Attorneys, investigators and scientists

on the Haysom-Soering Case


Attorneys, investigators and scientists on the Haysom-Soering Case

Source: Facebook @JohnGrisham

John Grisham

Former defense attorney and bestselling author
Board member – Innocence Project

“There was no physical evidence linking Jens to the crime scene. … Jens had a terrible defense lawyer at the trial, the judge was a crony of the deceased’s family. … A shocking as Jens’ case is, it doesn’t shock me anymore, because it happens all the time here. There are thousands of innocent people in prison.”

Source: Markus Lanz TV program (Germany) — May 14, 2020
© 2016-2018 Lava Media, LLC, reVolver Podcast. (P) & (C)


#105 Jens Soering – UPDATE

December 4, 2019 — Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom — Episode #105 — with John Grisham, Chip Harding and Jens Soering — UPDATE

In this episode, you will hear excerpts of the original interview with novelist John Grisham, Sheriff J.E. “Chip” Harding, and Jens Soering. Then, Jens and Jason go over parole board strategy with Dr. Phil, and finally, we hear reactions from Amanda Knox and Sheriff Harding, both of whom worked so hard on Jens’ behalf.


Celebrities Support Release of Soering

February 4, 2019 — RADIO IQ — by Sandy Hausman

The turmoil surrounding Governor Ralph Northam could mean further delays for prisoners requesting pardons from him — among them Jens Soering, a German man who’s been in Virginia prisons for nearly 30 years. There’s growing evidence he did not murder his girlfriend’s parents when he was a student at the University of Virginia, but Governors McAuliffe and Northam have refused to release him until a parole board investigation is complete. That probe has gone on for more than two years.  Now, several celebrities are joining the fight to set Soering free as Sandy Hausman reports

Source: The Promise

Chuck Reid

Senior Investigator on Haysom double murder case (ret.)
during first year of investigation: April 1985 to April 1986
Bedford County Sheriff’s Department

“Politics and reputations can’t determine whether a man stays in jail the rest of his life.  Somebody needs to do something.”

Source: Radio IQ, October 11, 2016

In 1985, a gruesome double murder rocked the US. Was the wrong man convicted?

March 9, 2017 — The Washington Post — by Laura Vozzella

Early one morning in October, Chuck Reid stood inside a little office at Buckingham Correctional Center in Dillwyn, Virginia, waiting for the door to open. A retired county jailer and sheriff’s deputy, Reid was not in the habit of visiting men he had once investigated for murder. But in this case, he had been summoned. And he obliged because 30 years after Jens Soering went off to prison, their lives were entwined once again in a way neither could have anticipated. Soering’s lawyer Steven Rosenfield stood with the former deputy. He’d assured Reid that Soering wanted only to thank him. Soering was serving two life sentences for the fatal stabbing of his girlfriend’s parents in 1985.


Criminal Investigator Says Soering Is Innocent

October 11, 2016 — RADIO IQ — by Sandy Hausman

It’s been six weeks since convicted killer Jens Soering asked Virginia’s governor for a pardon based on new evidence.  Soering has been behind bars for more than 30 years in connection with the bloody murders of his girlfriend’s parents.  Now, in a story exclusive to RadioIQ and NBC 12 in Richmond, a former detective who spent six months on the case says he’s convinced Soering is innocent.   Detective Chuck Reid was called to the home of a prominent Bedford County couple — Derrick and Nancy Haysom — in April of 1985. 

Source: George Washington University Department of Forensic Science

Prof. Dr. Moses Schanfield

George Washington University – Department of Forensic Science

“Jens‘s DNA is not in any of the samples that were tested. So based on that, we have no basis to say Jens was involved … We have two other people, a group O and a group AB individual, who were not Jens, who were males, who were in that house, because they left documented evidence.”

Source: ABC13 News, October 27 2017

The Innocence Project now announces their support for Jens Soering’s petition for parole

October 27, 2017 — ABC13 News — Video of news conference

Many now say the evidence supports Soering’s innocence in the Haysom killings. At a news conference in Charlottesville on Friday, more experts explained the science and evidence that convinced them, and they’re urging the state to grant Soering an absolute pardon.

Prof. Schanfield is introduced at minute 7.

Experts advocate for Jens Soering’s innocence in 1985 Haysom murders

October 27, 2017 — ABC13 News — by Noreen Turyn & Catherine Doss

DNA and blood science expert Dr. Moses Schanfield says the DNA evidence found two unidentifed males were at the crime scene, and not Jens Soering. “Two other group O and group AB indivuduals who are not Jens, who are males who were in that house because they left documented evidence,” says Schanfield.

Source: The Promise

Gail Starling Marshall

Deputy Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia (ret.)

“There have been only two occasions in my thirty-five years of practice when … I have concluded, to a moral certainty, that the person was innocent of the crime for which he was convicted. … The second occasion involved Jens Soering.”

