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Netflix has released a trailer for a new docu-series focusing on a murder that has haunted parts of Europe for decades. “Sophie: Murder in West Cork” aims to shed light on the shocking beating death of French TV and film producer Sophie Toscan du Plantier at her vacation home in rural Ireland in 1996.
In the small townland of Drinane, near Schull, County Cork, 39-year-old du Plantier was discovered on the unpaved driveway leading up to her holiday cottage. She was still wearing her pajamas, and someone had beaten her to death, according to The Irish Times. It was a murder that shook not just the rural west Cork community but also Ireland and France as a whole.
It was “the region’s first murder in living memory,” says a voiceover on the new trailer of the three-part series.
Du Plantier’s death launched one of the most extensive criminal investigations Ireland had ever seen.
Directed by BAFTA Award nominee John Dower, the story surrounding du Plantier’s murder has long been a source of fascination. Earlier this month, Variety reported another documentary, “Murder at The Cottage: The Search For Justice For Sophie,” was set to air on June 20 on Ireland’s Sky Network, just ten days before Netflix’s June 30 premiere date.
The Netflix trailer nods to the long-time prime suspect in the case, Ian Bailey, an English reporter who had moved to County Cork back in 1991.
“He was reporting on the crime,” one of the interviewees in the documentary trailer notes.
Bailey was arrested on several occasions, according to The Irish Times, but would appeal those arrests years later when suing the Minister for Justice and the Garda (Ireland's police force) Commissioner for wrongful arrest, assault, and other charges. While he was tried and convicted in absentia in France, Ireland's High Court ruled in 2020 that he couldn't be extradited. He has maintained his innocence throughout.
The Netflix series lets audiences in on interviews with Sophie’s relatives and friends and others involved in the real-life story, both in French and Irish.
“Justice has no time limit,” says one person in French in the trailer.
"Sophie: Murder in West Cork" will premiere on Netflix on June 30.
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