I wanted to briefly address one of the more interesting incidents in the Söring saga, but one which I still haven’t been able to confirm with as many sources as I’d like.
Both during her 1987 trial and her testimony in Jens Söring’s 1990 trial, Elizabeth Haysom testified that Söring was so enraged by her decision to allow her extradition to the USA and to plead guilty there that he tried to strangle her in open court. The context: Both were in English prisons in 1987, awaiting extradition to the USA. They appeared together, as long as it was assumed that both of them would fight against extradition to Virginia.
However, at some time in late 1986 or early 1987, Haysom decided she would “waive” extradition — that is, she would agree to be extradited back to Virginia to face trial. This decision would have been extremely alarming to Söring, because he would know that her returning to Virginia would greatly increase the chances of her potentially testifying against him.
Here’s Haysom’s testimony from 1987 about one of these court hearings in London (p. 213):
“Q Did Jens put any pressure on you to contest it [i.e., to try to stop her extradition to the USA]?
A Yes, he did.
Q And again, was that through his letters to you?
A Yes, through his letters and also at an appearance in February in court he made a scene about it. And after that he was handcuffed in court with me and kept away from me because of his outbreak.”
And here’s her more detailed account from Söring’s trial, on Day 9, pp. 90-91):
“Q May the 8th, 1987. Well before we get to that, I wanted to ask you, was there any reaction from the defendant to your decision of pleading guilty, and I’m talking about reaction in person between the two of you.
A Yes. The second to last time that Jens and I went up for extradition together, we saw each other in the courtroom we were sitting in the dock together, there was debate going on in the courtroom about my barrister had asked for the cases to be separated so that I could be extradited, and his barrister was saying that for various reasons that they could not be separated, and I was asked — the Judge asked me how I felt, and I said that I wanted to waive [i.e., not challenge] my extradition. And Jens grabbed me by the throat in the courtroom, and he had to be removed. And the final time that we appeared together, he had to be handcuffed and escorted in the courtroom, and at that time the cases were separated, and I appeared my final time on April 15th.”
Did this really happen? I tend to think it did. The primary evidence is that Elizabeth Haysom testified about this twice in open court, and nobody, as far as I can tell, ever disputed her account. I haven’t re-read the transcript lately, but I remember keeping an eye out while reading it to see if anyone — especially Söring — said “No, that’s not true, that didn’t happen.”
The other reason I find it plausible is that Söring quite obviously still harbors an obsessive hatred for Elizabeth Haysom. Even in this most recent interview, which came out just today (and is, unfortunately, another journalistic clusterfuck), all you have to do is listen to Söring’s tone of voice when he talks about her. When they met in court and it became clear to him that she was going to voluntarily return to the USA and almost certainly testify against him, his rage must have been titanic. I can easily imagine him leaping over a bench and attacking her. And she has stated twice that he did so, in open court, in front of millions of people (if we include the TV audience) who could have disproven what she said.
Now to my bleg: The hearing in London apparently happened in February of 1987, assuming the above dates are accurate. I don’t know whether extradition hearings were public in the UK at this time. If they were, and if reporters were there, there would be likely be some record of this incident in the British press. Yet I can’t find anything. Does anyone who is reading this have any insight into this? Perhaps someone has access to a press database which might help shed some light? Any help would be greatly appreciated!