Source: Letter to parole board, May 5, 2003

Letter from Gail Starling Marshall to the parole board

May 5, 2003

“Apart from the confession and the testimony of Elizabeth Haysom, … the evidence was extremely thin and circumstantial: no eye witnesses; no fingerprints; no DNA; no weapon recovered or traced to Jens. … Confessions are sometimes false and … juries sometimes make mistakes.”


Diplomat’s son back in court

December 10, 1996 — The Washington Post — by Donald P. Baker

Marshall, who met Soering for the first time at the courthouse today, … contends that (Circuit Judge William) Sweeney should have recused himself from the trials because he was a lifelong friend of (victim) Nancy Haysom’s brother and because a magazine article published the day Soering’s trial began quoted Sweeney as saying he believed Soering was the killer.

Source: Albemarle County Sheriff’s Office

Sheriff J.E. „Chip“ Harding

Albemarle County Sheriff’s Office

“Soering could not be convicted today on the evidence that has since surfaced or was improperly submitted or omitted from the jury. The evidence appears to support a case for his innocence.”

Source: Press release, May 3, 2017

Albemarle Sheriff Chip Harding supports release of Jens Soering

May 3, 2017 – Press Release from Albemarle County Sheriff Chip Harding:

Albemarle Sheriff J.E. “Chip” Harding has written a 19 page letter to Governor Terry McAuliffe in support of the release of Jens Soering. The letter will be included in the 2nd Supplement to the Pardon Petition that will be forwarded to the Governor by Soering’s attorney Steve Rosenfield. Three months ago Rosenfield, who has worked on behalf of Soering pro bono for the past 6 years, had asked Sheriff Harding if he would review the Soering investigation and trial for the 1985 murders of Bedford County residents Derek and Nancy Haysom. Harding has given over 200 hours pro bono so far in his investigation.


For a convicted double murderer long on famous supporters, basic detective work could be key

April 21, 2019 — The Washington Post — by Laura Vozzella

Given that star power and political sway have so far failed to free Soering, his best hope may lie with old-fashioned detective work. Albemarle County Sheriff J.E. “Chip” Harding and retired deputy Richard Hudson have teamed up to try to reinvestigate the case, following leads that they say officials in rural Bedford County never pursued — or dropped once Soering made what he says was a false confession to cover for his girlfriend, Elizabeth Haysom. Harding and Hudson have interviewed dozens of people, including former roommates and friends of Soering and Haysom. The investigators have devoted thousands of hours to the effort, all unpaid.


Sheriff Advocates for Jens Soering’s Innocence in New Letter

May 3, 2017 — RADIO IQ — by Sandy Hausman

A man who’s spent more than 30 years behind bars for a double murder he says he did not commit has a powerful new ally today. Albemarle County Sheriff Chip Harding says he’s spent more than 200 hours studying the case, and he believes Soering is innocent. He’s explained his thinking in a 19-page letter to Governor Terry McAuliffe who, to date, has refused to pardon Soering. When Sheriff Chip Harding heard about the brutal murders of Derek and Nancy Haysom in 1985 he was busy – investigating a big cocaine case in Charlottesville. He knew only what he heard from the media.

Source: iKAT Consulting. Ltd.

Dr. Andrew Griffiths

Detective Superintendent, Sussex (U.K.) Police (ret.)
iKat Consulting Ltd.

“There are notable errors in his confession that show he could not have been at the crime scene.”

Source: Newsradio WINA, October 27, 2017

Advocates trying to free Jens Soering present DNA evidence; question police interrogation

October 27, 2017 — Newsradio WINA

Dr. Andrew Griffiths is a leading international expert in police techniques and interrogations who spoke from London via Skype. He says his five-month long analysis of Soering’s confession found it to be “unreliable”. He said one of the issues making this confession different than many is it was volunteered, and not coerced. Griffiths says for whatever reason, maybe to cover at the time for his girlfriend, his confession was volunteered.….. and therefore he wanted to be accurate. However, Griffiths said there are notable errors in his confession that show he could not have been at the crime scene.


The Innocence Project now announces their support for Jens Soering’s petition for parole

October 27, 2017 — ABC13 News — Video of news conference

“Jens’ confessions contains some significant errors,” says International expert in police interrogation techniques Dr. Andrew Griffiths. He spoke from the U.K. via Skype. His analysis finds Soering’s confession is not valid. He cites numerous errors that didn’t match the facts, like saying Mrs. Haysom was wearing jeans. “However we know conclusively from crime scene photos and post mortem reports that Mrs. Haysom was wearing a neck to ankle floral housecoat with a very large design on the front,” Griffiths says.

Dr. Griffiths is introduced at minute 14:35.
Source: University of Richmond School of Law

Prof. Mary Kelly Tate

University of Richmond School of Law
Founder: Institute for Actual Innocence

“I think it’s clear that Jens Soering would not be convicted today. I believe it’s appropriate for him to get an absolute pardon or a conditional pardon.”

