Ian Bailey In His Own Words

Ian Bailey Exclusive! Sohpie Toscan du Plantier Cold Case Review | TrueCrimeIRL Kelli Berens-Brink

Ian Bailey Exclusive!

Sohpie Toscan du Plantier Cold Case Review | TrueCrimeIRL Kelli Berens-Brink

In this exclusive interview, Kelli chats with Ian Bailey about his new podcast, and about the new cold case review of the Sophie Toscan du Plantier case. He also shares his thoughts on who he thinks may have had something to do with the decades-old murder.

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The following is the written transcript of this episode, recorded on 11/21/2022 by Kelli Berens-Brink.

KELLI BRINK 0:00
39 year old Sophie Toscan du Plantier was a French television producer who was killed outside of her holiday home in County Cork, Ireland on the night of 23 December 1996.

KELLI BRINK 0:15
Two 2021 documentaries have been released in search of the truth.

KELLI BRINK 0:20
The first is the Netflix series “Sophie, A Murder in West Cork”, and the other – the Sky series – Murder at the Cottage: The Search for Justice for Sophie”… this one was produced by six-time Oscar nominee Jim Sheridan.

KELLI BRINK 0:37
Both documentaries focus in on one particular prime suspect, English journalist Ian Bailey. He was the first reporter on the scene after the crime was reported.

KELLI BRINK 0:49
Bailey was arrested twice by detectives, but no charges were ever filed due to lack of evidence, but in the court of public opinion, Bailey’s guilty. However, he adamantly denies having any involvement in the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier. And in fact, he’s releasing a podcast on this very subject. The podcast is called Ian Bailey, in his own words, and today, I’m interviewing him. This is a very high profile case, and you’re not going to want to miss this exclusive interview. Stay tuned.

Ian Bailey 1:32
So how are you?

KELLI BRINK 1:33
I’m great. How are you?

Ian Bailey 1:34
[Speaking Gaelic] That’s Irish. I’m good. Now tell me this… how are things in the land of the free and the home of the brave?

KELLI BRINK 1:44
It’s it’s crazy as usual. It’s there’s a lot going on here. But yeah, it’s good. It’s good. So, yes. Well, thank you for coming on the show. I kind of shared the little…

Ian Bailey 2:00
Sláinte!

KELLI BRINK 2:00
Yeah, Sláinte to you too. I don’t have anything to drink. But it’s early. I do like Irish tea though.

Ian Bailey 2:11
Yeah, it’s the best.

KELLI BRINK 2:13
Yeah, it’s great.

KELLI BRINK 2:15
Thank you for coming on the show. I you have been on my friend’s show — Maurice Shortall with Cheap Heat Productions. You were on his show a couple of times. And I think that’s how we connected – you and I connected. But yeah, the story is so interesting. In the last year or two, there have been two major documentary films about the Sophie Tuscan du Plantier case. One with Netflix. One …

Ian Bailey 2:44
Kelli should we set the scene for all of your listeners?

KELLI BRINK 2:49
Absolutely set the scene for us, Ian.

Ian Bailey 2:51
Let’s let’s do that. Okay. Very, very quickly. An erudite Lee Yes. 25 and a half years ago, I’m an investigative journalist. Well, yes.

Ian Bailey 3:07
And I moved to Ireland in 1996. With the cultural people in place.

Ian Bailey 3:15
Just before Christmas of 1996, a French holiday home owner came from France to Ireland to her isolated little cottage and was found dead on the Christmas Eve Eve. That’s Monday the 23rd Yes, yes. I was a reporter, Fleet Street trained – old fashioned investigative journalist.

Unknown Speaker 3:48
Oh, by the way, yeah. All the President’s Men, Bernstein and Woodward. My inspirations. A young cub.

KELLI BRINK 3:56
Oh, that’s really interesting.

Ian Bailey 3:58
Lifestyle reporting. It is not too far from where I live. And then within six weeks, I find myself being arrested and accused of having committed the crime

KELLI BRINK 4:08
…because you were the first journalist on the scene. Is that right? Or the first journalist to report on it…

Ian Bailey 4:14
uh, yeah, I think… I definitely was the first journalist and I was the lead journalist. I used to be very good journalist. I was trained by the Sunday Times.

