UPDATE: Alexander Litvinenko & the Polonium Plot

Episode 2.15: UPDATE: Alexander Litvinenko & the Polonium Plot

In this, the final episode of Season 2, we revisit the case of Alexander Litvinenko & the Polonium Plot. After closing the book on this investigation several weeks ago, we couldn’t ignore the niggling suspicion that something wasn’t quite right about the timeline of events on the day that Litvinenko was allegedly poisoned. After delving deeper into the evidence, a shocking number of inconsistencies emerged. Here, we look at the conflicting evidence and testimony, challenge the findings of the British inquiry, and try to make sense of this sensational case. 

Sergei Skripal & the Poisoned Perfume Part 3

Episode 2.14: Sergei Skripal & the Poisoned Perfume Part 3

In the final installment of our three-part episode, we begin by traveling to Bulgaria to examine a possible link between the Salisbury poisonings and an alleged assassination attempt against a Bulgarian arms dealer. Navigating through the diplomatic storm that rages between Britain and Russia since the Skripals fell ill, we enter a realm of hackers, spies, and informational warfare. Sorting evidence from assertion, we consider the strange aspects of the case, and we consider the very real tragedy of the death of Dawn Sturgess.

Sergei Skripal & the Poisoned Perfume Part 2

Episode 2.13: Sergei Skripal & the Poisoned Perfume Part 2

In Part 2 of this three-part episode, we learn that after coming to Britain in a spy swap in 2010, Sergei Skripal maintained a relationship with his MI6 case officer and continued to carry out intelligence work. According to interviews Skripal gave to a BBC journalist, he continued to work with British and American authorities until 2017. His MI6 handler, Pablo Miller, worked for a private company called Orbis Business Intelligence, which prepared the "Trump-Russia Dossier.” We find out about the two Russian men accused by the British government of being responsible for the attempted assassination of the Skripals, and we look at the claims by an investigative website, Bellingcat, that they were not who they claimed to be.

Sergei Skripal & the Poisoned Perfume Part 1

Episode 2.12 Sergei Skripal & the Poisoned Perfume Part 1

Part 1/3. In March, 2018, a man and a woman were found on a bench in the middle of the small and sleepy English cathedral city of Salisbury. They appeared very unwell and were rushed to a hospital, where they were treated for a suspected overdose of fentanyl. But it soon became clear that this was not just another tragic drug overdose. Rather, the man was an ex-Russian intelligence officer named Sergei Skripal, and— along with his daughter— it seemed he'd actually been deliberately poisoned with an incredibly dangerous toxin. Had Skripal's work as a spy caught up with him?

Alexander Litvinenko & the Polonium Plot Part 2

Episode 2.11: Alexander Litvinenko & the Polonium Plot Part 2

Even as he was still clinging onto life in a hospital bed, Alexander Litvinenko’s death was being carefully stage-managed by his erstwhile employer, Boris Berezovsky. As a result of this PR campaign, blame for Litvinenko’s poisoning quickly fell on Russia. The Russian government became the target of British and international outrage, with President Vladimir Putin roundly condemned as having assassinated one of his critics. But was there more to the story? In the concluding part of this episode, we step into a subterranean world of Russian oligarchs, Chechen militants, and a very shady Italian "nuclear weapons expert” to try and find out: who killed Alexander Litvinenko? 

Alexander Litvinenko & the Polonium Plot Part 1

Episode 2.10: Alexander Litvinenko & the Polonium Plot Part 1

After 23 days of agonizing illness, Alexander Litvinenko died in a hospital in London in 2006. The post-mortem recorded his cause of death as poisoning by ingestion of a lethal substance, the radionuclide polonium-210. In the first part of this episode, we explore the details of his flight from Russia to Britain, consider the significance of his relationship with billionaire oligarch Boris Berezovsky, investigate his final days, and find out how his death caused an international sensation. 

