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Major Ricky Gardner of the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office has made his thoughts known to Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell on whether Jens Soering should be granted parole and deportation to his homeland in Germany: Don’t do it.
Gardner was the chief investigator when Derek and Nancy Haysom were murdered at their Bedford County home on that March 30 Saturday night in 1985. Derek Haysom had been stabbed 36 times; Nancy Haysom was stabbed seven times. Both had their throats cut from ear to ear.
“This was by far the worst crime scene I have ever witnessed,” Gardner told McDonnell in the letter he sent last week.
Gardner shared the facts of the case in his four-page letter—facts that Soering, who was convicted of the crimes in 1990, now denies.
Among those facts, Gardner states, is that Soering confessed that he committed the murders—three different times.
In the letter, Gardner recounts the early interviews with Soering and his girlfriend, Elizabeth Haysom, the Haysoms’ daughter, about where they were at the time of the murders. And he recounts their flight from justice in October 1985 and Soering’s three confessions, while in England, to the crimes.
Gardner pointed to forensic evidence found at the crime scene, letters and a diary written by Soering and Elizabeth Haysom, the couple’s flight out of the country during the investigation, and other evidence that corroborated the confessions Soering had offered, as to reasons why Soering’s request for clemency should be denied.
“Jens Soering has never shown any remorse, nor has he ever taken any responsibility for killing Mr. and Mrs. Haysom,” Gardner wrote. “He viciously attacked the victims in their home and nearly cut off their heads. He was going to kill me if Elizabeth had not stopped him. I think these facts alone should disqualify him from any special treatment.”