‘Till Murder Do Us Part’ — the true crime behind Netflix’s hit
This week’s No. 2 show on Netflix worldwide explores the true story of Nancy and Derek Haysom, who were murdered in 1985 by their daughter, Elizabeth, and her boyfriend, Jens. Here’s an overview of the case
Netflix has been consistently releasing original true crime documentaries and docuseries for the past several years, and their most recent hit is especially intriguing.
“Till Murder Do Us Part: Soering vs. Haysom” is a four-part docuseries that explores the brutal 1985 double homicide of Nancy and Derek Haysom and the ensuing case against the Haysoms’ daughter, Elizabeth, and her boyfriend, Jens Soering.
Since its release on Nov. 1, “Till Murder Do Us Part” has dominated the Netflix charts and is Netflix’s No. 2 TV show worldwide this week.
Here’s an overview of the key players and events involved in the crime.
Who were Nancy and Derek Haysom?
Nancy and Derek Haysom were a married couple living outside Lynchburg, Virginia, at the time of their death. Derek was 72 when he was murdered and Nancy was 53, per ABC.
They had a total of five children from previous marriages, per Cinemaholic, when they married in 1960, and then had one daughter together, Elizabeth.
Who is Elizabeth Haysom?
Elizabeth Haysom is a Canadian citizen who grew up in multiple countries. She began attending the University of Virginia in the 1980s, where she met and began dating Jens Soering when she was 20 and he was 18, per ABC.
Who is Jens Soering?
Jens Soering is a German citizen whose father was a diplomat, per USA Today. He moved to the United States for school and began attending college at the University of Virginia, per The New Yorker. It was there that he met and started a relationship with Elizabeth Haysom.
Overview of the Haysom murders and criminal trial
On April 3, 1985, the Haysoms were found murdered in their home, per Men’s Health. They had been repeatedly stabbed, per police reports.
Police did not initially investigate the Haysoms’ daughter Elizabeth as a suspect, but after they began questioning her and her boyfriend, Jens Soering, about their alibis, the two fled to Europe. Men’s Health reports they were arrested for fraud in England in 1986 and extradited to the U.S.
On June 8, 1986, Jens confessed to murdering the Haysoms, although he later recanted his statement and said he was nowhere near the crime. He told Netflix he confessed in order to spare Elizabeth because he believed he would be extradited to Germany and serve a lighter sentence there.
Elizabeth testified that she encouraged Jens to kill her parents and pleaded guilty to accessory to murder, per Men’s Health. Soering maintained his innocence but was found guilty on two counts of murder, and the two were sentenced to prison: 90 years for Elizabeth and life for Soering.
Over the years, Soering continued to proclaim his innocence and campaign for release, citing lack of DNA evidence, per Netflix. Elizabeth remained silent for the most part, but maintained that Soering had killed her parents.
On Nov. 25, 2019, the Virginia state parole board granted both Soering and Haysom parole. The board did not declare either party innocent but said the parole was awarded because both served a lengthy amount of time with good behavior, per Netflix. Soering and Haysom were both deported to their home countries and banned from the United States.
Where are Jens Soering and Elizabeth Haysom today?
Soering has written several books about his time behind bars and continues to give interviews about his experience, per Netflix. He still lives in Germany.
Haysom has lived in Canada since her parole and has remained out of the public eye.