Italy: A stalker and his victim commit suicide when their case goes viral

the horrible story of a young man harassed online and his victimizer, a 64-year-old man who posed for more than a year as a twentysomething in love, has ended up twice before the Italian Justice, after both ended up committing suicide, albeit for very different reasons.

The Prosecutor’s Office of Forlí (central north) has opened an investigation to clarify whether the broadcast of a television program triggered the suicide last week of Roberto Zaccaria, the online stalker who became a stalker after being chased by a journalist of the space “Le Iene” (The hyenas) of Italy 1, channel of the private group Mediaset, according to local media.

The stalker was exposed on television. Photo: Special.

Zaccaria was located by a team from the programwhich recorded him while he tried to escape from the cameras and which released the images in which he ended up admitting that he had used a false identity to harass Daniele, 24, who had committed suicide a year earlier, but insisted that it had been ” a joke” and that if the young man “had mental problems it was not his fault”.

He was recognized by his neighbors

Although the image of the man’s face was “pixelated” by the program, Zaccaria was recognized by most of his Forlimpopoli neighbors and the day after the broadcast several posters and graffiti appeared with threats, such as one that read: “You bastard, you must die and burn in hell.”

“From the moment the program was broadcast, there was a feeling of great shame, which later turned into a tragedy,” said the mayor of Forlimpopoli, Milena Garavini, describing the state of mind of the inhabitants for what happened, in addition to show his closeness to Zaccaria’s mother and relatives.

The young man took off washed when he learned the truth. Photo: Special.

According to the family’s lawyer, the program could have committed a crime of “private violence” for the fact that the images were recorded and broadcast against the will of the sexagenarianbut also of “incitement to suicide” because “by disclosing to public opinion the implicit thesis that he had caused Daniele’s death, he had triggered a public pillory”.

This despite the fact that the Prosecutor’s Office had filed the accusation as the cause of the suicide in September 2021 of Daniele, whose family went to “Le Iene” to tell that the young man took his own life after receiving more than 8,000 messages from Zaccaria, who for a year posed as a 20-year-old girl named Irene who claimed to be in love with him.

His parents found out after the tragedy

According to Daniele’s parents, who learned of the existence of the virtual relationship between the two only after the suicide from a note left by their son, Zaccaria even talked to him about getting married and having children when he pretended to be Irene.. The young man took his own life after discovering the deception, realizing that the photo of the young woman corresponded to a model.

The relatives denounced Zaccaria before the security forces, but, after the investigationthe Prosecutor’s Office requested that the case be archived since it was ruled out that there was a causal link between his behavior and Daniele’s suicide.

“This is something that must not happen again: I think we will have to further raise the level of attention and sensitivity”, lamented Pier Silvio Berlusconi, CEO of Mediaset, when asked at a recent meeting with the press about the group’s growing audience, whose program Le Iene has been the subject of numerous criticisms in the Italian media and social networks.


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Italy: A stalker and his victim commit suicide when their case goes viral