06th Sep 2021
For almost 25 years, the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier has remained a mystery.
The 39-year-old French film producer was found dead on the driveway of her holiday home in rural Ireland on December 23, 1996. The two recent documentaries on her life – one by Jim Sheridan and the other by Netflix – have attempted to work out what exactly happened – or what they believe happened.
But we are so focused on the Who and the Why that it’s easy to forget about those closest to her that have been left behind.
The son of Sophie Toscan du Plantier, Pierre Louis Baudey-Vignaud has made a fresh appeal for information about her murder. Now 40, he was just 15 years old when his mother was killed in west Cork in 1996.
“It’s been 25 years, the truth has not arrived yet – we must end this story – for me, for my mother, for Irish people… You, the Irish people, you have a murderer living in Ireland,” Baudey-Vignaud said when he appeared on The Late Late Show on Friday.
He made a harrowing appeal to the Irish people for information about his mother’s killer, as he explained he returns to his mother’s holiday home near Toormore every year with his own young family and had a sense that people in West Cork have information about what happened.
“My mother was found dead with the complete body destroyed… Her face was … destroyed by stones. She was almost naked in the land, with scratches on the face and on the body,” he said.
“Please for you, for me, for my mother, for the justice – for all the women who are living in this country, we must end this – please call me, send me an email or go to the gardaí, for sure, you (who) know something.”
“It’s extraordinary but when I am in West Cork, in my mother’s house, all the people I meet are very clear, it’s very clear for them – it’s a very small community and it’s not easy to say but now it’s been 25 years but this land, this very little part of Ireland must find peace again,” he said.
“I was very close to her, she was my whole (world)… she was my everything…I was like a little monkey attached to her, following her everywhere… we had a very special connection and we were very much the same with the freckles but she was an extraordinary mother, a romantic woman, a lovely person.”
Prime suspect, Ian Bailey was arrested and questioned by Gardaí as a prime suspect twice following Sophie’s murder, but was never charged or faced trial in Ireland. Last year a French court tried and convicted Bailey in his absence although the Irish courts have recently ruled against his extradition.
“The verdict in France was very powerful because they said Ian Bailey is guilty and must go to jail for 25 years …. I’m not saying he is guilty, the French is saying he is guilty and when you see all the files, I think Ireland …. must go to a trial soon, the elements of the files are unambiguous.”