Haysom murders investigator shares doubt about guilt of Jens Soering

Published: Aug. 25, 2016 at 8:24 PM EDT
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As convicted killer Jens Soering fights to clear his name and get out of prison, he's getting some indirect help from an unlikely source.

One of the original detectives who investigated the murders of Derek and Nancy Haysom says he has doubts about Soering's guilt.

"To be honest with you, I've had my reservations for a long time," said Chuck Reid, a retired law enforcement officer.

Reid was an investigator with the Bedford County Sheriff's Office in 1985, when Derek and Nancy Haysom were found dead with multiple stab wounds at their home in Boonsboro. He was assigned to find killer and, to him, Jens Soering wasn't the most likely suspect.

"He had met the Haysoms one time and had lunch with them," Reid said of Soering. "Would that give him enough hate for those people to mutilate them and almost behead them?"

Reid thinks Soering's ex-girlfriend, The Haysom's daughter Elizabeth, was the more likely culprit.

"It was very obvious Elizabeth hated them," Reid said. "I look at things like that."

Soering confessed to the killings, but later changed his story and said he was just trying to keep his girlfriend off death row.

"He was so mesmerized by Elizabeth, I honestly think he would have done anything for her," Reid surmised.

Reid investigated the Haysom murders with Ricky Gardner, who's now second in command at the Bedford County Sheriff's Office. Gardner has been advised not to comment about the latest developments, but has previously stated he always believed Soering is guilty.

"He is the man that, without a shadow of a doubt in my mind, murdered Mr. and Mrs. Haysom," Gardner told WDBJ7 in 2015.

Reid says an FBI profile was done on the killer shortly after the murders.

"The suspect was female and knew the victims," Reid said, reading from a statement written by Bedford County's Commonwealth's Attorney in 1985, which Reid says is alluding to a FBI criminal profile.

No one has been able to find a written copy of the profile, but Reid believes that document and other evidence was overlooked and should have been used by Soering's defense in 1990.

"I don't want to see any innocent man or woman go to jail," Reid said. "On the other hand I don't want to see any criminal walking the streets."

Reid said he's not sharing his opinion now to get fame or cause trouble. He told WDBJ7 that he was not paid by the filmmakers who produced the Soering documentary "The Promise," which features Reid and his doubts about the Soering case.

Soering's attorneys are using "The Promise" to discredit the evidence used to convict Soering and secure a pardon from Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe.