[UPDATE: German press agencies are annoyingly coy about identifying convicted criminals — sometimes they don’t name them at all, sometimes only first name and last initial, sometimes full name. I did a bit more searching using name variants and found that our friend Mathias G. Schröder was sentenced in August 2018 (g) to 18 months in prison for selling academic titles, including to Jonas Köller (see below). One priceless detail: One of wanna-be professors had the first name Faustus, so Schröder helped him become…Dr. Faustus
Now to the original post.]
This is going to be a long post. I’ll post first in English, then I will translate it into German.
Famous murder cases always attract a certain number of kooks. If you dig deep into the Jens Söring case, you will encounter the name Mathias Schroeder (or Schröder, if you prefer the German spelling). Mr. Schroeder (or perhaps “Dr.” Schroeder, we’ll get into that later) was locked up with Jens Söring in 1986 in the Ashford Remand Centre in England. Jens Söring was held there pending trial for check fraud. He and Elizabeth Haysom, while on the run from the Bedford County, Virginia, authorities, traveled through Asia and Europe under false identities. Eventually they landed in London, where they engaged in a check-kiting scam.
After his arrest Söring was held in what was then known as the Ashford Remand Centre, a remand prison in England. It’s now been renamed HM (Her Majesty’s) Prison Feltham. “Remand” centres hold persons who are awaiting trial or other proceedings, and the Ashford Remand Centre had a special section for juvenile offenders. While in this facility, Jens Söring met Mathias Schröder, a German, aged about 16 or 17 at the time, who had been arrested in England for fraud charges. Unlike many facts about Mathias Schröder, this one is known with certainty, Söring himself admits he met Mathias Schröder. They were the only two Germans in this remand prison at the time, and spoke to each other occasionally.
After this first encounter, things get much murkier. A person calling himself Mathias Schröder sent a letter to the Virginia Parole Board in 2018 arguing against Jens Söring’s release. In this letter, Schröder claims that Jens Söring confessed to him, saying of the victims Derek and Nancy Haysom: “Of course I rubbed them out.” I quoted this part of Schröder’s letter in my piece (g) published in the FAZ on 25 November 2019. I had read it on the blog Jens Söring Guilty as Charged, which I knew had access to original documents and was very careful about the facts. As a former criminal defense lawyer, I don’t put much stock in confessions to fellow inmates. But since Söring had confessed to so many other people, and there is no doubt he and Schroeder were confined at the same time, this was just one further part of the mosaic of proof. I didn’t mention Schroeder in any subsequent articles, because there was no need, and because I’d started to find out some very interesting information about him.
Who is this Mathias Schröder? We know that he was held in jail in the Ashford Remand Centre in 1986 for fraud offenses. But what became of him later? Is he reliable and trustworthy? Why did he emerge more than 30 years later to publicly oppose Jens Söring’s application for pardon and parole?
Well, I have answer to some of these questions. But first, a warning. Prepare some stiff drinks, or other sedatives of your choice. This is going to get very weird.
II. From Fraud to Homicide
The next time Mathias Schröder appears on the radar screen, it’s for something vastly more serious. An article from 7 September 1992 about gun crimes in Germany, titled “Cold Steel by Your Thigh”, begins thus (g, my translation):
Initially, the Frankfurt resident Mathias Gernot Schröder, 23, was only charged with credit card fraud. However, psychiatric experts (disagreeing as usual) diagnosed a “disturbed personality” or absolutely “normal” behavior, depending on which report you wanted to believe. A routine case, it seemed.
But then Schröder, who has been imprisoned in Frankfurt since December of last year, ran amok. Jealous of a rival for his girlfriend’s affections, he fired at his girlfriend’s parked Renault 19 and also hit neighboring cars.
But that was just the prelude. Three weeks later he killed a homeless man in Frankfurt’s Westend with two shots from a Czech Ceska nine-millimeter pistol. After the crime he again drew his gun in “Dorian Gray”, a disco near the airport. He shot indiscriminately at dancing guests. Two young women were injured by bullets. Eyewitness Steffen, 22, recalls: “I was dancing with a lady, and suddenly she dropped.”
