The “pornography of pain” in the face of dramatic events triggers the demand for information on televisions and other means of communication. Make no mistake, the most disturbing and lurid crimes and disappearances, especially if they are young or minors, arouse a strange and dark interest in the public, eager to delve deeper and deeper into the sordidness of the matter.

Dodging the thin and dangerous red line that separates the obligation to report morbid, blood and fine “offal”, which ruthlessly delves into the wound of pain, is not easy. This task is often dodged and passed on without shame or shame. The media circus after the murder, in October 1999, of the young Rocío Wanninkhof in La Cala Mijas (Málaga) crossed all limits on the sets, with a tabloid coverage of the case; in the press, through devastating headlines missing the truth; and what is worse, in the courts.

Image of ‘The Wanninkhof-Carabantes case’. (Netflix)

Beyond the tragedy the biggest and most bizarre judicial and police error in recent years not only did it end with the murder of Rocío Wanninkhof and Sonia Carabantes, but it also ‘killed’ and buried Dolores Vázquez alive. A whole society pointed her out, insulted her and publicly vilified her, while a popular jury and a court, indisputably influenced by the street and surreal conjectures in the media and television, condemned her unjustly and without proof to 15 years in prison.

20 years later, the extraordinary documentary ‘The Wanninkhof-Carabantes case’, on Netflix, analyzes with the help of several of its protagonists, one of the blackest, most embarrassing and media episodes in Spain at the beginning of the 21st century.

Alleged crime of passion between women

The morbid that Rocío’s crime aroused, wrapped in succulent ingredients of the most worthy soap operaIt was too tempting, it couldn’t be more exciting. In that mysterious chessboard, a beautiful murdered young woman sadly entered the scene, an indignant and combative mother on TV sets demanding justice, a tense society in search of the culprit and her ex-partner, Dolores Vázquez, detained a year the body was found and accused of having killed the 19-year-old girl, moved by jealousy.

The investigators closed the case, with a crime of passion between women, and without any evidence against them, Dolores Vázquez, two years after her arrest, ended up sitting on the bench, surrounded by public, prejudices, lies and television cameras from all over the country.

Image of ‘The Wanninkhof-Carabantes case’. (Netflix)

Endless queues of onlookers trying to access the room and hundreds of cameras and journalists at the doors of the courts marked the trial against Dolores, from the same day it started, in September 2002 in Malaga. With nothing in favor of Dolores, it began the biggest media show of that year.

The media delirium of the press of the time had been in charge of sentencing her from the very day of her arrest, presenting her as a cold woman, evil, spiteful, vindictive, authoritarian, calculating, spiteful and, moreover, lesbian. All of this undoubtedly contributed to a popular jury, more aware of television than what was happening on the stand, to convict her without any consideration, condemning her to 15 years in prison.

‘Wanninkhof – Carabantes case’: its director disassembles the new Netflix documentary

Berto Molina

Another young woman had to die a year later, Sonia Carabantes (17 years old), so that his innocence would be proven forever. The DNA remains found on his body matched those found at the Rocío Wanninkhof crime scene. Thanks to the incrimination of his ex-wife, Tony Alexander King, a sex offender with a long criminal record in his country (UK), was arrested, charged with both crimes.

Image of the documentary ‘The Wanninkhof-Carabantes case’. (Netflix)

By then, Dolores Vázquez had already lost everything: her job, her friends and her life, becoming, unwittingly and thanks to the press and television, one of the most popular characters in Spain. Dolores spent 519 days and nights in prison for a crime she never committed. Seeking anonymity, he took refuge in England until two years ago, when he decided to return to his native Galicia. He has never wanted to talk, turning down million-dollar offers to sit on a set. To this day, no one has compensated her for everything that happened and, sadly, no one has asked her forgiveness.

“Wanninkhof-Carabantes case” (Netflix)

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