'20/20' INTERVIEWS JENS SOERING FROM PRISON WHO CLAIMS NEW DNA ANALYSIS EXONERATES HIM OF THE MURDER OF HIS FORMER GIRLFRIEND'S PARENTS
The Hour Includes Interview with Jason Flom, Founding Board Member of the Innocence Project, Who Believes Soering Is Innocent
'20/20' Airs on Friday, January 19 (10:01 - 11:00 p.m. EST), on ABC
Nearly 33 years ago a couple was brutally stabbed to death in their home located in the quiet, wealthy suburb of Boonsboro in Bedford County, Virginia. The couple's daughter, Elizabeth Haysom, made headlines when both she and her former boyfriend Jens Soering were sentenced to prison for the double murder. Now, Jens speaks to Elizabeth Vargas from prison, claiming new DNA analysis exonerates him of the murder. "20/20" airs on Friday, Jan. 19 (10:01 - 11:00 p.m. EST), on ABC.
"20/20" details Elizabeth and Jens' captivating he-said-she-said story and the lingering question of whether the right man is behind bars. The new DNA analysis could be the key factor for the Virginia governor Ralph Northam - sworn in just last week - to possibly grant Jens' petition for a pardon. The hour also highlights those who support Jens' freedom, including actor Martin Sheen and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and interviews Jason Flom, a music executive and founding board member of the Innocence Project; Major Ricky Gardner, one of the original investigators on the case; and former London detectives Ken Beever and Terry Wright, who believe Jens is guilty.
Elizabeth and Jens met at the University of Virginia in 1984 and fell madly in love. But three months into their relationship, Elizabeth's parents, Derek and Nancy Haysom, were killed. Elizabeth and Jens went on the run - fleeing to Europe and eventually landing in London under assumed names. Soon after, they were arrested on suspicion that they committed check fraud, which revealed their true identities to British authorities. Clues to their involvement in the murder came to light in love letters and a diary found in their London home. While in London, Jens, the son of a German diplomat, confessed to police that he murdered Derek and Nancy and said Elizabeth had not been at the crime scene. But once he returned to the United States and was put on trial, his story changed. He said in court that Elizabeth left the night of the murder to meet someone he thought was a drug dealer. When she returned hours later, Jens said Elizabeth told him she had killed her parents. Jens claims that he falsely admitted to the murder to save Elizabeth's life, thinking his diplomatic status would get him extradited and tried in Germany where he would have gotten a light sentence. Elizabeth maintained that Jens was the murderer and that she was not there when her parents were killed. Elizabeth pled guilty and was sentenced to 90 years in prison for being an accessory before the fact. Jens was tried, convicted and received a life sentence for first-degree murder. To this day, Jens is fighting to clear his name and maintains that he did not kill the Haysoms.
"20/20" is anchored by Elizabeth Vargas and David Muir. David Sloan is senior executive producer.