Netflix’s The Last Hours of Mario Biondo explores a grieving family’s quest for justice after their son’s death. This three-part documentary series vividly portrays the Biondo family’s desperation and grief, revealing moments of denial that evoke empathy in viewers. This natural response is understandable given their immense love and blind trust in their charming son, Mario Biondo, an Italian Camera operator. Therefore, despite the forensic and police investigations, the family couldn’t accept the evidence and tried to establish the truth behind their son’s death, suspecting his wife as the possible murderer.
How did Mario Biondo Die?
In 2012, Mario Biondo, an Italian Cameraman from Palermo, and the renowned Spanish presenter Raquel Sanchez-Silva fell in love and got married. Sadly, their once blissful marriage came to a tragic end after just one year. On the night of May 30th, 2013, Mario tragically took his own life by hanging himself in his Madrid apartment. The shocking incident deeply impacted the Biondo family, who vehemently denied any speculation that their son had died by suicide. Their primary belief was that he might have been murdered.
The investigation into Mario Biondo’s death was extensive, with the judiciary system taking Santina and Goofy Biondo’s claims seriously. Three autopsies were conducted, each ruling out evidence of murder. The evidence suggested that on the night before his tragic death, Mario had argued with Raquel and later engaged in drug use and heavy drinking. It was revealed that after Raquel left the apartment, Mario went to a brothel to have some drinks. The family, grieving and refusing to accept these findings, wanted to believe their son was a victim of foul play. Due to their pleas for further investigation, two autopsies had been performed, and both of them confirmed suicide, but the Biondo family persisted and requested a third autopsy, which also upheld the suicide verdict. Despite this, the desperate and mourning mother, Santina, couldn’t find closure and continued seeking answers.
The Biondo family’s reservations were directed towards their daughter-in-law, Raquel, who suggested that Mario’s death might have been the result of an accident due to an “adult game.” This theory fueled anger within the Biondo family, as they firmly believed they knew their son better than anyone else and couldn’t fathom the idea of him being involved in such perverted activities.
Nevertheless, despite their strong beliefs, there was no concrete evidence pointing towards Raquel as the culprit, nor did any motive emerge during the thorough investigation. Raquel was already a famous personality in Spain with a likely wealthy background, making it seem implausible for her to commit such a heinous act instead of opting for divorce if there were any issues between them.
Why did The Biondos Suspect Raquel to be the Culprit?
Initially, the Biondo family dismissed any doubts about Raquel’s involvement. However, their feelings changed after Mario’s funeral when Raquel decided to take a vacation in Formentera, seemingly not allowing herself to be consumed by grief and sorrow over her deceased husband. It happened to coincide with their first wedding anniversary, and they were supposed to celebrate it together by traveling to Formentera. But Raquel’s choice of traveling there and spending time with her own family and friends after this tragic incident angered the Biondos.
The Biondos struggled to comprehend that perhaps Raquel went to Formentera to find some solace and relaxation amidst the overwhelming distress caused by her husband’s death. They failed to acknowledge her right to enjoy life as a human being, especially during difficult times. On the other hand, they believed that if Raquel was truly grieving, she should have been seeking justice and spending time with the Biondo family. This reinforced their conviction that she might have something to hide.
Despite having no substantial evidence against her involvement in the murder, the Biondos showed ultimate inhumanity towards Raquel. They attempted to find something incriminating by discovering a link to explicit images related to her, but it turned out to be empty, offering no basis for dishonoring her.
Did the Biondos prove that Mario was murdered?
The truth behind Mario’s death remained elusive—whether he acted impulsively under the influence of drugs or was indeed a victim of a sinister plot. Although the authorities and forensic experts conducted three separate investigations, all of which concluded there was no evidence of foul play, the Biondos remained steadfast in their belief that Mario was murdered. Their desperate search for answers and refusal to accept the investigation’s findings created a chasm between them and Raquel, leaving both parties trapped in a web of anguish and suspicion.
Some investigators speculated that the Biondos’ desperation stemmed from their desire to claim the life insurance, which they couldn’t receive due to Mario’s suicide. Others believed it was a manifestation of psychological distress, leading them to cling to an unfounded theory as a way to be distracted from the engulfing grief. Despite numerous efforts, including secret detective teams, various hypotheses, and social media conspiracies, there was no evidence to substantiate the claim that Mario was murdered. As the case was closed in Italy, the Biondo family felt helpless in their pursuit of justice.
While accepting the impossibility of proving their son was killed, Santina and Goofy couldn’t remain silent indefinitely. It was evident that they wouldn’t give up until they reached the resolution they sought. It’s unfortunate that Santina and her family resorted to cursing and blaming Raquel for their son’s death, especially without having concrete evidence against her. Their actions, such as publicly harassing her and posting distressing images on social media, were met with criticism and disapproval from many. Some perceived their behavior as an exploitation of their son’s death for publicity, while others admired their courage in seeking justice. In the concluding moments of the documentary series, Raquel shared her perspective on why she went to Formentera—to revisit a place she had once explored with her late husband. She expressed regret for posting pictures where she smiled and not showing images of her crying, but her sincere statements failed to touch the hearts of the Biondo family, who remained motivated to prove their theory and find Raquel at fault.