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A Far, Far Better Thing

Did a Fatal Attraction Lead to a Wrongful Conviction?

Jens Soering and Bill Sizemore Foreword by Martin Sheen


In 1985, socialites Derek and Nancy Haysom were found brutally stabbed to death in their home in Boonsboro, Virginia. When suspicion turned to the Haysoms’ beautiful but troubled daughter, Elizabeth, and her German boyfriend, Jens Soering, their case became one of the most notorious in the Commonwealth’s history. After fleeing with Elizabeth to Europe, Jens ultimately confessed to the crime, under the illusion that as the son of a German consular official he’d be granted diplomatic immunity. He believed he was nobly sacrificing his life for love—just as Sydney Carton does for Lucie Manette in Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities.

Now published for the first time in English, Jens tells his side of the story—of how a naïve and reckless scholar fell into a world of deception, drugs, and ultimately murder. His compelling, revelatory account is accompanied by the painstaking analysis of Bill Sizemore, a journalist who’s followed the Soering case for more than a decade. In parallel with the 2016 documentary film about the murders, called The Promise, this book not only points to a miscarriage of justice, but also showcases the tragedy of misplaced love and a catastrophically foolish declaration.



304 pp.  
6" x 9"
Illustrations: b&w

Lantern Books

Paperback
$22.00

Published:  February 2017

978-1-59056-564-3




Jens Soering is a German citizen and Centering Prayer practitioner who has been incarcerated since 1986. His case has been featured on Court TV and A&E's City Confidential. His work has been featured in Christianity Today, The Christian Century, Sojourners, America, National Catholic Reporter, and The American Conservative. His book The Convict Christ: What the Gospel Says about Criminal Justice was the first place winner of the Catholic Press Association's 2007 awards. See all books by Jens Soering
Bill Sizemore retired in 2014 after a thirty-five-year career as a reporter with the Virginian-Pilot, the state’s largest-circulation newspaper. He was a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in explanatory reporting for a series of stories on Blackwater, the private military company, and he received more than twenty-five awards from the Virginia Press Association. See all books by Bill Sizemore
Martin Sheen is an American actor who is known for his roles in the films The Subject Was Roses (1968) Apocalypse Now (1979), The Way (2010) and many others. Although known as an actor, Sheen also has directed the film Cadence (1990), appearing with sons Charlie and Ramón. See all books by Martin Sheen


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