Burning Body, the true crime series released on Netflix in September 2023, is an updated perspective on a true story that shocked Spain some years ago. The TV series does a great job explaining how Rosa Peral, a Barcelona police officer, was involved in the murder of her boyfriend, Pedro Rodríguez, helped by her lover Albert López. It’s an actual crime that happened in 2017, and you can still find some articles on the Internet talking about what happened years ago. Let’s discover together the whole story.
You can watch the official trailer for Burning Body here on Youtube.
Burning Body: the true story of Rosa Peral and Albert López
Yes, the TV series Burning Body on Netflix is based on a true story: a murder occurred on May 2nd, 2017, in Barcelona, where a police officer, Pedro Rodríguez, lost his life. Pedro was temporarily suspended from his job and lived with her girlfriend and colleague, Rosa Peral. After Pedro’s body was found incinerated in a car, the investigations began, leading to the arrest of Rosa Peral and her lover, Albert López.
Rosa Peral didn’t have a quiet life in those days. She was separated from her ex-husband, fighting continuously over the custody of their daughter Sofía. She was in a relationship with Pedro Rodríguez, but the investigations proved that it was a toxic relationship. She also had an affair with another colleague, Albert López.
As the TV series Burning Body shows, Rosa Peral wanted a way out of her situation, and in the true story, she ended up planning the murder of her boyfriend. According to the investigation results, Rosa was manipulative and used her lover, Albert López, as a decisive help for the murder. The evidence against them was impossible to ignore: Rosa Peral and Albert López had both their phones with them the night Pedro was murdered, and Pedro’s blood was found in Rosa’s basement. Also, many phone calls were tracked between Rosa and Albert hours before the murder. After Pedro’s death, Rosa Peral and Albert López supported a version of the event oriented to accuse Rosa’s ex-husband of Pedro’s murder. In the true story, Rosa’s ex-husband has a different name (Ruben), and they had two daughters (we don’t know their real names), but the rest of the story is pretty loyal to what we see in the TV series.
At the trial, Rosa Peral and Albert López started accusing each other to save themselves. Albert will state that Rosa did everything alone and only asked for his help to take care of Pedro’s body, while Rosa will testify that Albert broke into the house, driven by jealousy, and killed Pedro while she hid with her daughter. As the series Burning Body perfectly explained, the true story differs from their version: they were both together in this crime.
As this old article in the Catalonian magazine Ara explains, the corpse’s conditions and the contradictory testimonies prevented the world from discovering the details of the murder. We only know that both Rosa Peral and Albert López were at Rosa’s house the night they killed Pedro, but we will never know if it was Rosa, Albert, or both practically killing him. Rosa Peral was sentenced to 25 years in prison, and Albert to 20 years.
Among the curiosities around the series, the photo displayed on the trial in Burning Body belongs to the true story. Below is the real picture of Rosa Peral and Albert López, used in the actual trial.
This article’s cover image is also real, showing Rosa Peral and Albert López at their trial. As the series Burning Body explains, in 2020, the appeal confirmed the sentence, so Rosa is supposed to stay in prison until 2045: a true crime story perfectly portrayed by this Netflix production. And those who want to know more about this story have another possibility: the Spanish documentary Las Cintas de Rosa Peral, which also landed on Netflix Spain in 2023. You can watch the trailer here.