the fact that he looked so unlike anyone else generally living there. With his high cheekbones, a full head of dark hair, slim figure, striking good looks and an aura of suave sophistication gained through his privileged upper-class heritage and belonging to a family steeped in the British military elite, surely difficult for even someone trained in the art of subterfuge to sufficiently disguise, Nairac was asking for trouble going in that bar. As my friend put it, “People around here don’t look like that”. Accordingly, his card would have been marked the moment he stepped in the door of the Three Steps Inn that night.

Nairac

Oliver’s Army: Captain Nairac on manoeuvres in Northern Ireland in the 1970’s

Even though the circumstances of Inga-Maria’s and Captain Nairac’s respective deaths in Northern Ireland eleven years apart could not have been more different, there is a correlation to be drawn from how their possession of uncommonly good looks would have marked them out as different and in Inga-Maria’s case, as particularly desirable to predators. She was presumably not to know that coming from such a country as Germany where as I’ve seen with my own eyes on numerous occasions, practically every second young adult both male and female appear to be model-material, she was visiting countries where in general people, as my friend said regarding Captain Nairac, just “don’t look like that”. Yet another example is the case of Manuela Riedo, the 17 year-old Swiss student tragically raped and murdered in Ireland in 2007, another girl of uncommonly-striking physical beauty.

 

Chapter 18 – The Hardest Thing In The World

Inga 3

Mothers of the Disappeared: Almut Hauser pictured in 2009

Back in the same place but everything’s changed 

Back by the harbour with my back to the land

Block out the sadness with the palm of my hand

‘Almost Prayed’ – The Weather Prophets

Something that no one ever seems to focus on when it comes to someone’s life having been taken is this: That person was, and ultimately always will be, somebody’s baby, the precious produce of two people’s love, be it fleeting or lifelong. To unilaterally erase the existence of another is essentially a crime against humanity. Another human being, effectively a mother’s baby, a father’s baby, whatever age they may have grown to by the time of their murder. The destruction of life is so much more than one death – it’s the permanent curtailment of a chain of life that could have ultimately lead on to many other lives over the course of the future. And the creation of so much sadness and regret. For what? Some sick thrills on a cold night in a forest? Followed by a lifetime of the perpetrators having to look over their shoulders, surely never feeling entirely at ease, all the while knowing that every new day is another opportunity for that knock on the door by the long arm of the law.

Have you ever had a bad dream, wake up and it not stop?

‘Jennifer She Said’ – Lloyd Cole and the Commotions

In each of the three photos of Almut Hauser circulated through the media, all taken in the years since her daughter was so brutally murdered and after her husband had succumbed to cancer, there is the most unmistakable pain etched across her face. I don’t think I have ever seen another person so wracked with anguish. She looks for all the world haunted by loss. How she has managed to continue with the everyday business of living in the circumstances I cannot imagine.

 

Chapter 19 – Unhappy Birthday

Almut

Archives Of Pain: Almut Hauser pictured in 2012. Photo (c) Job (Abend Zeitung)

Loved and lost…From the one you left behind

From the one you left behind

‘Unhappy Birthday’ – The Smiths

Inga-Maria’s body was discovered by a sheep farmer on his rounds in Ballypatrick Forest exactly two weeks after her death, on April 20th 1988. Of all days, this happened to be her mother’s birthday. Think about that for a moment…For the rest of her life she would never be able to enjoy her birthday again, with it coinciding with the anniversary of the discovery of her murdered daughter’s body, and the flood of achingly-painful memories and thoughts that would bring surging to the surface. Forevermore she would have to look around her daughter’s bedroom – which for all the remaining years Almut lived there would be maintained exactly as Inga-Maria had left it – and think of what might have been had she lived, had she not gone to Northern Ireland. While being consumed by guilt, ‘survivors guilt’ and the guilt only too familiar to parents who’ve had to deal with navigating the thorny topic of how much freedom to permit their progeny, only for that freedom to having been a factor in a subsequent tragedy. All the possible permutations, all the points at which that tragedy could have been averted if only, if only. But there are no answers. There is no salvation, only sorrow. No hope, only hell. Twenty-nine years on and still Inga-Maria’s killers remain beyond the law. Almut’s husband Josef died of cancer in 2006, having never seen anyone held to account for his daughter’s murder. After her husband’s death Almut moved to an apartment on the same street as their former family home. She has said she visits the graves of Inga-Maria and Josef every single day to light candles. My heart truly goes out to her. My primary motivation with this website and with all of my work involving the case is to try to help her in any possible way I can.