The magazine published a “counter-statement” (Gegendarstellung) from Schröder himself a few issues later in which Schröder denied (g) all of these charges. The Spiegel notes that on 11 May 1992, Schröder was charged with murder and attempted manslaughter before the Frankfurt Regional Court.
We now pick up the story of Mathias Schröder by means of a blog entry on the German blog “Causa Schavan”. First, a bit of background about this blog. During the mid-2010s, there were several scandals in Germany surrounding politicians who had gotten Ph.D. degrees by means of plagiarism or from degree mills. Titles are considered vastly important in German professional circles, and getting any Ph.D. entitles you to put a “Doctor” before your name. One of the politicians caught up in this scandal was Annette Schavan, who was the German federal education minister from 2005 to 2013. Schavan had received a doctoral degree from my former employer the University of Düsseldorf (shout out to my people there!) in 1980. In 2013, the university revoked the degree because of “systematic and intentional” failure to properly cite sources. Not a good look for an education minister. Schavan resigned.
The Causa Schavan (“The Schavan File“) blog meticulously documents the case. After Schavan resigned, though, the blog turned to other cases of academic fraud. In one series of posts, the blog looked at degree mills in Europe. A degree mill is a fake college or university whose sole purpose is to confer academic titles in return for sums of cash. These universities tend to have suspiciously general-sounding names such as the University of the Central Pacific or, closer to home, the University of Northwestern Europe, which we’ll be hearing about later. These things are the bane of government education departments and accreditation agencies; they pop up like mushrooms, hand out a bunch of titles, then disappear, only to return in another form later.
The author of the Schavan blog decided to take a closer look at an infamous, now-shuttered degree mill, the University of Northwestern Europe. But as they researched it, they stumbled upon a story even more interesting than degree mills. They stumbled upon the civil re-incarnation of Dr. Mathias Gernot Schröder! Wait, the blog’s authors thought — wasn’t that the guy who was sent to prison for homicide? And he now claims to have a Ph.D. and is associated with a degree mill? Now that’s intriguing. So they began researching Dr. Schröder much more intensively. And what they found blew their minds.
III. “Dr.” Mathias Gernot Schröder, Jurist and Philosopher
I’m going to quote extensively from the blog post, which is written by a certain “Simone G.” The post is very well-written and funny, and contains lots of details about Schröder that I can’t find anywhere else. Much of the press coverage of Schröder’s murder trial originated in the 1990s, when the Internet was still in its infancy in Germany. Most coverage in regional newspapers never it online, or is available only behind a paywall, as here. (I paid for it. See what I do for you people?).
Only major nationwide press organs like Der Spiegel have the resources to put their old articles online, but there are surely dozens of articles about Schröder from regional newspapers. And the Schavan blog authors appear to have found many of them them. Nobody has ever questioned the accuracy of the information in the Schavan blog, although Mathias G. Schröder himself (as we’ll see later) hand-waved, claiming that it defamed him. However, he cannot have filed a successful lawsuit against it, since it’s still available.
So I am proceeding on the assumption that the account on the Schavan blog is accurate. Here are the relevant passages (g, my translation):
On the morning of December 8, 1991, Siegfried Rudzick, a harmless and peaceable man, left the men’s dormitory on Frankfurt’s Kiesstraße before breakfast. A young man approached him on the Bockenheimer Landstraße. The young man reached toward his waistband, pulled out a firearm, fired. Fired a second time. Then he found a taxi and went to the airport. The “Dorian Gray” disco near the airport was packed. The young man went to the men’s bathroom, waved his gun around, then went to the dance floor and fired once. Then twice. Then he went home. He felt that the night had been long enough.
Then the narrative changes to a suspicious doctoral dissertation written by a certain Mr. H., a German businessman. Mr. H. arranged for his dissertation to be published by an obscure publishing house, but put a strange notice on the dissertation’s front page:
The present dissertation […] contains confidential data and is therefore marked with a restriction notice. Without express permission, the dissertation may only be read by reviewers from the “London School of Economics and Political Science and Universitas Londiniensis”, authorized members of the examination board and employees of the DS Produkte GmbH group of companies.
