Immediately after the original introduction to this site, below, there follow two quarterly updates.
This website exists to highlight the many lies of Jens Soering, who savagely murdered Derek and Nancy Haysom in 1985. At least some of his supporters (notably many journalists) often take their cue from him and turn away from or distort compelling evidence of his guilt because it just doesn’t fit into their chosen narrative, while others are undoubtedly sincere and completely fooled by him. Critical to the case is the time between Soering’s arrest in England in 1986 and his extradition to Virginia in 1990. This is the period too many people have glossed over as if it didn’t exist – but then for a minority the case now appears to have become more of a fetish than a cause.
The site began as a simple one-off blog, now reproduced as the initial post, in response to a German documentary film, The Promise (broadcast on television as Killing for Love), but as a result of the more recent intensifying of Soering’s propaganda campaign a much more detailed examination is necessary, which is just what will be taking place here over the coming weeks and months.
People interested in this matter are welcome to comment if the intention is to contribute thoughtfully to the discussion. However, comments will be moderated and simply won’t be displayed if they are hysterically petulant or merely disgorge personal bile. After all, isn’t that what Twitter’s for? And any threats will go straight to the police along with your IP address.
Progress Report: the First Three Months
This website popped up onto the internet quietly and without great fanfare shortly before Christmas 2017. It was always going to be a rather specialist, distinctly niche site, and that was wholly intentional. As such, I didn’t expect or even really hope for large numbers of visitors; that was never quite the point.
I anticipated that such visitors who did come would be primarily from Virginia, which is the most directly relevant location in this context, perhaps with an additional smattering from the UK, but that’s not how it has turned out. In fact site statistics show that over 80% of visitors are from the USA and Germany, more or less evenly divided between the two (with a fairly regular handful from India, which was a real surprise). It was a mistake to underestimate German interest and their ability, very often, to speak English. Like many northern Europeans, in that respect they put the rest of us to shame.
Initially the site was getting around 20-30 views a day, just very occasionally approaching 40 – which is not very many, though good enough. But then gradually, in a process of organic growth, more and more people began to find the site and come along. By the end of March it had had well in excess of 3,000 views, which in the circumstances is astonishing. It appears that quite a lot of people really do want to know the truth about Jens Soering and the Haysom murders.
That doesn’t mean that everyone who turns up here is enthusiastic or keen to be better informed about the case, of course. At least some German visitors, in particular, are predictably hostile, having been fed a regular diet of misinformation in their media. For them Soering is a hero, and they are devoted fans. So be it – the truth can hurt, and I get that.
It’s regrettable because modern Germany is actually among the most civilised countries in the world, as are its people. But a few old-style nationalists are still lurking there on little Soering fan forums, and they’re absolutely furious: Deutschland uber alles, and all that. They urge one another not to come here: “Don’t go,” they say, “it’s a hate site!” And yet even the people saying that still come; I see the forum usernames and know precisely how often they visit. I could name them, but that would be too unkind. However painful, they can’t resist a one-eyed peek at the truth, even if they then choose to ignore it, which they usually do. Recently, in purest desperation, a few agreed among themselves that Dr Hamilton’s psychiatric report on Jens Soering was really a fake. Well, I’m afraid not, guys. It’s very much the real thing.
The American Soering fans and supporters, by contrast, play it differently. Some know perfectly well that he’s guilty and they just don’t care. Since this site first went up it has met only resounding silence from them. Doubtless they are well aware of the internet phenomenon known as “the Streisand Effect”, and conduct themselves accordingly. That’s probably very wise from their perspective, but it simply doesn’t matter.
Here’s the reality. This site wasn’t created for the purpose of entering into online screaming matches with people, so I make little effort to engage with Soering supporters or correct mendacious and often distasteful comments on media websites. Apart from anything else, such an exercise would be utterly futile: these people are either too credulous and hysterically committed on the one hand, or too intellectually dishonest on the other; and sometimes both.
Instead, the aim here is to examine Soering’s claims methodically, as well as those dishonestly made on his behalf, and expose them for the lies they are. Nobody’s infallible and it’s always possible that I’ve made a mistake somewhere, despite writing with great care after diligent research, and yet nobody has so far been able to point to a single error. Unlike Chip Harding and many others, If I’ve made a mistake I’ll willingly correct it (strictly on the basis of cogent evidence), but I’m still waiting. Unusually for a Soering-themed internet site, telling the truth and getting it right actually matter here.
In the end, while it’s really very gratifying that this website continues to grow and reach far, far more people than I ever expected, that’s still not entirely the point. This is not a popularity contest and never was. Soering’s outraged and deluded Facebook fans (around 80-85% women, as it happens) can take part in mass email campaigns and spread his propaganda to their hearts’ content, but it will almost certainly change nothing. Parole Board members get to see all the evidence, not just what Soering supporters wish to spoon-feed them.