T.E. Lawrence, an Agitator in Arabian Robes

Episode 2.9: T.E. Lawrence, an Agitator in Arabian Robes

Known to the world as Lawrence of Arabia, Thomas Edward Lawrence was a British army officer who operated behind enemy lines during the First World War. A spy and agent provocateur, he played an important role in the Arab Revolt against Ottoman rule. After the war, Lawrence struggled with his celebrity persona. He may also have continued with covert work in Britain and in India. Lawrence died under suspicious circumstances in 1935. In this special episode, we explore the life of T.E. Lawrence and interview independent filmmaker Mark Griffin on his upcoming feature, "Lawrence: After Arabia,” which explores the final years of Lawrence’s life.

Ashraf Marwan, the Spy Who Fell to Earth Part 2

Episode 2.8: Ashraf Marwan, the Spy Who Fell to Earth Part 2

Ashraf Marwan, once the most valued Israeli intelligence asset, moved from Egypt to England - taking an ill-gotten fortune with him. In London, he turned this into a billion-dollar business empire. He continued to operate in the realm of spies - working with Mossad, MI6, various Arab regimes, and others - at least until he was outed as a spy in 2002. In Part 2 of this episode, we look into Marwan's opaque activities and the events that led up to his death in 2007. British authorities ruled that Marwan's death was not suspicious. But there were some strange aspects to the investigation, and many questions remain unanswered today.

Ashraf Marwan, the Spy Who Fell to Earth Part 1

Episode 2.7: Ashraf Marwan, the Spy Who Fell to Earth Part 1

In 2007, a man lay dead in a rose garden in the exclusive London neighborhood of Mayfair. Within hours of the discovery of his body, people were asking: did he fall, did he jump ... or was he pushed? The man's name was Ashraf Marwan, and he had once been - it was said - the most important spy of the 20th Century. To his neighbors, he was just a very wealthy Egyptian businessman, whose name had been linked to some high profile deals. But as we will find out in this first part of our episode, he had also been the most valued intelligence asset in the history of Israel - a man whose secret reports to Mossad shaped Israeli policy in the lead-up to the Yom Kippur War. 

Boris Korczak, the Spy with Nine Lives Part 2

Episode 2.6: Boris Korczak, the Spy with Nine Lives Part 2

Following on from the first part of our episode, in which we recreated an interview with Boris Korczak that took place in Washington, DC in 1982, we take a closer look at the strange life of this ex-CIA agent. We learn of his early life in communist Poland and his escape to Denmark, where he started to work on behalf of the United States. We hear another of his stories, in which the top CIA man in Copenhagen got drunk and outed him as a spy. We examine the similarities between Korczak's claims and the story of Georgi Markov. And we ponder - how much can we believe the "Spy with Nine Lives" as he battled the CIA for compensation?

Boris Korczak, the Spy with Nine Lives Part 1

Episode 2.5: Boris Korczak, the Spy with Nine Lives Part 1

With a touch of James Bond, a soupçon of Inspector Clouseau, and a dash of Walter Mitty, the story of Boris Korczak seems too out-there to be true. A Polish Lithuanian emigre, Korczak worked for seven years as a CIA asset within the KGB before his cover was blown. In this week’s episode, we recreate a radio interview with Korczak that took place on WRC’s Joel Spivak Show in October 1982 in which Korczak makes some incredible claims and remarkable allegations. Did a psychotic Soviet assassin really come to kill him, but instead drink an entire bottle of vodka while sitting at his kitchen table? Was Korczak really shot with a poisoned pellet while he wrestled with a plastic bag in the fruit aisle of a supermarket in suburban Virginia? Whatever is true, this is a story you don't want to miss.

Georgi Markov & the Umbrella Assassination Part 3

Episode 2.4: Georgi Markov & the Umbrella Assassination Part 3

In parts 1 and 2 of our episode on Georgi Markov, we investigated what might have taken place on the streets of London on September 7th, 1978, and we examined subsequent claims that added further layers of complexity to the case. In the final part of the episode, we uncover more strange and incongruous events ... and we seek to uncover what actually happened in the case that came to be known as the “Umbrella Assassination.”

