ProSieben is a German private TV channel which serves a mass audience with shows such as Germany’s Next Topmodel, which is its official title. Note that it makes sense neither in English nor in German.
A few days ago, the ProSieben television show “Galileo” ran a segment on Jens Söring which you can watch here in German on YouTube:
Here, the producers completely fell for Söring’s innocence claims. The subtitle of the segment is “Innocent in Prison”, and the segment even features brief re-enactments of Sörings alternative history, such as Elizabeth supposedly returning to the Washington, Marriott hotel room with blood on her “sleeves”. Actually, in Söring’s fantasy version, there was no blood on Elizabeth’s sleeves, because she had change clothing. Instead, there was dried blood on Elizabeth’s forearms.
The producers found a German criminal-defense lawyer, André Miegel, to comment on the case. Miegel has obviously simply swallowed the Söring “Media Pack” whole, without the slightest attempt to verify any of its claims. At 4:32 he claims that Söring only confessed because he was the “son of a diplomat” and thought he had some sort of immunity. That is, of course, false. During all of his recorded interrogations Söring never once mentioned diplomatic immunity, and he was explicitly warned by detectives that he would be extradited to Virginia to face trial there.
Miegel then says, at 8:05, that he “has never experienced a case in which someone was ultimately convicted based on a sockprint, at least in Germany.” Of course, Söring was convicted based on his confessions, which contained guilty knowledge only the person who personally committed the crime could have obtained, the testimony of Elizabeth Haysom, the comments in the diaries, which Söring admitted himself were “incredibly damning” in his June 7, 1986 interview”, the presence of Type O blood in the places where Söring’s confessions stated it should be, his post-crime behavior, and other factors. This is why he lost all of his appeals and why the courts declared the evidence against him “overwhelming”.
Miegel’s final statement is in fact largely correct: Söring was released on parole and may no longer return to the USA. Miegel then says that Söring, “at least in America”, remains a convicted murderer. Actually, he remains a convicted murderer everywhere. Anders Breivik would remain a convicted murderer even if he escaped and settled in South Africa.
The segment also alleges (not in a statement by Miegel) that Jim Updike struck a “deal” with Elizabeth Haysom for her testimony. This is false. As the Washington Post reported at the time: “Updike said Haysom’s court-appointed lawyers told him in advance of Haysom’s decision, but added there had been no plea bargain arrangement or agreement on what the sentence should be.”
This was a particularly disgraceful showing by the German media. The producers of the segment simply fell for Söring’s lies and repeated them to an audience of hundreds of thousands. Nor do they have the excuse of ignorance: By now, there is a huge mass of objective information and critical analysis of this case open to the public — lots of it provided by me — which would instantly have shown the producers that Söring’s version is false. The fact that they failed to consult any of this material is a black mark.
As time permits, I will be filing complaints about this show and getting in touch with Andre Miegel to try to get this piece of misleading propaganda pulled from the airwaves or at least accompanied by some corrections.
It won’t happen, of course, but at least someone has to give a fig about the truth. Feel free to submit your own complaints!
Now, on a happier note, I can finally reveal that my efforts on this case have been rewarded! I came home the other day to find an unexpected package in my physical mailbox. It was sent to me by a fan of the blog (or at least someone who’s read my Söring pieces). He thanked me for my tireless efforts to correct the record, and even included a book: “The Truth about Hansel and Gretel” (it even has its own English-language Wikipedia page) a satire by the legendary Hans Traxler, author of the equally-classic “Scenes from the Life of a Gummy Bear”. The supporter wanted to assure me that Germans indeed have a sense of humor, but on that score I need no convincing.
I had always wanted to read the Hansel and Gretel book but never gotten around to it. Now, thanks to none other than Jens Söring, I finally can. Thanks very much, Mr. Supporter!