22 May, 2024 @ 15:01
1 min read

True crime story of an Alicante mother who ‘burned daughter’s rapist to death’ is subject of new TV documentary series in Spain

True crime story of mother who burned daughter's rapist to death is featured in new TV documentary in Spain

A REVENGE killing by an Alicante province mother on the man who raped her daughter is the subject of a new TV documentary series called ‘Hell on Earth- The Veronica Case’.

Streaming on HBO Max in Spain, the three-part series tells the story of Maria del Carmen Garcia from Benejuzar who burned her daughter’s rapist alive after he mocked her in the street.

The incident- and what led to it- became big national news and the documentary features interviews with Maria, and her daughter, Veronica Rodriguez Garcia.

MUM & DAUGHTER circa 2012

Back in 1998, 13-year-old Veronica accused her neighbour, Antonio Cosme, of sexual abuse.

He assaulted and raped her at knifepoint in October that year.

Cosme used his familiarity with Veronica to lure her into a vulnerable situation, where he then subjected her to a traumatic experience.

The assault split Benejuzar with some residents supporting the Garcias while others rubbished Veronica’s account and were in denial about the horrific crime committed by a familiar figure around the town.

Veronica’s mother’s primary focus remained on seeking justice, but the slow pace of the legal process and the constant reminders of the traumatic event took a severe toll on her mental health.

Cosme was finally found guilty and given a nine-year prison term in the year 2000.

His trial had no separation screens allowing him to taunted the child victim in open court along with an aggressive line of questioning by his lawyers.

After five years behind bars, he was granted prison leave in 2005, with nobody telling Maria or Veronica about his release beforehand.


Cosme taunted Maria in the street, asking how her daughter was, prompting Maria to go the nearest petrol station.

She bought a bottle of gasoline and poured it over him and set him alight in a bar- he died 10 days later.

Maria del Carmen was granted bail and in 2006 around 400 Benejuzar residents took to the streets to protest that she was still free.

In July 2009, María was sentenced to nine-and-a-half years for malicious murder.

The following year, the Supreme Court reduced her sentence to five-and-a-half years after admitting a defence of temporary insanity,

After her release, she went to live with her daughter in Murcia.

It was a story that was constantly in the headlines and also a reflection of a different era where sexual abuse was not treated seriously enough and the judicial system appeared to be weighted against the victim.

Maria and Veronica both tell their stories on camera in ‘Hell on Earth- The Veronica Case’, directed by Elena Molina.

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