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.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.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.
In 1999, a young Spanish woman Rocio Wanninkhof disappears on her way home from her boyfriend's house. Her body is later found some distance away, stabbed to death. A media frenzy ensues and a woman named Dolores Vasquez, who had been the lesbian lover of the deceased girl's mother, is charged, tried and convicted despite having no apparent motive or linking DNA evidence and indeed had an alibi the day of the victim's disappearance. In what seems a case of trial by media, this woman is convicted and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, the inference being strongly made that her sexuality has in some way contributed to her guilt.
Four years later in a nearby town to the first murder location, another 17 year old girl is abducted from practically outside her parents' front door and afterwards found brutally killed close by. This time however the DNA under the slain girl's fingernails is processed and found to match that found at the first crime scene and it's definitely not Vasquez's.. As this news breaks to the general public, a woman living in the area who was once married to an immigrant Londoner called Tony King, formerly known as Tony Bromwich, who after she married him learned he had a criminal history of sexual attacks, including jail-time, reports her suspicions to the police. This leads to King / Bromwich, who still lives in the area, being at last convicted of the double murder. Ms Vasquez is naturally released from prison but receives no apology from the Spanish government or legal system and certainly no compensation for the travesty of justice she has undergone.
It was shocking to see how the Spanish legal system got this case so wrong from the start and how complicit the media was in getting the quick conviction of a clearly innocent woman. It was also disappointing to see Rocio's mother so unrepentant about the wrongful imprisonment of a woman with whom she once had a relationship. Perhaps the most telling indictment came from the mouth of the second victim's mother who pointedly asks if her daughter might be alive today if the Spanish authorities had more fully investigated the first crime and indeed responded more fully to warnings from Interpol about the newly emigrated King / Bromwich being a danger to society, especially women.
Very interesting to watch for me for a number of reasons, this film proved that there are certainly no national boundaries to things like police incompetence, shallow journalism and miscarriages of justice.. Nearly twenty years on from the events retold here, I have to hope that the Spanish law enforcement agencies learned from this infamous case and operates far more robustly and correctly today, not that I ever wish to experience this at first hand any time soon.
- Jul 19, 2021