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Filmmaker Behind ​The Trials Of Gabriel Fernandez Documentary Open To A Second Season

Filmmaker Behind ​The Trials Of Gabriel Fernandez Documentary Open To A Second Season

The filmmaker behind heartbreaking new Netflix documentary The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez has said there's more of the story that needs telling, claiming that this could lead to a second season.

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The six-part series landed on Netflix on 25 February, focusing on a series of depraved abuse suffered by an eight-year-old boy called Gabriel Fernandez, who was found unconscious at his California home in 2013, following a call from his mother reporting the incident.

Gabriel was pronounced brain dead that day, before being taken off life support two days later.

It was later revealed that his death was the result of a long and sustained campaign of abuse inflicted on him by his mother Pearl Sinthia Fernandez and her boyfriend Isauro Aguirre.

Pearl Sinthia Fernandez and her boyfriend Isauro Aguirre. Credit: Netflix
Pearl Sinthia Fernandez and her boyfriend Isauro Aguirre. Credit: Netflix

In 2018, Aguirre was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death, while Pearl pleaded guilty to the same charge and was sentenced to life in prison.

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While the documentary has proven to be a lot for people to take in, filmmaker Brian Knappenberger has said that the story may not have finished yet - and that there are still 'so many unanswered questions'.

Knappenberger told EW that he still wants to 'hear from' Fernandez and Aguirre, saying: "It's not like we created this television series and now we're on to the next thing, moving on with our lives. This is something that is lodged in the heart of everybody that worked on it.

"Part of it is a mystery. Like, who are these people? How did this happen? Why did this boy's life get taken like this?

"There are still so many unanswered questions. So if they wanted to talk to me, I would absolutely talk to them on the record."

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In January 2020, the California 2nd District Court of Appeal concluded that the social workers involved in Gabriel's case 'never had the requisite duty to control the abusers and did not have care or custody of Gabriel', meaning the case was thrown out.

But this doesn't necessarily mean the end of the road for potential charges, with Knappenberger continuing: "We're waiting to see if the prosecutors then take this to the next level to the California Supreme Court; all that should happen within the next few weeks."

"This is still a very live story, so maybe this could lead to a season two?"

The original Netflix documentary detailed the numerous investigations carried out by social workers, where they reported the little boy's injuries.

Credit: Netflix
Credit: Netflix

However, young Gabriel was allowed to remain at home where the abuse continued - which is something that has prompted a great deal of anger and confusion from viewers.

When the child had been taken to hospital, doctors discovered his skull was fractured in two places. He also had three ribs broken, his teeth had been knocked out with a bat, and his lungs and groin were severely injured by BB gun pellets.

Knappenberger said: "I think there's greater scrutiny that needs to happen with DCFS, which also ultimately lands at the foot of the board of supervisors who are elected officials - we need to keep them accountable.

"If they're not getting the job done, then something needs to be done."

He added: "And for everyone who is angry and is compelled to do something, there's still a great need for solid foster parents."

The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez is now streaming on Netflix.

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Topics: Entertainment, TV and Film, Netflix

Jess Hardiman

Jess is a journalist at LADbible who graduated from Manchester University with a degree in Film Studies, English Language and Linguistics - indecisiveness at its finest, right there. She also works for FOODbible and its sister page Seitanists, which are both a safe haven for her to channel a love for homemade pasta, fennel and everything else in between. You can contact Jess at [email protected]