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A new true-crime series
Just days before Christmas in 1996, Sophie Toscan du Plantier was murdered outside her home near the town of Schull in West Cork, Ireland. The rest remains a mystery. And the case remains unsolved.
Welcome to West Cork
Like the region itself, our series is a rich and layered world. Dig deeper into the experience using features like our interactive map, dynamic timelines, character list, episode descriptions, and related bonus material.
Hear The Trailer
Lay of The Land
Orient yourself within Ireland, and explore locations central to WEST CORK.
Ireland West Cork Bandon Often referred to as the Gateway to West Cork, Bandon lies on the Bandon River between two hills. Its Garda Station provides central policing for the area. Close A remote region in County Cork, located in the south west corner of Ireland. It is most known for its jutting peninsulas, rugged frontier, and arresting views. West Cork A remote region in County Cork, located in the south west corner of Ireland. It is most known for its jutting peninsulas, rugged frontier, and arresting views. West Cork A coastal town lying at the head of Bantry Bay. Its Garda Station begins the inquiry into Sophie’s murder. Bantry Close https://www.citypopulation.de/php/ireland-admin.php?adm2id=CC A university city in southwest Ireland; it is capital to County Cork and home to both the Cork Circuit Court and University Hospital. Population in 1996: 127,187. Cork https://www.citypopulation.de/php/ireland- admin.php?adm2id=CC A university city in southwest Ireland; it is capital to County Cork and home to both the Cork Circuit Court and University Hospital. Population in 1996: 127,187. Cork Close http://citypopulation.info/php/ireland.php?cityid=0839 With a population of just under 600 in 1996, the village remains a tourist attraction with its recreational boating and sheltered harbour. Its coast is a popular site for holiday homes. Schull pronounced “skull” http://citypopulation.info/php/ireland.php? cityid=0839 With a population of just under 600 in 1996, the village remains a tourist attraction with its recreational boating and sheltered harbour. Its coast is a popular site for holiday homes. Schull pronounced “skull” Close A townland that includes sub-townlands such as Drinane in Dunmanus West, the approximate location of Sophie Toscan du Plantier’s home. Dunmanus A townland that includes sub- townlands such as Drinane in Dunmanus West, the approximate location of Sophie Toscan Du Plantier’s home. Dunmanus Located 190 miles south west of Dublin, it is the nearest village of note to Sophie Toscan du Plantier’s home. Toormore Close A sparsely populated coastal village located on Ireland's most southwestern tip (82 miles from Cork). Crookhaven is home to several seasonal shops and three pubs—among them, O'Sullivan's. Crookhaven A sparsely populated coastal village located on Ireland’s most southwestern tip (82 miles from Cork). Crookhaven is home to several seasonal shops and three pubs— among them, O’Sullivan's. Crookhaven Close Founded in 1207 and also referred to as Dunlough Castle, the structure is a series of fortified towers bordering a small lake. Known for its Norman architecture and mythology, its only route of access comes from the south across private farmland. Three Castle Head Founded in 1207 and also referred to as Dunlough Castle, the structure is a series of fortified towers bordering a small lake. Known for its Norman architecture and mythology, its only route of access comes from the south across private farmland. Three Castle Head Close Located at the far tip of the Kimmore Peninsula in County Cork, Mizen Head is renowned for its dramatic cliffs and magnificent scenery. Mizen Head Located at the far tip of the Kimmore Peninsula in County Cork, Mizen Head is renowned for its dramatic cliffs and magnificent scenery. Mizen Head Close Known as “Ireland’s Teardrop,” as it was the last sight of land Irish emigrants would see sailing west. Construction on the lighthouse began in 1853. It lies four miles southwest of Cape Clear Island and just over eight miles from mainland County Cork. Fastnet Lighthouse Known as “Ireland’s Teardrop,” as it was the last sight of land Irish emigrants would see sailing west. Construction on the lighthouse began in 1853. It lies four miles southwest of Cape Clear Island and just over eight miles from mainland County Cork. Fastnet Lighthouse
The Story Unfolds
Explore audio clips, images, and video as you scroll through nearly three decades of key events and moments in WEST CORK. Then, take an even closer look at two critical periods—Sophie’s Final Days and The Initial Murder Investigation—on special timelines within.
