Mea Culpa "El Alex" (found episode of Chilean true crime TV series; 2006)
Screenshots from "El Alex".
Date found: 24 Jan 2022
Found by: Eduardo Avendaño Pavez, Álvaro
Mea Culpa was a Chilean true crime television series which aired on Televisión Nacional de Chile (TVN) from 1993 to 2009. It featured dramatized re-enactments of some of the country's most notorious then-recent homicides and crimes, as well as interviews with the perpetrators.
In 2017, eight years after the series' cancelation, TVN uploaded the 13 seasons of Mea Culpa to YouTube; however, some episodes were either missing ("El Alex", "El Analfabeto", "El Mano de Tijera", "El Enfrentamiento", "El Engaño" , "El Pediatra", "El Tío Víctor", and "Séptimo Piso") or later removed by TVN ("El Castigo Fatal", "El Cautiverio", "El Engaño" , and "El Taxi"). Although most missing episodes have since been recovered and uploaded by fans of the series, as of 2021 the particularly gruesome episode, "El Alex" remains lost.
The episode, which premiered on October 11th, 2006, follows the story of Alexis Miranda Carrasco (a.k.a. "El Alex"), a troubled 22-year-old childhood abuse survivor and drug addict who robbed, stabbed, and slit the throats of an elderly couple in Macul, Santiago de Chile in 2004.
Episode's synopsis (taken from Mea Culpa's website via the Wayback Machine):
- Alex is a young man who, since he was a child, had witnessed the violence that his father inflicted upon his mother. Sick of the beatings and mistreatment, the mother decided one day to abandon her partner and her little son, when Alex was barely 5 years old.
- Since then, Alex spent his childhood sporadically living on the streets and in homes for troubled youth. At the age of 15, he returned to his mother. However, the years that the boy spent without parental care had already turned him into a hardcore drug addict.
- The loneliness and abandonment that marked his childhood, and later his youth, left him at the mercy of the bad habits he learned on the street, a downward spiral that led him right to the criminal underworld and that Alex never managed to break. Soon after, he was arrested for stealing a bicycle and after three months in jail, he was released on bail.
- His mother, hoping to amend the fate of her son and feeling guilty for having abandoned him, manages to get him a government scholarship so that he could be rehabilitated and could change the course of his life studying Mechanics.
- But it was too late. Abandonment, the streets, bad influences, and drugs had carved a dark future for Alex that would finally lead him to commit one of the most horrendous crimes in recent years. The need to get money for drugs led him to end up robbing and cutting the throats of an elderly couple in Macul.
According to those who have seen it, the scene where Alex murders Don Antonio (his elderly neighbor) is very bloody and graphic, even by the series' standards.
"El Alex" was briefly available for viewing on TVN's official website until 2007.
During a November 2020 video chat with a fan, the series' creator, host, writer and director Carlos Pinto admitted that he doesn't know the reason why the episode was never re-aired or posted on YouTube, or even if a physical copy still exists. Pinto theorized that "El Alex" was either:
A. considered too disturbing for modern audiences by the director of programming,
B. accidentally mislabeled by the people working at the network's archives, or
C. withheld from syndication for legal reasons.
On January 24th, 2022, YouTuber Eduardo Avendaño Pavez uploaded the entire "El Alex" episode, opening the video with the text (translated from Spanish):
"It was possible to get this episode thanks to a fan of Mea Culpa who contacted me. I can't stop mentioning this, because it's available for the first time after 16 years since its only broadcast in TVN, without mentioning everything I had to do to get it."
- 5 Capítulos Perdidos de Mea Culpa. Retrieved 23 May '21
- Mujer angelina que mandó a matar a pareja pide borrar capítulo de Mea Culpa. Retrieved 23 May '21
- Policías realizan intensa búsqueda de presunto asesino de ancianos en Macul. Retrieved 23 May '21
- Vuelve un clásico de la TV. Retrieved 23 May '21
- MEA CULPA (Archived October 28th, 2006). Retrieved 23 May '21
- "El Jardín de los Inocentes" | Carlos Pinto adelanta su nuevo libro inspirado en un caso real. Retrieved 23 May '21