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Murder by the Coast release date: Netflix doc to explore Wanninkhof-Carabantes murders in Spain

Spanish documentary reveals the truth behind the Costa Killer headlines.

Murder by the Coast
Published: Thursday, 10th June 2021 at 5:20 pm

A murder and a miscarriage of justice is the subject of the latest true crime documentary from Netflix, Murder by the Coast.


In October 1999, Dutch-Spanish teenager Rocío Wanninkhof was found stabbed to death in her hometown of Mijas on the Costa Del Sol in Spain. A woman was arrested and found guilty of her murder, but in 2003, another teenage girl, Sonia Carabantes, was killed 20km away in Coin, and evidence led police to believe that both Sonia and Rocío had been murdered by the same person.

But how was that possible, if Rocío’s killer was already in prison?

Murder by the Coast release date

Murder by the Coast will be available to stream on Netflix from Wednesday 23rd June.

What is Murder by the Coast about?

The documentary movie Murder by the Coast investigates the murder of teenager Rocío Wanninkof and the miscarriage of justice that followed.

Rocío disappeared on the night of 9th October, 1999, after she left her boyfriend’s house in La Cala de Mijas to walk the 500m to her home, with the intention of meeting him and some friends later in nearby Fuengirola to attend a local fair. She was never seen again.

The next day, her mother and her partner discovered Rocío’s running shoes and blood stains near the road she would have walked along to get home. They alerted the Guardia Civil (Spanish police) and a search began. Rocío’s body was found on November 2nd more than 10km away, with police surmising that she had been killed near her home and then her body had been moved.

Shortly after Rocío’s death, a former partner of her mother’s, Maria Dolores Vázquez, was arrested, tried and found guilty, despite there being no physical evidence linking her to the murder. The prosecutor at the trial attacked Maria Dolores’ character and her lesbian relationship with Rocío’s mother, which was repeatedly reported on in the Spanish media.

However, when a similar crime took place in August 2003 – the disappearance and murder of another teenage girl, Sonia Carabantes – and DNA from the scene matched DNA from Rocío’s murder, police realised that Maria Dolores Vázquez could not possibly have committed the crimes. Soon they had a new suspect – an ex-pat British man with a history of assaults on women in the UK.

The production team for Murder by the Coast spent two years researching the fascinating story of the Costa killer, interviewing more than 60 people related to the cast and reviewing reports, interviews, court transcripts and Spanish and British media coverage of the case, which is one of the most famous miscarriages of justice in Spanish legal history.

Is there a trailer for Murder by the Coast?

There is a Spanish trailer for the documentary movie and you can view it here:


Murder by the Coast arrives on Netflix on 23rd June. If you’re looking for something else to watch, visit our TV Guide. Check out our Documentaries hub for all the latest news.


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