Back to Main Timeline
  • December 23, 1996 | Approx. 10:00 a.m. (all times in Ireland time)
    Sophie’s body is discovered at the foot of her driveway by a neighbour, Shirley Foster, who tells her partner, Alfie Lyons. He goes to look, stops 30 metres from the body, runs to Sophie’s house and knocks on the door, noticing what appears to be blood.
    Hear the audio
  • December 23, 1996 | 10:15 a.m.
    Alfie Lyons dials 999 and Garda Eugene McCarthy takes the call.
  • December 23, 1996 | 10:38 a.m.
    Sergeant Gerard Prendiville and Garda Billy Byrne arrive at the crime scene. Prendiville calls the station for backup.
    See the photo
  • December 23, 1996 | 11 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    Dr. L. O’Connor, the local general practitioner, arrives on the scene and pronounces Sophie dead. Father Denis Cashman, a priest from Goleen, and Garda Pat Joy arrive at the scene in separate cars. Cashman performs last rites and Joy begins taking photos.
  • December 23, 1996 | 12:36 p.m.
    Josephine Hellen’s husband, Finbarr, arrives and identifies the body.
  • December 23, 1996 | Time Unknown
    Dr. John Harbison, Ireland’s only state pathologist, is informed of the murder but cannot travel to West Cork from Dublin until the following day.
  • December 23, 1996 | 1:40 p.m.
    Local reporter Ian Bailey receives a phone call from Eddie Cassidy, a journalist at the Cork Examiner, about reports of a body in West Cork.

    Courtesy of RTÉ LIBRARIES AND ARCHIVES
    See the photo
  • December 23, 1996 | 2:20 p.m.
    Ian Bailey arrives at the crime scene. He is the first journalist there.
  • December 23, 1996 | Approx. 11:30 p.m.
    Scenes of Crime Detective Eugene Gilligan arrives at Sophie’s house and explains pathologist Dr. John Harbison’s wish that her body be transported to Cork immediately. According to Gilligan, the local officer in charge insists the body remain until Dr. Harbison arrives at the scene.
  • December 24, 1996 | Approx. Midday
    Dr. John Harbison arrives at the crime scene and conducts his initial examination on Sophie’s body, which is still out in the open covered by a plastic tarp.
  • December 24, 1996 | Afternoon
    Sophie’s body arrives at Cork University Hospital for an autopsy.
  • December 25, 1996
    The Guards receive a call from shopkeeper Marie Farrell, who reports that on December 21, she saw a “weird-looking” man lingering across the street for ten minutes while Sophie was in her shop.
  • December 26, 1996
    Two guards see Ian Bailey in Schull and observe scratches on his hands.
  • December 28, 1996
    The guards who saw Ian Bailey in Schull two days earlier pay him a house call for a closer look at his injuries.
    Hear the clip
  • January 11, 1997
    Using the alias “Fiona,” Marie Farrell calls the Guards on a public phone and says she saw a man by Kealfadda Bridge around 3 a.m. the day Sophie’s body was found.
    See the photo
  • January 21, 1997
    After a public appeal from the Guards, Marie Farrell calls a second time as Fiona from a public phone to discuss her sighting.
  • January 24, 1997
    Marie Farrell calls the Guards a third time as Fiona to say she will not meet with them as requested. The call is traced to her home near Schull.
  • June 1990
    Sophie Bouniol marries French film mogul Daniel Toscan du Plantier.
    See the photo
  • Early 1993
    Sophie buys a holiday home outside the town of Schull in the region of West Cork, Ireland.
    See the photo
  • December 1996
    Sophie is murdered outside her West Cork home in the final minutes of Sunday 22nd or the early hours of Monday 23rd.
