‘Can I Tell You A Secret?’ Recap Summary: How Was Matthew Hardy Caught?

Cyberstalking is a heinous criminal offense that robs people of their mental peace forever and plunges them into the darkness of paranoia. Netflix’s Can I Tell You a Secret?, a true crime documentary series, talks about this terrible criminal offense and portrays the experiences of some social media users who have been victims of cyberstalking and lost their peace of mind because of a sociopathic stalker. The two-part limited series shed light on serial stalker Matthew Hardy, who turned these women’s lives into a living nightmare by hacking into their social media accounts and threatening them in various ways. Let’s talk about how these women became Matthew’s victims and what happened to the stalker eventually.


What did Matthew Hardy do with these women?

The series opened with the three victims of Matthew Hardy, recounting their horrific experience of being stalked on social media. Zoe, Lia, and Abbey were the three victims who have been featured in the documentary, while there were numerous women whose lives have been almost destroyed by Hardy. It all started with a message from a fake account claiming to be their relatives or friends to gain their trust.

The first message used to be “Can I tell you a secret?” to draw their attention. All of these women were pretty active on social media, which made them Hardy’s targets. These women used to post their photographs flaunting their beauty or the entertaining activities they used to be part of, which perhaps made Hardy jealous, and that’s why an envious, sociopathic maniac, Matthew Hardy, targeted them to jeopardize their privacy. By hacking these women’s profiles, he used to collect their personal pictures and send them to their friends and family to cause a rift between their relationships. Matthew had sent some of his victims’ naked pictures to their bosses or their families to defame them socially. It ruined the mental peace of these victims, who didn’t know where to turn to get out of this. Some of them had contacted the police, but initially, the police were indifferent to this case. Even some law enforcement officers didn’t see this cyberstalking as a crime and told the victims that they couldn’t do anything until something serious occurred. This shattered the trust and expectations these helpless victims had from the authorities.


How was Matthew Hardy caught?

Matthew Hardy was a serial stalker from an early age when he was in high school in 2006. In school, he harassed his classmates by sending them creepy texts on Facebook. After Facebook became almost available to everyone, Matthew Hardy started misusing this social media platform to spread terror among his classmates. Several times, many of his classmates had complained against him to the police, and Matthew faced consequences for his actions, but he was never charged with anything. He cyberstalked almost more than 20 women from a school in Cheshire and more than 100 women from all across the UK. While he was in school, he used to target popular girls and spread rumors about their boyfriends cheating on them. This caused misunderstandings in many relationships, and eventually, the victims had to break up with their boyfriends because of the rumors spread by him. Some of his classmates became aware of Matthew’s involvement in it, and whenever they received a creepy text message, they started ignoring it, thinking it was from Matthew.

All of his victims, including Zoe, Abbey, and Lia, were at the peak of their paranoia because of Matthew. They even kept baseball bats or samurai swords close to them in order to remain safe. Abbey started distrusting everyone, from her family members to her friends, and this caused her to be isolated from her loved ones. Lia Marie Hambly, in the meantime, made a smart move and kept all the records of the texts and voice calls that Matthew made from his fake accounts. She kept a detailed journal of 700 pages containing all the things Matthew had said to her, and her meticulous steps eventually became useful for the police to track down the stalker.  PC Kevin Anderson, from the Chesire police department, became sympathetic to the ladies who were victimized by this horrible individual, and he finally looked into this matter. Kevin finally tracked down the creepy stalker, Matthew Hardy, and arrested him for his notorious activities. 


Where is Matthew Hardy now?

It was revealed that it wasn’t the first time Matthew Hardy was arrested for his crimes. He was first arrested for cyberstalking in 2013 when he stalked and bullied a woman on social media. From 2013 until his final arrest, he had been arrested almost ten times, but he never pleaded guilty to his crimes. In 2016, a woman named Gina complained against Matthew, who made her life a living hell, but still, the justice system never took a step against him, overlooking the entire cyberstalking matter as if it were nothing. Matthew, who had always managed to get away with his crime, continued stalking women even after his arrests and remained unchanged. When Kevin Anderson finally arrested him, he was given a nine-year prison sentence in 2022. However, later, his sentence was reduced to eight years because of his mental disorder.

Matthew had been diagnosed with both Asperger’s syndrome and autism, which was why he never felt remorse for his actions and continued doing the same crime even after his arrest. Matthew was surely devoid of empathy and fear of the law, which was the reason he never decided to rectify his mistakes. His childhood was pathetic; as an autistic kid, he had been constantly judged by his friends and had never received the love and attention of the people he wanted to be friends with. In school, he used to be bullied by his classmates for his awkward nature, so when he started using social media and especially Facebook became available to him, he started making friends online, but instead of turning it into a meaningful connection, he chose to unleash his wrath upon innocent people who were just enjoying their own lives. Therefore, we can say Matthew’s actions were driven by his jealousy and also his inability to express his own emotions, which made him a cyberstalker. Matthews Hardy is now serving his sentence in prison, but it is uncertain if he will rectify himself and try to be a better person when he’s out of jail. 


Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda hails from a medical background, yet her journey is to cross the boundaries of medicine and survive in the cinematic world. The surrealistic beauty of cinema and art has attracted her from a very young age. She loves to write poems, songs, and stories, but her dream is to write films someday. She has also worked as a painter, but nothing attracts her more than cinema. Through her writings, she wants to explore the world of cinema more and more and take her readers on the same ride.

Latest articles