KELLI BRINK 4:24
Nice.

Ian Bailey 4:27
Yeah. Great. I’m old school.

KELLI BRINK 4:29
Oh, yeah. That’s good. Good. Okay. So it wasn’t very long after that you became a person of interest in Sophie’s murder. How did that happen?

Ian Bailey 4:42
Well, I don’t know. I well, I can tell you actually, I can tell you truth and tell you from the heart.

Ian Bailey 4:49
This has happened all over the world, and probably still does. A crime occurs. The police force in charge in this case in Ireland – Garda Síochána – has yet to comment. That means the guardians of the peace.

KELLI BRINK 5:04
Yes, yes.

Ian Bailey 5:05
A senior detective who I won’t name – well, maybe I will – decided to put me in the frame.

KELLI BRINK 5:13
Okay.

Ian Bailey 5:14
And from that point on my life and nearly a quarter century has been been another — my ex partner as well and has been really really…

KELLI BRINK 5:24
Jules?

Ian Bailey 5:24
Yes – Jules had to deal with a lot of this too. Yeah. Yeah. God, God. Yeah. Yeah.

KELLI BRINK 5:30
Yeah. So you’re thrown into this… And you became pretty much one of the main suspects?

Ian Bailey 5:41
Well, yeah, I was actually branded or rebranded by members of Garda Síochána. Yes. The prime suspects. Yes, yes. I was only there … to fit me into their false frame.

Ian Bailey 5:42
When I was when I was arrested… it’s interesting. I’m just writing my autobiographical podcast.

KELLI BRINK 6:06
Yes, I want to talk about that, too.

Ian Bailey 6:08
And, yeah, it’s bringing up a lot of stuff. I’m doing it.

Ian Bailey 6:15
Um, what became very apparent in the first arrest was there was no evidence in sight.

KELLI BRINK 6:21
You could never be charged because there was a lack of evidence. So they arrested you, but nothing really ever came of that?

Ian Bailey 6:26
Yeah. Anyway… just going in sequence. Sorry.

KELLI BRINK 6:30
Yeah. No, no, you’re good. You tell your story.

Ian Bailey 6:37
there was definitely an… I’m actually half Welsh. Yes. That was interested in Britain. British subject.

KELLI BRINK 6:46
I’m covering another case right now that happened in Wales. So I’m interested in that.

Ian Bailey 6:50
Yeah. All right. So it became very apparent to me that there was a sort of a hysterical, xenophobic desire to put me in the frame.

Ian Bailey 7:04
And, you know, and then I didn’t know Jules had been arrested — my partner had been arrested.

KELLI BRINK 7:13
In connection to the murder? In connection to Sophie’s case?

Ian Bailey 7:17
I was arrested on, I think it was February. The 11th 1997.

KELLI BRINK 7:23
Okay.

Ian Bailey 7:23
Um, I knew that the guards were searching. She had a studio and with too much data, but I didn’t know she’d been arrested. She was arrested and she was arrested twice. I was arrested twice, and I’ve been arrested three times.

KELLI BRINK 7:40
Did police think that Jules had something to do with this, possibly?

Ian Bailey 7:51
Yeah, they were trying to imply that.

KELLI BRINK 7:54
Okay, interesting… But nothing ever came of that with either you or Jules because, again, there was a lack of evidence, correct?

Ian Bailey 8:04
And the DPP in Ireland, we have a separate body of government wing, DPP, the Director of Public Prosecutions, and in 2002, and I didn’t know that for many years. But the in 2002, the DPP went through the police file against me, and totally rejected it saying it was absolutely forced and prejudiced. Right. Some rejected it.

KELLI BRINK 8:36
Can you tell me a few of the reasons that they had to think you could have been a person of interest?

KELLI BRINK 8:48
Did they tell you a whole lot about why they were arresting you or what the evidence was against you?

