MURDER BY THE COAST (or El caso Wanninkhof-Carabantes) on Netflix is a documentary about two girls being murdered in Spain. Also, it’s one of the most grotesque cases of wrongful conviction. Read our full Murder by the Coast documentary review here and watch it on Netflix!
MURDER BY THE COAST is a Netflix true-crime documentary that is essentially a Spanish and British story. The documentary begins in Spain in 1999 with the murder of Rocío Wanninkhof. However, this isn’t actually the first victim of the perpetrator.
To know more about him, the British part of the story kicks in around halfway through. In between these two elements of the true crime story, another girl has been murdered in 2003 (Sonia Carabantes) and a woman has been convicted of murdering Rocío. Why? Well, that’s easy to answer but impossible to explain.
Continue reading our Murder by the Coast / El caso Wanninkhof-Carabantes documentary review below.
Guilty of being different
When Dolores Vázquez is convicted of having murdered Rocío Wanninkhof there is not a shred of evidence to support the conviction. Therefore is it impossible to say how this could happen. And yet, the answer is simply because she is a lesbian and fits the part of villain perfectly.
If you’ve watched the hugely successful Netflix docu-series Making a Murderer then you’ll recognize how this is possible.
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Dolores Vázquez was in a relationship with the mother of Rocío for 11 years. During this time, the women lived together with Rocío and her two siblings. For the past four years, however, they’ve become friends and not romantically involved. When trying to find who could possibly have murdered Rocío and had a motive, the police are quick to hone in on Dolores Vázquez.
She knew Rocío and supposedly wanted to get back together with the mother. Oh yeah, and she was kind of masculine in comparison to Rocío’s mother, who also jumps on the theory of the police. That might be the ugliest part of this story while also being understandable. After all, she was sad and vulnerable after the murder of her daughter.
The real killer is found
There is not a single piece of evidence to tie Dolores to this murder. In fact, there is DNA evidence that does not match her and this is what ultimately ties Rocío’s murder to that of Sonia Carabantes. This is not to do spoilers, but since this is a true-crime documentary the facts are already known.
Also, the case was heavily featured in the news in especially Spain and England. In fact, this true-crime case could easily have been featured in the Netflix docu-series Trial by Media. It would actually have suited the theme better than several of the cases that were included.
The real killer of both Rocío Wanninkhof (in October 1999) and Sonia Carabantes (in August 2003) is the British man Tony Alexander King. As it turns out, he has already been convicted of several crimes in England and served multiple prison sentences. I won’t say anything more about this because you really should get all the facts for yourself.
Watch Murder by the Coast on Netflix
Tània Balló is the documentary filmmaker behind this Netflix true-crime addition. This is the fifth documentary from Tània Balló as a director and she clearly knows how to tell a story. I, for one, am an instant fan of her direct and fact-based style!
I love the way everything is written on the screen first in Spanish and then in English. To me, it ties the whole element of the two countries being involved in this case perfectly. Also, as just mentioned, this documentary is very fact-based which is what I prefer. Of course, any documentary should be fact-based but this isn’t always the case.
It often comes down to who is interviewed and who comments on the facts. In Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel I was not a fan of how it was done. In many instances, people were interviewed who only knew about the case from the media. And not even because they were reporters. They were virtually groupies.
With Murder by the Coast, we only hear people relating to facts and get the story told in a natural chronological order. Well, with flashbacks to the previous crimes of Tony Alexander King that were committed in England. Check this one out if you enjoy truly getting to know the facts of a case.
El caso Wanninkhof-Carabantes (Spanish title) or Murder by the Coast (English title) is out on Netflix from June 23, 2021.
Director: Tània Balló
Writer: Gonzalo Berger
In 1999, teen Rocío Wanninkhof is murdered. Her mother’s ex-partner, Dolores Vázquez, is suspected. Did she do it? A second victim reveals the truth.