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Welcome to Tortoise Investigates, where we curate the best of our chart-topping investigative series in one place. Over the last three years we’ve covered everything from extraordinary tales of deception to suspicious deaths to one mother’s decades-long fight against the police. There's Sweet Bobby, Hoaxed, Pig Iron and more. Keep an eye on the feed, we’ll be updating it regularly with all of our best and most ambitious stories.  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Introducing: Sweet Bobby

Introducing: Sweet Bobby

2021-10-1802:1023

How much do you know about the person you love? Sweet Bobby is the #1 award-winning investigative series in search of the world's most sophisticated catfishers.Listen to the full six-part series today. For the premium Tortoise listening experience, curated by our journalists, download the free Tortoise audio app. For early and ad-free access to all our investigative series and daily and weekly shows, subscribe to Tortoise+ on Apple Podcasts.If you’d like to further support slow journalism and help us build a different kind of newsroom, do consider donating to Tortoise at tortoisemedia.com/support-us. Your contributions allow us to investigate, campaign and explore, and to build a newsroom that is responsible and sustainable. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Kirat is a successful marketer and radio presenter. Online, she’s contacted by a man she vaguely knows called Bobby, and they start chatting. Slowly, they become close… and she’s reeled in to a scam of epic proportions.Listen to the full six-part series today. For the premium Tortoise listening experience, curated by our journalists, download the free Tortoise audio app. For early and ad-free access to all our investigative series and daily and weekly shows, subscribe to Tortoise+ on Apple Podcasts.If you’d like to further support slow journalism and help us build a different kind of newsroom, do consider donating to Tortoise at tortoisemedia.com/support-us. Your contributions allow us to investigate, campaign and explore, and to build a newsroom that is responsible and sustainable. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Bobby finds his way back into Kirat's life, and their relationship grows closer – with devastating consequences. Meanwhile, Alexi investigates the sophistication of the catfishing scam. Listen to the full six-part series today. For the premium Tortoise listening experience, curated by our journalists, download the free Tortoise audio app. For early and ad-free access to all our investigative series and daily and weekly shows, subscribe to Tortoise+ on Apple Podcasts.If you’d like to further support slow journalism and help us build a different kind of newsroom, do consider donating to Tortoise at tortoisemedia.com/support-us. Your contributions allow us to investigate, campaign and explore, and to build a newsroom that is responsible and sustainable. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Bobby is now closer than ever – and yet he keeps slipping through Kirat's grasp. After being pushed to breaking point, she makes the life changing decision to confront him – and discovers the truth...Listen to the full six-part series today. For the premium Tortoise listening experience, curated by our journalists, download the free Tortoise audio app. For early and ad-free access to all our investigative series and daily and weekly shows, subscribe to Tortoise+ on Apple Podcasts.If you’d like to further support slow journalism and help us build a different kind of newsroom, do consider donating to Tortoise at tortoisemedia.com/support-us. Your contributions allow us to investigate, campaign and explore, and to build a newsroom that is responsible and sustainable. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Kirat deals with the fallout from the confession. Alexi’s investigation reveals the startling true beginnings of the scam, as he tries to unravel the catfisher's motivation.Listen to the full six-part series today. For the premium Tortoise listening experience, curated by our journalists, download the free Tortoise audio app. For early and ad-free access to all our investigative series and daily and weekly shows, subscribe to Tortoise+ on Apple Podcasts.If you’d like to further support slow journalism and help us build a different kind of newsroom, do consider donating to Tortoise at tortoisemedia.com/support-us. Your contributions allow us to investigate, campaign and explore, and to build a newsroom that is responsible and sustainable. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
After the confession, Kirat goes to the police. But their reaction to her case isn’t what she’s expecting. Plus: Alexi tries a new approach with the catfisher...Listen to the full six-part series today. For the premium Tortoise listening experience, curated by our journalists, download the free Tortoise audio app. For early and ad-free access to all our investigative series and daily and weekly shows, subscribe to Tortoise+ on Apple Podcasts.If you’d like to further support slow journalism and help us build a different kind of newsroom, do consider donating to Tortoise at tortoisemedia.com/support-us. Your contributions allow us to investigate, campaign and explore, and to build a newsroom that is responsible and sustainable. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
In the final episode of Sweet Bobby, Kirat’s case against the catfisher takes an unexpected turn. As Alexi is putting the finishing touches to the series, he gets a phone call that changes everything.Listen to the full series today. For the premium Tortoise listening experience, curated by our journalists, download the free Tortoise audio app. For early and ad-free access to all our investigative series and daily and weekly shows, subscribe to Tortoise+ on Apple Podcasts.If you’d like to further support slow journalism and help us build a different kind of newsroom, do consider donating to Tortoise at tortoisemedia.com/support-us. Your contributions allow us to investigate, campaign and explore, and to build a newsroom that is responsible and sustainable. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Introducing: Hoaxed

