Carmel: Who Killed Maria Marta is a four-part documentary series on Netflix which explores the 2002 murder of Argentinian sociologist, Maria Marta Garcia Belsunce. If you’re a crime series enthusiast, it’s a great way to fulfill your appetite for true crime investigation.
The Netflix new documentary, now streaming on Netflix, opens up a gripping case that held the nation’s attention for years. Till today, people don’t know the actual truth, and the relatives of the victim continue their search for the truth. It wouldn't be wrong to call it The Rumors Carmel.
So, like mentioned before, the mystery of Maria Marta Garcia’s killer remains unsolved. What makes this case so interesting is the details – every few weeks, you get to hear new information, and you don’t know what to believe. The case can be compared to peeling an onion; you keep coming across confounding variables that resulted in this unimaginable aftermath. In the last 18 years, there have been numerous twists and turns in the investigation – everyone has their own version of the story, their own truth.
Alejandro Hartmann is the director of this docuseries, and he decided to cover this story not because of the crime itself, but because of the mystery. Many first-hand witnesses fed inaccurate information to the media, causing a lot of chaos and frenzy.
The director was clear from the beginning – he confirmed that he and his crew knew exactly how they wanted to approach the narrative. Everyone was on the same page, as they had no hidden agenda, only the earnest quest to unveil the truth. Although the director reached out to every subject involved, only a few people agreed to appear on camera. It obviously makes sense considering the circumstances.
Carlos Carrascosa (Maria’s widower) agreed to come in front of the camera. He also spent five years in prison because, for the longest time, he was accused for the murder. After a few years, Argentina’s high court overturned his conviction. In the series, you get to see him in court, telling the truth that he’s completely innocent and also in dire need to unfold the truth.
Back in 2002 in the afternoon of 27th October, after watching a soccer match with his brother-in-law, he returned to his abode in an upscale community in Buenos Aires, Pilar – where he found his wife unconscious in the bathtub. At the time, he didn’t think his wife was dead.
Like any normal person, his first response was to call for an ambulance, and once he reached the hospital, doctors called her death an accident. They justified the death as an accident by claiming that she had hit her head and drowned in the tub. She was 50 at the time she was murdered.
In addition to this, the doctor also signed the certificate that listed “non-traumatic cardiac arrest” as her cause of death. Soon, her family also signed the death certificate to access her body before 24 hours.
All this time, there was no contact with the police.
This didn’t sit well with some of her family members and they refused to buy the official explanation. Her brother insisted that this was not a death by accident, but in fact, a murder. He suspected that her death was caused by robbers who didn’t expect to see her at home at the time, as she was supposed to be playing tennis during that hour.
No one identified the loopholes, not even doctors. It was actually the ambulance driver who told the investigators that there were at least three holes in Maria’s head – holes that aren’t a result of headbanging on the tap, holes that are clearly bullet shots.
One month after her body was cremated, prosecutor Diego Molina Pico asked to examine her body. Later, medical examiners found five bullets from her skull and declared that a sixth bullet had grazed her head. A few days later, investigators found bullet fragments from the plumbing pipe. Moreover, traces of blood were also found, that indicated an attempt of defense and struggle.
Once this news broke, the local media went wild by the fact that a domestic case was labeled an accident even though it was a murder.
The prosecutor then started accusing Carlos and called him a liar. The next thing you know, this case of accident turned into a case of homicide. Obviously, people blamed Carlos – he was an easy and convenient target at the time. However, it was Maria’s Family that stood by him regardless.
Enter suspect number two: Nicolas Pachelo.
At the time of accident, his whereabouts were unknown. However, the prosecution didn’t seem interested in this angle. This man was also involved in a string of robberies and he had a criminal history. Pachelo also rejected the request to appear on the show.
By this time, the prosecution was adamant on charging Carlos for his wife’s murder, and that is exactly what it did. Soon, the case got even more interesting, as Carlos got accused of laundering money for a Mexican drug cartel. He was also blamed for his involvement with a criminal enterprise. Some even believed that Marta’s brother and masseuse also helped him cover up the murder.
Basically, Pico was trying to cook a theory that Marta’s family was also part of the conspiracy, since they’re so forcefully supporting him.
Local media, by this time, also started questioning Molina Pico’s intention. They criticized him and accused him of throwing all the logic in the bin and simply sticking to one theory to satisfy his ego. They claimed that the prosecutor simply wanted to close the case, so he picked whatever story suited him. The defendant’s attorney called Molina Pico a “spinner of fables” because he simply refused to acknowledge facts.
In 2007, Carlos pleaded not guilty – by then even the prosecutors had dropped the money laundering motive since they couldn’t find any solid evidence in support. However, this didn’t make Carlos innocent in their eyes. They still appealed the court and the court sentenced him to a life in prison for aggravated homicide. By 2011, five other people who were accused of aiding in the cover-up were also declared guilty and sentenced to six and a half years in jail. All of them were freed on bail only two months later. By 2015, one of them got dismissed and three of them were upheld. And one of them had died anyway.
Carlos was found not guilty in 2016 – 14 years after the murder. This happened after his DNA didn’t match any traces that were found at the scene. He maintained his innocence all this time.
Investigators are now looking at the case from the other side, and Nicolas Pachelo is the prime suspect. He was the neighbor who was missing at the time of her murder. He also had been in jail for committing two robberies. The family had blamed him for the murder back when the case opened. There were also three witnesses in 2002 who had confessed that he saw him jogging near her the day she was murdered.
Check out the trailer:
It’s been 18 years since her brutal murder and the police have not found the actual murderer. The system held the wrong person accountable – disregarding his own grief and pain. The investigation is still open, but is there any hope for justice?