    Murder Investigation
    Sophie’s Final Days
  • February 1997
    Ian Bailey is arrested, followed 90 minutes later by his partner, Jules Thomas. They are questioned for hours, but released without charge.

    Courtesy of RTÉ LIBRARIES AND ARCHIVES
    See the video
  • January 1998
    Ian Bailey is arrested a second time for questioning and then released. No charges are filed.
  • September 2000
    Jules Thomas and her daughter, Fenella, are brought in for questioning.
  • August 2001
    Ian Bailey is arrested for assaulting Jules Thomas at their home—the third such incident known to the Guards. He later receives a three-month suspended sentence.
    Hear the audio
  • December 2002
    Sophie’s family files a civil suit in Ireland against Ian Bailey for wrongful death.
  • February 2003
    Sophie’s husband, Daniel Toscan du Plantier, dies of a heart attack in Berlin at age 61.
  • December 2003
    Ian Bailey’s libel suit begins against eight Irish and British newspapers. His suit claims the newspapers unfairly painted him as Sophie’s murderer.
    See the photo
  • January 2004
    Ian Bailey loses his libel suit against six of the eight newspapers and is awarded damages of €8,000. He goes on to appeal the decision.
  • October 2005
    Key witness Marie Farrell claims the Guards pressured her to implicate Ian Bailey and retracts her prior statements, sparking an official inquiry into the murder investigation.
  • April 2006
    With very little progress made, Sophie’s family withdraws its civil suit in Ireland against Ian Bailey.
  • February 2007
    Ian Bailey begins the appeal of his lost libel suit, but then drops his claim in exchange for the newspapers’ agreeing to forgive the six-figure legal fees he owed from the original case.
  • October 2007
    French Magistrate Patrick Gachon is appointed to lead a new inquiry into Sophie’s murder.
  • December 2007
    Sophie’s family and friends establish The Association for the Truth About the Murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier (ASSOPH).
  • July 2008
    On French Magistrate Patrick Gachon’s orders, Sophie’s body is exhumed in France so a new autopsy can be performed. The inquiry into the Gardai’s handling of the initial murder investigation concludes with the recommendation that no charges be filed for Sophie’s killing.
  • April 2010
    French authorities issue a European Arrest Warrant for Ian Bailey, whose legal team prepares to fight the associated request for extradition to France. Ian Bailey is arrested on the European warrant by Irish authorities and released on bail.
  • March 2012
    The Irish Supreme Court rules in favour of Ian Bailey against his extradition to France.
  • April 2014
    After months of talk that phone calls in and out of Bandon Garda station—the headquarters for the murder investigation—were recorded, the Guards officially confirm the rumours.
  • November 2014
    Ian Bailey sues the Irish State for wrongful arrest and conspiracy.
  • March 2015
    Ian Bailey loses his civil suit against the Irish State seeking damages. His legal team goes on to appeal the ruling.
  • January 2016
    In France, Magistrate Nathalie Turquey is appointed to take over the murder investigation.
  • July 2016
    French Magistrate Nathalie Turquey issues a new European Arrest Warrant for Ian Bailey.
  • March 2017
    Ian Bailey is arrested on the new European warrant by Irish authorities and released on bail. His legal team begins the fight against extradition to France.
  • July 2017
    The Irish High Court rules in favour of Ian Bailey against extradition. The Irish Appeals Court largely rejects his case against the State, but leaves the door open for him to pursue a new civil suit of limited scope.
  • December 2017
    The Irish State urges the Court of Appeals to overturn its decision permitting Ian Bailey to pursue a new civil suit of limited scope. The Court of Appeals reserves judgment until a later date.
  • February 2018
    The main appeals court in Paris rules there are "sufficient elements” to put Ian Bailey on trial in France for Sophie’s murder. Barring a reversal from a higher French court, he will be tried in absentia.
