Criminal Law, Murder, Police and Prosecutors, Soering, True Crime, Uncategorized

“[A] cottage industry of falsehood, criminal celebrity and evil.”

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.

1 thought on ““[A] cottage industry of falsehood, criminal celebrity and evil.””

  1. If you compare the testimony of Annie Massie of Oct. 6, 1987 in the Sentence Hearing transcript (page 472) with Steven Rosenfield’s office scene in the Vetter/Steinberger film at 1:29:20 in which Soering by telephone alleges a conspiracy to cover up the sexual abuse of Elizabeth Haysom by her mother when Elizabeth was in her late teens, and that Judge Sweeney is complicit in this cover-up to protect the family of an old friend, I think one will realize that both lawyer and film-makers are resorting to deception and certainly even to defamation to make the case for Jens Soering’s innocence and release.

    The existence of the nude photos is one thing. Any discussion of them would take time.

    But the allegations made in the Vetter/Steinberger film that the photos were known to the Lynchburg arts community; that Nancy Haysom had made them, and that they were shown to her friends, are simply not true.

    On page 472, Annie Massie states: “I was shown some nude photographs….” This was by the police after the murders. She had never seen them before. Noone in the Lynchburg arts community, none of Nancy Haysom’s friends had ever seen these photos. Only Jens Soering had seen them.

    Annie Massie goes on to state that she assumed that Nancy had taken them. And she defends the practice of artists sketching and painting nude models. To put it simply, I see this as a point where Jim Updike slipped up. The defense scored a few points. Updike should have walked back through the whole question of what Annie Massie thought about her friend’s character. Wasn’t this out of character? Remember that Elizabeth gave all appearances at this point to those psychiatrists who examined her of being a very disturbed young woman. Even psychotic. She was diagnosed with a BPD with the possibility of a developing psychosis a year after the crimes, right here in Charlottesville. She was also, to those who knew her well, most likely a gay woman. I see her as a brilliant, attractive, powerful bisexual woman who was also quite vulnerable. Now, I could on about what information is available about who took those photos. Or why.

    But that is not my point here.

    What I am stating here is that Soering is making very serious allegations about judicial conspiracy, and about a casual knowledge and possibly acceptance of sexually inappropriate relationships in the old families–old southern thing you might think– which is directly contradicted by the record of the trial.

    Please let me repeat: Noone knew about these photos. Noone but Jens Soering had seen them until after the crimes. The photos were a surprise and they have been a black spot on Nancy Haysom’s reputation ever since.

    But you have here (yet again), in this short section of video, a licensed appellate lawyer and presumably insured filmmakers allowing their client/subject to launch off again and again into an explosive and deliberate diatribe of lying and defamation of the court and of some gentlefolk of Lynchburg, Virginia. Soering’s team seems to me to be like diligent trollworkers who have hijacked the case and moved it into a much larger international setting, a floating setting where they now have control of the whole thing.

    It’s Orwellian.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.