Granted, we can’t actually read the dissertation. But wow! The London School of Economics and Political Science! Not bad, Mr. H., not bad at all. Except…
The title page mentions Professor Dr. M. Schroeder, LL.M., M.B.A., Dean of Studies at the Faculty of Economics and Law (Expat. Dpt.) of the University of London as the doctoral supervisor of Mr. H., and Prof. Dr. Hubert Dollack from the University of Middlesex as the second reviewer.
But Professor Dollack is not to be found at Middlesex University. And at the University of London we seek in vain for a Faculty of Economics and Law. A professor “Schroeder” is also completely unknown there. Yet this duo of scholars, from which Mr. H. received his doctorate, deserves general attention.
Boy howdy, do they ever. But first, back to the turbulent life of Mathias Schröder, before he got his “‘”Ph.D.”‘”:
His youth was difficult, the presence of his father overwhelming. His father was a dynamic businessman, and seemed highly successful. The son was nothing. The 16-year-old took his father’s credit cards: now he too was successful. The son searched for namesakes in telephone directories, preferably doctors or lawyers, pretended to be a representative of a medical or legal journal on the phone, and elicited personal data and bank details from his victims. Then he ordered credit cards, which he diverted to his address by means of fake forwarding requests. Now he had plenty of success. He lived on the run, flew to Copacabana, bragged and told stories.
The juvenile court decided he was mentally ill and found him not guilty. He was sent to a clinic. There, he organized gambling, and won plenty of money from the other patients. The doctors concluded his mental illness was faked. He was released from the clinic and immediately remanded into custody for other crimes.
Once again in freedom, he resumed his old life. He was caught again and sentenced to three years confinement in a juvenile facility. At the end of June 1991, he was released early on probation. He now turned to investment fraud. His favorite car was the BMW Z1. Life was a party. He drank a lot, snorted plenty of cocaine. He was successful and constantly in motion. He was a big deal, but there was a rival. So he procured a firearm, fired shots at the girlfriend’s parked car at night, and damaged other cars. He kept leaving his mark through the following nights.
Two weeks after he shot Siegfried Rudzick and shot and seriously injured two dancers at a disco, Mathias Gernot Schröder was caught at a checkpoint for driving under the influence of alcohol and without a driver’s license. There was a warrant out for his arrest for fraud. After forensic examination of the bullets fired from his gun at parked cars, charges were also brought for murder and attempted manslaughter.
In court, he made long-winded statements, claiming to be the victim of bizarre string of unfortunate coincidences. At one point, he suddenly attacked his defense counsel, spat at her, and smashed a table. He never explained why Siegfried Rudzick had to die. After a long and difficult trial, Mathias Gernot Schröder was sentenced to eleven years in prison on 12 January 1995. Three police officers had been placed in the courtroom to subdue the accused. However, the court did not impose an order for preventive detention after the prison sentence, as requested by the prosecutor.
Wait, you might be thinking: He shot three people, killing one, and only got 11 years? He was released in 1999, after receiving credit for pretrial detention. Welcome to the German criminal justice system. It has many redeeming qualities, but I personally find this judgment far too lax. The prosecutor asked the judge for an order authorizing preventive custody after the sentence, assuming Schröder still presented a danger to the public after serving his sentence (I wrote an entire article about these laws in English, which you can read here.) The judge refused.
