Franco Alonso Lazo Medrano committed suicide in Peru Wednesday night in an eerily similar way to Hannah Baker in Netflix’s hit series 13 Reasons Why. According to People, the 23-year-old Medrano yelled, “I can’t stand a heartbreak,” before jumping from the fourth floor of his apartment building, all while in view of his mother. Medrano was later pronounced dead at the hospital after surviving the fall.
The similarities between Medrano and Hannah began when police reportedly found two suicide notes in his home, one addressed to a person named Claudia, and the other instructing the reader to distribute a series of tapes among a list of people. The method resembles 13 Reasons Why’s deceased heroine Hannah Baker, who left a set of cassette tapes for those she accused of contributing to her decision to commit suicide.
The contents of Medrano’s tapes have not been shared, so it remains unconfirmed whether they were created for those Medrano blames for his own suicide. It is also unconfirmed whether Medrano watched or was inspired by the Netflix show.
Opinions of the series’ possible impact are split, with many criticizing the show as one big trigger that glamorizes suicide for the teen audience the show depicts and is aimed towards. Everyone from celebrities involved with the series to mental health professionals have spoken out against the show’s depiction of suicide.
Others, including the series’ producer Selena Gomez, argue that teenagers and young adults already deal with these topics in real life, and that the show generates necessary discussion around suicide and mental health.
Netflix has added warnings and disclaimers to the series. A second season has been confirmed.