Double-murderer deported to Germany after decades in US jail

A German man who has served 33 years in a US prison for a double murder arrived back in Germany on Tuesday, after receiving parole.

Double-murderer deported to Germany after decades in US jail
Jens Söring arriving in Frankfurt on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Officials in the state of Virginia allowed 53-year-old Jens Söring, the son of a diplomat, to be released on parole. But he has been banned from returning to the United States.

In an emotional return to his home country, Söring was welcomed by friends who he said had backed him in his battle to be free.

“I'm so happy to be in Germany after 33 years in prison in the US,” he told journalists in a short statement at Frankfurt Airport.

Asking for some space to “settle back into my life”, Söring added that he would “need some time” away from the media spotlight.

Imprisoned in 1986, Söring was serving a life sentence after having been convicted of killing the parents of his girlfriend, Elizabeth Haysom, who herself was jailed for complicity in the murders.

Haysom's parents' bodies were found in 1985, riddled with knife slashes.

Aged 18 at the time of the crime, Söring first admitted to the killings, which he said he had carried out because the couple disapproved of his relationship with their daughter.

He later retracted the confession, saying he had admitted to the murders to spare his girlfriend from being sentenced to death.

He had thought that he would benefit from diplomatic immunity as the son of a diplomat.

The brutal murders shocked Germany and the United States, and the young couple were the key suspects from the beginning.

They had fled the country before being arrested in Britain, which subsequently extradited them to the US for trial.

Since claiming his innocence, Söring has accused his former girlfriend of the crimes.

Haysom, who admitted to complicity in the killings, is also to be released shortly and deported to her native Canada.

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Emergency numbers fail in several German states

Callers to the emergency numbers 110 and 112 weren’t able to reach operators Thursday morning in several German states.

The 112 emergency number on an ambulance.
The 112 emergency number on an ambulance. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

The emergency number 110 for police and 112 for fire crews failed around the country early Thursday morning, with callers unable to reach emergency operators for urgent assistance between about 4:30 am and 5:40 am local time.

The Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Aid is looking into these outages, which were reported in states including Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg, and  Brandenburg, and in major cities like Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. Cologne was further affected by cuts to electricity, drinking water, and regular telephone services. Lower Saxony also saw disruptions to the internal phone networks of police and hospitals.

Emergency services are not reporting any more disturbances and people should be able to once again reach 110 and 112 around the country as normal.

Investigators are looking into the problem, but haven’t yet established a cause or any consequences that may have happened due to the outage. Provider Deutsche Telekom says they have ruled out the possibility of an attack by hackers.