top of page
Jens Soering Case

My past

My past

I spent 33 years in prison for a crime I didn’t commit. But when I was released in 2019, I was only granted parole, not the absolute pardon I deserved. And in 2023 Netflix released a series that made it look like I might have been involved in the murders after all.

If you want to know more about the crime for which I was wrongfully convicted, please keep reading below. If you want to know more about the Netflix series, please click here. If you want to know more about my relationship with Elizabeth Haysom, please click here.


What’s the best summary of the case?

The best summary is a feature that first appeared in the Washington Post Magazine in 2017 and was later re-published in the New Zealand Herald.

Link New Zealand Herald

Report Cover_englisch_2MB.png

What’s the best analysis of the evidence?

The best analysis is the Chuck Reid Report, published in 2023 by Gallip Verlag & Media. Senior Investigator Chuck Reid led the investigations during the entire first year of the case and knows the evidence better than anyone. The report’s publisher, Gallip Verlag & Media, and Chuck Reid himself have generously granted me permission to make it available here free of charge.

Why was I released?

Because five police officers publicly asked the Governor of Virginia to grant me an absolute pardon. One of them was Chuck Reid, the original lead detective on the case, see above.

Without these public statements from five seasoned investigators, the Governor would never have permitted the release of someone convicted of a high-profile double-murder. He needed that cover from the law enforcement community to let me go.

Unfortunately, the Governor did not grant me a pardon, only parole. You can find my thoughts on that decision below.


From left to right: Detective Sergeant Richard Hudson, FBI Special Agent Stanley Lapekas, Sheriff J.E. “Chip” Harding, Senior Investigator Chuck Reid

Press conference 2018

Here is a Virginia public radio report on a press conference held in 2018 at which four of the five cops appeared together to ask the Governor to grant me an absolute pardon.

Link Virginia public radio report

Here is the “Call for Pardon” that the four law enforcement officers released together at that press conference.

Link Call for Pardon


Andrew Griffiths, Ph.D.

Two press conferences 2017

Here is a different radio report about the fifth cop, Andrew Griffiths, Ph.D. He appeared at a separate press conference in 2017 with DNA scientist Prof. Dr. Moses Schanfield and former Deputy Attorney General Gail Starling Marshall.

Link to different radio report

Finally, here is a newspaper article about another DNA scientist, Prof. Dr. J. Thomas McClintock, as well as Sheriff Chip Harding and Detective Sergeant Richard Hudson. They appeared together at a third press conference in 2017.

Link to newspaper article


Prof. Dr. Moses Schanfield,

George Washington University


Prof. Dr. J. Thomas McClintock, Liberty University

Videos of all press conferences

In addition to the above media reports, there are videos of all three press conferences available in full length, unedited. You can watch and listen to
these various experts explain why they support my petition for an absolute pardon. The second and third videos below feature the two DNA scientists pictured above.

FullSizeRender (1).JPEG

Why did the Governor not grant me a pardon, despite all of the above support?

Because it’s always difficult to admit a mistake. That’s human nature.

Also, my father was a German diplomat. If the Governor had admitted that I was wrongfully convicted, this would have caused an international incident.

And finally, granting me a pardon would have entitled me to $ 1.4 million compensation. By releasing me on parole, the Governor saved his taxpayers that expenditure. Parole was the cheapest option.

He chose parole as the cheapest option in the case of another clearly innocent man, as well: Darnell Phillips.

Link Darnell Phillips

This is, incidentally, a common practice not just in Virginia, but across the United States. Here is an article published in USA Today that explains that many victims of wrongful convictions are not declared innocent, but simply paroled — just like me.

Link article published in USA Today


Can you believe the parole board’s explanation for my release?

The Virginia Parole Board claims that I was granted parole because I had served enough time, and Virginia wanted to save money. Can that really be true?

I was sentenced to two life sentences, not just one, and the judge ordered me to serve my two life sentences one after the other. (Trial transcript September 4, 1990, page 27)

All prisoners sentenced to terms of life imprisonment in Virginia after 1995 are not eligible for parole: “life means life.” For those sentenced before 1995, like me, Virginia still allows parole hearings — but it has the lowest parole grant rate in the entire United States.

There are 4,193 prisoners serving life sentences in Virginia, and that number is rising — because hardly any lifers are ever released. Virginia can afford that because it spends less on prisoners than most other states: $ 21,299 per inmate per year.

Why did the Parole Board choose to release me? It had 4,193 other life-sentenced prisoners to choose from. Why release the one prisoner who had five cops supporting his absolute pardon?

The Dr. Phil Show

In 2020, Dr. Phil interviewed some of my supporters and me on his show. This was later released in five parts on YouTube:

Part 1: 

Part 2: 

Part 3: 

Part 4: 

Part 5: 

In the fall of 2023, a new podcast, book and a report were released. I’ve taken a close look at all of them

and think they’re reasonably fair and accurate.

In this podcast, a senior German judge, Dr. Ralph Guise-Ruebe, examines both the old and the new evidence against me. Then he explains what verdict he would render if I were put on trial in his courtroom today.

Chuck Reid was the lead detective (Senior Investigator) on the Haysom murder case  throughout the first seven months of the investigation. No one knows the case better than he does. He presents all of the evidence and lets you draw your own conclusions.

Journalist Daniela Hillers has written widely on the German terrorist group RAF. For this book, she traveled to Virginia to interview 14 insiders, some of whom have never spoken publicly before. 

My YouTube videos

Anyone interested in my take on the various pieces of evidence in the Haysom murder case is welcome to visit my YouTube channel. In the video descriptions, I‘ve linked documents (excerpts from trial transcripts, forensic reports, crime scene photos, etc.) that I discuss in the videos. For real true crime fans, this could be an interesting experience!

  • Youtube

Original case documents and online appointments

I‘m in possession of the complete transcripts of Elizabeth Haysom’s and my trials, both sides‘ habeas corpus briefs and many, many other documents. Most are in digital form, others are originals from the 1980s and 1990s.

For example, I recently found the original (!) of the famous “alibi timeline” written by Elizabeth’s college roommate immediately after the murders. It was in an old box in a friend’s attic. I also have Elizabeth’s verdict from 1987, as well as full-size footprint and sock print photos from 1990. If you’re interested in purchasing items like these, please contact me using the form below.

I’m also happy to discuss both the case and my life in prison completely openly with seriously interested people in an exclusive online one-on-one conversations. In these video calls I’ll share non-public documents, as well as my memories and speculations. I don’t shy away from the truth, and I’m not afraid of questions.

If you’d like to book an online appointment with me, please feel free to inquire using the form below. I look forward to interesting conversations and difficult questions!

Request case documents or

schedule an appointment now!

Thank you!

bottom of page