First, a little housekeeping: Episode 3 of the new Jens Söring podcast (g), “A Toxic Relationship”, was a sinister but intriguing look at the bizarre dynamics of the Jens Söring/Elizabeth Haysom relationship.
Episode 4 drops Tuesday, it’s on any podcast app.
Now onto another subject: What could Jens Söring’s lawyers tell us?
Söring’s friend, the filmmaker Marcus Vetter, once said (g): “In my eyes, Jens Söring is a basically honest guy. He has nothing to hide.”
Me, I’m not so sure. Is Vetter right?
Well, there’s one way to find out. Since age 18, Söring has been represented by dozens of lawyers. The ones who might have the most interesting things to say are Richard A. Neaton and William A. Cleaveland, who represented him at his 1990 trial. Another is Prof. Dr. Andreas Frieser, a lawyer from Bonn, Germany, who represented Söring during Söring’s December 30, 1986 confession to the Haysom murders.
As far as I know, all of these men are still alive. You can hear a 2016 statement from Dr. Frieser here (g) in which he argues for Söring’s release. Interestingly, Frieser claims that “new evidence” has undermined the case against Söring, but he hedges his bet: “[E]ven if Söring committed the crime as an 18-year-old,” Frieser adds, “he would only have received a maximum of 10 years’ youth imprisonment under German law.”
Frieser spoke with Söring privately for 20 minutes on December 30, 1986, before Söring confessed the murders of the Haysoms to the then-State Prosecutor of Bonn, Germany, Bernd König. What did Söring and Frieser talk about? Frieser stayed for Söring’s entire confession (which König found convincing, and still does not doubt was accurate), and even interjected a few times.
Does he believe Söring was lying during this confession? Or did Söring also admit his guilt privately to Frieser, which is why Frieser is unwilling to endorse Söring’s innocence without caveats and reservations?
It would also be very interesting to hear Richard Neaton and William Cleaveland’s thoughts. Some questions which might be interesting: Richard Neaton stated at Söring’s 1990 trial that he, Neaton, had possessed alibi evidence proving Söring’s innocence (ticket stubs and room-service receipts) for three years prior to Söring’s trial, but that he had never informed his client about this fact. It sure would be interesting to know why! It would also be interesting to know what the conversations between Neaton, Cleaveland, and Söring were like in March and April of 1990, when Söring and his legal team were concocting the “Elizabeth did it” story which Söring would unveil to the world on June 18, 1990.
But wait, you’re saying: What about attorney-client privilege? As a lawyer, you are required to take your clients’ secrets to the grave. It’s kind of a sacred trust. But there are some exceptions. For one thing, the client can free you of your confidentiality oath. You can talk freely about your client’s case if the client signs a waiver (Verzichtserklärung) of attorney-client privilege.
If Jens Söring signed a simple one-page form, he could release his lawyers of their duty to keep silent about the case. Then anyone could ask Neaton, Cleaveland, or Frieser whatever questions they wished. It would be up to them whether they answered, of course.
If Vetter is right, and Söring has nothing to hide, then Soring should sign a waiver form. Samples are all over the Internet.
Someone should ask Jens Söring whether he’s willing to do this, in the spirit of honesty and transparency. And then note his reaction.