Alcàsser Girls

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Miriam García, Antonia Gómez, Desirée Hernández
Escultura de las niñas de Alcàsser 01.jpg
Alcàsser Girls' monument
Died13 November 1992
La Romana, near Pantano de Tous (Valencia)
Cause of deathShooting after torture
NationalitySpanish

Miriam García Iborra, Antonia "Toñi" Gómez Rodríguez and Desirée Hernández Folch, known as the Alcàsser Girls (Spanish: Las niñas de Alcácer), were three teenage girls from Alcàsser, Valencia, Spain who were kidnapped, raped, tortured and murdered after hitchhiking to get to a nightclub in the nearby town of Picassent on 13 November 1992. The case has become notorious in Spain due to the extreme brutality of the crimes, the highly criticized police investigation, and the resulting media coverage.

The autopsies revealed the existence of seven hairs with seven distinct DNA profiles, none of them belonging to any of the girls or either of their alleged murderers, Antonio Anglés and Miguel Ricart. Of the two, Ricart was the only one jailed; the whereabouts of Anglés, still among Interpol's most wanted criminals, remains unknown.

Disappearance[edit]

On 13 November 1992,[1] Miriam García, Toñi Gómez, and Desirée Hernández disappeared while travelling to a secondary school party that was going to be held at Coolor, a popular nightclub located on the outskirts of Picassent, four kilometres from their hometown of Alcàsser. Miriam asked her father, Fernando García, to pick them up and drive them to the club, but he was suffering from influenza and was unable to do so. The girls thus resorted to hitchhiking, as they had done the previous summer.[2] A young couple from Alcàsser took them to a petrol station near Picassent. There, a resident witnessed the girls climb into a sedan – thought to be a white Opel Corsa – carrying a group of men. It was the last time the girls would be seen alive.

Crime scene reconstruction[edit]

Miguel Ricart is the only person charged regarding the event. According to Miguel's statement, he and Antonio Anglés picked up the girls at the petrol station. When the men drove past the nightclub and the girls began to scream, Anglés pistol-whipped them with a Star Model BM handgun. They headed to a crumbling abandoned house near a place known as La Romana, in a very isolated and mountainous area close to the Tous dam, where two of the girls were raped. Afterwards, they went to Catadau in search of some food, after which they raped the third girl two hours later. After being tortured for the remainder of the night, the girls were made to walk to a pit the men had previously dug and were assaulted further. According to the autopsy, Desirée suffered a traumatic amputation of the right nipple and areola with a sharp object, and was then stabbed twice in the back. The other girls were beaten with sticks and stones, before finally being shot and buried. Miriam's corpse displayed vaginal wounds caused by an object provided with sharp edges, possibly produced postmortem. The killers picked up spent shell casings and cleaned their car.[3][4]

Investigation[edit]

From the moment the girls were reported missing, an intensive search was conducted to try to find them. Their bodies were found on January 27, 1993, 75 days after their murders, by two beekeepers in a ditch located near La Romana. Previous heavy rains softened the land, causing the corpses to appear from their improvised grave. It was soon confirmed that they had apparently been tortured and murdered. At the scene, the Spanish Civil Guard found one of Ricart's gloves, a Social Security referral note on behalf of Anglés' brother Enrique, and a shell casing. Spanish television channels quickly rushed to Alcàsser to cover the grief of the girls' families and the overwhelmed town.

Anglés was not at home when the Civil Guard appeared in search of Enrique, leading to a national manhunt. The last sighting of Anglés in Spain was near Minglanilla, Cuenca, after which he went to Lisbon, and stowed away on board the container ship City of Plymouth. He is assumed to have died when he reportedly jumped overboard off the coast of Ireland, either instantly or from subsequent cold and/or drowning. Alternative theories state that Anglés evaded capture and, as a native of Brazil, is travelling under his Brazilian passport.[5]

Aftermath[edit]

Miguel Ricart was sentenced to 170 years in prison, but because at the time the maximum effective time a person could be in jail was 30 years, this was the maximum time he was expected to do. Ricart was released from prison in 2013, after 21 years,[6] following a ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union that using the parot doctrine to disallow sentence reduction by good behaviour post conviction, was against the principle that a prisoner's sentence cannot be increased retroactively. [7]

Shortly after his release he disappeared from the spotlight and his current whereabouts are unknown. Presumably he lives hidden with his adult daughter or anonymous in France. [8]

The controversial trial of the two arrested suspects became a prime time showcase, featuring gruesome pictures of the teenagers' corpses, preceded by standard warnings to viewing audiences.

The historian and feminist writer Nerea Barjola wrote her doctoral dissertation and published a book on the Alcàsser case. She argued that the sensationalism of the murders, and the way that they were portrayed in mass media, served as a reaction against the burgeoning feminist movement of 1990s Spain, providing a rationale for pushback against the increasing prominence of women in Spanish public life.[9] She asserts that this sensational coverage affected the attitudes and behaviours of a generation of Spanish women, by portraying sexual terror as a logical consequence of the advances of the Spanish feminist movement in areas like freedom of movement and bodily autonomy.[10]

Books[edit]

  • Jenny Ashford – The Faceless Villain: Volume Three

Netflix documentary[edit]

  • Netflix released a five-part documentary series entitled The Alcàsser Murders in June 2019. There are several interviews included in it: Juan Ignacio Blanco [es], Fernando García, Jerónimo Boloix, Paco Lobatón, Neusa Martins and Luisa Gómez.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ ¡Antonia, Desirée, Miriam!, El País, 7 December 1992.
  2. ^ Juan Ignacio Blanco. ¿Qué pasó en Alcácer?. Chapter 1.
  3. ^ Hallados los cadáveres de las tres niñas desaparecidas de Alcàsser con indicios de haber sido asesinadas, Francesc Bayarri, El País, 28 January 1993.
  4. ^ Tres detenidos por el asesinato de las niñas de Alcásser, Jesús Duva, Francesc Bayarri, El País, 29 January 1993.
  5. ^ https://www.archyde.com/antonio-angles-continues-to-serve-for-interpol/
  6. ^ https://www.lavanguardia.com/local/valencia/20170905/43959951408/ninas-alcasser-condena-miguel-ricart.html
  7. ^ "Spain forced to release terrorists and murderers by European human rights ruling". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  8. ^ https://elcierredigital.com/investigacion/121949757/donde-esta-miguel-ricart-asesino-ninas-alcasser.html
  9. ^ "Alcásser fue el relato sobre el peligro sexual de la década de los 90" (in Spanish). EHU. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  10. ^ Jiménez, Jennifer (23 September 2018). "Del crimen de Alcásser a La Manada: la construcción del miedo a la violencia sexual a través de los medios". El Diario (in Spanish). Retrieved 16 August 2020.

External links[edit]