While browsing the always-interesting German-language Allmystery forum about Söring’s case, I came across this article from 2010, last updated 2013. I think it speaks for itself:
LYNCHBURG — Richard Haysom said this of the brutal 1985 slayings of his parents, Nancy and Derek Haysom: “That ignominious day was for our family, our ‘Sept. 11’ — it never goes away.”
Howard Haysom said his parents’ murderer, Jens Soering, “has turned himself into a cottage industry of falsehood, criminal celebrity and evil.”
Nancy Haysom’s brother, Louis Benedict, said Soering and Elizabeth Haysom, also convicted in the crime, “should remain in Virginia prisons until they both take their final breaths.”
These statements are made in letters from family members sent to the U.S. attorney general to urge the federal government not to allow the transfer of Soering, a former University of Virginia student, to a German prison. The transfer was approved by former Gov. Timothy M. Kaine before he left office last month, but needs approval from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Letters from family members — as well as correspondence from prosecutors, police and other local government officials — have been sent to Washington along with a copy of a resolution approved by the state Senate on Tuesday but still awaiting House approval.
“We were totally surprised, dumbfounded and completely taken aback to learn that now ex-Gov. Kaine had signed a document releasing Soering to the U.S. Department of Justice for extradition consideration back to Germany,” Louis Benedict wrote in his letter, dated Jan. 19.
Soering was convicted in 1990 in the stabbing deaths of Derek and Nancy Haysom in their Bedford County home. Their daughter Elizabeth Haysom — Soering’s former girlfriend and a fellow UVa student — is serving 90 years in prison as an accessory in the deaths.
The Justice Department declined to comment Thursday on the status of the transfer request.
Haysom family members wrote about their shock at learning about Kaine’s action. They had no opportunity to voice their concerns before the request was sent, Louis Benedict wrote.
“No! I have no sympathy, especially for Soering who I believe wielded the knife. They both deserve the life sentences that were handed down by the Virginia court system,” he wrote.
Maj. Ricky Gardner, of the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office, investigated the case. His four-page letter describes the investigation, the flight of the two suspects, their capture in England and the subsequent trial in Bedford.
“This was by far the worst crime scene I have ever witnessed,” Gardner wrote.
During Soering’s confession, Gardner wrote, “he stated that Mr. and Mrs. Haysom did not approve of him and he drove to their home to try and change their minds. But, if he was unsuccessful he was going to kill them.”
During an interview with Elizabeth Haysom, Gardner wrote, she told Gardner that after he interviewed Soering, Soering wanted to kill him.
“She said that apparently he had followed me home and he knew where I lived. She described my house to me and where I parked my car,” Gardner wrote. “She pointed out in the diary an entry that she made on Monday October 7 about having to go to a doctor and have some test done. She said she made up that story so he would not come back and kill me. …
“At her sentencing hearing, Elizabeth testified to what she had told me about Jens’ plan to come back and kill me. My wife was sitting in the courtroom at the time and she had to be carried out. I didn’t tell her so she wouldn’t worry.”
Gardner said he did not know of Kaine’s actions until Risque Benedict, brother of Nancy Haysom, called to tell him.
“I feel that sending Soering to Germany would be a terrible miscarriage of justice and a slap in the face of the victim’s family,” Gardner wrote. “These murders occurred in Virginia and he should be punished in Virginia.”
Howard Haysom wrote that one concession has already been made for Soering — he was extradited from Germany only after assurances that he would not face the death penalty in the U.S. He urged the Justice Department to make no further concessions.
“While in prison, Jens has written articles and books criticizing my parents, Virginia and the corrections system,” Howard Haysom wrote. “He has long aspired to return to Germany. This murderer has turned himself into a cottage industry of falsehood, criminal celebrity and evil.”
The Senate resolution, sponsored by Sen. Steve Newman, R-Lynchburg, states the General Assembly supports the revocation of the state’s consent to transfer Soering.