After a brief summary of another academic title fraud Schröder was involved in, his narrative continues:
In summer 1999 Mathias Gernot Schröder was free again. He now preferred the name “Mathias Schroeder” and founded all sorts of companies: A “Mathias Schroeder KG Wirtschaftsberatung” in Frankfurt, a “MS Im- und Export Handelsgesellschaft” and a “MS Vertriebsgesellschaft”. The import, export and distribution mainly concerned motor vehicles of the kind that the company founder was enthusiastic about. In Hamburg, Schröder resided in a noble villa on the Elbchaussee, where he was managing director of “Globus INTER GmbH” and chairman of the board of “Synvesco Identum AG”. He now wanted to be addressed as “Dr. Schroeder”, occasionally as “Dr. jur.” and claimed to have gotten a doctorate in Kiel. In the “WELT am SONNTAG” newspaper he placed advertisements as “Dr. Schroeder Promotional Consultancy”, which promised help in getting a doctorate in Spain or at a “London Business School”.
Mathias Gernot Schröder held himself out to aristocratic business partners and customers who visited him in Hamburg as the scion of one of the Hanseatic city’s most distinguished families. His illustrious ancestors hung on the walls of the villa in the Elbchaussee as gloomy oil paintings and daguerreotypes. Schröders Elbpark, the Schröderstift were created thanks to his ancestors. In the Ohlsdorf cemetery a huge mausoleum proclaimed the outstanding importance and extraordinary wealth of the Lutheran pepper dynasty, from which Dr. Schroeder came.
I told you this post was only going to get more interesting, didn’t I? Schröder boasted of his success at a meeting in 2006:
Dr. Schroeder read out his annual statistics for 2006. This time he produced 98 doctoral students in the course of one year. Many of the letters of thanks to be seen in the assembly were laid out in several folders. In one third of the alumni from earlier years, it was found that there was a clear improvement in income after completing the doctorate.
At that time, Dr. jur. Mathias Schroeder, however, was carrying out another research project for his own private purposes. Perhaps he had realized that, in the long run, he couldn’t rely on his alleged doctorate from Kiel. With growing publicity, and in view of repeated investigations by the Hamburg prosecutor’s office for academic title fraud, it had become inconvenient that Mathias Schroeder shared his name with a Kiel lawyer who actually has a doctorate in law. And so Mathias Gernot Schröder quietly said goodbye to his law doctorate and became philosopher. The German National Library holds a copy of his dissertation on “The Relationship of John Rawls’ Theory of Justice to the Doctrine of the Greatest Happiness”, presented at the University of Vienna. With a total of 103 pages, it is pretty short, but it’s obviously excellent work: The title page reports that the Viennese philosophers Norbert Leser and Herbert Hrachovec gave it a grade of “summa cum laude”. The date given for the oral defense is 16 May 2007.
The German National Library should guard this doctoral thesis by Mathias Gernot Schröder very well, because it is obviously a unique specimen. In the Austrian dissertation directory (which is not 100% comprehensive), this dissertation is not listed. There is no trace of it in Austrian libraries. It is also nowhere else to be found. This doctoral thesis on one of the most important moral philosophers of the 20th century declared excellent by two prominent representatives of the profession, has gone completely unnoticed. Nowhere is it quoted. Mathias Schroeder’s doctoral thesis in Vienna seems to have only ever existed in the catacombs of the German National Library. Mathias Gernot Schröder, however, continued his existence as Dr. Schroeder without interruption.
In the German-speaking world (as in many other countries), doctoral dissertations must be deposited on file with a library, which explains why “Dr.” Schröder had to furnish at least one copy to the German National Library. By the way, I completely sympathize with the real Dr. Mathias Schröder from Kiel. My academic titles cost me thousands of hours of work and a six-figure sum in tuition fees which took me 20 years to repay. I take a dim view of people who fake credentials. A very dim view indeed.
But enough of my petty personal resentments. The Schavan blog article continues with a hilarious description of academic degrees conferred by the renowned “Gorgasali
University” in Tbilisi, Georgia, whose sprawling campus is entirely localized in second floor above a dentist’s office in the building you see to the left.
There’s much more in the original blog post about this “university” and the “University of Northwestern Europe”, located in Kerkrade, the Netherlands, which sadly no longer exists. You can get an idea of its former glory from this blog entry.
