The tragic case of an 8-year-old Calif. boy who was killed by the hands of his mother and her boyfriend goes underneath the Netflix microscope. Here’s what you should know in regards to the sequence that can break your coronary heart.
It’s the case that shocked Los Angeles in 2013. When 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez died after being tortured by his mother, Pearl, and her boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre, outraged residents demanded to know why. How might this occur? How might the system fail a bit boy who suffered extended abuse that left him with so many horrific accidents that simply recounting them left seasoned cops and ER medics in tears?
Seven years after little Gabriel’s demise – and almost two years after his mother and her boyfriend have been put behind bars for good – a brand new sequence seeks to reply these questions. In his six-part documentary, The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez, director Brian Knappenberger takes a deep dive into the case and examines what occurred to the little boy who was robbed of his life in May 2013 after succumbing to a deadly remaining beating. Here are 5 issues you should know in regards to the sequence and the case:
1. The Trials Of Gabriel Fernandez isn’t for the faint-hearted. It goes into ugly element in regards to the abuse the little boy suffered – from being shot with a BB gun, starved and compelled to eat cat litter, to being crushed and made to sleep in a small cupboard. The sequence begins with an ER nurse who desperately tried to save lots of Gabriel, tearfully revealing what she witnessed when he was introduced into her hospital. “He had a depressed skull fracture, meaning you could feel his skull…,” she says. “His was dented and you could feel… like it [was] crunchy on his head. I remember his throat just looked like somebody burned him. Bruising and cuts all over his face. Black eyes. Cuts everywhere… Just every part on his body there was something.”
2. The docu-series was impressed by the reporting of former Los Angeles Times journalist Garrett Therolf. “I just thought it was a really compelling story,” Brian Knappenberger tells HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. The director, who was given entry to the L.A. County Superior Court to movie the trial in 2017, admits he was more and more drawn within the extra testimonies that he witnessed. “It was so powerful and so tense, and it was so clear that Gabriel’s story had touched nearly everybody he had come in contact with,” Knappenberger says, including, “[H]earing those stories, I think we were just blown away and we had to dig deeper.”
3. It examines the shortcomings of the Department of Children and Family Services. In March 2016, 4 social staff who managed Gabriel’s case and failed to forestall his remaining deadly beating, have been charged with felony little one abuse and falsifying public information. Those costs have been dismissed in January 2020, however Knappenberger’s sequence nonetheless tries for instance how the system failed Gabriel. “The Department of Children and Family Services is very secretive,” the director says. “We don’t know much about them. They’re not very transparent and I want people to understand the reach of this agency. Some people are great. We have social workers that are amazing… But the way that the system is structured right now is problematic.”
4. Gabriel’s abusers declined to be interviewed for the sequence. His mother Pearl, who pled responsible to first-degree homicide in 2018, is serving a life sentence. Her former lover Isauro Aguirre was given the demise penalty. “They had a full line of communication opened up to us if they wanted to call pretty much anytime,” Knappenberger says, “and they didn’t want to.”
5. The director hopes the sequence will inspire viewers to demand that what occurred to Gabriel by no means occurs once more. “This system is the result of politicians, people on the [Los Angeles] Board of Supervisors, who have made decisions in order to create a system that we have.” The director – who notes that this example isn’t distinctive to L.A. – believes viewers have the ability to vary issues. He says, “The answer is [to] hold the politicians’ feet to the fire.” The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez premieres on Netflix on Feb. 26.