Netflix has become the premier destination for everyone’s true-crime needs. If you want documentaries about serial killers, unsolved crimes, and travesties of justice, the streaming service has you covered. But for its new true-crime docuseries, “The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez,” Netflix isn’t here to give audiences a “whodunnit?” or even a “whydunnit?” Instead, the new series aims to answer the question, “How the hell did everyone fail to protect him?”
As seen in the trailer for “The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez,” the story follows the aftermath that hit a community after the murder of an 8-year-old boy. There’s no grand mystery about who killed the young boy, as the parents were clearly the perpetrators. There’s also plenty of evidence to show the various ways the boy was tortured. But the series’ main goal is to find out how a system that is supposed to protect children from abuse failed so miserably. And how that system might need to be prosecuted itself.
The docuseries comes from director Brian Knappenberger. The filmmaker is probably best known for his previous doc projects including “The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz” and “Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press.”
“The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez” arrives on Netflix on February 26.
Here’s the synopsis:
In 2013, 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez died as a result of horrific and prolonged abuse by his mother and her boyfriend. In the wake of the tragedy, a demand for justice and accountability exploded in Los Angeles County. This six-part documentary series from award-winning documentarian Brian Knappenberger (Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press) offers an inside look at the trial as well as an eye-opening investigation into the government systems that failed to protect Gabriel, despite multiple reports and warning signs. Along with shedding light on an important story, The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez serves as a wake-up call to reexamine the structures designed to protect children in need.