But after this richly amusing digression, we return to “Dr.” Mathias Schroeder:
Dr. Schroeder supervised his doctoral students with great conscientiousness. There were only occasional interruptions, but they were regularly explained by the vicissitudes of fate and the habits of a cosmopolitan bon vivant, who was at home on all continents and never liked to stay in one place for long. His domicile in Lichtenstein had burned down, it was said, and he routinely felt the need to withdraw completely from all activity for months. His health, he explained, was slightly impaired. But then he returned unexpectedly, asking the candidates to submit exposés within a short period of time and, in future, to regularly send in further parts of the doctoral thesis. Then silence again.
The number of doctoral projects which, under such circumstances, never went beyond the payment of the first installment to the doctoral adviser, is likely to be considerable. But there were also successful degrees. Doctoral studies with the participation of Dr. Schroeder took place for many years at a “London School of Business”. However, as of early 2006, nobody could locate this school. Dr. Schroeder spoke personally on the issue in an Internet forum. The London School of Business is, in fact, not officially listed, and he explained why:
It is not the title-awarding institution. It is exclusively an ad hoc school that prepares externally for exams at accredited schools. The details are set out in the relevant contracts. Furthermore, the doctorate consultancy itself is not my primary business. I run a legal bar exam preparation course, among other things. I also offer seminars which, for example, provide information on the company law position of the “SE” (societas europea).
The school, which was founded “ad hoc”, was then killed off in just as “ad hoc” a fashion, like the legal “doctorate” of the manager of the bar exam preparation business. Yet it was easy to find a replacement: On March 2, 2011, a company by the name of a “Universitas Londiniensis – London School of Economics and Political Science Ltd.” under its director Mathias Gernot Schroeder was entered in the British commercial register. On the same day, the “Universitas Cantabrigiensis Trinity College Ltd” was officially registered. Dr Schroeder’s clients could now choose whether they wanted to do their doctorate in London or Cambridge.
The entries in the official UK Companies House register for these schools still exist, although the schools have long since become defunct. But for a while, Dr. Mathias Schröder had satisfied customers:
People who actually received a doctorate with Dr. Schroeder’s help felt deep gratitude:
My greatest thanks go to my supervisor Dr. Univ. Prof. Dr. M. Schröder, Head and President of the International Division, London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London. He supported the work with great personal commitment and he opened up the opportunity for me to secure a comprehensive systematic and empirical foundation for my work. His willingness to regularly reflect on the methodology of my work and the stimulating discussions showed me new paths and ideas. He also gave me academic freedom, which was crucial to the success of the work.
However, the author of this inaugural dissertation, whose doctoral studies at Universitas Londiniensis Ltd. were completed in February 2012, were also victims of fate. A short while later, Dr. Schroeder’s secondary business operations were severely disrupted, and the doctoral advisor himself was once again untraceable for some time.
The post ends on this dramatic note:
The Doberman was called “Cash” and ate from a bowl studded with false gems. But the elephant and the zebra on the lawn were real, as was the blonde who stretched out lasciviously in the huge champagne glass, as Dr. Jonas Köller celebrated his
thirtieth birthday. Together with his buddy Stephan Schäfer he had built up an empire of 150 companies within a very short time. The S&K Group promised its investors an annual return of a whopping 12%, generated from real estate transactions. In the end, the damages caused by the fraudulent pyramid scheme of the dynamic young entrepreneurs were conservatively estimated at several hundred million euros.
The first crisis of the S&K empire was triggered by internal amours and intrigues. Sales manager Petro Demos and chief accountant Diana Seitz had to leave the company in 2011, and from then on devoted themselves to the fraudulent life insurance business. Her sense of justice, however, was greatly disturbed by the fact that Dr. Jonas Köller might have adorned himself with a false doctorate.
On June 5, 2012, a large contingent of the Bavarian and Hessian police searched various estates of Dr. Jonas Köller in the Frankfurt area, as well as the house of a fake professor and title dealer in Aschaffenburg. While the police were content to simply ring Dr. Köller’s doorbell to be let in, the action in the Aschaffenburg Strietwald housing estate took a rather unusual course: A helicopter roared above the house while a black-clad special task force smashed the patio window. Because when it comes to Mathias Gernot Schröder, you have to be prepared for anything.
