Directed and Edited by Marcus Vetter Co-Director
Karin Steinberger Producers
Marcus Vetter, Louise Rosen
and Ulf Meyer
Line Producer Annette Burchard
Director of Photography Georg Zengerling Original Music Jens Huercamp and Michele Gentile Sound Aljoscha Haupt Sound Mix Jonathan Schorr
Sound design Markus Limberger Color Correction Fabiana Cardalda Co-Editors Patrick Wilfert and Michelle Gentile
Comissioning Editors Gudrun Hanke El Ghomri, SWR / Catherine Le Goff, ARTE / Petra Felber, BR / Mette Hoffmann Meyer, DR
Nick Fraser, BBC / Kate Townsend, BBC / Axel Arnö, SVT / Nathalie Windhorst, VPRO A production of Filmperspektive
in co-production with SWR / BR / ARTE / DR / BBC / SVT / VPRO supported by MFG and DFFF
The gruesome murders of Nancy and Derek Haysom in 1985 were an international media sensation. The Haysoms were wealthy, respected members of Virginia society, and the murder conviction of their daughter Elizabeth and her German boyfriend Jens Soering sent shock-waves through the rural community of Bedford County. Elizabeth and Jens had met in a university program for high achieving students. She was a product of European boarding schools, he was the son of a diplomat. After being arrested in London, England, for passing bad checks in 1986, they were both extradited to the United States and have now spent over 30 years behind bars. This beautifully crafted film reveals a mismanaged, or perhaps completely corrupted, judicial process. This was the first criminal trial held in front of TV cameras — was the first high profile, international case tried in a small town.
Gail Marshall, former Deputy Attorney General of Virginia, has been fighting for Jens Söring for many years. She is certain of his innocence and says she only had two cases in her entire career where she was firmly convinced that the prisoners were innocent. One is now a free man, the other is Jens Söring.
Tom Elliott, a Catholic deacon and chaplain, who accompanied Söring for many years. He is one of the few that visits him regularly in prison. He is just in the process, together with other supporters, to push once again for Söring’s transfer to Germany.
William Sweeney, the judge who led the Haysom trial. He swore that he was unbiased, even though he had given an interview before the trial in which he said he thought Jens Söring was guilty. In addition, he was a friend of the brother of one of the victims for over 40 years.
Ricky Gardner describes himself as a “lead investigator” in the Haysom murder case. He was there when Jens Söring confessed to the murders in London without a lawyer. To this day, Gardner defends the comparison made in court of Söring’s sock imprint found at the crime scene even though experts later said that this comparison was wrong and misled the jury.
Gail Ball, Jens Söring’s lawyer, hired the private investigator Dave Watson to finally solve the crime.
Chuck Reid was a member of the Bedford County Sheriff’s Department and one of the investigators in the Haysom murder case. In an interview, he spoke about a FBI crime scene profile that was created for the case in 1985, but which was not turned over to the defense or mentioned in court. The profile described a female suspect and does not fit the confession of Jens Söring. Reid is confident that there was such a crime scene profile. But Ricky Gardner claims it never existed.
Rich Zorn (right), former Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General and a friend of the Söring family. His son went to the same school as Jens Söring. He supported the family for many years and is committed to the cause of Söring’s transfer to Germany.
Dave Watson, a private investigator who was hired by Gail Ball to reinvestigate the case.
Tony Buchanan, a new witness, who came forward in 2011 to say that, in 1985, Elizabeth Haysom brought a damaged car to his garage, accompanied by another man – not Jens Söring. In the car lay a bloody knife. The witness was never officially questioned.
Carlos Santos, ein Journalist, who followed the case from the beginning.
Steven D. Rosenfield, Jens Söring’s new repatriation attorney, filed suit on January 18, 2011, to enforce his transfer to Germany. On January 12, 2010, the Democratic Governor of Virginia, Timothy M. Kaine, consented to the repatriation of Jens Söring to Germany. A week later, the new Republican Governor, Robert F. McDonnell, sent a letter withdrawing Virginia’s consent to Jens Söring’s repatriation. In July 2012, a court ruled against his repatriation lawsuit; in December 2012, the Virginia Supreme Court refused to even hear the appeal.
Filming Jens Söring's lawyer Gail Ball and private investigator Dave Watson in the evidence room in Bedford.
Marcus Vetter (director) and Georg Zengerling (camera) at a shooting in Bedford.
Aljoscha Haupt (sound) and Georg Zengerling (camera) shooting film material in front of the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women in Troy, Virginia, in which Elizabeth Haysom is detained.
Marcus Vetter (director), Georg Zengerling (camera) and Aljoscha Haupt (sound) shooting film material in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Georg Zengerling (camera) and Aljoscha Haupt (sound) in Bedford, Virginia.
Ricky Gardner in his office in Bedford.
Private investigator Dave Watson with Aljoscha Haupt (sound) and Georg Zengerling (camera) in Cape Charles.
Aljoscha Haupt (Ton) and Georg Zengerling (Kamera) after filming.
Filming with Chuck Reid in Bedford.
Marcus Vetter and Karin Steinberger at a shooting with Chuck Reid in Bedford.
John and Suzanne Peniche in Lynchburg in front of their home in which Elizabeth Haysom's parents were murdered in 1985.
Aljoscha Haupt (sound) at a filming in Bedford.
The film crew and Jens Söring's lawyer Gail Ball in Virginia.
Private investigator Dave Watson in Washington DC.
Mike Gentile (second camera) and Georg Zengerling (camera) in New York City.
|A production of||Filmperspektive|
|A film by||Marcus Vetter and Karin Steinberger|
|In coproduction with||SWR, ARTE, BR, DR, BBC, SVT, VPRO|
|Directed and edited by||Marcus Vetter|
|Year of Production||2016|
|Director of Photography||Georg Zengerling|
|Original Musik||Jens Huerkamp|
|Sound Design||Markus Limberger|
|Sound Mix||Jonathan Schorr|
|Line Producer||Annette Burchard|
|Color Correction||Fabiana Cardalda|
|Legal Advisor||Albert Kitzler|
|Commissioning Editors||Gudrun Hanke el Ghomri, SWR|
|Chatherine le Goff, ARTE |
Petra Felber, BR
Mette Hoffmann Meyer, DR
Nick Fraser, BBC
Kate Townsend, BBC
Axel Arnö, SVT
|Nathalie Windhorst, VPRO|
|Founded by||MFG and DFFF|
|Distributor, Germany||Farbfilm, Berlin|
|Worldsales||Louise Rosen Ltd.|
Filmperspektive GmbH | Marcus Vetter
Editorial: karin.steinberger(at)sueddeutsche.de | Tel. +49 (0)89.21 83 86 17
Worldsales: louise(at)louiserosenltd.com | Tel. +1 617.899 66 29
Sales Germany: info(at)farbfilm-verleih.de | Tel. +49 (0)30.29 77 29 44