‘Dolores: The truth about the Wanninkhof Case’ and other titles about judicial errors that destroyed lives

The six-episode docuserie that you can already see on HBO Max manages to do a little justice to Dolores Vázquez, who for the first time tells her story in front of the cameras.

Not long ago it premiered on Netflix The Wanninkhof – Carabantes case, a documentary film about the famous criminal case that, in the late 90s, put an innocent woman behind bars whose truth came to light when the real murderer killed again, but it is the new HBO Max docuseries, Dolores: The Truth About the Wanninkhof Case, which completely unravels and explores in detail all the details of an event that caused great commotion in our country. AND, For the first time in 20 years, Dolores Vázquez stands in front of the cameras to tell her personal odyssey, remembering how she was accused and convicted without evidence for the murder of one of the people he loved most in the world, while the press and society seemed not to want to see beyond the indications raised by the Civil Guard.

The story that Dolores Vázquez tells in the six episodes that make up the documentary series that you can already find on HBO Max is truly overwhelming. The Wanninkhof – Carabantes case is part of the Spanish black chronicle, but 20 years have passed since then and, to date, one of its three protagonists, Dolores Vázquez, had not spoken about it before the cameras and had limited herself to moving on with his life. After leaving Spain fleeing a life under the spotlight and the stigma of having been condemned for the death of Rocío Wanninkhof, a 19-year-old girl whom she had raised as her daughter, now Dolores lives in Betanzos, Galicia, her city native. It has rained since then, but, as she relates, what she experienced continues to haunt her today.

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The story of Dolores Vázquez


The beginning of the history of Dolores Vázquez dates back to 1999. It was the month of October of that same year when Rocío Wanninkhof disappeared in Mijas, Málaga, leaving behind worrying clues that pointed to the worst of the endings. An intense search was carried out for weeks, but it would not be until November, three weeks after his disappearance, that his body would appear several kilometers from his home. The body was in poor condition, at the time there were not so many forensic advances, and the police authorities were a bit lost when they did not finish finding a suspect. Thus, lThe investigators compiled a series of evidence and pointed to Dolores Vázquez, who was arrested and imprisoned almost overnight without any real evidence against her.

That was the starting point of a true media phenomenon endorsed by the press, which quickly bought the theory of revenge murder -Dolores and the victim’s mother, Alicia Hornos, had had a relationship in the past- and made the accused guilty without questioning anything else. The company did the same, which would later be in charge of, through a popular jury trial, determining whether Vázquez was innocent or guilty.

In the HBO series Max, several members of the jury relate their experience and their current vision of what happened then now that the full story is known, but the truth is that Dolores Vázquez was found guilty and her verdict accepted by the judge. Later, the defendant’s lawyer would obtain a repeat trial due to lack of evidence but, before it could be held, the case turned upside down: a new disappearance in the area, a new murder and the discovery of DNA in the body of the victim, Sonia Carabantes, from a cigarette butt found at the place where Rocío appeared.

After finding the culprit, Tony Alexander King, a Briton who had come to Spain fleeing his country – where he was known as “The Holloway Strangler” – and who recognized himself as the perpetrator of both crimes, Dolores Vázquez was exonerated of all charge. Nevertheless, The now 69-year-old woman has never received an apology or compensation for the time she was in prison while she was innocent. Since then, Alicia Hornos, who also participates in the documentary series, continues to think that her former partner was present the night her daughter was killed.

For the first time in 20 years and through the testimony of journalists who sing the ‘Mea culpa’ for the follow-up they made the case as well as the accounts of some members of the jury and others involved, Dolores: The Truth About the Wanninkhof Case manages to do a little justice to Dolores Vázquez.

His case will go down in history as one of the greatest judicial errors in the history of our country, but, unfortunately, it is not the only one and, mainly outside our borders, we find many like yours. Take note below of other series on platforms about judicial errors that, as in the case of Dolores Vázquez, destroyed the lives of people wrongly accused and that you can find on platforms. Many of them, recommended by the American legal organization Innocence Project, dedicated to exonerating people who have been wrongly convicted.

‘Long Shot’

Long Shot Netflix original documentary directed by Jacob LaMendola has a happy ending, but the story it tells, like all the others in this article, is truly overwhelming. Juan Catalan’s drama would begin in the summer of 2003, when he was accused and arrested for a crime that he had not committed: the murder of a 16-year-old girl who was in his home. Curiously, his alibi would come from the hand of a famous ‘sitcom’, Curb Your Enthusiasm, since Larry David was filming that day at the Los Angeles Dodgers stadium and had inadvertently recorded the evidence exonerating Catalan: the defendant was one of the 56,000 people who were there.

Can you see her: and Netflix

‘This is how they see us’

Developed by Ava DuVernay for Netflix and one of the most acclaimed series on the streaming platform in 2019, This is how they see us It is a fictional product, but its story is very real. In its four episodes, the miniseries narrates the case of “the Central Park Five”, five young blacks who were convicted and convicted of the rape of a runner in Central Park.

The series perfectly recounts how the media fostered and contributed to hatred of young people and how they were ultimately found guilty without sufficient evidence. Since they were innocent. After spending years in prison, the young men were exonerated of the crime they had not committed.

Can you see her: and Netflix

‘Making A Murderer’

It’s one of Netflix’s most popular docuseries, and its existence actually helped the case, which continues to make headlines to this day. If you do not know it, it is worth taking a look, because what the creators relate in it Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos It will make you put your hands to your head on more than one occasion.

Making a Murderer is the story of Steven Avery, a Wisconsin man who was arrested and jailed without evidence for sexual assault and attempted murder regardless of his alibis. After 18 years in prison, Avery was exonerated by a DNA test that showed that the culprit was another man. Upon leaving, Avery wanted to sue the culprits for having spent almost 20 years in prison, but while he did so, he was charged with another murder, that of Teresa Halbach, a photographer last seen in the vicinity of his home.

Can you see her: and Netflix

‘The Confession Tapes’

It is not one case in itself, but many, and it is not 100% sure as in other cases that we present in this special that the accused are innocent, but in The Confession Tapes, a Netflix documentary series that already has two seasons on the streaming platform is really interesting. In it, several cases of possible false confessions are related, made by defendants of different crimes who report having been forced by the police to plead guilty using the worst techniques imaginable.

In many of the cases it is clear that the confessions took place during the interrogation of the police, but that the evidence of the event does not point in the direction of the accused. It will make you think.

Can you see her: and Netflix

‘Betty Anne Waters’

Directed by Tony Goldwyn and portrayed by Hilary Swank, this 2010 film tells the true story of Betty Anne Waters, a single mother and a courageous sister who dedicates her life to trying to get her brother out of jail. The true story is that of Kenny Waters, a man accused of a murder crime that he did not commit and sentenced to death who was exonerated after 18 months in prison for a DNA test that proved his innocence. His sister, Betty, with the help of the Innocence Project, managed to prove neither innocence and that he was finally exonerated.

Can you see her: en HBO Max

‘Hurricane Carter’

This 2000 film starring Denzel Washington as the American boxer Rubin Carter tells the true story of the athlete, accused and convicted with a friend in 1966 of a triple homicide. After a trial full of irregularities and racism, a jury sentenced him to three life sentences and it was not until 1985 that he was able to prove his innocence. In a new trial it was shown that the previous one had not been fair and he was exonerated.

Can you see her: on Disney +