Chilling Netflix doc about 8-year-old killed by his mother is out next week
His social workers were also charged
A new true crime documentary is coming to Netflix, called The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez. The documentary series is all about the events in the life and death of eight-year-old Gabriel, who was tortured and killed by his mother and her boyfriend.
The case also hit headlines because child protection social workers were faced with child abuse charges for failing him in the lead up to his death. The new, six-part true crime documentary series is being released on Netflix next week.
*TW: This article contains some details of the case*
What is The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez on Netflix about?
True crime documentary, The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez, is all about the life and death of the eight-year-old boy. Gabriel Fernandez died in 2013 after being abused by his mother and her boyfriend.
Gabriel Fernandez was found injured and abused in his family home in May 2013. He died two days later. When he was found he was naked, with a cracked skull, shattered ribs, severe burns and BB pellets in his body. He was abused for eight months, where it was alleged he was beaten, forced to eat cat faeces and cat litter and tied up and made to sleep in a cabinet.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Gabriel was beaten because he didn’t clean up his toys. It was also alleged the abuse stemmed from his mother believing he was gay. Those in the court were warned the case was “going to be emotional” and told to step out of the courtroom at any time to compose themselves if they felt overwhelmed.
The Netflix series also looks at the responsibility of child protection services, who were said to have had multiple reports and seen multiple warning signs that Gabriel was being abused before his death. Child abuse charges were held against four social workers, concluding his death had been “foreseeable”. Social workers were accused of mishandling evidence of the escalating abuse and failing to file timely reports. The judge said the defendants demonstrated “an improper regard for human life” and “a lack of vigilance”.
Gabriel’s mother, Pearl Fernandez, and her boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre, were arrested for his murder. In 2018, Aguirre was sentenced to death after being convicted of first-degree murder with the special circumstance of intentional murder by torture. Gabriel’s mother Pearl pled guilty to murder by torture and was sentenced to life without parole. Both were sentenced in 2018, where the judge called their crimes “horrendous, inhumane and nothing short of evil”.
Last month, the social workers were cleared of felony child abuse and falsifying public records charges.
The Netflix synopsis for the documentary reads: “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.”
Watch the trailer for The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez on Netflix here:
The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez is available on Netflix on February 26th. For all the latest Netflix news, drops and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.