Back to Main Timeline
  • December 20, 1996 | 11:30 a.m. (all times in GMT)
    Sophie boards Aer Lingus flight EI 521 at Charles De Gaulle airport bound for Cork, with a connection in Dublin.
  • December 20, 1996 | 2:25 p.m.
    Sophie’s plane lands at Cork airport.
  • December 20, 1996 | 2:30–2:40 p.m.
    CCTV captures Sophie wheeling luggage into the arrivals hall. She rents a silver Ford Fiesta at the Avis desk.
    See the video
  • December 20, 1996 | 3:30 p.m.
    Sophie buys household supplies at a Texaco station in the town of Ballydehob.
  • December 20, 1996 | 4:30 p.m.
    Sophie arrives home to find that the housekeeper, Josephine Hellen, has lit the two fireplaces and decorated the windowsills and mantels with holly in the West Cork tradition.
  • December 20, 1996 | 4:45 p.m.
    Josephine Hellen phones to check in, and they discuss Sophie’s plan to spend New Year’s in West Africa.
  • December 20, 1996 | 11:25 p.m.
    Sophie’s best friend, Agnès Thomas, phones from Paris and they speak for about 20 min.
  • December 21, 1996 | 3:00–4:00 p.m.
    Sophie runs errands in Schull: she shops for groceries at Bronsnan’s Spar, withdraws £200 Irish from an ATM (3:25 p.m.), has tea at The Courtyard restaurant, and stops for a moment at an arts and crafts shop belonging to Schull
    See the photo
  • December 21, 1996 | 4:15 pm
    Sophie’s rental car is seen parked outside her home, where it is assumed she stayed for the rest of the evening.
  • December 22, 1996 | 2:00–4:00 p.m.
    Sophie takes a walk at Three Castle Head, after which she visits the Ungerers, a French-speaking couple who owns the land. They tell the Guards that Sophie said something spooked her during the walk.
    See the photo
  • December 22, 1996 | Sometime between 4:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
    Sophie drives from Three Castle Head to Crookhaven, where she has a cup of tea at O’Sullivan’s Bar, during which she speaks with owner Billy O’Sullivan.
    Hear the audio
  • December 22, 1996 | 5:30 p.m.
    Back at home, Sophie phones Agnès Thomas in Paris.
    >
  • December 22, 1996 | 7:30 p.m.
    Sophie phones Josephine Hellen, who is not at home, and then phones local tradesman Pat Hegarty, who is unavailable.
  • December 22, 1996 | 9:10 p.m.
    Sophie again phones Josephine Hellen, who is still not at home.
    >
  • December 22, 1996 | 9:20 p.m.
    Shirley Foster, Sophie’s neighbour, notices that the outside light at Sophie’s house is on as she heads to bed.
  • December 22, 1996 | 9:45 p.m.
    Josephine Hellen returns Sophie’s calls and they agree to meet at the house at noon the following day. Sophie asks Josephine to bring Pat Hegarty to do some renovation work.
  • December 22, 1996 | 11:10 p.m.
    Sophie speaks with her husband in France and confirms that she is flying back to Paris on the 24th. They make plans to spend Christmas Day together at their French country home in Ambax.
    Hear the audio
Cast Of Characters
Keep track of all the people who play a part in WEST CORK as they appear
(and reappear) during the series.
Sophie Toscan du Plantier, née Bouniol
French film producer murdered outside her West Cork home in 1996, just days before Christmas. She was 39. It was the first murder to take place in the region in 100 years.
Jules Thomas
West Cork artist. Originally from Wales, Thomas is a landscape painter, and one of the original ‘blow-ins’ to West Cork. She is Ian Bailey’s longtime partner, and remains loyally by his side.
Marie Farrell
Key witness who reports seeing a strange man three times over the weekend of Sophie’s murder.
Daniel Toscan du Plantier d.2003
Sophie’s husband at the time of her murder. Du Plantier was a celebrated and well-connected French film producer. Police cleared him of suspicion in Sophie’s murder.
