The most recent episode of Small Town Big Crime on the Söring case is out, called “The Battle Lines”. The podcasters continue their vain attempts to get anyone in the Söring camp to comment on the gaps and inconsistencies in Söring’s story.
They first reach out to Söring, who stonewalls them. As I predicted in my last post, Söring did in fact refuse to answer critical, well-informed questions from Small Town Big Crime on the record. It’s his only real choice, but it deals another blow to his credibility. We also learn that Söring’s American lawyer, Steven Rosenfield, is now also refusing to answer their questions, after speaking with them several times in the past.
Having been stonewalled by Söring and his lawyers, STBC turns to another question: How did Söring convince so many people to buy into his story?
They go back to the vault and dig out earlier interviews with Steven Rosenfield and Chip Harding. Rosenfield first talks about the failed attempt to have Söring transferred back to Germany in 2010. Harding, for his part, admits that he formed his opinions about the Söring case based on material Steven Rosenfield had sent him. That is, Harding relied on a cherry-picked, one-sided dossier of material which excludes or downplays the grave problems with Söring’s credibility and the inconsistencies in his stories.
After unwisely relying on this one-sided presentation, Harding says he then contacted his “friend”, music producer and criminal-justice activist Jason Flom. Thus, we now know how Flom became involved in this affair. This all appears to have happened sometime between 2010 and 2016. Flom confirms that he had never heard of the case before speaking to Harding, but that he had watched the pro-Söring propaganda vehicle Killing for Love. This STBC podcast episode makes it clear that Chip Harding played a key role, perhaps the key role, in creating “Team Söring” in the broader sense. The reporters then briefly review the involvement of Hudson and Reid, the press conferences, etc.
After this history, they turn to McClintock, asking him whether the unidentified DNA could belong to Derek Haysom, judging by comparison to Elizabeth’s full DNA profile, which (unlike Derek’s) is known. McClintock wrote back by email, saying all the unidentified DNA could belong to Derek Haysom, that Derek was thus not excluded, but that there were too many empty loci to permit a definitive statement. This strikes me as a fully accurate statement of the case. The reporters politely press him: Using the same techniques that did exclude Söring, the drifters, and Jim Farmer, can you now exclude Derek Haysom? The answer is no. McClintock sounds genuinely reluctant to have to confirm this conclusion, but he’s to be congratulated on his honesty.
The podcasters then call Moses Schanfield, who refuses to comment on the DNA evidence because it would cost him “time I don’t have”, and merely reconfirms his confidence in the blood-typing analysis. Which, as we have seen, is of little value. Schanfield then goes far beyond his remit, asserting in an email cc’ed to Jens Söring that there was no evidence Söring was at the crime scene, “unlike Elizabeth” (he doesn’t specify what this evidence is), and that the investigating officers had “a certain degree of observational bias”. This would seem to confirm that Schanfield, unlike McClintock, is still a full-on Team Söring partisan.
The podcasters then confirm, as noted above that Steve Rosenfield is also now refusing to speak with them, so they turn to the investigators Chip Harding and Richard Hudson. Harding scoffs at the idea the DNA could all have come from Derek Haysom, saying that scenario is as likely as aliens visiting the crime scene. One of the reporters presses him and the following exchange occurs:
Reporter: “McClintock said that’s possible–”
Harding: “Possible, sweetheart. It’s also possible that the alien came down… What is the degree of possibility?”
It’s a tribute to their professionalism that the reporters don’t harp on that revealing “sweetheart” (the podcasters are all women). Neither Harding nor Hudson, the reporters reveal, has read the Wright report. Hudson, for his part, invokes the standard Team Söring line that the prosecution mentioned Type O blood over twenty times in its closing argument, etc. etc. Hudson complains that the “Doc” with all his “fancy equipment” can’t tell whether the DNA results came from blood or some other type of cell. It’s pretty clear Hudson is well out of his depth here.
At the end, the podcasters, sum up, nobody is budging on the DNA issue. They then tease the next episode, in which they promise to investigate the Washington Marriott alibi, and do some “forensic testing” of their own. They include an audio clip of one of them talking about “9 and 1/2”, so this is obviously going to revolve around shoe sizes. They also mention a theory which nobody has yet considered.
SPOILER ALERT: I’m going to tell you what I think that theory is in the next post. But first, please go to the Patreon page for the podcast and sign up. These reporters have brought an incredible amount of new information to the case and cleared up many outstanding issues. The least you can do is help them out.