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Netflix viewers vow to make change after watching ‘terrifying’ new stalker documentary

Netflix viewers vow to make change after watching ‘terrifying’ new stalker documentary

Currently the top watch on Netflix, it's got people rethinking how they live their lives

Just when you were getting over your last chilling watch, a new true crime tale is suddenly all the group chat is talking about.

And right now, it’s a new Netflix documentary that viewers are calling ‘so terrifying’.

Looking at a case from only a couple of years ago, the two-part true crime watch has viewers vowing to make a change to the way they live their own lives.

Landing on Netflix last week, the doc tells the story of the women targeted by serial cyber stalker Matthew Hardy.

Matthew Hardy stalked and harassed dozens of women.
Cheshire Police

In early 2022, the man from Cheshire received the longest custodial sentence in British history for stalking online.

And the series’ title is the question Hardy would almost always first message his victim: Can I tell you a secret?

Once the cyberstalker gained the women's trust, he used vile tactics to disrupt their lives and even created burner profiles on social media, sharing private details about them and adding on lies.

Eventually, the three women – Zoe Jade Hallam, Lia Marie Hambly and Abby Furness – teamed up with police and Hardy was brought down, sentenced to nine years in prison.

He’d targeted at least 62 victims over 11 years and is regarded as the UK’s most notorious cyberstalker.

And viewers are saying this new documentary about it is ‘haunting’ and ‘so creepy’.

Hardy targeted a large number of women.

But it’s also freaked them out so much that they’ve decided to change the way they use social media themselves.

One wrote on X: “Last night I watched Can I tell you a secret? Netflix doc about internet stalker and I don’t want to be on social media anymore. Ppl scare the f**k out of me nowadays.”

Plenty said watching it has made them ‘rethink how they use social media’.

Another pointed out to others: “Can I tell you a secret? on Netflix should teach us all a lesson. Not everything goes on social media. Have some privacy!”

The stalker ruined people's lives and relationships.

Many also urged people: “I swear watch “Can I tell you a secret?” on Netflix because I’m never posting personal sh*t on social media again.”

And one echoed: “Can I tell you a secret? on Netflix freaked me out. Now I want to delete all of my social media accounts.”

Others said watching how the stalker used social media has them ‘ready to delete it all’.

As another put: “This documentary will make you think thrice before you post on social media.”

Here's the full rundown of the shocking case:

Who is Matthew Hardy?

Hardy is a cyber-stalker from Northwich, Cheshire, whose first message to his victims was almost always: "Can I tell you a secret?"

Often posing as a friend, he would claim to have information on some aspect of their personal life such as a gossiping friend or a cheating partner.

What did he do?

Between 2009 and 2020 he became one of the most prolific cyber-stalkers in the UK, with his first targets being girls he was at school with before widening his selection of victims to strangers.

For a span of 11 years he stalked and harassed over 60 victims, creating fake profiles on social media to befriend his targets while at other times pretending to be their friends or family in order to gain information about them.

How was Matthew Hardy caught?

Hardy had previously been given a restraining order, suspended prison sentence and 250 hours of community service for hacking the Facebook account of a former schoolmate and impersonating her in 2011.

Two years later he pleaded guilty to harassing and hacking another schoolmate, receiving a suspended sentence and restraining order.

Arrested a total of 10 times, the extent of Hardy's stalking was uncovered when he was a suspect in a 2019 stalking case.

PC Kevin Anderson was assigned to the case and found his suspect had a huge amount of other stalking victims.

The officer put together over 100 reports about Hardy, presenting five of the cases to court with a number of others on backup if he was convicted, leading to Hardy's arrest in 2020.

What happened at his trial?

While he initially denied all of the charges against him, he later pleaded guilty to five counts of stalking.

Hardy was also charged with harassment after breaching a restraining order, and on 26 January, 2022 Chester Crown Court sentenced him to nine years in prison.

Where is he now?

Hardy is currently incarcerated in a Category B prison.

Although initially sentenced to nine years behind bars, an appeal reduced it down to eight which means Hardy will be eligible for release in 2030.

Featured Image Credit: Netflix/Getty Stock

Topics: Netflix, True Crime, Social Media, TV and Film, Documentaries