Netflix has truly given true crime buffs a whole host of amazing docu-series in 2020.
From Unsolved Mysteries to American Murder: The Family Next Door, the streaming platform has satiated the appetites of couch-investigators while shedding light on some of the world’s most notorious cases.
Now, in a new four-part series being released on November 5, the platform is showcasing the unsolved murder of socialite, Maria Marta.
In Carmel: Who Killed Maria Marta?, we follow the story of Argentinian socialite, Maria Marta García Belsunce, who died in October 2002.
At the time, her death was considered to be an accident — that she had accidentally fallen into the bath, hitting her head on a tap. After being taken for an autopsy, it was discovered that this was not the case.
What happened to Maria Marta?
According to news reports, Belsunce’s stockbroker husband, Carlos Carrascosa, had returned home from a football match to find his wife dead.
While her death was initially not deemed suspicious, her stepbrother felt otherwise and asked for an investigation to take place.
Her obituary stated that she had indeed died in a bathtub, however, an ambulance officer had found three holes in her head, which was confirmed when her body was exhumed and at least five bullet holes were found in her skull. Investigators also found a bullet fragment in plumbing which had been flushed down the toilet.
In what seemed like a scene from a fictional film, after her death, the leading suspects gathered in her house in Buenos Aires including her husband, her brother, her brother-in-law, her doctor and even her masseuse.
Pilar prosecutor Diego Molina Pico subpoenaed the men and as he sorted through their differing stories, the Argentine media began to speculate.
While they began to point fingers at everyone from her brother to her husband, there was not one mention of the drug cartel. Then, Molina Pico received a cryptic note on Belsunce’s computer which pointed directly to the cartel.
Arrests are made in a 2004 indictment
In an indictment two years later, all of the men who had gathered the day of her death were charged with trying to cover up the crime and a murder charge was brought against Carrascosa and two unnamed men as accomplices in her death.
According to the Baltimore Sun, Carrascosa had been laundering money for the cartel and either Belsunce found out about it or refused to be a co-conspirator any longer.
In fact, Molina Pico said that Belsunce was murdered not out of rage or jealousy, but in order to cover up her husband’s dealings with Mexico’s Juarez drug cartel.
“Enormous quantities of ill-gotten money from the Juarez cartel’s operations in Argentina have purchased the consciences [of the accused],” Molina Pico said, before adding that fear of the cartel “imposed silence upon those tied to this crime.”
Carrascosa’s attorneys called it a “fantasy” and that the prosecutor was a “spinner of fables”.
The indictment also alleged that both Carrascosa and Belsunce had dealings with a bank which was a direct link to the cartel and according to the prosecutor, Belsunce had “formed part of, or was very informed of, the Mafia activity, and of the movement of illicit funds.”
That same year, Carrascosa was arrested but was released only a short time later. No one has been arrested for her murder since.
The documentary maker
Carmel: Who Killed Maria Marta? director, Alejandro Hartmann, acknowledged that “it was quite a challenge” to carry out the series, and said he had “great respect for the facts.”
“The case has many sides and conflicting positions. We saw ourselves many times in the middle of these dilemmas, but our invitation as documentary filmmakers to the different parties involved was honest: we want to give them the floor. And I think that is what allowed for the first. Once the Belsunce case is dealt with with a great diversity of views and materials,” he said in a statement.
Carmel: Who Killed Maria Marta? will be streaming on Netflix from November 5.