Criminal Law, Evidence, Murder, Police and Prosecutors, Self-Promotion, Soering, True Crime

How Much Did Elizabeth “Tell” Söring About The Murders?


The podcast begins tomorrow, and the German magazine Focus has a teaser for it here.

Just to clarify: I did not produce this podcast, nor was it even my idea. It was produced by professionals at CCC Film and Argon Labs. I had no editorial control over the podcast. The final product reflects the contributions of many different people and a team of dedicated professionals. You may hear my opinions in the podcast, but you’ll hear others as well. In particular, you’ll hear from two people with much deeper insights into Jens Söring than I have: Terry Wright, author of the “Detectives’ Report” about the case, and a former supporter of Jens Söring.

And now for today’s post.

I’d always heard that Söring had maintained a German-language blog, but didn’t really think much about it until recently, when I stumbled across the “Black Hamburg” blog post from the disappointed Jens Söring supporter who, she maintains, was excluded from his inner circle for questioning Söring’s claims.

Now someone has posted the actual blog entry which prompted Jenny’s skepticism (thanks!) as a comment (g) to my previous post. It’s mostly a long, rambling analysis of just how unstable Elizabeth Haysom was, and why Jens Söring decided to “save her life” anyway. There’s no question Elizabeth Haysom was a profoundly troubled person, but Söring’s intensity on this subject is bit chilling: You get a clear idea how many thousands of hours he has spent musing about ways to discredit Elizabeth Haysom.

It turns out the blog entries Söring posted are still available via the Wayback Machine. I’ve been going through the blog entries as time permits, looking for changes in Söring’s story. I thought this one, from April 4, 2012, was striking. In it, he writes:

“Am frühen Morgen des 31. März 1985, während Elizabeth und ich mit größter Sorgfalt mein falsches Geständnis konstruierten…”

“In the early hours of 31 March 1985, while Elizabeth and I created my false confession with great care…”

You can just picture them both ensconced for hours in conversation, with Elizabeth drawing diagrams and mimicking the knife attacks she used while personally killing both of her parents. Amazingly, she was able to describe the scene in great detail despite the fact that she was under the influence of “drugs” (which ones Söring has never identified).

But wait, you might ask yourself, didn’t Söring say something entirely different while speaking to an American audience in English? Indeed he did, in his 1995 e-book Mortal Thoughts:

I told Liz what I had done, so she could confess convincingly how she arranged the alibi. Then Elizabeth described the scene of crime, and I tried to imagine how I might have been driven to kill her parents. She did not tell me why she had driven to Lynchburg or what had actually happened at Loose Chippings, and I did not want to know. We never mentioned the murders directly to one another again.

What did Söring say at trial, you might ask? Here is the main part (Transcript of June 18, 1990, pp. 67-68):

Q: Did she tell you any of the details of what happened at that time?

A: It really wasn’t like that. The way it worked is that, you know, she would tell me what I would say to make it believable, and obviously from that you can tell some of the things that must have happened.

Q: Well give the jury an example of how that conversation took place.

A: Um, for example, this business about, you know, what happened at the house, where was — what was her mother doing, what did you do next, what did you talk about, what room did you move into next, the business of moving from the living room into the dining room, what did you do then, well, you know, you had a meal, and I’d say okay, and put that into my story and repeat it back to her and try it out on her, okay?

So, which of these conflicting versions is true? None of them, of course — this conversation never happened, which is why Söring has trouble describing it consistently. They always say that when inventing a lie, you should stick as close to the truth as possible, to reduce the risk of inconsistencies. Yet here, Söring had no choice: He had to invent this fabrication from whole cloth, and it shows.

The moral of the story is: Whenever you hear Jens Söring talk about his case, keep in mind that he’s likely said something different to some other audience, depending on what language he’s using, what sort of impression he wants to make, and what falsehoods and exaggerations he thinks he can get away with.

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