Note: This post, like all my posts on this subject, consists solely of my opinions and commentary (except for specific citations to public sources) and of informed speculation about possible future events which may or may not come to pass. This of course should go without saying, but given the new tone in Söring’s public statements, I wanted to make that clear.
In Jens Söring’s infamous “Christmas Letter” from 1984-1985, which played a key role in his conviction for the murders of Derek and Elizabeth Haysom, he spoke of an “ideology bomb” which would explode and, without harming anyone, cause a change in people’s politics. Or at least that’s the way I interpret the passage — which, like every other part of the letter, is couched in a weird idioglossia which has to be read to be believed.
Just such an ideology bomb has been dropped squarely on Jens Söring’s innocence claims. That bomb is the gripping, widely-praised 8-part podcast called “The Söring System” (g), released in February of this year. Based on uncounted hours of research and interviews with case insiders, the podcasts critically analyzes Söring’s innocence claims, his public persona, and the treatment of his case in the media. Most listeners seem to agree that the podcast establishes several key facts:
- Söring’s innocence claims all crumble under scrutiny. See, especially, “Fact Check” (g), Episode 5.
- Press coverage of his case was distorted by the biases of American and German journalists who accepted the one-sided and often inaccurate information Team Söring presented them, and
- Despite the mild-mannered, peace-loving image he presents to the world on his professionally-curated website, Söring still, to this day, is capable of anger (Wut), especially at those who criticize his innocence claims and media tactics.
Episodes of the podcast have already been downloaded or listened to in one form or another 500,000 times, and that number will only rise. An English version will be released during the summer, and that will surely make waves across the Atlantic, where Söring supporters such as Amanda Knox, Jason Flom, and John Grisham will likely learn many disturbing new facts about the case.
From now on, nobody who takes an interest in the case will be able to avoid the podcast. And it’s been changing minds right and left.
- In a commentary (g) for the nationwide German public-radio station Deutschlandfunk, commentator Matthias Dell praised the podcast for uncovering “deficits” in the German media coverage of the case, including the fact that many German journalists seemed to be blind to their own “prejudices”.
- In an interview with the podcast’s producers, Deutschlandfunk came straight out and said (g): “It is indeed true that Sörings story was handled uncritically in the German media”.
- The Swiss daily Tagesanzeiger went even farther in their review of the podcast, as indicated by the title: “The Tale of the Friendly Double-Murderer is Torn Apart” (zerfetzt).
What effect is this “ideology bomb” having on Team Söring?
This is just my opinion, but I get a distinct whiff of desperation. One clue is Söring’s website. His PR team recently expanded it to include Söring’s complaints about “cancel culture” (g): “Does freedom of speech apply to everyone? Including me?”
Why does he think he’s being silenced (mundtot gemacht)? Well, he complains, every time he’s invited to speak, the organizers of the event receive complaints — that is, polite emails — from people who find it inappropriate that a double-murderer is being compensated (whether in cash or in valuable publicity for his media campaign) to advance meritless innocence claims without any critique or, often, even any kind of objective context. Team Söring has even posted selections of these complaints online (g), believe it or not. Apparently Team Söring believes these complaints discredit their authors. I invite you to read them and make up your own mind!
Be that as it may, Söring apparently finds polite complaints about his one-sided presentations to be an unacceptable limit on his freedom of expression, and is now even offering to give paid (cash or publicity) speeches about how he’s been “cancelled”. I also note that another speech (g) Söring offers is “Was it me or wasn’t it? Why I was released without a declaration of innocence.” This speech, apparently, will consist of a debate about whether Söring really did butcher two innocent people.
Söring will, of course, have to debate himself, since to my knowledge he has never agreed to debate his innocence claims with any other person after his release in 2019 (he once agreed to an interview with Johannes B. Kerner in 2007 which indeed turned into a debate). Of course, I am willing to debate Söring at any time and place, in either German or English, on the subject of his innocence claims.
Who knows, perhaps the audience will be invited to participate in an opinion poll after Söring’s speech: “Did I change your mind?”
Maybe it’s just me, but in my personal opinion, turning the murder of two people into an evening’s entertainment is in rather poor taste. In fact it reminds me of the book “If I Did It” by O.J. Simpson:
The difference being, of course, that O.J. Simpson never confessed to the double-murder he was charged with, and was, of course, acquitted of it.
I wonder what other steps Team Söring are preparing. This is pure speculation at this point, but perhaps they’re preparing to sue Söring’s critics. This would, in my opinion, be rather curious, given Söring’s complaints about “cancel culture”. I’ve heard rumors from my journalistic sources that lawsuits may be in the offing. Let me be clear: This may be incorrect: Söring may not have plans to file any lawsuits.
But, of course, if he does choose to sue his critics, that’s his perfect right. Germany has a world-renowned, efficient court system with strong, balanced protections for both free speech and personal reputation. If he believes his rights have been violated, he has every right to plead his case.
What do you think? Have you heard anything?
If so, my Twitter DMs and the contact page on this website are open to anyone who has accurate, relevant information about Jens Söring’s media campaign — confidentiality guaranteed upon request.