A Rainy Sunday
Five Bullets and a “Thingy”
To Tell a Story
Another week rolls round, another true crime documentary series pops up on Netflix. Split across 4 episodes, Carmel: Who Killed Maria Marta aims to answer one very simple question – who killed Maria Marta?
The victim in question – Maria Marta – cycled home on October 27 2002 during a big game between Boca Juniors and River Plate. As the game ended, Maria ran herself a bath, slipped on the way in the tub and died.
Chalked up as an accident (despite Maria wearing trainers), the family prepare to grieve their loss and try to piece together the fragments of their shattered life after this loss. Until a bombshell reveals turns everything upside down.
The autopsy report brings up three holes in the top of Maria’s head (and later confirmed to have five bullets) which points toward this being deliberate and most definitely not an accident.
With a family estate surrounded by gates and guards, the case (according to one of those interviewed) feels like a proper murder mystery case, with those inside the estate at the time likely to be the murderer. But why? What was their motivation? Or was it simply a robber spotted by Maria and through sheer panic she was killed? As you may have guessed by now, there’s a lot going on here.
The first episode essentially acts as a foundation for all these questions to follow, shedding light on the case itself and the different suspicious characters around at that time. Through the usual slew of archival footage, expository text depicting an evolving timeline and face to face interviews, the case starts to take shape.
The second episode looks a lot closer at the aforementioned questions raised before the third moves the action to a court case for the most likely person responsible for this (For spoiler purposes we won’t divulge who here.) The fourth and final episode then rounds everything out with lots more questions to take forward.
On the whole though, Carmel: Who Killed Maria Marta is a well written and engrossing true crime documentary. It sheds light on a suspicious and mysterious case which to this day remains one of the most controversial in Argentinian history.
What’s particularly compelling about this series though are the various different people interviewed. There’s a consistent approach to keep things balanced, with suspects interviewed and sharing their side of the story after being accused of specific actions or strange occurrences. This remains consistent throughout the four episodes and helps to keep things balanced.
While this South American crime series is unlikely to ignite the true crime waves the same way Tiger King has, it’s an absorbing and highly engrossing series nonetheless and well worth checking out.
Verdict - 7.5/10