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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. ...
The film is a very entertaining and moving documentary in the mode of past films about wrongful convictions that have wrenching consequences. I didn't know about the case or the media coverage that it generated back in the day, so appreciated the patient narrative build up towards the heartbreaking conclusion along with updates about how Jens Söring is inexplicably still in jail because of mystifying motivations or past and present politicians in Virginia. I saw a Los Angeles screening of the film that featured a rousing affirmation of the need for justice for Jens Söring. I feel the same way and hope that others can come to the same conclusion and lend their support to his cause before it is too late.
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