Köller and Schäfer were later sentenced to prison terms for the “S&K Group” fraud, which involved some €240 million in damages.
Murder, fraud, betrayal, degree mills, luxury cars, investigations, Ponzi schemes, blondes in giant champagne glasses, Dobermans named “Cash”, elephants, zebras, an incinerated chateau (presumably) in Lichtenstein — at this point, you’re asking yourself: “Can this blog post get any more interesting?”
I’m here to tell you, gentle reader, yes. It can.
The comments to the 2016 post are as entertaining as the post itself. The main reason is that not just one, but two “Mathias G. Schröder”s posted comments to it. One of the Schröders, who calls himself “Mathias G. Schröder (now in London)”, writes in sloppy German. Both complain that the post is inaccurate and defamatory, and the “real” Mathias G. Schröder, whoever he is, promises to sue the blog posters for unauthorized copying of his photo from his Facebook page. Here is one representative comment from one of the Schröders:
The internet attack against my person which was carried out here is spreading to such an extent that a fake commentary has already been posted in my name. Based on the weaknesses of the content of the submitted comment, I will indeed take legal action. Characteristic for this post seems to me that there is even a copyright violation regarding the picture of me in the post, which was illegally copied from my Facebook page and thus stolen. It has already been researched who the actual author [of the blog post] was at the University of Kassel. She calls herself “Simone” here, but only the first letter of the Lithuanian name matches the real name of the lady. The Kassel public prosecutor’s office is currently conducting further investigations into this matter against the author of this post.
If you’re not sure what to make of this, join the club. Schröder and “Simone” go at it for a few more rounds, and everything just gets much more confusing from Schröder’s side.
A few other comments are worth posting. One “Old Latin Guy” posts:
On the University of Northwest Europe’s Internet site (http://wordpress.une-edu.eu/) [Yes, that’s right, the university website was at one point a WordPress blog, and is sadly no longer extant — AH], university graduates, and people who want to become graduates, are still greeted in Latin, with these powerful and evocative words:
“Phasellus ultricies mi luctus faucibus proin lobortis tortor sagittis commodo varius vitae fringilla risus. Lacus eleifend pellentesque augue velit mauris mi curae praesent egestas amet at. Orci nulla donec gravida sed.”
[“Nam ultricies tortor bows of mourning passes microwave convenience casino customers laughter. Apple Japan wants mi care nutrition propaganda film at present enforcement. But until there is no clinical pregnant.”]
Here we see classical education still being given its rightful place. And I find the fee of 475 Euro for the right to call yourself “Professor” for one year quite reasonable.
So, in this spirit: Ad multos annos! Lacus eleifend!
A certain Nicolaus Hess writes:
Dr. Mathias Gernot Schröder, whom I once had the privilege of meeting at Ziegenhain Castle, is really one of the most extraordinary and educated men, on whose word you can always rely.
[The august and ancient Ziegenhain Castle houses the high-security section of the Schwalmstadt-Ziegenhain prison and thus offers optimal conditions for thorough character studies. -eds.]
I should note that I don’t know whether Schröder was ever incarcerated at this prison. I just thought it was an amusing comment.
IV. The Söring Connection, Redux
But you may be asking yourself right now: “Andrew, this was all good clean fun, but what does this have to do with Jens Söring?” A good question. And the answer is, plenty. I have to apologize in advance that this post is going to get slightly more vague from this point on. As I’ve mentioned, many people have been contacting me with information about the Söring case, and I have promised to maintain their confidentiality upon request. However, I have carefully checked their information, and I have no doubts that it’s accurate.
So now we come to the parallel history of Mathias G. Schröder. In about 2005, Mathias G. Schröder became aware that Jens Söring was claiming to be innocent, and had started a website. Well, “Dr.” Schröder couldn’t let that pass unnoticed. After all, he had spent time in prison with Söring in 1986, and Söring had supposedly confessed to him. How could a man of sterling integrity like Dr. Mathias G. Schröder let that go unanswered?
