Burning Body, or El cuerpo en llamas, is a new Spanish crime thriller series on Netflix that is based on a real murder case from Barcelona in 2017. In May of that year, the dead body of a police officer named Pedro Rodriguez was found in a heavily burned state inside his own car in the Foix reservoir region of Catalonia. As a detailed and long police investigation began on the matter, Pedro’s current partner, Rosa Peral, became the prime suspect, and secrets about her own life were revealed. Despite claiming to be based on true events, the series often overdramatizes matters, even stretching itself too much at times. Overall, Burning Body provides a decent watch but is not to be seen as a true retelling of the actual case.
What Is The Netflix Series About?
Beginning in the year 2017, Burning Body features Rosa Peral, a police officer in Barcelona who is going through a tough patch in life. While having to fight with her ex-husband Javier over the custodial rights of their young daughter Sofia, Rosa also struggles in her current relationship with fellow police officer Pedro Rodriguez. Burning Body begins at a time when Pedro has suddenly left home after a fight with Rosa and has not yet contacted his girlfriend about his whereabouts. Pedro’s ex-wife, Silvia, also calls Rosa and inquires about where the man is since she has some pending alimony to receive. It seems almost like Pedro Rodriguez has suddenly disappeared from the face of the earth. Rosa’s parents, who seem very close with the woman, help her out temporarily and also give company to young Sofia, who seems shaken up by some matter.
Taking a break from all the difficulties in her current life, Rosa goes out with an old friend of hers, named Albert Lopez, to a party organized by members of the police force. Since Albert is also a police officer, this does not seem too odd until it does appear that Rosa and Albert are a little closer to each other than normal friends. Only a day after this party, the police are reported about a burned car abandoned in the Foix reservoir region, and once the force responds, they find the charred remains of a human body inside the vehicle. The corpse is in a state beyond recognition, and it is only through a crucial screw used in back surgery found during the post-mortem that the victim is identified. The dead body is found to be that of Pedro Rodriguez.
Police detective Ester Varona is appointed to investigate the case, and the woman meets up with both Rosa and Silvia since they are the closest to Pedro. Ester receives some early leads as well when Rosa states that her vindictive ex-husband, Javier, is probably the one to have committed the crime. However, as Ester and her team look deeper into the matter and find out more about the personal lives of those involved, things take a different turn. Rosa Peral and her supposed lover, Albert Lopez, now become the primary suspects in the gruesome murder case.
How Had Rosa Become Associated With The Three Men?
Rosa Peral’s life, at least according to the Burning Body series, was one of extreme uncertainty when it came to the men she was close to. Originally a dancer and performer at a strip club, she first met Javier during this time, and the two fell in love. It can be guessed that following the start of their relationship, Javier did not want his girlfriend to continue the same work, and Rosa was also eager to move forward in life. After working some meager jobs, she started preparing to get admitted to the police force, along with her boyfriend at the time. While Rosa made it into the force at the first chance, Javier took some more time, and his ego did seem fazed by this. When the woman started her job, though, things started to change gradually.
Burning Body shows Rosa’s character to be someone who always craves male attention and does not think of moral or social consequences when she gets attracted to someone. Over the duration of the show and also the real-life case that had taken place, her personal life and the number of adulterous relationships she had, became the focus of attention. At her police precinct, Rosa was noticed by the head officer of the place, and he pulled strings to make her his professional partner. As the two got to know each other, they started a secret affair behind the backs of both their respective partners. But within a year, the officer’s attention shifted to some other young woman officer, and Rosa now wanted to end the affair. However, the vile precinct captain leaked very private photos of Rosa, personally sending them to every officer as well as to Javier.
Following this incident, Rosa asked to be transferred to a different precinct, and this move was approved. Within some time, she also filed a case against the abhorrent police captain, and this case is shown as ongoing during the present time as well. The matter had an effect on her personal life as well, since Javier got to know of her adultery and left her. But the man also did come back and reunite with Rosa when she apologized to him for her actions in the past. Now that Javier and Rosa were back together, she once again got attracted to a different man in her new precinct, as this seems to be the nature of the woman. Rosa was paired up with fellow police officer Albert Lopez, and the two very quickly grew close to each other. Although they never technically had any relationship or affair, they started to indulge in sessions of intimacy and lovemaking. This secret passion between Rosa and Albert continued for many years, with some temporary stops in between.
By this time, the woman had gotten pregnant with Javier, much to the man’s excitement since he wanted to start a family with Rosa. Little Sofia was born, and after some time, Javier proposed to marry Rosa. The woman agreed, and the couple got married in a lavish ceremony, which obviously hurt and angered Albert. For some time after this, Albert remained aloof and unattached from Rosa, not replying to her calls or messages, which they would send on their hidden alternate phones. Rosa was angered and frustrated by this as well, and she now suddenly seemed to find a different lover in another police officer, Pedro Rodriguez. After randomly coming across Pedro on the streets and clearly being attracted to him, Rosa agreed to go out on dates with him, and soon they started an affair as well. Pedro was already married to a woman named Silvia, and they also had a baby son, but he was ready to leave his whole life behind. Rosa, on the other hand, was now cheating on both Javier and Albert as well.
Javier eventually found his wife’s secret phone and came across the texts between her and her lover, Albert. The man now finally left Rosa, and the couple filed for divorce. While this proceeding did not take much effort, there was still an ongoing legal fight between them for Sofia’s custody since Javier and his current partner, Carmen, wanted to keep the girl. After the divorce, Pedro came in and started an official relationship with Rosa, one that everyone knew about. He had no idea about Albert, who once again felt cheated since he, too, wanted to settle with the woman. Pedro moved in with Rosa, and he also proposed to marry her, to which she agreed. But the couple was clearly not in a healthy state since most of their relationship was spent in arguments and fights. Despite being hurt by her actions, Albert continued to be in Rosa’s life, and the lovers continued to meet and get intimate during all this time.
