Belfast Telegraph

Audio: Haunting voice from beyond grave of Inga Maria - backpacker murdered in Northern Ireland

Exclusive By Claire McNeilly

A haunting recording of murder victim Inga Maria Hauser's voice has emerged - and the woman who obtained it wants the person whom she believes is shielding the killers to hear it.

The audio tape of the young German backpacker - who was brutally slain shortly after arriving in Northern Ireland nearly 30 years ago - has her playing guitar and singing traditional folk song Greensleeves in English.

It was released by her family in Munich to Keeley Moss, author of an extensive blog dedicated to one of this country's most notorious unsolved crimes.

It is the first time the public will have had an opportunity to hear the murdered backpacker's voice - and Ms Moss hopes it will be pivotal to solving a long-standing case that has intrigued so many people for decades.

Inga's lifeless body was discovered in a remote part of Ballypatrick Forest on the outskirts of Ballycastle, Co Antrim, in April 1988, 14 days after she arrived here, alone, on a ferry from Scotland. No one has ever been convicted of her murder, despite one of the largest DNA screenings ever, but Keeley said she hopes that this recording might just prick someone's conscience.

"I'm trying to get a certain person in the rural area to the east of Ballymoney, who is shielding the killers, to hear this recording," she said.

"Reaching them is only the first hurdle, of course - triggering their conscience enough for them to be prepared to testify in court is quite another but this is my best shot."

She added: "Inga Maria loved music, and this recording is one of the saddest and most beautiful things I have ever heard.

"And it is all the more heart-wrenching for the fact that when it was recorded she could have had no idea that within a relatively short time she'd go through an area of Co Antrim that would result in her life being taken."

The murder of Miss Hauser (18), from Munich, was as brutal as it was inexplicable.

When her body was discovered two weeks later, on April 20, 1988, her neck had been broken in what police described as a "vicious and ruthless assault".

Last month, a new, previously unpublished photo of the German student emerged.

It shows the bedroom - complete with tape recorder - which Inga used when she sang. The picture forms part of an ongoing blog - The Keeley Chronicles - written by the Dublin-born singer songwriter, who has also penned several songs about the life and death of Inga Maria.

Keeley, lead singer of successful Irish band Session Motts, describes her work as a tribute to Inga Maria and the continuing mission to uncover the truth behind a baffling, apparently motiveless crime that stunned even a Northern Ireland public who at that time were no strangers to violence.

The latest instalment on her blog, Chapter 37, is entitled You Do Me Wrong, and it includes the recording.

"I have sought and received the permission of the Hauser family to make available, for the first time ever, an extraordinary recording Inga Maria made of herself singing and playing guitar," said Keeley.

"For one thing, it is the unprecedented sound of her voice, the voice that was permanently silenced the night she arrived in Northern Ireland by at least one person based in the rural area to the east of Ballymoney, encompassing the villages of Cloughmills, Loughguile and Armoy.

"It is the sound of a voice and guitar-playing that never had the chance to be recorded in a professional studio, never had a chance to be heard on a concert stage or from a radio.

"It is a sound that never had the chance to reach beyond her Munich bedroom. Until now."

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