Ian Bailey 8:50
No, no, it was it was basically accusation or “you did it. You did it. You did it. You can’t remember doing it now. Just admit it. You’re British and fuck off. We’re gonna get you”.

Ian Bailey 9:17
I think it was an American poet, writer, who did the Salem Witch Trials… The Crucible? It was gruesome. I mean, it was an example of that.

KELLI BRINK 9:33
Yes. It was a bit like the Salem witch trials. Because, let’s face it, you’re a little eccentric.

Ian Bailey 9:41
Do you know what the definition of eccentric is?

KELLI BRINK 9:53
What is it?

Ian Bailey 9:55
Well, if you don’t happen to like somebody who is far more interesting and colorful and you… You brand them eccentric.

KELLI BRINK 10:06
Okay. I could see that. Well, no, I did not mean any offense by the term eccentric. I’m a bit eccentric myself.

Ian Bailey 10:12
So, but — no — you didn’t.

KELLI BRINK 10:14
But, you know, you were not like the typical Cork person walking around the streets. You stuck out a little bit.

Ian Bailey 10:26
Well I say I’m six foot four and a half, you know, like, you know, pretty tall.

KELLI BRINK 10:31
Yes. You were outspoken, too…

Ian Bailey 10:35
Young. Good looking. Look, I’m a poet.

KELLI BRINK 10:40
Exactly. You’re a poet.

Ian Bailey 10:41
Poets [undeciphered] … supposed to be that old? Yes, that’s exactly younger days.

Ian Bailey 10:48
Apparently, when I had a real good head of hair, I was apparently quite tall, dark and handsome. I mean,

KELLI BRINK 10:58
There are pictures of you all over the internet from from every decade. So I’ve seen lots of pictures of you, yes.

KELLI BRINK 11:07
So do you think maybe that had something to do with it? You know, you were a little different. You were an outsider.

Ian Bailey 11:16
I was an outsider. Yeah. Now that was back in 1990. That’s 25 years ago. Yes, the island that I first came to in, in the very early 90s… Changed.

Ian Bailey 11:30
The Islands, a magnificent place and the people and place in the culture is just the best in the world. Of course, as you know, a lot of your American citizens know. Yes, this is where you came from. Wales, this is well, Wales is has a great history too. It’s changed a lot.

Ian Bailey 11:54
It’s become … the culture has only been enriched by the growing demographic shift.

KELLI BRINK 12:02
Okay. Got it.

KELLI BRINK 12:05
So after that, you were released. You were no longer… you know, they couldn’t hold you.

KELLI BRINK 12:11
There were some libel lawsuits. You you sued the Garda Síochána for libel. How did that happen?

Ian Bailey 12:21
No, no, just… I’m a gentle journalist… So the actual sequence was, I took an action on advice from lawyers against newspapers in the early 2000s.

KELLI BRINK 12:32
Okay, so against the media?

Ian Bailey 12:34
Okay, not totally successful. I won two, I lost five I appeal, then they were settled. Okay. Okay. And then I took up a case against the state of Ireland. Okay. Garda Síochána. Yes, yes, which commenced in 2014.

Ian Bailey 12:59
I wasn’t successful. In fact, I lost, I lost, yeah. But I wasn’t defeated. And I was actually vindicated by the process.

Ian Bailey 13:11
And one quote that always struck me and kept me going was from the Kennedy brother, who was the attorney general. And this isn’t verbatim. But he said, When, when the common man strikes out against the overuse of the force of the state, he does something good for himself, but he sends out a signal to other common people, and maybe a way of taking you on a state. So I still am.

KELLI BRINK 13:44
You’re still working on it?

Ian Bailey 13:46
You might not – but you might – notice, I’m not down.

Ian Bailey 13:52
I’m in the John Wayne State of Mind.

KELLI BRINK 13:54
Yes. So you’re working on vindicating yourself, taking back your name?

KELLI BRINK 14:00
You’re doing a few things…You’re starting a podcast. Let’s talk about that.