Introducing: Hoaxed

2023-09-0402:00

In 2014, two children told police a shocking story: that they were being abused by a Satanic cult; a cult headed by their father and by parents and teachers at their school in the wealthy London suburb of Hampstead. The story was a lie. But on the internet, that didn't matter. From the team who brought you Sweet Bobby, Hoaxed is an investigation into one of Britain's most serious-ever conspiracy theories. A story about a modern-day Satanic panic; about the victims whose lives were destroyed and about the conspiracists who spread the lie around the world. Oh, and it's about our hunt for the perpetrators - the people who forced the kids to lie - the ones who started it all. Listen to the full series today. For the premium Tortoise listening experience, curated by our journalists, download the free Tortoise audio app. For early and ad-free access to all our investigative series and daily and weekly shows, subscribe to Tortoise+ on Apple Podcasts.If you’d like to further support slow journalism and help us build a different kind of newsroom, do consider donating to Tortoise at tortoisemedia.com/support-us. Your contributions allow us to investigate, campaign and explore, and to build a newsroom that is responsible and sustainable. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Two young children make horrific allegations in a London police station, lighting the fuse on the most serious British conspiracy theories in decades.Listen to the full series today. For the premium Tortoise listening experience, curated by our journalists, download the free Tortoise audio app. For early and ad-free access to all our investigative series and daily and weekly shows, subscribe to Tortoise+ on Apple Podcasts.If you’d like to further support slow journalism and help us build a different kind of newsroom, do consider donating to Tortoise at tortoisemedia.com/support-us. Your contributions allow us to investigate, campaign and explore, and to build a newsroom that is responsible and sustainable. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Seized upon by conspiracy theorists, Ella’s list of alleged cult members spreads like wildfire across the Internet. Hampstead parents start receiving death threats and lives are torn apart.Listen to the full series today. For the premium Tortoise listening experience, curated by our journalists, download the free Tortoise audio app. For early and ad-free access to all our investigative series and daily and weekly shows, subscribe to Tortoise+ on Apple Podcasts.If you’d like to further support slow journalism and help us build a different kind of newsroom, do consider donating to Tortoise at tortoisemedia.com/support-us. Your contributions allow us to investigate, campaign and explore, and to build a newsroom that is responsible and sustainable. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
The perpetrators of the Hampstead hoax meet their match in an unassuming mystery novelist, who is determined to expose their lies and bring them to justice.Listen to the full series today. For the premium Tortoise listening experience, curated by our journalists, download the free Tortoise audio app. For early and ad-free access to all our investigative series and daily and weekly shows, subscribe to Tortoise+ on Apple Podcasts.If you’d like to further support slow journalism and help us build a different kind of newsroom, do consider donating to Tortoise at tortoisemedia.com/support-us. Your contributions allow us to investigate, campaign and explore, and to build a newsroom that is responsible and sustainable. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
For a conspiracy to spread, important people need to be listening. Alexi discovers that the perpetrators of the Hampstead hoax have friends in high places, while he and the team close in on Abraham's location. Listen to the full series today. For the premium Tortoise listening experience, curated by our journalists, download the free Tortoise audio app. For early and ad-free access to all our investigative series and daily and weekly shows, subscribe to Tortoise+ on Apple Podcasts.If you’d like to further support slow journalism and help us build a different kind of newsroom, do consider donating to Tortoise at tortoisemedia.com/support-us. Your contributions allow us to investigate, campaign and explore, and to build a newsroom that is responsible and sustainable. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Alexi and his producer fly to Morocco to confront Abraham Christie - and learn dark secrets about his past.Listen to the full series today. For the premium Tortoise listening experience, curated by our journalists, download the free Tortoise audio app. For early and ad-free access to all our investigative series and daily and weekly shows, subscribe to Tortoise+ on Apple Podcasts.If you’d like to further support slow journalism and help us build a different kind of newsroom, do consider donating to Tortoise at tortoisemedia.com/support-us. Your contributions allow us to investigate, campaign and explore, and to build a newsroom that is responsible and sustainable. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
In the final episode of Hoaxed, Alexi confronts Abraham and Ella. about what they. did in Hampstead - and why. And the police give Alexi some surprising news.Listen to the full series today. For the premium Tortoise listening experience, curated by our journalists, download the free Tortoise audio app. For early and ad-free access to all our investigative series and daily and weekly shows, subscribe to Tortoise+ on Apple Podcasts.If you’d like to further support slow journalism and help us build a different kind of newsroom, do consider donating to Tortoise at tortoisemedia.com/support-us. Your contributions allow us to investigate, campaign and explore, and to build a newsroom that is responsible and sustainable. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Introducing: Pig Iron

