Louise Rosen heard the news and immediately felt relief.

“It’s just heartbreaking that it took this long,” the Brunswick film producer said Tuesday.

Rosen was part of the creative team behind a 2017 documentary, “Killing for Love,” that explored the 1985 deaths of Derek and Nancy Haysom in central Virginia and the subsequent convictions of the Haysom’s daughter, Elizabeth, and her boyfriend, Jens Soering, in connection with those deaths. The film cast substantial doubt on Soering’s guilt and led to a closer examination by investigators. Soering initially confessed to the killings but later recanted.

Jens Soering

Jens Soering speaks during an interview at the Buckingham Correctional Center in Dillwyn, Va., in 2011. Soering, a German diplomat’s son who was serving a life sentence for the 1985 killings of his girlfriend’s parents, was granted parole Monday. His case was the subject of a Brunswick filmmaker’s documentary. AP Photo/Steve Helber

Elizabeth Haysom and Soering were granted release from prison by a parole board on Monday after spending three decades locked up, the Washington Post reported. Rosen said she believes her film, and the additional investigation that it spurred, contributed to the board’s decision.

“This is fuel for why we spend the time and effort to do this,” she said of filmmaking. “It can make a difference.”

Derek Haysom, 72, a retired steel company executive, and Nancy, 53, a socialite, were found stabbed to death in their home on April 3, 1985. Their bodies were not discovered for days. Although the couple’s daughter and her boyfriend were not suspects initially, police eventually arrested the University of Virginia classmates.

Co-directed by German journalist Karen Steinberger and filmmaker Marcus Vetter, “Killing for Love” focused on blood and DNA evidence collected at the time that connected someone other that Soering to the scene, as well as details that he got wrong during his original confession.

Soering, who wrote a book in prison on the events, later said that he confessed to protect Elizabeth Haysom and because he thought he had diplomatic immunity because his father was a German diplomat. His trial was one of the first to garner wall-to-wall coverage on local cable TV.

Rosen said the case left “so many unanswered questions that just caused alarm really.”

Haysom, 55, pleaded guilty to being an accessory to murder before the fact. She helped plan the murders but didn’t take part. She was sentenced to 90 years in prison and has said from the beginning that Soering carried out the killings alone.

In its decision, the parole board in Virginia released Haysom and Soering because of their age and because both had been model prisoners, the Post reported. Neither was pardoned.

Soering will be deported to Germany. Haysom, a Canadian citizen, will return to Canada.

Steve Rosenfield, a Virignia attorney who represented Soering, could not be reached Tuesday for comment.

Rosen said she had hoped that Soering would be pardoned, but she said parole is the next best thing, and she’s glad he’ll be able to return to his native country.

The film “Killing for Love,” was screened multiple times in Maine beginning in 2017. Rosen said one of those screenings was attended by Anthony Sanborn and his attorney, Amy Fairfield.

Like Soering, Sanborn was released from prison, late in 2017, but not exonerated for the 1989 murder of 16-year-old Jessica Briggs.

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