Ian Bailey 14:07
Yeah, I’ve written the first episode. I mean, my life last year was just overturned by different events. From the two documentaries, to losing my long term partner…

KELLI BRINK 14:24
I’m sorry to hear that.

Ian Bailey 14:25
And then dealing with this and dealing with that, but I’m just at the moment really fine.

Ian Bailey 14:34
I call it the muse. The, you know, the muse can come through in color, architecture, whatever … my muse is poetry.

Ian Bailey 14:44
Interestingly enough, one of my greatest muses ever … he took the name of a Welsh poet. I’m talking about Roberto Dillon,

KELLI BRINK 15:11
One of the greatest. Yes.

Ian Bailey 15:14
Yeah, I mean, yeah. He’s over in Ireland, I think at the moment, coming over. He is in his 80s.

KELLI BRINK 15:22
I was gonna say — I didn’t honestly know he was still alive. Oh, that’s terrible of me.

KELLI BRINK 15:35
Oh, my goodness. Okay, so you’re starting a podcast, called “Ian Bailey, In His Own Words”. What is this going to be about? A little bit of poetry? A little bit about the case?

Ian Bailey 15:47
It’s gonna be more autobiographical. It’s an audio biography, as opposed to a written biography — on pain.

KELLI BRINK 15:55
Gotcha. Okay.

Ian Bailey 15:59
I’ve got Episode One perfected. I’m working on episode two and three and four. I’ve got – I just had a call before you that came through from my great Scottish engineer, and he’s going to direct it.

KELLI BRINK 16:12
Oh, nice. That’s great. It’s a lot of work. But you’ll be great.

Ian Bailey 16:20
As a matter of interest, you want to ask me about what I think’s going to happen over this side of the Atlantic with Brexit, Britain?

KELLI BRINK 16:27
Oh, my goodness. I am the last person to talk politics with. I stay out of everything. But I think it’s fascinating.

Ian Bailey 16:36
It’s not politics.

KELLI BRINK 16:37
Okay. Well, tell me about it.

Ian Bailey 16:38
Well, they call what they call the UK, which was really created, I think, by the Act of Union in 1800. Was like England, Wales, Scotland is falling apart. Right. I do know that. It’s crumbling and tumbling. And Scotland next year, we’ll have a referendum to either stay within the UK Union or leave and become part of the E. EU or the European Union.

KELLI BRINK 17:09
It’s really interesting. People are divided on this.

Ian Bailey 17:14
Yeah. Oh, yeah. Absolutely.

KELLI BRINK 17:16
Yeah, I have friends in the UK and Ireland and they talk about it a little bit with me. I don’t follow it as well as I should.

KELLI BRINK 17:25
But what I am going to be following is the World Cup. How about you?

Ian Bailey 17:29
Ah, no, no, no. The last time I followed the World Cup was the one in ’96

KELLI BRINK 17:38
Oh my goodness. Okay, so you’re a rugby guy. Not so much a soccer, er, ‘football’ fan.

Ian Bailey 17:44
I’m more a more rugby and I’m really into GA I’ve got more and more into the the Irish national sport. Not only is it nice for me as a Welsh Celt, it’s very satisfying. And do you know what the Celts and huge number of he Americans, obviously like yourself descended from? Irish blood?

Ian Bailey 18:15
The Celts have a gift that the Anglo Saxons generally don’t have.

KELLI BRINK 18:22
What’s that?

Ian Bailey 18:23
Craic.

KELLI BRINK 18:24
Craic! Oh, I love the craic! I love the Irish craic. It’s the best.

Ian Bailey 18:30
Yes, it’s great. It’s all fine. So just so your your listeners know and you won’t get arrested… I know in America, you know, crack is actually…

KELLI BRINK 18:44
YES, It’s spelled C-R-A-I-C and basically means big fun.

Ian Bailey 18:50
But there might be a fodder…

KELLI BRINK 18:53
Okay. I don’t speak Irish.

KELLI BRINK 19:04
So much crack to be had in Ireland. So it’s great.

Ian Bailey 19:08
Yes. No limit of it. No.

KELLI BRINK 19:10
Okay. Well, I want to stay on track a little bit. So many things I want to talk about.