Pierre-Louis Baudey-Vignaud
Sophie’s son from a previous marriage, he was 15 at the time of his mother’s murder. Along with other surviving family members, he continues to pursue legal action in French courts.
Bruno Carbonnet
French-born artist and Sophie’s former lover. He was investigated as a possible suspect in her murder, but cleared of suspicion.
Agnès Thomas
A close friend and former work colleague of Sophie’s, she would holiday with Sophie at her home in West Cork.
Bertrand Bouniol
Sophie’s brother. On Christmas Eve 1996, he flew with his parents to West Cork to ID her body.
Jean-Pierre Gazeau
Sophie’s uncle and President of the Association for the Truth About the Murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier (ASSOPH).
Marie-Madeleine Opalka
Sophie’s aunt and widow of renowned artist Roman Opalka.
Lara Marlowe
US-born journalist who covered the case for The Irish Times. She lives and works in France and remains in close contact with Sophie’s family.
Jean-Antoine Bloc
Vice-president of the Association for the Truth About the Murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier (ASSOPH) and official translator of all the news coverage from Ireland into French.
Thierry Leveque
Journalist who covered the case as a legal correspondent for Reuters.
Alain Spilliaert
A lawyer and member of the Paris Bar for more than 30 years, he has worked on behalf of Sophie’s family since the murder.
Eugene Gilligan
Former scenes of crime detective in An Garda Siochana technical bureau; he examined the murder site on the day Sophie’s body was discovered.
Jim Fitzgerald and Liam Leahy
Prominent detectives in the initial investigation, charged with handling the most sensitive witnesses in the case.
John Harbison
The state pathologist at the time of Sophie’s murder.
Jim Duggan
The longest-serving member of the suspect’s legal team. A Cork city barrister, he has a second home in Schull, West Cork. He decided to take the case after the suspect’s second arrest, believing his client was not receiving fair treatment under the law.
James Hamilton
Now retired, he became the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in 1999 when the investigation was already two years old. In 2001, his office issued a 44-page report outlining the DPP’s reasons for not pursuing charges against the prime suspect.
Delia Van Hemmen, née Jackson
A neighbour of the prime suspect—and a former co-worker of his at the Schull fish factory—she stated that she saw a bonfire burning on his property Christmas Day 1996.
Nadine O’Regan
A writer and broadcaster in Dublin, she is originally from the West Cork town of Skibbereen. Her father was editor of West Cork newspaper, The Southern Star.
Billy MacGill
A Cork based photojournalist who briefly partnered with the prime suspect on work for the Sunday Tribune.
Ian Bailey
English-born freelance journalist and a central character in Sophie’s murder. Now 61, he moved to West Cork in 1991, and took up landscape gardening and poetry. Courtesy of RTÉ LIBRARIES AND ARCHIVES
Dermot Dwyer
Retired Chief Superintendent, assigned to West Cork. He served as a lead detective on Sophie’s murder.
James Donovan
Retired head of the Guards’ forensics lab in Dublin, where physical evidence was sent during the initial murder investigation.
Frank Buttimer
A prominent criminal attorney in Cork, he is both an ardent defender of his client’s innocence and detractor of the Guards for their failings in the investigation.
Billy O’Sullivan
Former owner of O’Sullivan’s Bar in Crookhaven, County Cork, at the southeastern tip of Ireland. He speaks French and was friendly with Sophie, who stopped at the pub for tea the evening before she died.
Kieran Doyle
A retired Cork City paramedic and ambulance driver fascinated by the Du Plantier case, he developed a theory that a horse was responsible for Sophie’s death.
Shirley Foster and Alfie Lyons
Neighbours of Sophie. Shirley discovered the body shortly after 10 a.m. on December 23, 1996. Alfie then called the police.
Leo and Sally Bolger
West Cork couple who kept horses on the land next to Sophie’s house. Leo also worked as a handyman for Sophie.
Pete Bielecki
Onetime friend of the prime suspect, he witnessed the aftermath of the suspect’s brutal 1996 domestic assault on his partner.
