At the start of the trailer for Netflix’s new true crime documentary series, a judge proclaims that this case is going to be “very emotional” – and it’s clear that Netflix is using this to warn the viewer about what they’re about to watch.[embedded content]
The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez is set to tell the story of an eight-year-old boy who was tortured and eventually beaten to death in 2013.
Netflix describes the show as ‘a boy’s brutal murder and the public trials of his guardians and social workers prompt questions about the system’s protection of vulnerable children.’
The titular Gabriel Fernandez was beaten to death by his mother, Pearl, and her boyfriend, Isauro Aguire.
The boy was found in Los Angeles with severe injuries including a fractured skull and burn marks.
His mother, Pearl, reported the case to the ambulance service claiming that Gabriel had fallen and hit his head, after the boy stopped breathing.
The Netflix series investigates the responsibility of Child Protection Services – who are said to have had multiple warning signs about the abuse that Gabriel suffered, but ignored them.
Eventually the documentary charts the child abuse charges that were levelled against four social workers who oversaw the case – and concluded they had not acting in the child’s best interest.
In 2018, Isauro Aguirre was sentenced to death after he was convicted of first-degree murder and torture. Pearl was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
The case was one of the most controversial to ever come out of the US, and Netflix warns that viewer discretion is advised because it contains upsetting scenes.
The program is directed by Brian Knappenberger, who previously created the successful documentary film Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press, also for Netflix.
The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez is set to hit Netflix on February 26th.
Featured image credit: Netflix