The Netflix documentary Till Murder Do Us Part: Soering vs. Haysom is a four-part gripping and intense docu-series about the infamous murder case of Virginia in 1985. Two inseparable souls who faced difficulties in pursuing their relationship due to parental pressure turned out to be cold-blooded murderers who got rid of their problematic parents on their way to being together. This murder case was one of the most talked-about and puzzling cases in the criminal history of Virginia.
Derek Haysom, the president of the Sydney Steel Industry, and his socialite wife, Nancy, were found brutally butchered in their house on the morning of April 3rd, 1985. The police found the scene, which looked almost like a slaughterhouse, to be too horrible to look at. Both Derek and Nancy were brutally killed with their throats slit, with a gush of blood soaking the entire floor. The couple’s daughter, Elizabeth Haysom, and her boyfriend, Jens Soering, were found to be responsible for this gruesome murder.
Who Is Elizabeth Haysom? Did She Really Kill Her Parents?
Elizabeth Haysom, born in Virginia, received her primary education in boarding schools in Switzerland and then England. Growing up, she never received the love and care of her parents, which made her feel rejected sometimes. She was later enrolled at the University of Virginia, where she fell in love with her boyfriend, Jens Soering. At that time, Jens was only an 18-year-old boy who was madly and passionately in love with Elizabeth. Elizabeth had a distinctive personality with a calm demeanor and a brilliant and creative mind. She had short hair and an attractive appearance. She pursued a romantic relationship with Jens, but her parents, who were rich socialites, never accepted that their daughter would date someone other than an attorney or a physician.
Elizabeth, who never received affection or care from her parents when she needed it the most, harbored a deep resentment towards them. She wanted freedom in choosing her life partner, but as her parents started interfering in her life, she began to have murderous fantasies about them. She used to write love letters to Jens on a regular basis. These love letters contained romantic poetry and sometimes her deepest, darkest desires. In one of those letters, she expressed her desire to kill her parents. As a young, nerdy guy who’d fallen in love for the first time, Jens thought to present himself as a hero or the savior in Elizabeth’s life. So, on March 30, 1985, Jens drove four hours from Washington, DC, to Virginia to Elizabeth’s house and killed her parents. After the bodies were discovered and the investigation started, Elizabeth was interrogated by the police. She showed no emotion while providing her alibi. However, as the police understood something was wrong with Elizabeth and her boyfriend, they interrogated Jens as well. Jens didn’t provide his alibi properly and said that, being a German guy, he never liked the police. However, after that interrogation, both Jens and Elizabeth fled the country and remained elusive for several years. Finally, in England, where some detectives doubted their fake identities and ran a search of their hotel rooms, they found several letters written by the couple. In one of those letters, which Elizabeth had written to Jens, there was a mention of her desire to kill her parents. Therefore, without wasting any time, the detectives in England contacted the authorities in Virginia. Detective Rick Gardner arrested Jens and Elizabeth and brought them back to Virginia. Initially, Jens confessed to the crime, admitting that he was the murderer of the Haysoms.
Elizabeth confessed her guilt as well, but her statements were raising so many questions. As her trial began, she put the entire blame on Jens, claiming that she could never have imagined that he would kill her parents. However, the prosecutor showed some pieces of evidence that didn’t add up in her statement. On the night when Jens went to Virginia to kill her parents, Elizabeth was in Washington, DC. She went to the Rocky Horror Picture Show and bought two tickets, one for herself and another for Jens, to make their alibi look good. If she had never imagined her boyfriend would kill her parents, why did she buy two tickets for themselves and book a hotel in the name of Jens Soering? Elizabeth didn’t have a proper answer to this question. In her trial, several other disturbing things were brought up by the prosecution. It was revealed that Elizabeth was sexually harassed by her mother, which was something very hard to believe. Her college mates said in the interviews that Elizabeth was not actually an honest person. Instead, she was a pathological liar who loved to live in the world of fantasies. She was a deceptive person who used to lie to her boyfriends to make them do anything for her. So there was a high chance that Elizabeth was lying in her court statements as well, to protect herself.
Where Is Elizabeth Haysom Now?
The passionate love and the irresistible pull towards each other, which had led to the bloodbath and the betrayal with parents, vanished in a moment when Elizabeth was presented in court. As Jens had already confessed the crime, he was imprisoned in Virginia. Consequently, Elizabeth severed all ties with him, sending him a letter saying that she didn’t love him anymore. She presented herself in court as someone who was truly and deeply traumatized by her parents’ deaths. Still, investigators couldn’t forsake the possibility that Elizabeth might have been actively involved in the murder. However, Elizabeth had always accepted the fact that she was guilty because she admitted that she also wished her parents to be killed, but she emphasized that Jens acted on his own free will and that what he did was not motivated by her words. From the investigators to the reporters, everyone found it too hard to believe that Elizabeth didn’t manipulate Jens into this act, as even before Jens committed the murder, it was Elizabeth who expressed her murderous desire to her boyfriend. Elizabeth was found guilty in the final verdict of the trial, but in 1990, when Jens Soering was presented in court, the entire scenario was changed. Despite his previous confession, he shifted the blame to Elizabeth, claiming that it was Elizabeth who committed the killings. Elizabeth didn’t lose her composure; instead, in the next trial, she looked even more composed and articulated about her statement. Following the guilty verdict of the two of them, Jens continued appealing to the court for early parole. But, in the meantime, Elizabeth, who was given a 90-year prison sentence, didn’t make a huge deal out of it. During her prison time, she kept writing columns, in which she found solace and peace of mind. In November 2019, Elizabeth Haysom and Jens Soering were both released from state prison. Soon after her release, Elizabeth returned to Canada, where met with her cousin’s sister, and ever since has been out of the public radar. Probably, she has staying with her sister but her actual whereabouts are unknown to the media.
Both Jens and Elizabeth never talked to each other, even though they ran into each other several times in court. Those romantic days were more than over for them and turned into a set of traumatic memories. However, to date, no one quite clearly understands who was the actual culprit behind the murders of the Haysoms in 1985. This is one of the most perplexing murder cases, where any of them or both of them could be murderers, but due to a lack of solid proof, we are still unable to learn the actual truth.