So Dr. Schröder took up contact with persons in the circle of Elizabeth Haysom, who was in prison as an accomplice to Söring’s murders. He assured these people that Söring was, in fact, a dangerous sociopath and liar (pot, meet kettle). He sent letters in the mid-2000s saying all sorts of disturbing things about Jens Söring, going far beyond the few conversations they’d had in prison. These folks, who knew very little about Schröder because they couldn’t read German, were impressed. Schröder can write passable English, as befits a professor at the “London School of Economics and Political Science, Ltd.”.
But that’s not all. Someone also began sending viciously hateful letters and postcards, from Germany and in German, to Jens Söring in prison in Virginia. These writings contained all sorts of bizarre claims and cynical attacks. For instance, they congratulated Söring on the anniversary of his imprisonment, and gleefully speculated about the sexual humiliation Söring must be experiencing in prison. These letters and postcards are clearly the sign of a disturbed mind. As we know, Schröder was out of prison during this time frame. Someone under various aliases (one of them “Ashford1986” — hint hint) also began posting on a popular German internet forum, allmystery.de, claiming vaguely to have some sort of inside story on Söring. Söring’s website also mentioned Mathias G. Schröder as a stalker for some time, although that information has since been taken down.
The website Jens Soering Guilty as Charged posted some letters from a person claiming to be Mathias Schröder, including his 2018 letter to the Virginia Parole Board. The author of that blog, who prefers to remain anonymous, is known to me personally. The author took steps to verify the identity of Mathias Schröder. However, because the author does not read German, he/she was not privy to the information about Schröder in the German press. Further, as we have seen, Schroeder is an accomplished fraudster. The author of the blog published these letters in complete good faith, and indicated, accurately, that they were merely additional evidence in the overall overwhelming case against Jens Söring. The author is in no way to blame for being taken in by Mathias Schröder — even many native German speakers have been fooled by him.
Jens Söring was obviously also concerned by the foul abuse he was getting from Germany. From online pictures, Söring recognized Mathias Schröder as a much older version of the man he was imprisoned with in England in 1986. Members of Söring’s legal team also researched Schröder and discovered links between him and the letters. Based on this, Söring eventually decided that Mathias Schroeder must be the man behind all of the efforts to skeptically examine Söring’s innocence claims. Söring concluded, for instance, that the blog Jens Soering Guilty as Charged was actually written in whole or in part by Mathias Schröder. Söring also concluded that it was Mathias Schröder who prompted me, Andrew Hammel, to begin writing critically about his case. Söring has shared these theories with German media figures.
Essentially, he argues that I am either knowingly or unknowingly being somehow directed or inspired by Mathias G. Schröder to write the articles and posts I have written. This may be the reason that, as I noted in the podcast interview with Die Welt, that people in Germany who are associated with Jens Söring have refused to even acknowledge my existence — perhaps they heard from Söring himself that I am merely a sock-puppet for a mentally unstable fraudster and killer, and therefore my articles and posts may be safely ignored. Once again, we see the risks of believing what Jens Söring says about his case.
So let me set the record straight, once and for all: I have never met or corresponded with Mathias G. Schröder in any way, and I earnestly hope that I never will. I believe it is possible Jens Söring did make incriminating statements to Schröder in 1986 in Ashford Remand Center (even Söring concedes this), but even if that did happen, that is only incidental to the monumental proof of Söring’s guilt. It could also have been idle boasting to try to make Söring look tough and discourage confrontations. Söring wouldn’t have been the first prisoner to adopt this tactic in the unforgiving environment of prison.
Given what we now know about Mathias G. Schröder, nothing he says can be taken at face value. It’s not just that he has no credibility — he has negative credibility. And the author of the Jens Soering Guilty as Charged blog is without a doubt, not Mathias G. Schröder. The author is a responsible and well-informed observer, who has earned impressive academic credentials and a successful career the proper way.
Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post. I know I enjoyed writing it.