Pig Iron

Pig Iron

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.

Episodes

October 4, 2022 2 mins

Christopher Allen, an aspiring war reporter, was just 26 when he was shot and killed in South Sudan. At first, it looked like another tragedy of war… a young journalist caught in the crossfire. Until, just hours after his death, his story splintered. The government claimed he wasn’t a journalist at all, but a foreign fighter – a legitimate target. Other evidence suggested he was killed on purpose for being a reporter. In this new s...

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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 ...

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October 25, 2022 39 mins

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.


All episodes of Pig Iron are now available for f...

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October 27, 2022 46 mins

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?


All episodes of Pig Iron are now available for free. Tortoise members and Tortoise+ subscribers on Apple Podcasts can listen to the entire series, ad-free and ge...

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October 31, 2022 37 mins

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 ...

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November 13, 2022 41 mins

Months after Jeremy first approached Basia, the team fly to Nairobi to sit down with the mysterious essay writer. And it turns out that he is not the only person ready to share what he knows about who killed 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 inve...

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November 14, 2022 45 mins

The team tries to understand the connection between Chris's trip to South Sudan, and one taken by a group of American fighters just weeks before. Could this explain why Chris was called a white rebel? And after months investigating, Basia finally speaks to the fighter who fascinated Chris, and she asks – how close really were you? 


Listen to the full series today. For the premium Tortoise listening experience, curated ...

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November 29, 2022 45 mins

In the last episode of the series, the team finally hears from a man they’ve been chasing for months. And they return to Maine, to tell Christopher’s parents what they have discovered about their son's life and death.


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...

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July 20, 2023 3 mins

Nikki Allan was 7 years old when she was brutally murdered. Her mother never gave up the hunt to find her killer.


David Boyd was a convicted child sex offender who lived three doors down from where Nikki first went missing. So how did it take the police thirty years to find him?


This is a story of class prejudice, police corruption and a shocking miscarriage of justice.



Hosted o...

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November 24, 2023 3 mins

Introducing Walter's War, a brand new investigation from Tortoise. 


It’s London, 2012. Oliver is a dashing diplomat. Charlie is a young graduate trying to find her feet in the world. They meet online and she falls in love. With his encouragement, Charlie applies for a job in British intelligence. Then, she receives a text message that turns her life - and her relationship - upside down, and 10 years later, a mystery is stil...

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