See You in Another Life: Where Are Baby and Emilio Trashorras Now?

Under the creative direction of Alberto Sánchez-Cabezudo and Jorge Sánchez-Cabezudo, ‘See You in Another Life,’ or ‘Nos vemos en otra vida’ follows teenager Gabriel Montoya Vidal as he inadvertently becomes embroiled in the 2004 M-11 Madrid bombings. 16-year-old Gabriel Montoya Vidal, or Baby, commits petty crimes while trying to make a living. Emilio Trashorras, a retired miner with schizophrenia, is like a mentor and father figure to Baby. When Emilio offers the teen a chance to make a quick buck by delivering a package to someone in exchange for hashish, he does so without asking any questions.

However, his package contained dynamite, which was used by seven Jihadist militants in the largest terror attack that Spain has seen. With the destruction of multiple trains and the deaths of 192 people, the police quickly find Baby and Emilio, and they stand trial for facilitating the attack. Baby is the first to be convicted in the case, and he is pressured to become a witness against the man he respects. The Disney+ miniseries spins a gripping and grounded tale of a misguided youth who becomes embroiled in an unfathomably grievous crime and tries to make sense of his situation.

See You in Another Life is Based on a Novel

‘See You in Another Life’ is adapted for TV by Alberto Sánchez-Cabezudo and Jorge Sánchez-Cabezudo alongside other writers, based on Manuel Jabois’s ‘Nos vemos en esta vida o en la otra.’ The book presents an austere account of the real-life 2004 Madrid Train bombings from the point of view of Gabriel Montoya Vidal, or as he was nicknamed during the time, Baby. The author is an investigative journalist who slowly opened Baby up to questions about his life story more than a decade after the incident. On the morning of March 11, 2004, a series of coordinated explosions targeted commuter trains in Madrid, Spain. The bombings resulted in the deaths of 192 people and injured over 2,000 others.

Image Credit: LaSexta

The attack was carried out by Islamic extremist networks three days before Spain’s general elections, opposing Spanish involvement in the United States’ 2003 invasion of Iraq. The bombs were IEDs (improvised explosive devices) created from dynamite used for mining. To procure the dynamite, the masterminds contacted former miner Emilio Trashorras, who smuggled the explosives and exchanged them for hashish. This is where Baby became involved in the operation. A Spanish national from Avilés, Vidal was involved in the procurement of explosives used in the attacks.

He was arrested in connection with the bombings and faced charges related to his role in facilitating the acquisition of dynamite. Vidal became a key witness for the prosecution, establishing connections and convicting many of the perpetrators of the attack. In the spring of 2015, journalist Manuel Jabois met Vidal and was struck by how the banality of his petty crimes inadvertently led to his involvement in the largest terrorist attack in Spanish history. A sense of nihilism and indifference pervaded Gabriel’s attitudes towards the incident at the time, with a shrug of shoulders and the repetition of phrases like “What’s done is done.”

When questioned about his guilt and regrets by the investigating reporter, Baby replied, “I am not sorry for what I did; I am sorry for what happened.” The line is included in the series, along with authentic accounts and character studies from the book. Manuel Jabois was so meticulous in recreating the fateful situations of 2003 from his interviews with Baby that Emilio Trashorras wrote to him from prison, agreeing to all the details the journalist had written about him. Manuel Jabois’s book presents a cold and emotionless account of the events as they unfolded from Baby’s point of view, in an effort to remain neutral.

Adapting the work for TV, Alberto Sánchez-Cabezudo and Jorge Sánchez-Cabezudo admit to minor fictionalization for the sake of dramatization, as well as to avoid hurting the sentiments of the victim’s families. They make an effort to strike a balance between laying out Baby’s story and maintaining a distance to prevent him from being seen as a misunderstood protagonist. “We weren’t making a documentary, we were trying to create a fiction with references to Gabriel’s dialogues that appear in the book,” said the directing duo in a translated interview. “We wanted to develop them in a way that would be very rigorous with what happened, but we couldn’t allow that to force us to represent everything exactly.”

Emilio Trashorras is Serving his Prison Sentence Today

In 2007, after a four-month trial, Judge Javier Gómez Bermúdez read an hour-long verdict on the 28 accused of facilitating the bombings. Among them, Emilio Trashorras was sentenced to 34,715 years in prison for his involvement in the murders. However, Spanish law only allows a person to serve a 40-year prison sentence, and thus, Emilio Trashorras is expected to be released in the 2040s.

Aged 47, as of 2024, Trashorras has served two decades of his sentence and has repeatedly pleaded the case of mental illness. Alleging that he is not receiving adequate treatment for his mental health, Trashorras protested by applying for euthanasia, which was made legal by a Spanish law upheld by the Supreme Court in 2023.

Gabriel Montoya Vidal Leads a Quiet Life with his Wife and Kids

Having been a minor at the time of the crime, Gabriel Montoya Vidal was sentenced to six years of detention, followed by five years of probation. He was sent to a juvenile correctional center at the age of 16. There, he was involved in fights and contestations for the first two years of his stay and became notorious for his lack of remorse regarding the bombings. When a minute of silence for the victims of the 11M bombings was held at the center, Gabriel did not attend the event. In another scuffle with a guard, he said that he doesn’t care about the 191 or 192 dead people and that he has nothing to do with them. Yet, with time, he seems to have matured and left the juvenile center at age 22.

When Manuel Jabois saw him for the final time after their interviews in 2016, he noted that he had a messed-up and precarious job but was working nonetheless. Since then, Vidal seems to have worked hard and done well for himself. In 2024, he left a run-down house in Retamés on the outskirts of Avilés to move into a modest neighborhood of Avilés. Gabriel lives with his wife, Judith, and their two children. While some of his neighbors know who he is, Gabriel avoids attracting any attention to himself and stays out of the media for the sake of his family. He says he was not consulted in the making of ‘See You in Another Life.’ “I know I have to live with what I’ve done my whole life,” said Gabriel in a translated interview. “That is behind us. It was tough, but it is behind us.”

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