Lawyer, journalist, translator
Welcome to my website!
This is the website of Andrew Hammel. I am a bilingual (German/English) journalist, writer, lawyer and translator. I have an English degree from the University of Texas at Austin and law degrees from the University of Houston and Harvard Law School.
I’ve published academic and popular articles on law, justice, crime, human rights, and other topics. My journalism has appeared in Quillette, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the Berliner Zeitung, Übermedien, and other outlets.
My most recent book is about the case of Jens Soering, which was just featured in the Netflix documentary Till Murder Do Us Part: Soering v. Haysom. I was interviewed as an expert on the case. I also appeared in two German documentaries also released in early November.
My latest book is the definitive account of the Jens Soering case from the very beginning to just a few weeks ago. It’s called Martyr or Murderer? Jens Soering, the Media, and the Truth. You can order it either on Kindle or as a paperback on the German and the U.S. Amazon sites, as well as many others.
I also maintain a Substack blog on the Soering case which has frequent updates. I hope you enjoy the website, and feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions.
New Book: Martyr or Murderer? Jens Soering, the Media, and the Truth
Who killed Derek and Nancy Haysom and why?
Was Jens Soering wrongfully convicted?
Why did so many famous people rally to his cause?
Martyr or Murderer? Jens Soering, the Media, and the Truth answers these questions and more. The author is Harvard-trained lawyer and journalist Andrew Hammel, a featured interview guest in the new Netflix documentary series Till Murder do us Part: Soering v. Haysom. It is the only English-language book which provides both an overview of Soering’s legal case and his post-parole media offensive.
It is a story of twisted passion, deception, and betrayal. Derek and Nancy Haysom, a couple living in a prosperous suburb of Lynchburg, Virginia were found stabbed to death in their home in April 1985. Suspicion focused on the couple’s daughter Elizabeth Haysom and her boyfriend, 18-year-old German national Jens Soering. Jens and Elizabeth fled the U.S. in October 1985. After both were arrested in London in 1986, Jens confessed to murdering the Haysoms, but recanted his confessions at his 1990 trial.
From his Virginia jail cell, Soering campaigned to convince the world of his innocence, claiming to be the victim of the unfair American justice system and Elizabeth’s intrigues. His supporters included John Grisham, Martin Sheen, and former President of Germany Christian Wulff. He was the subject of the 2016 documentary Killing for Love.
In 2019, Soering was released on parole and deported to Germany. There, he was received like a conquering hero. Yet Soering’s claims soon attracted scrutiny from skeptical journalists and investigators. Now, Soering finds himself in a battle to define his place in history – as either martyr or murderer.
Andrew Hammel holds law degrees from the University of Houston and Harvard Law School and was admitted to the Texas bar in 1996. He is a former death-row defense lawyer and law professor. He is the author of Ending the Death Penalty: The European Experience in Global Perspective (2010). He is fluent in English and German. His journalism has appeared in numerous English and German-language outlets.