The Peter Bergmann case is an unsolved mystery pertaining to the death of an unidentified man in County Sligo, Ireland. From 12 to 16 June 2009, a man using the alias “Peter Bergmann” visited the coastal seaport town of Sligo, in northwest Ireland. He used this alias to check into the Sligo City Hotel, where he stayed during the majority of his visit, and was described by the hotel staff and tenants as having a heavy German accent. The man’s movements were captured on CCTV throughout the town; however, the details of his actions and intentions remain unknown. His interactions with other people were limited, and little is known of his origins or the reason for his visit to Sligo.

Timeline

On Friday, 12 June, the unknown man was first spotted at the Ulster Bus Depot in Derry between the time of 14:30 and 16:00. He boarded a bus headed to Sligo Station, carrying a black shoulder bag and a standard carry-on luggage bag. He arrived at 18:28 at the Sligo Bus Station and took a taxi to the Sligo City Hotel where he paid €65 per night in cash. While checking in, he gave the false name of “Peter Bergmann” and listed his address as Ainstettersn 15, 4472, Vienna, Austria.[c

During his stay at the hotel, the man was seen on security camera footage leaving the building with a purple plastic bag full of items or personal effects. However, when he returned from his long walk he was no longer carrying the bag. It is presumed that he was disposing of his belongings throughout the town of Sligo and then folding the bag and putting it in his pocket. Authorities were unable to identify what he was throwing away in the public rubbish bins as the man used the blind spots of the surveillance cameras to his advantage. His movements were very meticulous and methodical as if he knew where to hide his personal belongings that could have identified him. 

On Saturday, 13 June, the man is seen walking to the General Post Office at 10:49 and purchases eight 82-cent stamps and airmail stickers.

On Sunday, 14 June, between 11:00 and 11:30 the man left the Sligo City Hotel and asked a taxi driver recommendations for a nice quiet beach where he could swim. The taxi driver stated that Rosses Point would be the best place and proceeded to drive the unknown man to the beach. The man returned with the same taxi and was dropped off at the bus station in Sligo.

The next day (Monday, 15 June), the man checked out of the hotel at 13:06 and handed in his room key. He left with a black shoulder bag, a purple plastic bag, and a different black luggage bag. He did not have the same black carry-on luggage bag he had when he first arrived in Sligo. He walked to the bus station via Quay Street, Wine Street and stopped at Quayside Shopping Centre and awkwardly waited in the doorway for a number of minutes. At 13:16 he left the Quayside Shopping Centre and walked along Wine Street in the direction of the bus station, still carrying all three bags. At 13:38 he ordered a cappuccino and a ham and cheese toasted sandwich at the bus station. While eating his food, he looked at pieces of paper that he kept in his pocket. After reading the pieces of paper, he tore the paper in half and threw it away in a nearby rubbish bin. He then mounted a bus that departed at 14:20 for Rosses Point. It was reported that he was seen by 16 people while walking on the beach, casually greeting the passersby.

On the morning of 16 June, the naked body of the unidentified man was discovered at Rosses Point beach, a popular recreation destination and fishing area near Sligo. Despite having conducted a five-month investigation into the death of “Peter Bergmann”, the police have never been able to identify the man or develop any leads in the case.

Upon the police investigation following his death, the address he gave belonged to a vacant lot. This implies that the man wanted to remain unknown and he pre-emptively planned his moves so that he could not be identified.

Physical description

Bergmann had a slender build, short grey hair, and appeared to be in his late 50s or early 60s. He stood five feet and ten and a half inches tall with blue eyes and a tan complexion. From witness reports, the man was of Germanic descent and spoke with a thick German accent. He was neatly groomed; his face was shaven and his hair was clean and combed.[c

The man was well dressed wearing a black leather jacket, blue trousers (size 50), blue socks, a black leather belt and a pair of black shoes (size 44). His clothes were from C&A, a popular fashion retail store in Europe with most of its stores in Germany and Austria. From the man’s appearance it was assumed he was a professional worker. He was a frequent smoker and several surveillance videos show him smoking outside often.

Posted by Carrie Dean

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