Introducing: Pig Iron

2023-09-1102:28

Christopher Allen was trying to make it as a war reporter when, aged just 26, he was shot and killed on the frontline in South Sudan. But as news of his death began to spread, suspicion grew. Some claimed he was really there as a mercenary, a fighter. Others said he was a reckless freelancer, in over his head. And there was another question: was he killed on purpose, or was this another accident of war? From Tortoise and the team behind Sweet Bobby, Pig Iron is a dark adventure in war and journalism – and into what really happened to Christopher Allen. Listen to the full series today. For the premium Tortoise listening experience, curated by our journalists, download the free Tortoise audio app. For early and ad-free access to all our investigative series and daily and weekly shows, subscribe to Tortoise+ on Apple Podcasts.If you’d like to further support slow journalism and help us build a different kind of newsroom, do consider donating to Tortoise at tortoisemedia.com/support-us. Your contributions allow us to investigate, campaign and explore, and to build a newsroom that is responsible and sustainable. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Five years after his death on a distant frontline in South Sudan, the truth about what happened to Christopher Allen is still a mystery. Was he a reckless freelancer? A mercenary? Or a young and ambitious reporter, caught in the crossfire? Approached by a family member looking for answers, journalist Basia Cummings begins investigating.Listen to the full series today. For the premium Tortoise listening experience, curated by our journalists, download the free Tortoise audio app. For early and ad-free access to all our investigative series and daily and weekly shows, subscribe to Tortoise+ on Apple Podcasts.If you’d like to further support slow journalism and help us build a different kind of newsroom, do consider donating to Tortoise at tortoisemedia.com/support-us. Your contributions allow us to investigate, campaign and explore, and to build a newsroom that is responsible and sustainable. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
At just 22 years old, Chris travels to Ukraine for his spring break, keen to see war up close. For the first time, he experiences the thrill and horror of the frontline. He's hooked. Five years later, Basia, along with Chris's cousin, Jeremy, visit Chris's parents in America to piece together who he really was. There they learn a troubling new detail about Chris's time in Ukraine.Listen to the full series today. For the premium Tortoise listening experience, curated by our journalists, download the free Tortoise audio app. For early and ad-free access to all our investigative series and daily and weekly shows, subscribe to Tortoise+ on Apple Podcasts.If you’d like to further support slow journalism and help us build a different kind of newsroom, do consider donating to Tortoise at tortoisemedia.com/support-us. Your contributions allow us to investigate, campaign and explore, and to build a newsroom that is responsible and sustainable. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Basia traces Chris's career as a young freelancer. By now, it's clear his death is tied to his life as a reporter. But who was he trying to be? Just how close was he to a group of fighters? And after years in Ukraine, how did he end up in a remote corner of South Sudan?Listen to the full series today. For the premium Tortoise listening experience, curated by our journalists, download the free Tortoise audio app. For early and ad-free access to all our investigative series and daily and weekly shows, subscribe to Tortoise+ on Apple Podcasts.If you’d like to further support slow journalism and help us build a different kind of newsroom, do consider donating to Tortoise at tortoisemedia.com/support-us. Your contributions allow us to investigate, campaign and explore, and to build a newsroom that is responsible and sustainable. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
There is a new layer of horror to Chris's story – and in trying to understand it, Basia investigates the evidence that Chris was killed on purpose. The team figures out how to get to South Sudan – and how to finally meet the essay-writer.Listen to the full series today. For the premium Tortoise listening experience, curated by our journalists, download the free Tortoise audio app. For early and ad-free access to all our investigative series and daily and weekly shows, subscribe to Tortoise+ on Apple Podcasts.If you’d like to further support slow journalism and help us build a different kind of newsroom, do consider donating to Tortoise at tortoisemedia.com/support-us. Your contributions allow us to investigate, campaign and explore, and to build a newsroom that is responsible and sustainable. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Comments (78)

mockingbird lane

this podcast is long overdue! the way people have reacted to this case is downright unhinged and cultish.

Feb 21st
Reply

mysteriouscauliflower

An absolutely fascinating and important series, I'd recommend to anyone who has an open mind and wants to learn. Excellent objective reporting.

Nov 29th
Reply

Irene Jane

Thank you for the article! I have studied about similar subjects! Unlike other submissions, however, I have a very unique impression of yours. I hope you will continue to share articles of this caliber with the public. https://capybara24.github.io/capybara-clicker/

Aug 8th
Reply

Dvlish Grl

if Kira ever sent "bobby" some money the police can get tye cousin on wire fraud. listen to the podcast scamanda. that is how they were able to charge the woman in that case.

