‘Can I tell you a secret?’ is a new six-episode audio investigation that explores the story of Matthew Hardy, a prolific cyberstalker who terrified people in his home town and beyond for over a decade
The Guardian’s first ever standalone true-crime podcast series, hosted by Guardian journalist Sirin Kale, examines Hardy’s relentless campaign of fear, through exclusive and deeply personal interviews with his victims and people who know him.
Hardy’s harassment would often start in the same way, a fake profile posing as a young woman with a simple message: “Hey hun, can I tell you a secret?”
Sirin Kale, Guardian journalist and podcast host of ‘Can I tell you a secret?’ said: “I’ve written about stalking throughout my career and thought, probably naively, that there was very little that could shock me.
“The case of Matthew Hardy is one I still struggle to wrap my head around, even now. How did Hardy manage to go on for so long and torment so many people? What motivated him to do it? And – most importantly for his victims – is he likely to stop?
“We explore all of these questions and many more in ‘Can I tell you a secret?’”
Nicole Jackson, head of audio, Guardian News & Media, said: “Podcasting is integral to the Guardian and how we tell our stories. We produce hit shows every day while always experimenting with new ideas and genres. ‘Can I tell you a secret?’ is a great example of original Guardian journalism being shared in a new and impactful way.
“The podcast will tell listeners the story of what happened to some of the women cyberstalked by Mattthew Hardy, the impact it is still having on them as well as trying to understand why Hardy behaved the way he did and whether more could have been done to stop him.”
If you or someone you know has been affected by the issues raised in this podcast there are services available to offer advice and support including Paladin, Protection Against Stalking and the National Stalking Helpline.
‘Can I tell you a secret?’ is based on original investigative journalism by Guardian journalist Sirin Kale. Listen to the series here.