Here’s a German interview with Jens Söring from a podcast called “Völlig Überzogen” (Totally Overdone/Exaggerated). At around minute 21:00 he begins talking about his case:
It’s always interesting to see how Söring subtly shapes and changes his story depending on whom he’s talking to and who he presumes the audience for his tale will be.
The Elizabeth Flip-Flop
I’ll note some more subtle changes below, but I wanted to point out a glaring story change at 33:58 where Söring says “It later turned out that there was not only no proof against me, but also no proof against her.” — i.e., Elizabeth Haysom. He even repeats this statement 3 times — “there also wasn’t any proof against her!”.
This would seem to be some attempt at reaching out an olive branch to Elizabeth Haysom after 30 years of lies and defamation. Yet it’s also an amazing flip-flop: In 1990, Söring maintained under oath that Elizabeth killed her parents, and then repeated this accusation in books and interviews until the year 2020. He constantly pointed his fans and supporters to supposed evidence of her involvement, such as her fingerprints on a vodka bottle in the Haysom home, and a tiny fleck of blood on a towel in the kitchen which may have been Elizabeth Haysom’s blood type. Both of these things were meaningless, since Haysom lived in the home during college vacations and had even visited it just a week before the murders. Yet Söring constantly pointed to these items as evidence to support his own accusation that Elizabeth killed her parents.
By late 2019, Söring had amended and embellished his story about Elizabeth’s murder-rampage by weaving a tale in which (1) Elizabeth drove to Jim F.’s house, (2) got high on “drugs”, (3) left the party with Jim F. and a few random drifters or college “drug-fiends”, (4) drove to Lynchburg, (5) switched cars for some reason, (6) murdered the Haysoms in a drug-fuelled frenzy, and then (6) Elizabeth switched back to the rental car, dropped Jim F. and the college drug-fiends/drifters somewhere, and returned to the Washington Marriott to confess to Jens Söring that she murdered her parents. Believe it or not, this crazy tale was the version he was flogging to his American audiences in the late 2010s.
Now, the whole story vanishes like magic! There was never any proof against Elizabeth! This duplicity is brazen even by Jens Söring’s standards. Of course, the clueless interviewers simply accept it, since they don’t know any better. This is the most spectacular story change in the interview, and one which may well come back to haunt Söring later.
Further Changes: We Fled the Country Together
The young lovers flee the USA together in October 1986 because “they” thought the police were after “them”. This is, of course, grossly misleading, since Söring fled the country alone, after wiping his fingerprints from his auto and his apartment. And he left because suspicion was focusing on him, not Elizabeth. Elizabeth had already given blood and fingerprint samples, allowing the police to determine there was no evidence she was at the crime scene. Söring fled the country alone because he was terrified of giving samples, which he believed would incriminate him. In his current version, he treats Söring/Haysom as one unit, in order to confuse and distract hearers into thinking they both fled at the same time for the same reasons. They didn’t, of course.
The Detectives Treated Me Fine
Söring then describes his confessions in London. This part is sort of interesting: Söring does not claim any kind of intimidation by the police. He asserts that Elizabeth confessed, but admits her remark was brief and flippant, whereas his confessions were long and detailed. We see here that Söring has decided to completely abandon any allegations of threats or isolation from the world, which were key aspects of his story up until his release.
What this says to me, and to anyone who’s followed the case, is that Söring realize how badly he screwed up by lying about the circumstances of this interrogation. First, his false accusation of extortion against Beever (Beever threatened to hurt Elizabeth if I didn’t confess) backfired spectacularly. Every week I get at least 3-4 emails from people who stumble across my FAZ articles or the Wright report and get in touch to let me know that they no longer believe Söring. The most common aspect of the case they mention is Söring’s slander against Kenneth Beever. This lie was so spectacularly implausible — and so hard to reconcile with the other aspects of his story — that Söring now never mentions it.
The second reason Söring no longer complains about the London interrogations is presumably because he realizes he awakened a sleeping giant. The London detectives who took his confessions — in a completely honest and lawful manner, for which they were rewarded by citations — did not like being defamed by a killer and fraudster. Söring is learning the painful lesson now that when you lie about people and attack their reputations, they feel obliged to respond. Now the Wright report exists, both in German and English. Söring has presumably also listened to the trailers for the new podcast, and recognizes the English-accented voice in them. Terry Wright speaking at length about the case is one of Söring’s worst nightmares, and it appears to be coming true. Söring is therefore desperate to avoid the subject — now.
Söring Admits He Waited 4 Years to “Retract” his Confessions
Curiously, in this interview Söring also admits, as far as I can tell for the first time, that he only “recanted” his confessions at trial, years after he had made them. This is also a subtle but important shift. Previously, he had hinted or even directly said that he recanted his confessions right after he made them — this is even the version his confessions expert, Dr. Andy Griffiths, unwittingly endorsed.
Söring apparently now understands that those who know the case know that he stood by his confessions for 4 years, until the very eve of trial, when he had to make a desperate strategy change and contend they were coerced/false. There is now so much accurate information about the case available to the public that Söring no longer thinks he can get away with misleading the public about when he “recanted” his confession.
Even in the face of clueless interviewers like these, the circle of things Söring’s audience can be expected to believe keeps getting narrower and narrower.
Söring then mentions his trial: My confessions were the main evidence, there was hardly anything else linking me to the crime, the sockprint impression was worthless, Elizabeth Haysom could have left the sockprint, etc. Of course, Söring doesn’t mention that Elizabeth Haysom willingly gave her footprint to the police, while Söring was so unwilling to do so that he fled the country and sacrificed a free college education to avoid giving the police his finger or footprints. Söring then claims that the prosecution “concealed” Elizabeth Haysom’s footprints because they were consistent with the bloody sockprint. This is a lie disproven by the trial record itself: the prosecution actually introduced a set of her voluntarily-provided footprints at trial.
“We’ll Never Know the Truth”
After Söring got a bit lost in the weeds discussing why he confessed, coming back over and over to the point that he would never have been convicted if he hadn’t confessed, the female interviewer has had enough. She interrupts him and tries to move him back to his experiences after prison (35:10). But Söring can’t stop talking about his case! When she asks him the biggest changes he’s notices after returning to the free world, he says that it’s the degradation in the notion of truth. When he went away, there were encyclopedias which told you what the truth was.
Now, there’s only the Internet and Wikipedia, where everyone has their own reality. Why, even the Wikipedia entries about Söring himself change all the time, he notes, without mentioning that either he or his paid PR consultants and diehard fans are doing most of the changing. He then laments the fact that there are now supposedly two opposing camps about his case, one which thinks he’s innocent and the other who are “rock-solid convinced I’m guilty”. According to him, each side thinks the others are “total idiots”.
Here we see another clever move by Söring, his friend and media lawyer Stephan Grulert, and his PR consultants. They seem aware that there is now enough accurate information out there about Jens Söring’s deceptions that they won’t be able to convince anyone with access to Google. So they’re retreating to the he-said, she-said strategy. “Yes, there are haters out there, but I’m sticking to my story, and who can say where the truth lies? It’s all relative to your point of view, etc. What is reality, anyway?”
It’s probably the only move they have left at this point, but it’s weak. And even this wishy-washy “who can say what the truth is?” position is going to get less and less defensible as more of the actual truth comes out.