‘It’s a true crime trope that you have a beautiful murder victim and then you never hear any more about them, but we tried to bring Sophie to the fore’ 

On the morning of December 23, 1996, the body of a woman was discovered in a lane at Toormore, a rocky outcrop six miles west of Schull, Co Cork. Though the victim had sustained 50 separate injuries, and was beaten almost beyond recognition, she was quickly identified as Sophie Toscan du Plantier, a French film producer and writer who owned the adjacent holiday home. She was wearing pyjamas, and appeared to have fled her house in a hurry. A rock and a breeze block had been used to kill her.

y the time State Pathologist Dr John Harbison arrived on the scene some 28 hours later, establishing an accurate time of death was no longer possible, and much potentially vital forensic evidence had been lost.

Gardaí would later focus their enquiries on Ian Bailey, an English journalist living nearby. Twice arrested, he would never be tried for the crime in Ireland. A local woman, Marie Farrell, who claimed to have seen him near the scene of the crime on the night of the murder, would later recant her testimony.

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