| 14.6°C Dublin

Tragic snaps Inga Maria Hauser murder: Friends release never-before-published pictures

Inga Maria was last seen on the Stranraer to Larne ferry two weeks prior to the discovery of her body on April 6, 1988.

Close

Victim: Inga Maria Hauser with friends at a beer festival in Munich. Credit: Belfast Telegraph

Victim: Inga Maria Hauser with friends at a beer festival in Munich. Credit: Belfast Telegraph

Victim: Inga Maria Hauser with friends at a beer festival in Munich. Credit: Belfast Telegraph

These are the never-before-published pictures which show smiling teenager Inga Maria Hauser having a beer with friends prior to setting off on a backpacking adventure she would tragically never return from.

Among the images are a student card and passport belonging to the murdered 18-year-old from Germany, along with a backpack recovered close to her body at Ballypatrick Forest, Ballycastle in Co Antrim, 34 years ago this week.

A picture of the pretty blonde teenager at Oktoberfest in her home city of Munich is among the images of the young student.

Inga Maria was last seen on the Stranraer to Larne ferry two weeks prior to the discovery of her body on April 6, 1988.

Her final diary entry as she made the ferry crossing from Stranraer to Larne on April 6, 1988 read “Saw the sea, beautiful and mysterious. Wonder where I stay tonight. Need more money."

The alarm was raised when a friend in Wales reported that Inga Maria hadn’t shown up to visit her as arranged. She had planned to travel to Wales after getting a train from Belfast to Dublin.


A farmer found her partially clothed body in a remote area of the 10,000-acre forest near Ballycastle, so secluded that police believe only someone with local knowledge could have left her there.

A post-mortem examination revealed she had fought for her life. She died from severe head and neck injuries and her murder was sexually motivated.

Last July, the Public Prosecution Service said two people would not be charged over her killing. It followed the submission of a file from police.

The PSNI recently confirmed to the Hauser family’s legal team that items belonging to the victim had been destroyed — this included her underwear.

The killing featured recently in the four-part BBC documentary series Murder In The Badlands.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

Close

Inga Maria Hauser's backpack which was found close to her body in Ballypatrick Forest in April 1988. Credit: Belfast Telegraph

Inga Maria Hauser's backpack which was found close to her body in Ballypatrick Forest in April 1988. Credit: Belfast Telegraph

Inga Maria Hauser's backpack which was found close to her body in Ballypatrick Forest in April 1988. Credit: Belfast Telegraph

It looked at the murders of four women in Northern Ireland, Inga Maria, Lisa Dorian, Marian Beattie and Arlene Arkinson.

Speaking from her Munich home, Inga Maria’s sister Friederike made a desperate plea for information to find her sister’s killer.

Her parents went to the grave without ever seeing justice.

“We argued on the day she left, and I couldn’t say goodbye in a good way. It’s still haunting me. I still get nightmares because of this,” said Friederike.

The late SDLP MLA John Dallat was dedicated to helping the Hauser family find justice. One of the last press releases he dictated on his death bed was in relation to the campaign.

His daughter, councillor Helena Dallat O‘Driscoll, has taken on her father’s work since his passing in May 2020.

She said: “Inga Maria was a much loved, talented young woman with a thirst to learn about other cultures and languages when she arrived on our shores in the late eighties.

“She deserved so much better than to be so brutally taken from her family and friends and left face down in Ballypatrick Forest. People want to see a conclusion to this callous, savage killing.

“There are people with vital information that could lead to her murderer being prosecuted.

“Those involved in this heinous crime must be brought to justice.”

One line of inquiry is that Inga Maria accepted a lift from someone who was travelling on the boat or in the port of Larne.

Close

Inga Maria Hauser's student card. Credit: Belfast Telegraph

Inga Maria Hauser's student card. Credit: Belfast Telegraph

Inga Maria Hauser's student card. Credit: Belfast Telegraph

This is one explanation as to why she was found so far off the route she had planned to take on one of the final legs of her adventure, backpacking around Europe.

Claire McKeegan of Phoenix Law, who represents the Hauser family, said that the campaign for the truth is far from over.

“We are seeking a full inquest to examine this case at long last, something this family have been denied to date”, she said.

“Another year on and with every year that passes more unanswered questions. Why did the police destroy critical evidence in her case?

“Why did they not tell her family they did this or return her precious personal property to her grieving mother and father?

“Since the recent documentary I have been contacted by people with important information and I would encourage them to continue to have faith and come forward to me with anything that they believe might help this family get to the truth.

“One of the patterns emerging are that individuals who are contacting me state that they rang the police and offered information and did not get called back.

“I am meeting with the police on April 11, and will be raising these concerning issues.”

The case was originally investigated by RUC detective Raymond Murray, later to become PSNI Detective Chief Inspector Murray. Following his retirement from the PSNI last year the case was passed on to Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell who said on the anniversary that the investigation was still very much ongoing.

“We remain committed to bringing her murderers to justice,” he said.

“Those responsible, or withholding information, must surely have a heavy conscience. I am asking you to imagine, for just one minute, the heartache and questions that torment Inga Maria’s family, no doubt each and every day. Please do the right thing and come forward.”

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Top Videos





Available now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Podcasts.

Privacy