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REVIEW: Murder by the Coast

Murder by the Coast

Murder by the Coast, or El case Wanninkhof-Carabantes, is a Spanish true-crime documentary, and one of the newest documentary films on Netflix. The film is a little less than an hour and a half and focuses mainly on the murder of Rocio Wanninkhof in 1999 in the small town of La Cala de Mijas, on the southern coast of Spain. Her mother’s former partner, Dolores Vazquez, is fingered as the murder with little to no evidence and convicted. Then, the murder of Sonia Carabantes occurs in 2003, with a similar modus operandi, 25 kilometres away. Here’s the kicker, Vazquez is in jail, so it can’t be her. In the end, they finally find the true killer. It certainly sounds interesting, right?

It was not interesting. For one, I am glad this wasn’t some long, drawn-out show, and just a film. I could not figure out what the filmmaker was attempting to accomplish. Was it a condemnation of trial by media which subsequently influenced the jury? Or, calling out authorities for tunnel vision and failure to act on the fact the real killer was reported as a threat by INTERPOL? Maybe had the police done their job, Carabantes would not have been murdered? Trigger disgust at the fact Vazquez’s sexuality seemed to be the only reason she was convicted? All of these? None of these?

That was my main issue, what was the point of the documentary? It was neither here nor there, and to be honest, I nearly fell asleep while watching it. I would say skip this documentary unless you are doing something else and have it on in the background or need a nap.

Murder by the Coast (2021) Documentary, Crime, History | 88min | 23 June 2021 (Germany) 6.5
Summary: 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.

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Erika Johnson
I'm a Data Analyst, from the land of Matthew McConaughey. I'm an avid movie-goer and love seeing films in theaters. My most recent favorite films are Good Time, Only Lovers Left Alive, TENET, and England is Mine. When I'm not at the movies, I'm either reading or watching obscene amount of true crime and historical documentaries.