Tuesday 26 June 2018

West Cork by Sam Bungey and Jennifer Forde

Sophie Toscan du Plantier (left)
 (28 July 1957 – 23 December 1996) was a French producer of arts programmes for television beaten to death outside her holiday home near Toormore, SchullCounty Cork, Ireland on the night of 23 December 1996. She was the wife of another film producer, Daniel Toscan du Plantier.

We are told from the start that this investigation remains a mystery; that there is a chief suspect - Ian Bailey (below), but that there is not enough evidence and despite being arrested, and having no plans to go to France, because of an extradition order and a trial being held there in his absence,  he remains at large.

Investigative journalist, Sam Bungey, and documentarian, Jennifer Forde, tell the story, now that your antennae are on full alert - maybe you'll figure this out. But alas, this is the story of a bungled crime scene and a police department who fails to get any significant answers or information.

And unfortunately, neither does this podcast. The only things we learn are more about Ian Bailey and Jules Thomas, his loyal partner, what they do and what they think, as they make themselves available for interviews. There are also some villagers who do the same, although what they know and recollect is not that much. The phone transcripts found in the police records also shed no light.

Did anyone  else wonder, like me, why there were only very limited interviews with the family in France - Sophie's husband, who grieves his wife; her parents, who make an annual trip to West Cork, to hold mass and appeal for justice for Sophie; and Sophie's son, who has vowed to keep the family investigation open until justice for his mother has been found? Surely finding out more about the victim would assist in knowing who may be responsible for her murder? A trip to France and in-depth conversations with Sophie's extended family and friends would have told us so much more about her.

In latest news (The Independent May 2018), Ian Bailey has asked for the French papers of the trial, and raised a ruckus that there was 'alien DNA' at the scene. Apparently this was never followed up either.

A disappointing podcast. A story that should revolve around a young woman and her murder, somehow hijacked by a man who maybe did it. Bizarre. I enjoyed the style of the presenting and the accents, and the alternating voices, but it went nowhere, and left me feeling that although I had spent no money (it was free on Audible for a while) it had wasted my time.

2 stars

Some books to read.

No comments: