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Das Versprechen (2016)

They were an unlikely couple - Jens Soering, the geeky son of a German diplomat and Elizabeth Haysom, the worldly, aloof daughter of a wealthy steel executive and his artist wife. The ... See full summary »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Gail Ball ...
...
Jens Söring (voice)
Tom Elliott ...
Himself - Catholic Deacon and Chaplain
Ricky Gardner ...
Gail Marshall ...
...
Elizabeth Haysom (voice)
Chuck Reid ...
Steven Rosenfield ...
Carlos Santos ...
Himself - Journalist
Ed Sulzbach ...
Himself, Former FBI Psychological Profiler
William Sweeney ...
Himself - Judge
...
Dave Watson ...
Rich Zorn ...
Himself - Former Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General
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Storyline

They were an unlikely couple - Jens Soering, the geeky son of a German diplomat and Elizabeth Haysom, the worldly, aloof daughter of a wealthy steel executive and his artist wife. The discovery of the bodies of Elizabeth's brutally murdered parents panicked their affluent, rural Virginia community into thoughts of a serial killer on the loose. Suspicion turned to Jens and Elizabeth when they fled the country, criss-crossing Asia and Europe, leaving a trail of passionate love letters, eventually landing in the UK where they were arrested for writing bad checks. Jens says his love for Elizabeth drove him to confess the murders. From their honours classes at the University of Virginia to life sentences in prisons 35 miles apart, it's the story of a deadly love. There are many hours of never-before-seen video material, combined with contemporary interviews with Jens Soering and many of the key figures in the original investigation and the trials. "I am innocent", said Jens Soering on ...

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Documentary | Crime

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Release Date:

15 December 2017 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La promesa  »

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Budget:

€300,000 (estimated)
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Compelling documentary about a possible miscarriage of justice
8 March 2017 | by (London) – See all my reviews

This has just been shown on BBC4 in the UK as "Killing for Love." The BBC gave no indication that this is a German production. But it explains why Jens, who speaks excellent English in court, speaks German here. The original title also may have been too partisan for the BBC. The corporation is perhaps not as convinced as the film makers of Jens's innocence. Whatever the case, the film will fascinate those unfamiliar with the 1990 trial, allegedly the first in the US to be televised, which resulted in long jail terms for Jens and his accomplice Elizabeth. Both were found guilty of the murder of Elizabeth's parents. But Jens claimed that Elizabeth was the killer and he took the blame. It is an unusual murder mystery in that both are intelligent and articulate. He's a diplomat's son, she's the child of wealthy Canadian parents, who affects an English accent. From the beginning the film makers feature participants who are on Jens's side. One says that he could tell Elizabeth was an accomplished liar. But their investigation brings in private detectives who uncover a third suspect (who denies culpability) and unknown DNA at the crime scene. This is surely sufficient to re-open the case. But the authorities in Virginia, where the crimes were committed, will not consider this. Nor will they allow Jens to complete his sentence in Germany or for him to be interviewed again. Much of the footage is of the trial, which was shot on videotape that is now showing its age. But the story is extraordinary, horrible, romantic and shocking and will enthrall all lovers of true crime mysteries.The BBC's iPlayer VOD service features another hour of material.


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