“Around the world live”. That was the name of the reality show Spaniard who would fulfill all his dreams of liberty. That was what he wanted: to travel the planet from end to end and live different experiences.
He was about to make it. But his own story, the ineffable cruelty that had dominated him during his adolescence, took it upon himself to curb all your desires.
That young man with curly blonde hair and almost transparent eyes hid a aberrant secret. One that came to light when, feeling omnipotent and ignoring the pain of many, he believed he could get away with his past.
Cyril Jaquet Merino he had brutally murdered his parents. And everyone found out through a television screen.
Cyril Jaquet Merino appeared with his girlfriend to participate in a reality show. Photo: EFE
a spoiled child
In 1984 a family arrived to settle in Benijofar, a town with an agricultural tradition located in the south of the province of Alicante, in Spain. Oliver Jaquet was Swiss; Isabel, his wife, Spanish. At that time, his only son Cyril was 5 years old.
They were excited. They were looking for a better quality of life and this seemed to be the ideal place. First, they tried their luck with a restaurant dedicated to fondues; later, the father dedicated himself to installing heating systems. Isabel worked as a French translator.
They were doing well. They had a beautiful house and they led a comfortable life that allowed them to indulge their tastes. Among them, Oliver collected guns.
As the years passed, his rebellion intensified. Photo: The information
Cyril was growing up. But as the years passed his rebellion intensified. It started to face each and every limit that his parents imposed on him. His performance in school went from bad to worse and his grades dropped from grade to grade. He was looking for a fight, he played at being the bad guy of the group.
His appearance, his worked physique and that enigmatic personality that is usually attributed to foreigners also made him someone popular with girls from town. In his free time, in addition to training judo, he used to go out with his father to ride a motorcycle.
But for Cyril nothing was enough. He thought that they limited him, that they did not let him be as free as he wanted, that they did not give him the permissions that he claimed.
This seemed not to be so. “They had him, perhaps, too spoiled”, said a family friend. Yet he felt it. I thought he was drowning.
Summer was in full swing. It was him August 1, 1994. Cyril was 15 years old. The previous afternoon he had argued, once again, with his parents for not meeting the schedules they set for him. I was angry. He took one of the guns from his daddy’s collection.. The plan had already started.
He waited for his mother at the house. As soon as she arrived she went to her room. He didn’t make it. As soon as he started to climb the stairs, he received the first shot. Then there was another. And a third. In the head. left the body lying there.
He waited four more hours in the house. He never told what he did during all that time. The truth is that when Oliver entered, he was in the kitchen. Waiting for him. Without a word, he pulled. Six times. And one more, the last one, also in the head.
Smiles and jokes at the funeral alerted the police. Photo: J. de Haro
Cold, calculating, as if he did not recognize feelings, simulated a robbery. He opened drawers, messed up the rooms, took a few valuables – which he got rid of shortly after – and got on his bike. As he used to do, he covered the nine kilometers that separated him from the his grandparents house and there he stayed to sleep.
Everything had been coldly calculated. The next day, when he returned home, he ran out, screaming, in shock. For the world, they had entered to steal and had killed their parents.
Benijófar was moved. No one could believe that something like this had happened in the village. They all froze. Everyone took pity on the teenager, wanted to accompany him.
If something surprised his neighbors and friends -and even some of his relatives- it was the amazing tranquility with which Cyril faced the death of his parents. He looked unchanging; I wasn’t crying. Nobody who did not know him would have thought that he had been through such a situation.
But hey, ultimately, everyone responds as best they can to the challenges that life presents. Although these are dramatic, his relatives thought.
Something that happened alerted the police. During the funeral, between the tears and the cries of all, he smiled. And he even had the pleasure of telling some jokes.
Ten days later, he confessed to the crime. The poor orphan was a murderer. He had slaughtered his parents.
The investigation confirmed. No strangers had entered the house, the dogs had never barked. What was stolen had little value and the victims had been viciously attacked.
“It was me. I killed them because they challenged me and beat me,” he admitted to the authorities. Yes, tried to suggest that his parents abused him. Few believed it.
“I loved the boy like a son, until he did that. They were my best friends. I have never met people so polite, serious and friendly to people than that marriage,” said Manuel Espinoza, an intimate of the couple, when time you discarded this version.
Since he was under 16, the Penal Code was not applied to him. For the pain they gave him, he had to spend three years in a Juvenile Center. He entered there on August 12, 1994.
As soon as he left, he went to live with his paternal grandparents. In search of his destiny, and to avoid gossip, life moved him to Majorca. There, in Palma, nobody knew his past. could start from scratch, away from inquisitive looks or sharp silences.
The island became his place in the world for the next seven years. He had several jobs until he finally chose one that fit -and a lot- to his wishes.
After leaving the Center for Minors, Cyril went to live in Mallorca. Photo: Screenshot
Became flight attendant. Elegant, educated, bilingual (he spoke perfect French) he quickly started working for Air Europe.
As established by the Spanish Minors Law, his background had not been registered, so they did not represent any problem for him.
He used to cover the trips to Switzerland and France. He was charming, his peers adored him; the passengers, too. They quickly promoted him. Everything was going great, up and down the plane. On the island, he kept a long courtship with a Majorcan stewardess.
When the relationship ended, in 2006, he decided to move to Madrid and started working for AirMadrid. In the Spanish capital he met another stewardess, Paola Alberdi. He was 29 years old; she, 24. It was love at first sight. They felt they were made for each other. They quickly moved in together.
Young, ambitious, lovers of travel and adventure, as soon as they heard about the search, they decided to participate. The channel Antena 3 was looking for couples to travel the world raffling tests.
Everything would be filmed for a reality show. In addition, the award “Around the world live” was more than tempting: if they won they would get €250,000.
They passed filters, interviews, psychological studies and were selected from more than eight thousand applicants. They were the perfect candidates. They had everything going for them to win.
No one suspected that the boy was hiding the worst of secrets. And the past returned.
It was the big bet of the season. The program progress they were shown driving through dreamy landscapes in a car. Those simple -and few- images were enough to alert the residents of Benijófar.
They immediately came to mind memory of Cyril, that teenager who 15 years earlier had murdered Oliver and Isabel, his parents.
Before being expelled from the reality show, he had to face an interview on television. Photo: Screenshot
The phone did not stop ringing at the station. The social networks, which were just emerging in that 2006, also echoed the brutal news.
The media, neither slow nor lazy, did not take a minute to reflect it: among the glamorous participants of the show there was a parricide. The audience was enraged. That couldn’t happen on television.
Óscar Martínez, producer and host of the show, assured that they didn’t know anything. In fact, technically, Cyril hadn’t lied during the selection. He said that he had lost his parents at a very young age and in a tragic way. Nobody asked him more.
The couple was in Venice. They were forced to return. But the show must go on… At least a little longer. Therefore, before expelling them, the channel forced them to sit in front of cameras to give a interview.
He seemed upset. From the outset, he maintained that it was not in his plans to give details. “I do not intend to clarify anything, I do not intend to give more foot to this snowball, “he said. Paola, his girlfriend, accompanied him. assured that I knew everything from the beginning of the relationship. “I support him from the first day I met him and I will continue to do so,” he admitted.
Time confirmed it. They married and had two children. His story was buried. His parents, too.
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‘Spoiled child’: Cyril Jaquet Merino, the teenager who massacred his parents and sought fame in a reality show