It Wasn’t a Hate Crime, It Was Suicide: The ‘Podcast’ About Anna Cook’s Death Divides Chile



At the cost of a lot of headaches, journalist Rodrigo Floxa preferred that the truth completely spoil the headline that many expected about the death of Ana María Villarroel. The young woman had a promising career in music as DJ Anna Cook. But on August 2, 2017, at the age of 26, the Chilean died in the capital of her country. Various autopsies revealed the presence of different drugs in his body and the presence of semen in his mouth. The artist had publicly announced that she was a lesbian years ago, sparking various theories about her death. In addition, he had dealt with several men in the hours before his death, although none of them have ever been fully investigated.

Was it a hate crime? Would the authorities have done more if the deceased woman had not been gay and gay? Who killed Anna Cook? This last question, which also includes the previous ones, was shown at 8M three years ago, International Women’s Day, at the Telefónica Tower in Santiago de Chile. And he is the one give a name to Podcast Journalist which revealed the mystery surrounding his death.

For weeks, this sound investigation brought the case back to the front page of the Chilean media and became the most listened-to content in many Latin American countries. But the result has disappointed friends, family and groups that have called for justice for Anna Cook. The thesis taken up by many feminist associations and LGTBI+ was that the artist was “rape, strangled and beaten to the point of breaking five ribs,” the Chilean feminist group denounced on the networks in the summer of 2020. tea club. But defend the authors of these journalistic investigations, in fact the young woman was going to commit suicide with an overdose of pills and drugs. She declared this herself during the last days of her life in unpublished letters found by journalists on her mobile phone. This is how he reveals it Podcast In its final episode, it aired Wednesday, July 19.

Who killed Anna Cook? Divided into 11 chapters and produced by her Chile podcast – which is part of the Prisa Group – based on a five-year investigation. A press team led by Fluxa, 42, along with journalists Sebastian Palma and Valentina Milan, were responsible for analyzing more than 400 pages of judicial documents, conducting about 100 interviews with all involved and compiling audio and video files deemed relevant to the case. This same team met during these years with the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Medico-Legal Service, the Public Health Institute, the investigative police, external criminal experts, and with the first team that provided legal advice to Anna Cook’s family.

“What happened to Ana is a generational tragedy, regardless of what people think happened to her,” Fluxá said from Chile by video, shortly before the latest part of her investigation was broadcast. “It was very difficult for me to understand, because the generational gaps are increasing all of a sudden. I find it difficult to relate to someone in their twenties and understand how they live without judgment. The clash of concept Well, Boomer And the studied crystalline generation [la generación Z] It’s a shame, but it’s the law of life. At the level of journalism and activism, there is no deep analytical material in Chile about this new generation and its problems,” he admits. Although the death occurred in his neighborhood and he knew some of the suspects in the alleged crime by sight, Fluxá sought out Millán, a young journalist closer in age to a DJ, so that she could first write a book about the case under his supervision. Then the project jumped into the realm of audio.

Specifically, even being a Podcast Documentary, the content is presented in a written manner. He does this through the mock conversations of a veteran journalist and a younger junior, showing Vloksa the weekly discussions he himself had with the younger members of his journalistic staff. “Why doesn’t anyone talk about a generation that drug themselves so they don’t feel?” they ask themselves in that last episode. “It is a shame that Anna’s musical talent has been overshadowed by police investigations,” Vloksa said from her home. “The most compelling activity currently is not giving a voice to those suspected of crime, but the traditional press should,” says the reporter, who has included the exclusive testimony of many of them over the first 10 seasons.

Floxa says Valeria Milan is being yelled at in the street for showing a different thesis than the murder thesis. The pandemic has brought a powerful wave of irrationality, such as the anti-vaccine movement. Now, there are college educated people out there who don’t believe you even when you show them proof. 10 years ago I could not have imagined that my struggle as a journalist would confront people who did not believe in the facts,” he says. He himself faced criticism for sharing his research findings, which made him Podcast be the opposite of fashion True crime with morals.

The conversation in recent weeks about Cook’s death was part of the project, his top manager comments: “N Podcast This was supposed to happen. For the first time, the audio content goes beyond the niche in Chile, even the women of the neighborhood comment on it, ”explains Fluxá. Among the activists it fell like a bomb. For the reporter, the truth defended by the two sides is not mutually exclusive: Ana managed to commit suicide and the Chilean justice system has problems with bias in its investigations.

Katia González, Anna Cook’s mother, met with the research team on at least nine occasions between 2020 and 2023. Three of those encounters, excerpts of which appeared in the article, were recorded. Podcast. The last time was on January 7, 2023, when she was briefed on the scope of the investigation. However, after learning of the results of the investigations, in which a murderer was not found, but concluded that the artist had threatened to commit suicide days before her death, she decided to distance herself from the project. “We promised him the truth from the start. And that’s what we gave him,” argues Fluxá.

On her part, Podium Podcast met twice with Katya Gonzalez. The first on May 26, 2023 to inform you about the project, its content and advise you on the correct registration of Anna Cooke’s musical work in the corresponding institutions. On that occasion, she was accompanied to the offices of PRISA Media and took a legal document for the Podium Podcast platform to license Anna’s songs, since she is the rightful heir to her work. Then, on June 8, 2023, they met her again, and this time she came alone and with the legal document accepted and signed, explains Podium Podcast Chile.

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