“The researchers had the need to find something. The social pressure was very strong, and they had nothing. The fact that he was homosexual was used to attack her. “ These are some of the testimonies collected in the documentary that la plataforma de streaming Netflix premiered last Wednesday under the title “The Wanninkhof-Carabantes case”. His director and writer Tània Balló analyzes the media circus and lesbophobia that came together to mount a case with a single suspect, found guilty by society at the time she was arrested, and sentenced in court without any proof of authorship.
The story starts the day it disappears Dew Wanninkhof, a 19-year-old young woman, who on October 9, 1999, visited her boyfriend, Antonio José Jurado, at his home in the Mijas cove, and around 9:30 p.m. she left alone to return home with the intention of showering, and going to the Fuengirola fair. They were 25 days of intense search, in the Malaga population and nearby areas, with the town of Mijas involved, which captured the media attention of the country, with the entire Spanish society very aware of everything that surrounded the disappearance of the young woman. On November 2, 1999, his body was found. And you had to find the person responsible for that heinous crime, whatever it was.
Convinced that the perpetrator of the events belonged to the victim’s environment, and according to the documentary, the list of suspects was narrowed to three people, a woman and two men. The Civil Guard finally focused on her, on Dolores Vazquez Mosquera, born in Betanzos (A Coruña), professional hospitality, neighbor of La Cala de Mijas and ex-partner of Alicia Hornos, Rocío’s mother. She had been subjected to surveillance, her telephone line was tapped and a female agent was even introduced into her social circle, who later declared that Dolores “she was cold, calculating and aggressive”.
Own Alicia Hornos, partner of the accused since 1982 whose relationship had ended four years ago, allegedly by the opposition of the victim, was convinced of the guilt of Dolores Vazquez and she was one of the main instigators of the accusation. The ingredients of the crime of passion were served: the “perverse and spiteful lesbian” who hated the daughter of her ex-girlfriend and that’s why she killed her. Even his homosexuality was used to indicate that he was a “repressed” group and that is why they used “excessive” violence.
His way of being, his sentence
The social and media judgment had already lost it. It was the opening of the rundown in all the television programs where journalists and collaborators condemned it, based mainly on his coldness and attitude. This is how the director of the documentary explains it in an interview with Europa Press: “Dolores Vázquez was recommended several times to change her appearance, to be more friendly. They told her to try to smile at the trial.” In the newspapers and on television, the Galician woman was described as a woman authoritarian, burly, who practiced karate and who was cold in front of the cameras. “The image of Dolores Vázquez was fundamental for her conviction but, What image are we talking about, what it really was or the one that was built? “Tània Balló wonders. “She did not come out smiling, but the one that was falling on her was not to be happy. Let’s not forget one thing, she he had just lost a person whom he loved very much. Rocío Wanninkhof was a girl I had seen grow up “highlights the filmmaker, who defends that the defendant was not “aggressive or dominant.”
“The image of Dolores Vázquez was fundamental for her conviction but, what image are we talking about, what it really was or the one that was built? She did not come out smiling, but the one that was falling on her was not to be happy ”
The guilty verdict of the popular jury that examined the evidence of the murder of the young Rocío Wanninkhof determined, in September 2001, the sentence to 15 years in prison of the then alleged murderer, Dolores Vázquez Mosquera.
She served 17 months and would later be released, because the inconsistency of the evidence led to the Superior Court of Andalusia, first, and at Supreme court, then, to review the conviction and order a new trial, which was to be held with a different jury.
Building the perverse lesbian
The Spanish politician and activist in favor of LGBT rights, Beatriz Gimeno, who participates in the documentary, named the social phenomenon that ended Vázquez in prison: “The construction of the perverse lesbian”. In this book, published in 2008 and whose idea is followed by Balló in the documentary, we talk about how the Lesbophobia and the masculinization of the accused they had a lot of weight in their destiny. Gimeno describes the Galician as a easy target for public lynching, and in the book he carries out an exhaustive analysis of the news related to the Wanninkhof case which illustrates how the lesbophobia that practically condemned Vázquez was articulated.
The crime of Sonia Carabantes
In August 2003 he disappeared in the Malaga town of Coín, very close to Mijas, the 17-year-old Sonia Carabantes and a month later, the Civil Guard discovered that the DNA of the alleged Sonia’s murderer matched the biological remains found in a butt collected in the place where Rocío Wanninkhof’s body had been found four years earlier.
It was that of Tony Alexander King, a British resident in the area, who had been denounced by his ex-wife -who also intervenes in the documentary of Netflix– as a suspect in the crimes.
The accused would acknowledge before the judge, in addition to the crimes of the young Coín and Mijas, have committed at least three sexual assaults in Málaga.
The second trial of Dolores Vázquez had been designated for the fall 2003, but it was suspended in view of the new information. In mid-August 2003, the investigating judge number 6 of Fuengirola, María Jesús del Río, decided the provisional dismissal of the summary. Finally, after 17 months in jail, Dolores Vázquez was released.
King was arrested and sentenced to 53 years in prison. Meanwhile, Dolores Vázquez was released but continued to “suffer the stares and elbows when she saw her pass.” This was stated in the “Observatory of the presumption of innocence and parallel trials”, organized in April 2013 by the Fernando Pombo Foundation, ten years after being released from prison: “I’m still asking someone to say forgiveness; something,” she said with timid and sad voice in that talk that barely lasted five minutes.
After the ordeal suffered, the Galician chose to go to UK, where one of his sisters lived. In 2007 he went to his Betanzos natal for him burial and funeral due to the death of her mother, and a year ago she returned there to settle permanently in an apartment that she bought near where another of her sisters lives, in the municipality of Coruña.
The documentary concludes with the present tense of Dolores Vazquez, in the classic fade to black, where he says that even today he has not received compensation, not even in the form of forgiveness: “The media, judicial and social lynching suffered by Dolores Vázquez has not been repaired in any way.”
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.