Source: The Washington Post, October 27, 2017

For German diplomat’s son jailed in 1985 double murder, a powerful new advocate

October 27, 2017 — The Washington Post — by Laura Vozzella

Mary Kelly Tate, founding director of the University of Richmond’s Institute for Actual Innocence, announced Friday that she has written a letter to Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) asking that he grant Soering a pardon. Tate, whose institute works to identify and exonerate people who have been wrongfully convicted in Virginia, has not taken over the case. It remains in the hands of a private Charlottesville lawyer, Steven Rosenfield, who has worked on it pro bono for years.


Law Professor Calls on Governor to Pardon Soering

October 27, 2017 – RADIO IQ – by Sandy Hausman

There’s new hope for a German man who’s spent three decades in Virginia prisons for a crime he says he did not commit. Jens Soering was convicted in the bloody murders of his girlfriend’s parents when he was 18.  Now, the Director at the Institute for Actual Innocence at the University of Richmond’s law school, Mary Kelly Tate, says Soering could not be convicted if he were tried today.

Source: Private

Detective Sergeant Richard L. Hudson (ret.)

Charlottesville Police Department

“Mr. Soering could not be convicted today on the evidence, science and analysis that has now been developed.”

Source: C’ville Weekly, September 28, 2017

New Calls for Pardon in Soering Case

September 27, 2017 — Radio IQ — by Sandy Hausman

For nearly 20 years, Richard Hudson was a detective in the Charlottesville Police Department.  As a rule he doesn’t think prisoners should be released early through pardons or parole. But after spending 250 hours reviewing transcripts of the trial, police reports and evidence, he says Jens Soering’s case is something else, and he hopes nothing like it could ever happen again.


Prof. Dr. J. Thomas McClintock

Liberty University – Department of Forensic Science

“Does Jens Soering’s DNA profile match any of those (at the crime scene)? They absolutely do not. The blood came from at least one male contributor who doesn’t match Soering or Derek Haysom’s genetic makeup.”

Source: C’ville Weekly, September 28, 2017

Pressure to pardon: New experts weigh in on Soering case

September 28, 2017 — C’ville Weekly — by Samantha Baars

A nationally recognized DNA expert says his conclusions provide further evidence that convicted murderer and former UVA student Jens Soering, who was charged with the 1985 murders of his girlfriend’s parents, Derek and Nancy Haysom, could be innocent—and that two killers who were involved are still at large. Forensic scientist Thomas McClintock, who is a Liberty University professor and founder of DNA Diagnostics Inc., reviewed DNA test results done in September 2009. Such testing was not available in 1990, when Soering went to trial.

Source: Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights

Irwin Cotler

Former attorney for Nelson Mandela
Former Minister of Justice (Canada)

“False confessions, false accusations,  junk forensic science,  bad defense counsel, and not withstanding all these markers he’s still enduring imprisonment!”

Source: Radio IQ, March 5, 2019

Human Rights Advocate to Fight for Soering

March 5, 2019 — Radio IQ — by Sandy Hausman

A controversial criminal case in Virginia has drawn the attention of Canada’s former Minister of Justice.  Irwin Cotler, who fought for the freedom of Nelson Mandela and the Russian dissident Anatoly Sharansky, met Tuesday with convicted killer Jens Soering and vowed to focus global attention on his plight if Virginia doesn’t free him soon. 

Quelle: Radio IQ

Stanley J. Lapekas

FBI Special Agent (ret.)

“The investigators lied. Something is fundamentally wrong with this case. As a former investigator I can say with some certainty: If the evidence that was used back then were to be compared with what we know today, Soering would not be convicted.”

Source: RTL News (Germany),  December 4, 2019

Retired FBI Agent Says Soering Should be Freed

April 11, 2018 – RADIO IQ – by Sandy Hausman

A retired FBI agent has come forward to join three seasoned law enforcement officers in calling for the release of Jens Soering, a former UVA honors student convicted more than 30 years ago for the murders of his girlfriend’s parents.  This latest announcement is based on new evidence of a psychological profile that pointed clearly to the couple’s daughter, Elizabeth Haysom, as the most likely killer. 

Source: Facebook @Jason.Flom

Jason Flom

Co-founder and board member of the Innocence Project.

“One of the most extraordinary examples of a miscarriage of justice we’ve covered on this show.”

(Source: Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom, Nr. 105. )

Why a man convicted of murdering his girlfriend’s parents claims he made a false confession

Dr. Phil Show October 23, 2020 


Amanda Knox

Exoneree and journalist

“The more I dug through the evidence, the more convinced I became of his innocence.”

Source: The Sunday Times (London, U.K.), January 24, 2021

The Truth about “True Crime” — Killing for Love

May 15, 2019 — SundanceTV and Sundance Now — by Amanda Knox

This season, on The Truth About True Crime, host Amanda Knox explores the perplexing and sensationalized case of Jens Soering and the Haysom murders, from the docu-series Killing for Love. Listen as she untangles a tale of obsessed young lovers, heinous murders, and a shocking miscarriage of justice that eerily parallels her own story.

© 2018-2019 Sundance Film Holdings LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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