Ceri Williams
The former neighbour of both the prime suspect and his partner, she claims the suspect appeared outside her home one night after the murder, wailing her name.
Elizabeth Wassell and John Montague
Novelist and poet couple who lived in West Cork in the mid-90s. They employed the prime suspect as a gardener and later co-wrote an article about him and the murder for The New Yorker magazine in 2000.
Bill Hogan
A US-born, longtime Schull resident and retired cheesemaker who knew Sophie as a customer.
Len Liptich
A Schull resident who blew in from London in the 1970s.
Tom Quinn
A painter, decorator, and Schull resident, he did work at Sophie’s house, and was fingerprinted by the Guards.
Claire Wilkinson
A former West Cork resident and friend to the prime suspect.
Martin Graham
A former officer in the British Army in Northern Ireland who later becomes involved in criminal activity. He is recruited as an informant on Sophie’s case, but double-crosses the Guards.
Michael Sheridan
A Dublin-based screenwriter and true crime author, he wrote Death in December, a book about the du Plantier case.
Declan Gilsesnen
The former deputy and assistant state pathologist in Ireland, he believes Sophie’s murder was spontaneous and not premeditated.
Kay Reynolds
The prime suspect’s only sibling, she gave evidence in his civil suit against the State and believes that efforts to extradite him to France for prosecution are unjust. A resident of London, she remains close to her brother.
John Hawkins
Owner and operator of the Gloucester news agency, he hired the prime suspect as an apprentice reporter in 1975 and found him talented, but brash. Later, the prime suspect would set up a rival enterprise in nearby Cheltenham.
Viv Hargreaves
An English freelance journalist, Viv was a friend of the prime suspect in Gloucester. She remained his confidante during the collapse of his marriage.
George Henderson
A freelance journalist and former friend and colleague of the prime suspect in Cheltenham, England.
See Full List Of Characters
Episode Descriptions and Extras
Read a quick summary of each episode and explore additional, related material.
Episode 1: Blow-Ins
West Cork, Ireland is an outpost at the edge of Europe. Rugged, windswept, and coastal, it was a region of farmers and fisherman until the 1960s, when it was discovered by the “blow-ins”—artists, urban runaways, and people who drove until the road ran out. It was a haven for those wanting to turn their backs on their old lives and start over. But then there was a murder in West Cork, and everything changed overnight.

Watch a young Billy O’Sullivan in the documentary, An Irish Village.
Episode 3: Sophie Bouniol
Born Sophie Bouniol, the well-connected French film producer Sophie Toscan du Plantier was 39 when she was murdered. In a place where no one could remember the last time a murder occurred, locals speculated that the killer must be an outsider. Rumours about Sophie and her love life, fueled by tabloids, flourished. But her quieter, more bookish side was reflected in the simple, white house she kept in West Cork, and known to those who loved her most.
Watch a rare, silent video of Sophie taken on her 28th birthday, with Paris in the background.
Close
Episode 5: A Good Suspect
The Guards have a suspect—a man who has spent the last 20 years trying to convince Ireland that he is not a murderer. We begin on the first day of the investigation, tracing the suspect’s behaviour over the six weeks following the murder up until the day of his arrest. What was he up to, and how did he become the central figure in one of Ireland’s most notorious murder cases?
Episode 7: The Arrest
On February 10, 1997, the Guards make an arrest in a well-orchestrated plan to ensnare their suspect. There’s an interrogation, a question of coercion, and an alibi that doesn’t quite hold up—but no confession. The charge doesn’t stick and someone close to the suspect appears to waver on his guilt.
Watch a local RTÉ newscast from the day of the Guard’s first arrest.
Close
Courtesy of RTÉ LIBRARIES AND ARCHIVES
Episode 9: The Moonshine Effect
After the arrest is made public, the community is terrified and convinced a murderer lives next door. Still, the suspect remains in West Cork. And it seems everyone has a theory—a story about the suspect’s strangeness—ranging from the plausible to the absurd: that he is a sexual predator; that he wanders the countryside alone, howling, driven to madness by the full moon. But as it turns out, some of the craziest rumours were coming from the unlikeliest of sources—the suspect himself.
