A View, written by Alan English? Most Interesting, this Murder Story Changes faster then the Winds of West Cork?

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Letter from the Editor of the ‘Sunday Independent’


Sophie Toscan and her son Pierre-Louis Baudey-Vignaud
              in 1990

Sophie Toscan and her son Pierre-Louis Baudey-Vignaud in 1990

June 27 2021 02:30 AM

You might have thought there was nothing more to be said about the murder in 1996 of Sophie Toscan du Plantier  but it’s the story that keeps on  giving. Twenty-five years later it still sells newspapers, captivates podcast listeners, grips documentary viewers. The narcissistic Ian Bailey has already been convicted in a French court, but did he do it?

We talked about the case at our first news conference of the week  on Tuesday. Half an hour later we were still talking so perhaps it’s no surprise that it finishes the week as the subject of today’s lead story by Maeve Sheehan.  When journalists find a story endlessly fascinating, even after all these years, it generally means that most readers are in the same space. Well, we hope so at least.  

You may have already watched the compelling new documentary series on the Sophie case directed by Jim Sheridan, Murder at the Cottage. It features an excellent contribution from journalist Ralph Riegel, who first encountered Bailey 24 years ago. Ralph recalls that conversation on page 10, which also includes an interview by Ali Bracken with Sophie’s uncle, Jean Pierre Gazeau. Ralph writes that Bailey —  just months after the murder —  batted away his questions about what happened that night and was more interested in finding out whether the Sunday Independent might be interested in his photojournalism.


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