Author leaves hidden message in book telling suspected killer of Sophie Toscan du Plantier that he knows the truth
An author has left a hidden message in his latest book telling the suspected killer of a French filmmaker that he knows the truth.
Like a plot twist from an Agatha Christie whodunit, Nick Foster said it was a reference that only he and the alleged murderer will spot.
The battered body of French film-producer Sophie Toscan du Plantier, 39, was found near her holiday home in rural west Cork on December 23, 1996.
A blood-soaked concrete block and a rock lay nearby.
- What happened to Sophie Toscan du Plantier? All you need to know as Netflix to release A Murder In West Cork documentary
For years the murder remained unsolved and the case became one of the most notorious crimes in both Ireland and France.
There were no witnesses to the attack and no forensic evidence.
Poet and former journalist Ian Bailey, 64, was one of the first on the crime scene near Roaring Water Bay after being sent to cover the story for English, French and Irish newspapers.
Weeks later the Englishman was arrested on suspicion of murder.
Bailey was never charged in Ireland but in May 2019, he was convicted in his absence in a Paris court and sentenced to 25 years in prison.
However, a third attempt to extradite Bailey to France failed in the High Court in Dublin last year.
Foster spent six years researching his book on the killing which is published this month, called Murder At Roaringwater, and got to know Bailey.
But the pair have not spoken since Foster told him he thought he was guilty last year while filming a documentary to go with the book.
Nick said: “ I asked him why he killed her and he hung up on me.
“I want Bailey to know I’m still on his case so I’ve put in the book a clue to one piece of evidence that only he will recognise.
“Yes, really. It sounds like something out of Agatha Christie, but this is for real.
“The reference is buried in the book, but he’ll get a shock when he sees it. No other reader will notice it.
- Three new suspects in the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier have been identified in new documentary
“Obviously, I can’t tell anyone else what the clue is – at least, not yet. But I think it is a neat innovation, part and parcel of wanting to push the boundaries of true crime.”
A forthcoming five-part Sky documentary, Murder at the Cottage: The Search for Justice for Sophie, is directed by Ireland’s six-time Oscar-nominee Jim Sheridan.
Sheridan’s team filmed Bailey in Cork during his 2019 trial in absentia in France. Foster worked on the documentary.