A documentary detailing the haunting story of “Peter Bergmann” - who in the summer of 2009 got the Sligo bus from Londonderry before being discovered dead at Rosses Point - has been intriguing audiences around the globe and aired on local terrestrial television for the first time this week.
‘The Last Days of Peter Bergmann,’ directed by Ciaran Cassidy, produced by Morgan Bushe and edited by John Murphy, is a meditation on a death that has left An Garda Síochána scratching its head for the past six years.
The film has recently been making waves at the Sundance Film Festival amongst other gala competitions.
According to the documentary, the man’s first ever recorded appearance in Ireland was by CCTV cameras at the Foyle Street bus depot, which picked him up prior to a three day sojourn at the Sligo City Hotel, where he checked in under the “Peter Bergmann” name and provided an address in Vienna. It subsequently transpired the address was a vacant lot and no-one named Peter Bergmann and matching his description has been traceable anywhere in the world.
Garda investigators believe Mr Bergmann carefully disposed of all of his belongings and all they have to go on is CCTV footage of his journeys around Sligo and his body, which was discovered at Rosses Point on the morning of Tuesday, June 16, 2009.
In the film a Garda detective explains: “The clothing that was on the deceased body – he had removed each individual label from those clothes. It just shows the level of planning, the level of detail he had gone into to ensure that he was never identified.
“We were obviously getting a picture at that stage that this man had meticulously planned his final days, his final act. And the lengths that he went to were just unbelievable.”
Although Mr Bergmann was discovered at a beach there was no indication that he had drowned.
A post-mortem did, however, reveal evidence of cancer and a history of heart problems.
“The truth is we may never know what actually happened in those last few minutes and what he was hoping to achieve. But we can say he was there.”
The video and stills above have been published with the kind permission of Fastnet Films.