Georgi Markov & the Umbrella Assassination Part 2

Episode 2.3: Georgi Markov & the Umbrella Assassination Part 2

In Part 1 of our episode on Georgi Markov, we heard tale of a James Bond-style assassination on the streets of London: a secret agent wielding an umbrella to deliver a lethal dose of poison. But as we discover in Part 2, there is far more to this case than meets the eye. Behind the headlines, an extraordinary series of events unfolded in a shadowy world of spies, cops, dissidents, and a secret chemical weapons facility … events that make us question what we think we know about the “Umbrella Assassination.”

Georgi Markov & the Umbrella Assassination Part 1

Episode 2.2: Georgi Markov & the Umbrella Assassination Part 1

It was like a storyline from an Ian Fleming novel: Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov was assassinated on the streets of London in 1978 by a secret agent wielding a weapon disguised as an everyday umbrella. This fantastic tale captivated the British press, and soon became a world-wide legend - one of the most notorious and sensational moments of the Cold War. Yet, the truth is rather different from the commonly held narrative of the "Umbrella Assassination." Even today, there are many unanswered - and disturbing - questions that surround the case. In the first part of our 3 part episode on this assassination, we meet Georgi Markov and explore the details of his death.

Zheng Pingru, the Courtesan Spy

Episode 2.1: Zheng Pingru, the Courtesan Spy

Japan expanded its empire across eastern China in the 1930s, and maintained it with a reign of terror throughout the Second World War. The feared Japanese spymaster Kenji Doihara recruited a ruthless Chinese collaborator to help control the city of Shanghai. As leader of the secret police, Ding Mocun came to be known as the “Butcher of Shanghai.” In a bid get rid of Ding, the nationalist resistance recruited a beautiful young socialite, Zheng Pingru, for the most dangerous of missions - ensnare Ding and lead him to his death!

Season 2 Teaser Trailer: Spy vs. Spy

The world of James Bond, with all its ingenious weaponry and elaborate schemes, is pure escapist fantasy - a caricature, right?

Well, when it comes to real world spies, truth can be as strange as anything Ian Fleming could come up with. In Season 2 of the podcast we will delve into this fascinating and dangerous world. Our new season launches November 19th. Check out our teaser trailer for a taste of what's coming this season, and subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher to make sure you're one of the first to know when new episodes go live.

Mini Episode: Jörg Jenatsch

Episode 1.12: Jörg Jenatsch

In this Halloween special, we uncover the story of one of history’s strangest assassinations. Jörg Jenatsch was a preacher, a politician, a soldier and a downright dirty schemer. Embroiled in the wars of religion in the early 17th Century, he made many enemies. In the end, he got his comeuppance when he was murdered by ... a bear?

Mini Episode: King Radama II

Episode 1.11: King Radama II

In this mini episode, we look at King Radama II of Madagascar. Though he inherited an isolated island kingdom steeped in pagan tradition, Radama wanted to open up his country to Christianity and the modern world. He made powerful enemies during his short reign and was strangled to death by his own soldiers ... or so the official story goes. Rumors persisted that King Radama survived the assassination attempt and lived on in the remote jungle of the island - a folk hero who would one day reclaim his throne.

Mini Episode: Mary, Queen of Scots

Episode 1.10: Mary, Queen of Scots

For this episode, Assassinations Podcast goes ON LOCATION! We start our tale in the historic city of Edinburgh, outside Holyrood Palace. Over 400 years ago, this was the scene of one of the bloodiest episodes in Scottish history: the murder of David Rizzio, the favorite of Mary, Queen of Scots. That murder set off a chain of events that led to the assassination of a king and the execution of Mary herself.

Diana, Princess of Wales Part 2

EPISODE 1.9: Diana, Princess of Wales PART 2


In Part Two of our episode on the life and death of Diana, Princess of Wales, we look at what happened on that tragic night in Paris in 1997 when her limousine crashed. From the moment her death was announced, people have speculated as to how this icon of the 20th Century met such a sudden, shocking end.