Is Burning Body based on a true story? The real-life case behind the Netflix drama

The case is the subject of not one but two new Netflix releases...

Rosa from Burning Body pictured in court
(Image credit: Netflix)

Fans of true crime want to know if Burning Body is based on a true story.

The Spanish-language Netflix drama has been highly anticipated - not least because it is released at the same time as Rosa Peral's Tapes, a prison interview centred on the same story. The show follows a complex love triangle in Barcelona's police force, which quickly takes a dark turn and ends in murder, and is inspired by a real crime that occurred in Spain in 2017.

Much like Netflix fans have been asking if NYAD is based on a true story, others have been asking what Netflix's A Nearly Normal Family is based on. A number of viewers have been wondering about the true story behind Everybody Loves Diamonds, ahead of its arrival on Prime Video, and now true crime fans now want to know the details of the crime that Burning Body is inspired by.

Is Burning Body based on a true story?

Yes, Burning Body is based on a true story. It is inspired by the events of a 2017 murder in Barcelona, in which the remains of police officer Pedro Rodríguez were found in a torched car.

The car had been left near the Foix reservoir an hour's drive from the centre of Barcelona, but it was later determined that Rodríguez was killed in the home he shared with his partner Rosa Peral in the seaside town of Vilanova i la Geltrú, in the early hours of May 2, 2017. 

The precise details of the murder couldn't be established because the body had been burned, and Pedro could only be identified by the chassis number of his vehicle and part of a prosthetic that did not melt when the car was set on fire.

Pedro was a local police officer, and it transpired that he had been involved in a love triangle with two fellow police officers - Rosa Peral and Albert López. Pedro had been living with Rosa at the time of his death.

Rosa and Albert had been on-and-off lovers since 2012, when she was married to another man. In 2016 Rosa started a relationship with Pedro, and moved in with him, but in early 2017 Rosa and Albert became close again and planned to kill Pedro.

However, Netflix has billed the series as a fictionalised account of real events, because much of the series has been created for dramatic purposes.

Who killed Pedro Rodríguez?

Rosa Peral and Albert López were both convicted of Pedro Rodríguez' murder. They were both police officers with the Barcelona Guardia Urbana and received respective sentences of 25 and 20 years for the crime.

During the trial, which ran throughout February and March, the court heard how the colleagues spent the day after the murder driving Rodríguez’s car and mobile phone to various places the victim would normally frequent, as well as a stop at the home of Rosa’s ex-husband to try and drag the innocent party into investigations.

They told acquaintances that Pedro had been having a jealous conflict with Rosa’s former husband, in a bid to create an alternative explanation for his disappearance and murder.

At trial, Rosa and Albert blamed each other for the murder, but the jury ended up finding both guilty with malice aforethought. Rosa was handed an extra five years for having killed her partner.

What is Burning Body about?

Burning Body is a fictionalised retelling of the events surrounding the murder of police officer Pedro Rodríguez in 2017. The narrative follows lovers and colleagues Rosa Peral and Albert López in their plot to kill Pedro. 

The synopsis reads: "The charred remains of Pedro, a police officer, are found inside a burnt-out car; the discovery triggers an investigation into a network of toxic relationships, deceit, violence, and sexual scandals involving Pedro and two fellow police officers."

Burning Body cast

  • Úrsula Corberó (Money Heist) as Rosa
  • José Manuel Poga (Money Heist) as Pedro
  • Quim Gutiérrez (The Neighbor) as Albert Lópe
  • Isak Ferriz (Infiesto) as Javi, Rosa’s ex-husband
  • Eva Llorach (Quién te cantará) as Ester
  • Raúl Prieto (The Snow Girl) as Manu

What is Rosa Peral's tapes about?

Rosa Peral's Tapes features the very first interview with the convicted murderer Rosa Peral from inside prison, seeing her break her silence on the crime that is also the centre of Burning Body

The show arrived on Netflix the same day as Burning Body (8 September) and the Netflix description reads: "This true-crime documentary film features Rosa Peral's first interview from prison since she was convicted of murdering her partner aided by an ex-lover."

If you're a fan of true crime, we've also revealed the true story behind The Sixth Commandment and how the Steeltown Murders culprit was caught.

Ellie Hutchings
Family News Editor

Ellie is GoodtoKnow’s Family News Editor and covers all the latest trends in the parenting world - from relationship advice and baby names to wellbeing and self-care ideas for busy mums. Ellie is also an NCTJ-qualified journalist and has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University. Previously, Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies. When she’s not got her nose in a book, you’ll probably find Ellie jogging around her local park, indulging in an insta-worthy restaurant, or watching Netflix’s newest true crime documentary.