Belfast Telegraph

Singer hopes to help solve Inga Maria Hauser murder

 

By Claire McNeilly

Even allowing for Northern Ireland's violent history, it was one of our most shocking murders.

A young German backpacker, a beautiful scenic area, and a mystery that endures to this day.

Many remain intrigued by the case of Inga Maria Hauser - not least Keeley Moss, who has written no fewer than 17 songs about the teenager who was brutally raped and slain in a forest near Ballycastle 29 years ago.

Keeley, a former librarian, told the Belfast Telegraph how she has become captivated with what happened to the 18-year-old from Munich after she arrived here on a ferry from Scotland on April 6, 1988.

"Inga Maria's case really nags at me; I've never been overtaken by something like this before," said Keeley, a singer-songwriter and true crime blogger.

"This was an artist, a student, a beautiful young, innocent woman making her way through the world. From the moment I read about the case I felt deeply moved about what happened to her."

Inga Maria's body was discovered in a remote part of Ballypatrick Forest in Co Antrim on April 20, 14 days after she arrived here.

Her neck had been broken in what police described as a "vicious and ruthless assault".

No one has ever been convicted of her murder, despite one of the largest DNA screenings ever, and the case remains one of Northern Ireland's most notorious and baffling unsolved crimes.

In May, Keeley's group, Session Motts, released a song called Plundered Past - the first track about Inga Maria to be commercially released - which is "doing really well" in the Irish indie charts.

"On one hand, the song refers to the years before her ill-fated decision to visit Northern Ireland and, on the other, to what could possibly have happened," said Keeley, who has co-written 12 songs about Inga Maria and a further five herself. The band hopes to release "a themed group of songs" on the 30th anniversary of the tragic tourist's death next year.

"I've been to all of the key locations, including Ballypatrick on the 29th anniversary of when she was reported missing and on the anniversary of the discovery of her body," said 37-year-old Dublin native Keeley.

"I've also visited the three villages the PSNI have specified as holding the answers to the case - Armoy, Loughguile and Cloughmills."

Keeley hopes her blog - which "presents a new instalment from a different angle every month" - will help ensure that Inga Maria's case remains in the spotlight.

"Underneath my desire to inform people, I really want to try and provide a means for the case to be solved if in any way possible," she said.

"So far I've been overwhelmed by the support that I've had from people. I never expected the blog to go viral in the way that it has."

Keeley has also been in close contact with Inga Maria's family, including her sister and her nephew, via email and Skype. She first became intrigued by the case after reading a book called Missing, Presumed, by Alan Bailey.

She added: "It ignited something in me and I felt the need to investigate more. I decided to write a short blog to get it out of my system but now it's on my mind all the time."

Keeley - who hopes the PSNI sees her involvement as helpful - added: "The blog has been a forum for people to anonymously come forward with information and I go to the authorities with anything valid.

"I think it's significant that Inga Maria stated in her last diary entry, written in Stranraer earlier that evening, 'Wonder where I stay tonight'.

"The ferry docked at 9.40pm in a strife-ridden country she'd never been to.

"She wouldn't have reached Belfast until approximately 11pm; how would she have known where to find a hostel when it was her first visit to what was, at that time, a very dangerous city?

"Notwithstanding the fact she hadn't previously taken a lift at any point of her trip, and that she was considered 'worldly' by her family and friends, I believe these particular circumstances made her receptive to an offer from someone on the ferry of a lift to a hostel or B&B."

She added: "There's no doubt the people with the answers are still out there."

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