April song
How we learn to linger on

Don’t you know how life goes on

To incessantly drive on
Dress in gold’s surrendering gown

Heaven bless you in your calm
Heaven bless you

‘Inheritance’ – Talk Talk

 

Chapter 20 – Shattered Dreams

Train entering Central Station, Belfast - 1988

There’s a Train That Leaves Tonight: Northern Rail train from Larne approaching Belfast in 1988. Had Inga-Maria made it onto this train as she’d planned this is the approach she would have taken

So much for your promises

Caught up in a web of lies
But it was just too late to know

Woke up to reality

I thought it was you
Who would do me no wrong

‘Shattered Dreams’ – Johnny Hates Jazz

And so it came to pass. She passed our way, and she passed away. Her arrival on these shores was exceptionally-brief and totally unknown to anyone on the island at the time with the exception of her murderers. Think of all she lost, all that was denied to her. Not just the remainder and the reminders of her great adventure and the fact that she would not have another. Not just her future, whatever way she dreamed it might be, regardless of how many if any of those dreams might have been realised. These are the facts. She would never marry. She would never have children. She would never get to make an imprint on any more lives than the people she had met up to her late teens. But maybe, through this story of her fateful final adventure, she can be granted a sort of belated posthumous honour, that stands as a testament to her bravery and vitality, and the tragedy of her passing, of the interest of people who like myself never got to meet her. I hope so.

And then there’s the place where the perpetrators chose to take Inga-Maria to carry out the murder – of all places, a forest. One of the few beautiful and unspoilt landscapes in what was at that point in time an environment ravaged by years of war and bitter sectarianism. A forest, a place of nature, home to countless trees surrounded by scenery, shrubbery and greenery. Trees – providers of oxygen, the very giver of life – helplessly overlooking an act of wanton defilement and destruction resulting in the taking of a life.

____________________________________________________________________________________

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

Please get in touch with me via email in the ‘Contact’ section if you have any information in relation to this case.

Copyright: Keeley Moss ℗&©2016. All rights reserved.

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Acknowledgements for Part 2

Thanks to Fi, ‘J’, Roisin, Aileen and another individual who has asked to remain anonymous for permitting me to add excerpts from their comments to Chapter 12.

‘The Rainbow’, ‘Eden’ & ‘Inheritance’ all written by Hollis/Friese-Greene. Published by Warner Chappell Music ©1988

‘The Teddy Bears Picnic’ written by Bratton/Kennedy. Published by © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

‘All Cats Are Grey’ written by Smith/Tolhurst/Gallup. Published by APB Music Co. Ltd. ©1981

‘Gale Force Wind’ written and published by Cathal Coughlan and Sean O’Hagan ©1988

‘A Forest’ written by Smith/Tolhurst/Gallup/Hartley. Published by APB Music Co. Ltd. ©1980

‘I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish’ & ‘Unhappy Birthday’ written by Morrissey/Marr. Published by Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group ©1987

‘Almost Prayed’ written by Peter Astor. Creation Records ©1986

‘Jennifer She Said’ written by Clark/Cole/Cowan. Published by EMI Music Publishing © 1987

‘Shattered Dreams’ written by Clark Datchler. Virgin Records Ltd. ©1987 USA ©1988

The Cold Case Files by Barry Cummins. Published by Gill & Macmillan ©2012

Missing, Presumed by Alan Bailey. Published by Liberties Press ©2014

 

FURTHER SOURCES

Police Service of Northern Ireland

Abend Zeitung