How Did Rosa And Albert Defend Themselves In Court?
Rosa and Albert had been very close lovers for a long time, and the woman had earlier testified for her lover in a different case as well. When the two were professional partners in the police force, there had been an incident in which an illegal street vendor had aggressively stabbed Rosa when he was approached by the police. In response, Albert also turned violent and was in the process of arresting the man when the latter fell from a height and died. It perhaps seemed clear that Albert had pushed him to his death out of anger for attacking his lover. The suspicious nature of the incident led to a police investigation, and Rosa was obviously interrogated. But the woman strongly stated that Albert had done nothing wrong and that it was all the aggressive vendor’s fault.
This bond and unity, however, were shaken and completely disrupted after the two were arrested and detained in prison for a long time. Although they both initially denied playing any role in the death of Pedro, their accounts changed over time. Eventually, Rosa started to put all the blame on Albert, and as a response, the man also said that he had done everything at Rosa’s request. When the police investigation ended, and the court trial began, both accused tried to defend themselves and put all the blame on each other, while the state prosecution claimed both of them to have committed the crime together.
When asked about the night of the incident, Rosa said that Albert had been growing extremely jealous because of Pedro’s proposal to her and had decided to act suddenly. He apparently came over to the house in a fit of rage and entered the property after jumping over the fence, even carrying an ax with him. Out of fear, Rosa supposedly went up to her daughter’s room and locked herself in there, for she feared that he would hurt her as well. Albert then apparently killed Pedro, who was sleeping in his room, and then took away the body and burned it along with the man’s car. She claimed that despite knowing about what Albert had done, she could not tell anyone about it and instead pretended to be completely fine in the presence of Albert at the public police party.
On the other side, Albert claimed that Rosa had grown tired of Pedro by this time since the couple were mostly always fighting and having arguments. This was indeed found to be true, and Rosa was also seemingly frustrated at the fact that Pedro was quite overly intrusive and possessive over her. According to Albert, Rosa was thinking of ways to get rid of her boyfriend, and on that particular night, she suddenly called him up, asking him to hurry to her house. According to his claim, Rosa had already killed Pedro by this time, and he went and helped her get rid of the body.
What Actually Happened On The Night Of The Murder?
The court then finally calls upon police detective Ester Varona to share her findings, and this gives a resolute answer to what happened on the night of the murder. Rosa had earlier claimed that she had last seen Pedro on May 2, and she had gotten her parents to lie about this, too, while the man was already dead by that time. On May 1, 2007, Rosa and Pedro had a huge argument, mostly because Pedro did not show any intentions of working to support himself and his family. The police officer had been suspended without pay some months earlier after he was found guilty of beating up a teenager.
When the fight between the couple took place, Rosa seemingly ran out of patience and wanted to end their relationship for good. Perhaps feeling stuck in the situation, she called up her lover, Albert and put into motion a plan they had seemingly made earlier. The fact that Albert had bought a phone and procured a SIM card only to use it on this night hinted at this plan being premeditated. Rosa drugged Pedro with his painkiller medicines, and the man lay unconscious in one of the rooms in the basement. When Albert arrived, he killed Pedro with a blunt instrument, and they then transferred the body inside Pedro’s car. It was the next day that they drove the car to the Foix reservoir region together and then lit the body and the car on fire.
There were a number of reasons for the detectives to state this account, starting with Albert getting a new phone suddenly. On the night of the murder, young Sofia heard loud noises coming from the basement, and when she went to check, she saw blood streaks. In fact, when Rosa later puts all the blame on Albert, she knows Sofia had heard the noises from her room and therefore claims that she hid there and heard the murder happening downstairs. Pedro’s blood remains were also found in some corners of the room, which the two murderers had forgotten to clean or repaint. Albert was also seen on the security camera of a gas station the next day buying gas, which was then used to put Pedro’s car on fire.
The two lovers had also kept Pedro’s phone, and on May 2, after he was dead, Rosa texted a few people pretending to be him. She then cleverly made it seem like Pedro had last gone over to Javier’s house, where they must have had a fight over her, and then the ex-husband had killed him. However, this plan of hers ultimately failed as Javier was not at his house on that specific night, and there were a number of witnesses to prove his alibi.
A few days before the murder, Albert had also seemingly asked a police friend of his very casually about how one could get rid of evidence in a murder case. The friend, an aspiring forensics expert, mentioned that burning the bodies would be the most effective method since it would leave no trace of who the victim was. Incidentally, Pedro’s body was also disposed of in the same manner, and it was only because of the back surgery screw that he was even identified.
What Was The Final Verdict In The Court Case?
During Burning Body‘s ending, Ester finally gave her account in court, and the authorities and the jury took her findings to be closest to the truth, quite obviously, since Rosa and Albert’s statements were extremely suspicious. In the case of Albert Lopez, seven of the nine jury members found him guilty of premeditated murder. The man was sentenced to twenty years in prison because of the crime.
For Rosa Peral, eight out of the nine jury members believed that she was guilty of the murder of her boyfriend, Pedro Rodriguez. The court sentenced her to a similar term of twenty years in prison and also added an extra five years because of the fact that she and Pedro were lovers in an official relationship. At the end of Burning Body, both Rosa and Albert appealed against the court ruling, but the Supreme Court dismissed the appeals. As of now, both of them are in prison, with Rosa’s sentence supposed to end in 2042.