KELLI BRINK 19:16
I wanted to ask you, Sophie Toscan du Plantier’s case has recently been reopened for a new — a new set of eyes — a new, full review…

Ian Bailey 19:26
We call it a cold case review.

KELLI BRINK 19:30
A cold case review. Okay. Yes. So have you been contacted about that?

Ian Bailey 19:37
No, but I did call for it last June.

KELLI BRINK 19:36
Okay.

Ian Bailey 19:42
It is on the way. I’m prepared and very happy to cooperate with any inquiry that might come my way.

KELLI BRINK 19:51
Yes.

Ian Bailey 19:53
And I’m waiting.

KELLI BRINK 19:54
Yeah, I’m sure you’ll be contacted since, I mean, it’s all very new.

KELLI BRINK 20:00
What are your thoughts on this: I recently read that people close to Sophie — neighbors, people like that — think that she was probably killed by someone she knew. Do you have any thoughts on that?

Ian Bailey 20:13
I’ve read that too. I don’t. I mean, all I know is what I know.

KELLI BRINK 20:19
Yeah. Yeah.

Ian Bailey 20:22
I mean, I’m, I’m not the best journalist in the world, but my, like, my Intel and I are out there and I get these sorts of things… I always felt that it was highly suspicious that it wasn’t a local – that it was possibly somebody who had an interest in her no longer existing. And, like, I’m not pointing the finger at her ex husband… She was the third wife of Daniel Toscan… But there’s an old Latin expression “Cui bono?”

Ian Bailey 21:10
I think the the lead singer of U2 took his name from that.

KELLI BRINK 21:16
Oh, Bono. Okay.

Ian Bailey 21:17
Yes. Bono.

Ian Bailey 21:23
And what it means, is “who benefits?”

KELLI BRINK 21:27
Yeah, that’s always what you want to ask when an unsolved murder happens like this. Who benefits … and follow that.

Ian Bailey 21:34
Yeah, that’s usually where you’re gonna find that point very quickly. You had a great actor there now did a few years called Peter Falk. He was most famous for being in Colombo. Yes. I learned a lot about investigation from watching him. Great actor loved him.

Ian Bailey 21:34
It’s interesting, actually, I grew up on this side of the Atlantic. But a lot of the stuff I was seeing on the early television, which was a lot of it was in black and white was American. So we grew up with the silhouette. And then we go to the flicks, that’s the cinema – on a Saturday, we’d see these things of cowboys and Indians. And then we heard tales of Tonto and the Lone Ranger, and, it’s funny.

KELLI BRINK 22:36
It’s funny to me as an American, what a big influence America had on pop culture in Ireland and England and everywhere.

Ian Bailey 22:46
It’s, yeah, it’s amazing to me, but I mean, you were so far ahead with the technology at the time.

Ian Bailey 22:56
What was YOUR favorite thing growing up?

KELLI BRINK 22:57
Wow. Me? Oh, my goodness. Oh, I liked reading. I liked Reading Rainbow. I liked that show. If you know what that is… with LeVar Burton? That was one of my favorites. Yeah.

Ian Bailey 23:16
Absolutely.

KELLI BRINK 23:17
But let’s talk about some of your….

Ian Bailey 23:19
[Shows book] This is a book I won — I think it was eight. So it was in 1965. This is an American poet called… It’s just the most amazing poetry.

KELLI BRINK 23:46
And you’ve had this since you were a child?

Ian Bailey 23:49
Sorry. William. William Longfellow.

KELLI BRINK 23:52
Gotcha. Okay. Yeah. You’ve had this since you were a kid?

Ian Bailey 23:58
Got it at eight.

KELLI BRINK 23:59
Okay, so that’s definitely an inspiration for your poetry…

KELLI BRINK 24:05
Well, staying on track here… What do you have to say, you know, to the public about your role in this case?

KELLI BRINK 24:15
How has this changed your life?

KELLI BRINK 24:18
Obviously it has been very life changing but – what would you be doing today, do you think, if not for this tragedy that happened in Cork?

