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The Secret History podcast returns for second season

Stephen Davis with Estonia's former state prosecutor Margus Kurm

Crowd Network’s The Secret History podcast is returning for a second series, following the success of its first run that reached the top of Apple’s True Crime charts.

This time it is investigating the Estonia – a passenger ferry that sank in the Baltic Sea in 1994, claiming 852 lives. The Secret History of the Estonia, set to launch in January 2023, investigates the murky truth behind the Estonia’s sinking, uncovering an unforgettable tale of spies, a missing sea captain, smuggled military equipment, Interpol and a Cold War that never ended. The latest instalment of The Secret History sees investigative journalist Stephen Davis once more working alongside Crowd Network senior producer, Samantha Psyk.

The pair previously worked closely together on the hit first series, The Secret History of Flight 149, which explored the story behind a British Airways passenger plane caught in the crossfire of Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, and the decades-long cover up that followed. It has amassed one million downloads since it launched in February 2021, has been featured as one of Apple’s ‘Shows We Loved 2022’, and has been nominated for the prestigious ‘Spotlight’ award at the New Zealand Podcast Awards.

In the new series, Stephen and Samantha travelled to Estonia and Sweden to record with survivors of the sinking and with family members of victims. Through a series of powerful interviews, survivors recount horrific testimonies of attempting to escape a sinking ship and making it through a brutal Baltic storm. Family members share how the disaster has affected them and why it’s so important the truth is revealed. While recording the podcast, Stephen and Samantha took an overnight crossing of the Baltic Sea themselves, to follow the path of the Estonia’s fateful journey.

The series joins Crowd’s well established Crowd Stories division, home to compelling podcast investigations and engaging story-led shows. As well as The Secret History of Flight 149, Crowd Stories is also home to true crime chart-toppers Murder in House Two and American Vigilante.

Crowd Stories is one of three growing content divisions at Crowd Network, alongside Crowd People and Crowd Sports. The five-strong team welcomed its first development producers earlier this year, working on shows slated for 2023 launch. The division works closely alongside investigative journalists and storytellers to bring its podcasts to life, with its content ownership model enabling it to retain and share IP of these shows.

Stephen Davis, Secret History presenter, said: “This is one of the most eye-opening investigations I have worked on in my career. The sinking of the Estonia was the worst peacetime shipping disaster in Europe since the Titanic yet a flawed official inquiry and dubious decisions by several governments mean that all these years later we still don’t know for certain what caused the disaster.”

Mike Carr, CEO at Crowd Network, added: “It’s a pleasure to welcome back Stephen to Crowd Network, to work closely with Samantha on yet another eye-opening podcast. They bring a level of investigative journalism to the show that is unrivalled, and have gone to great lengths to get to the truth of the case.”

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