Jul 11th
Reply

Dvlish Grl

this girl kirat is dumb ! I could never be catfish. I just don't like people enough to get so involved with someone I don't know online. when she met the real Bobby and he had no idea who she was that should of been the end of that relationship. if someone I see in person doesn't know who I am when I finally meet the in person after months of texting with them that's a huge red flag that maybe it's a catfish. if I don't physically meet you and physically get to hang out with you then I'm not even going to bother cultivating or exploring a relationship with you. I've seen a few documentary on scams /catfish and I just can't believe someone can be so naive. maybe I was just raised to trust no one and ask questions but I could never fall for something like this.

Jul 8th
Reply

firecat

My second listen through and even though I know what happens I’m still just going “WHAT?!” and “WHY?!” through the whole thing

Jul 7th
Reply

Julia Chase Grey

she knew what she was doing, she knew what harm she was causing, she did it for attention and to enjoy manipulating someone. She doesn't have empathy at all, it's a game to her. She is a sociopath or perhaps a psychopath. She didn't say sorry because she isn't sorry.

Jan 1st
Reply

Julia Chase Grey

this podcast is bloody brilliant. having listen to the show Catfish, this is a step beyond into an in-depth investigation. Poor, poor woman who experienced all this.

Dec 31st
Reply

William M

Wow. This needs to be made into a Netflix series!

Sep 14th
Reply

Goytom Bahta

I think I miss same thing in story !

Jun 17th
Reply

Donna Langlois

Wow...Kirat is a very brave lady! It's bad enough to confront your abuser but to come up against a whole community. Except for some who attempted to help. The abuser is a text book psychopath, sociopath and all round unbalance human. Until such time that all levels of mankind understand that ANYONE can be affected by mental illness and brain malfunction it will never be properly addressed and dealt with. I do wonder if the Abusers family was held hostage by her as well? And the Real Bobby...did he get legal justice?????

Jun 1st
Reply

ID12643429

If you can question how anyone can believe the Skype calls with the camera off etc… and how could anyone be fooled? listen to the Hollywood Con Queen podcast ~ one person with several voices and characters, conning very smart people. It happens. I do hope justice really does get served. It may have also taken over Simran but that was her choice and in her control. Apparently Simran says the character was mean so that Kirat would end it. She kept pulling Kirat back with ‘Bobby’s’ health issues. Simran didn’t want it to end, SHE NEEDED it in her life. She may be manipulating others daily. Kirat has been brave and rightfully says she’s not ashamed, I’m glad she met a few good people who wanted to help. I wish Kirat the absolute best outcome. Parents unfortunately aren’t always supportive, which is very hurtful.

Apr 29th
Reply

Brightly Lightly

simiron is weird. without a doubt. she wants to be best. the most etc., those fake holidays etc, she was caught. she is definitely mentally ill. how the hell did she find fins time for this shit? and to rise high at her job. but how could you even want to be with somone you havent seen and who seems half friggin dead. good god what a mess

Mar 3rd
Reply

Emma M.

LOTS of victim blaming comments, and some of you need to re-evaluate, but her dads response is shocking, and I would feel very sick to my stomach if my dad said that after reading the apology letter. he is upset because of the rift in the family, not because what happened to her. and who cares if simrans family are decent people, simran is a psychopath.

Feb 24th
Reply (12)

Kevin Murray

Kirat is as much to blame as anyone....how do you have countless Skype calls with someone who doesn't turn the camera on... isn't that the whole point of a Skype call? I can see why the police department did nothing here...it is a civil matter not a criminal matter....Kirat made hundreds of decisions here that propagated these events...this is clear a case of it takes two to tango... and what about her friends and family!!!! No one ever felt the need to step up and say Kirat your getting played here!!!! Good Lord!

Feb 22nd
Reply (1)

Ruth Gordon

OMG!! 😳🤔

Feb 5th
Reply

Jessie

Maybe I missed something but “Bobby” spoke on the phone with people - did she disguise her voice? Or was there someone else involved?

Jan 27th
Reply (1)

Jacqui Tilcock

She had a very horrid thing happen to her ,and TBF she must of been awful but,,,"I don't know if I can go on to have children, get married, goodness you do eventually have to put something behind you, and move on, she's got an apology,and everyone,now knows her character,and sometimes people believe what they want to believe, not victim blaming !

Jan 26th
Reply

Alex Magdaleno

they must not believe in beating ppls ass in London because after her finding out all of that, she would've definitely caught an L

Jan 25th
Reply

Darcy Jennings

Wether you are sympathetic Towards Kirat or not this is still a fantastic coutianry tale for the modern age I avoid social media and this is up there with the reasons why I do well worth a listen but could be upsetting for people who have been in similar situations 👍♥️✌️

Jan 18th
Reply
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