Ian Bailey 24:32
That’s a multi multi part question. Sinead O’Connor tried to do that to me last year with like 28 questions.

Ian Bailey 24:47
OK, so, one, I had nothing to do with this and I can put my hand on my heart and swear before any god, that I’ve nothing to do with it.

Ian Bailey 25:04
I’m not the best guy in the world. You know, I’ve got my imperfections. I was guilty of what is known here as domestic violence to do with drinking, like having a deliberate fight with my partner but an accidental fire fight, right? She forgave me.

Ian Bailey 25:24
I don’t know. I’m just a poor boy. I just lapsed into Paul Simon lyric.

KELLI BRINK 25:33
Oh, that’s another good one.

Ian Bailey 25:37
That is a great one. I think I first heard that that in 1996. I remember listening to it. I listened to it about 10 times. Oh, wow.

KELLI BRINK 25:49
On an old fashioned record player?

Ian Bailey 25:54
Yeah, yeah, yeah. One of those little… I was thinking earlier on as well. I was just out and about who we were going to speak.

Ian Bailey 26:02
And a lot of my like, if you were to ask me who are my major poetic musical favorites, the Beatles obviously the Rolling Stones and loads of people. John Prine, who died as one of the first COVID victims

KELLI BRINK 26:22
John Prine was a legend.

Ian Bailey 26:23
Yes. John Prine, like Dylan Cohen and Kris Kristofferson. All said, Jesus Christ. But he’s the man. I met him.

KELLI BRINK 26:38
You did? Oh my gosh. Wow.

Ian Bailey 26:42
I met him at the festival in County Waterford. Oh my goodness, a lot of your listeners would know… And there was a two day festival back in 1992 – 9293. And I had a backstage pass. This guy is coming down toward me. He’s dressed in a black leather hat, black leather. All over rhinestones. A real dude. He said hi. Who are you? He said, Well, my name is John Prine.

KELLI BRINK 27:16
Oh my goodness. What a moment.

Ian Bailey 27:22
I met Ringo Starr, too. I met Princess Diana – not personally but – I didn’t meet JFK. Oh, never met Abraham Lincoln. Thank God, I’ve never met Donald Trump.

KELLI BRINK 27:41
Yes. That’s funny. Shoot. Okay, well, I would like to know what life is like for you in Cork today. How do people treat you?

Ian Bailey 27:54
Oh, with great respect. I’m absolutely humbled by the people. I mean, I fell in love with Ireland many years ago. I fell in love with the people culture and the place.

KELLI BRINK 28:14
Me too.

Ian Bailey 28:16
And I am just… I’m blessed. Absolutely blessed. People seem to give out every now and again. You’ll get a bit of … I don’t know if it can say this on your podcast but … whatever. Very rare.

KELLI BRINK 28:37
Yeah.

KELLI BRINK 30:14
Well, is there anything else you want to talk about before we go? How about your podcast? When are you planning on releasing it?

Ian Bailey 31:09
I’ve got episode one done. I could record it in the spring, the spring 2022.

KELLI BRINK 31:23
Yeah. You don’t want to rush it. You want to get it right. You’re a great speaker. So I think it’s going to be very interesting. I can’t wait. I’m going to be following you and see where it goes.

KELLI BRINK 31:38
Do you think that the information you put in the podcast might possibly affect the reopening of the investigation?

Ian Bailey 31:46
Oh, no, because the reopening of the case is ongoing. What I’ll say in the broadcast is the truth.

KELLI BRINK 31:53
Okay, so just the same stuff you’ve been saying all of these years?

Ian Bailey 31:56
Yeah. Yeah. Only only in much more detail.

KELLI BRINK 31:59
Okay. Yes. Thank you so much. Ian Bailey: poet, journalist… thank you for talking about this case with us. It’s been really interesting seeing the documentaries and what they’re doing with the cold case, the reinvestigation and all of that. So thank you for speaking with us today. I really appreciate it.

Ian Bailey 32:23
Well, thank you and God bless America.

KELLI BRINK 32:27
Thank you.

 

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