The gruesome murders of Nancy and Derek Haysom in 1985 were an international media sensation. The Haysoms were wealthy, respected members of Virginia society, and the murder conviction of ...
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The gruesome murders of Nancy and Derek Haysom in 1985 were an international media sensation. The Haysoms were wealthy, respected members of Virginia society, and the murder conviction of their daughter Elizabeth and her German boyfriend Jens Soering sent shock waves through the rural community of Bedford County. Elizabeth and Jens had met in a university program for high achieving students. She was a product of European boarding schools, he was the son of a diplomat. After being arrested in London, England, for passing bad checks in 1986, they were both extradited to the United States and have now spent over 30 years behind bars. This beautifully crafted film reveals a mismanaged, or perhaps completely corrupted, judicial process. This was the first criminal trial held in front of TV cameras - the first high-profile, international case tried in a small town. Investigations over the past 3 years have turned up stunning evidence that was previously suppressed or deemed inadmissible. ...
So one observer in the documentary Killing for Love reports about the brutal murders of Nancy and Derek Haysom in 1985. More lurid than the photos is the court conclusion that lovers Elizabeth Haysom and Jens Soring murdered them, she being their daughter.
What makes this an audience pleaser is the archival footage that shows her to be a cunning beauty and him an almost innocent lamb to her romantic slaughter. This, the intrigue is that after confessing to the murder, Jens tries to recant saying he lied to mitigate the sentence of his love. The court wouldn't accept the confession of the confession.
Directors Karin Steinberger and Marcus Vetter cut between time and testimonials to create a dynamic if confusing, disjointed set of circumstances filled with lies and ambiguity. Both conditions would ordinarily fulfill the needs of soap opera, but here, as truth is the end game, energy for sympathy is sapped by conflicting facts and sentiments.
Yet, the salacious elements endure for audience interest such as the fact that Elizabeth's mom photographed her nude and allegedly abused her. Additionally, Jens adds a sardonic attitude toward the proceedings that hypnotizes those who would like to think this not a laughing matter.
Filled with striking moments - such as the courtroom revelation that Elizabeth's mother took nude photographs of her and may have abused her sexually, and a tour of the house in which the murders took place, conducted by its current owner who doesn't seem at all fazed by its horrific past
For history buffs, the archival footage is nectar. For those of us who find the DNA evidence now compelling, it looks as if a part II may be in order for Jens Soring's future.
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