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Image / Living / Culture

The trailer has arrived for the must-see true crime documentary on Sophie Toscan du Plantier


by Jennifer McShane
19th Apr 2021
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In this five-part documentary series, six-time director and Oscar nominee Jim Sheridan will piece together original evidence, never-before-seen footage and interviews to try and piece together what happened – and why Sophie Toscan du Plantier's killer remains at large.

On December 23rd, 1996, French woman Sophie Toscan du Plantier was found brutally murdered a short distance away from her home in Schull, West Cork. The person responsible was never found – though a key suspect was arrested – and speculations over what happened have simmered for over two decades.

What exactly happened?

Two days before Christmas in 1996, 39-year-old French filmaker Sophie Toscan du Plantier was found brutally murdered outside her holiday cottage in Schull, West Cork. She called her “dream home” and had been due to fly back to Paris later that day (December 23, 1996) to spend Christmas with husband, Daniel du Plantier, and family. She apparently tried to flee from an intruder but was caught and killed when her clothing tragically snagged on barbed wire by the roadside.

English journalist Ian Bailey –  he was the first reporter on the scene – was arrested and questioned by Gardaí as a prime suspect twice, but was never charged or faced trial in Ireland.

The murder has remained unsolved, and has prompted mass speculation ever since.

Bailey was found guilty in absentia by the French courts in 2019 and sentenced to 25 years in prison. However having successfully fought three extradition requests by the French authorities, he still lives in West Cork, and has maintained his innocence ever since. Bailey claimed more than once he was the victim of a continuing conspiracy going on more than 20 years, including conspiracy to manufacture evidence.

The trailer

Sheridan, who narrates Murder at the Cottage: The Search for Justice for Sophie and appears on-screen, will take viewers on a journey as he unravels the unsolved case and pieces together that has haunted the town for 25 years.

You can watch the trailer below:

Netflix

As it happens, later this year, a new three-part documentary series about Sophie Toscan du Plantier’s life, made in collaboration with her family, will also air on Netflix. The series will be produced by Lightbox and will tell the story of the 1996 murder that became a national obsession in Ireland and France.  With exclusive access to Sophie Toscan du Plantier’s family, the series will, for the first time, bring together the testimony of her entire family with that of Ian Bailey, the man at the centre of the investigation.

“People wants answers,” says Sheridan. “They want conclusions.”

But will we get them?

Murder at the Cottage: The Search for Justice for Sophie will air soon on Sky Crime