And where evidence is concerned, active steps are taken in Virginia to ensure that the information on this website is sent to Board members and staff for their consideration. Among other things, they now have the Hamilton report. Primarily this site is for them, irrespective of how many others are visiting, and that is the real point of it all. This site is not, therefore, bellowing into the wind, as some people desperately hope. Were it otherwise, the entire exercise would be as pointless as bombarding the Governor with plaintive emails, as if it were America’s Got Talent. German fan forums and Facebook are irrelevant; they merely reinforce a false sense of indignation and righteousness among their participants.
In the meantime it should also be observed that Soering and his supporters continue to solicit money on his website and Facebook from his more impressionable fans, which is nauseating to see. After all these years he still hasn’t lost his appetite for defrauding people. Let’s hope the Parole Board and the Governor are watching that too, and taking note. I suspect that they probably are.
Thanks to everyone for all the views so far. More posts will follow in the fullness of time, but proper research is a highly labour-intensive business…
Screenshot taken on 1 April 2018
Quarterly Update – April-June 2018
It’s now been three months since the last review, so I thought another quarterly update might be of interest to people who follow this website quite closely.
For Jens Soering the news is not good. The site is holding up very well and continuing to draw visitors. From a fairly low base in January and February it gathered many viewers in March and has broadly maintained that level. April was exceptional, with 2,200 views. Since then the figures have unsurprisingly fallen back, but around 1,700 a month is now routine (see bar graph below).
What accounts for the figures? My initial thought was that they depended on the number of posts – i.e., the more posts made on the site, the more people would come. Provisionally, that doesn’t appear to be correct, or at least not entirely. In fact it seems to be that the figures depend rather more on the extent to which the case features in the news (as in April). That really is a delicious irony because, now, the more the Soering team seek publicity, the more they unwittingly direct people to this site.
Related to that, it’s possible to predict one thing with confidence, which is that the figures will hit their peak when the Parole Board’s recommendation to the Governor (or his decision) is announced, whenever and whatever it is. If the decision is to deny the pardon, as it should be, then all well and good – job done. If the pardon were to be granted then the evidence would still be here as a defiant testament to human gullibility, because there can be few rational people left in Virginia who don’t know by now that Soering is, indeed, guilty as charged. Maybe local resident John Grisham could even write a novel about the saga, but he’s probably too rich to bother these days.
Back in January one interested person observed with great disappointment that he was unable to find this site among the first 10-12 pages of a Google search. At the time he was quite correct. Since then, however, it has risen in huge leaps and now, depending on the search term used, it often features at number one or two on search engine hits, especially Google. In that respect, to quote Bob Dylan, “the times they are a-changin’ …”
As I noted in the last update, the American Soering team observed operational silence in respect of this site, and ostensibly that has continued. It’s perfectly sensible in the circumstances so it’s hard to blame them. Even the most bitter condemnation would only send more visitors here to see for themselves. Yet people are finding the site regardless, and come from all over the world.
This is where the unvarnished truth is finally told, after years of relentless lies and propaganda from Soering. A good many, though not yet all, of those lies have been detailed and exposed here, and I continue to await any allegation of error (backed by cogent evidence, of course). Responses came there none, and understandably so. Even Soering supporters would no doubt be surprised to learn how painstakingly the facts are checked before posting.
Obviously it’s only right, merely for its own sake, to take the greatest care that everything here is accurate. But there are additional reasons too. While only a limited number of people choose to send comments to be displayed on the site, a much larger number comment by private email, and overwhelmingly they are positive. One explained how she prints out posts for use in discussions about the case. That’s very flattering, naturally, but even more than that it brings with it a responsibility to make sure the information is reliable and can be trusted, which I take seriously. You have to fight lies with the truth, not with more lies.
In terms of visitor provenance, the picture has changed slightly. The USA and Germany between them still account for more than 80% of views, but over the last few weeks Germans have overtaken Americans for the first time, and emphatically so, at 3,700 as against 3,100. The UK is back in distant third place with about 600. Remarkably, India comes next, with 250. Thereafter, a small group of countries have contributed 100-240 each: Austria, Canada, Norway, Netherlands. Lastly, people from another 32 countries have viewed the site occasionally, the figures ranging from 1 to 80, including locations as unlikely as China, Russia, New Zealand, Vietnam and Libya. Such visitors are infrequent but still welcome. All in all, not too bad for a niche topic after only six full months on the internet. The site is on course to hit the 10,000 mark well before the end of July.
Things will probably now be fairly quiet for a time, subject to any intervention from unexpected events. There is certainly more to say and more high quality evidence still to post, but that needs to be held in reserve for the moment so as not to risk prejudicing the Parole Board’s investigation. To do that would be completely irresponsible, and it will not be happening here. But I’ll be keeping a careful eye on any developments, always ready to return at short notice, and I hope people will be patient. Sooner or later there’s more of the Soering story to tell, and it will be both fascinating and illuminating.
Screenshot taken 1 July 2018