Episode 11: Enemy #1
After the defamation trial, no one understands why the suspect is still a free man. But the case against him is quickly unraveling—there’s a new, seasoned lawyer, trouble with a key witness’ story, and questions about the legitimacy of the Guards’ investigation.
Episode 2: The Back of Beyond
A body is found at the end of a path leading to three houses. The police, known in Ireland as “the Guards,” have little experience with serious crime in West Cork, and the victim—a French woman with a holiday home in the area—is a mysterious figure to locals. That night, as news of the murder makes its way through the community, everyone begins to question if they were ever truly safe.
See a diagram of the crime scene as found by the Guards.
Close
Episode 4: Killer Among Us
In the weeks following the murder, the picturesque holiday town of Schull (pronounced “skull”) near Sophie’s home becomes a very different place to live. With no answers, and the investigation focusing on locals, the townspeople start watching their neighbours more closely. And the Guards begin receiving anonymous calls about a strange man in town.
View the last known image taken of Sophie as she walked through the arrivals gate at Cork airport.
Close
Episode 6: The Englishman
A blow-in from Manchester, England, the suspect has been grating on locals ever since he first arrived in West Cork. He has been accused of inserting himself into the investigation and delighting in his notoriety, at the expense of determining what actually happened to Sophie. Though he is often perceived as arrogant and tactless, his history and personal diaries reveal not only deep insecurities, but a man increasingly desperate to save himself.
Episode 8: The Game Is On
A game of cat and mouse ensues in which the Guards need more evidence and worry they’re being outsmarted by the prime suspect. The “Bandon Tapes,” secret audio recordings of the Guards, reveal the lengths they’re willing to go to convict their suspect—including planting spies wearing wires and other dubious tactics—to little success.
Episode 10: Shanghaied
Sophie Toscan du Plantier’s murder is big news in Ireland—so big that the suspect takes the newspapers to court for defamation, intending to clear his name with the public. But it backfires spectacularly when the newspapers round up angry locals to testify, air secret diaries, and reveal the suspect’s long history as a domestic abuser.
Episode 12: Loose Ends
If the Guards’ prime suspect didn’t kill Sophie, who did? Theories abound: a “French connection,” a murderous horse, a misidentified man in a long black coat. There are promising leads that seem to have gone unpursued by the police, and the distinct impression that the case wasn’t nearly as strong as it originally seemed.
Episode 13: An Intimate Conviction
While the case reaches a stalemate in Ireland, a parallel investigation in France—spearheaded by Sophie’s family—moves forward. The suspect finds himself confronted with new charges and the community grapples with the case. Sophie’s son—just 15 when his mother was murdered— visits his mother’s favorite pub in West Cork and shares a pint with the last known person who saw her alive.
About The Hosts
Jennifer Forde
Jennifer Forde is a UK-based documentary television producer, who has worked for many years at the BBC and some of Britain’s leading independent production companies. Her credits include: directing and producing an episode of the RTS award-winning BBC series The Secret Life of the National Grid; producing an episode of Catholics, a Grierson-shortlisted BBC series about Catholic identity in Britain; and working with Louis Theroux on his series LA Stories. Jennifer believes strongly that the most important part of telling any story is letting the people who have lived it tell it for you.
Sam Bungey
Sam Bungey is a journalist from London. His previous foray into audio was a piece for This American Life called ‘Murder Most Fowl,’ which he first wrote about in an award winning story for the Vineyard Gazette. Sam started his career in Dublin with a national monthly magazine, Mongrel, and later launched the online magazine The Racket, before being recruited to Sydney, Australia as deputy editor of award winning news site, The Global Mail. He doesn’t have a particular beat, but is fascinated by people who take a stubborn position in life and defend that position at all costs.