11 episodes

Gary Matthews became increasingly entranced by conspiracy theories about the pandemic - until he caught Covid and died. BBC disinformation reporter Marianna Spring investigates.

Death by Conspiracy‪?‬ BBC Radio 4

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.3 • 66 Ratings

Gary Matthews became increasingly entranced by conspiracy theories about the pandemic - until he caught Covid and died. BBC disinformation reporter Marianna Spring investigates.

    10. Light and Dark

    10. Light and Dark

    As Gary is remembered by those he left behind, what does his story tell us about the world we live in – online and off – right now?
    Gary Matthews was a talented artist and photographer, sociable and well-liked - a familiar face in his hometown of Shrewsbury. A few years ago, his friends noticed that he was getting into conspiracy theories. Like millions of others, he fell for Covid pseudoscience when the pandemic hit. In January 2021, at the age of 46, Gary caught the virus, and died.
    Marianna Spring, the BBC’s specialist disinformation reporter, travels to the serene medieval Shropshire town that Gary Matthews called home to investigate what happened to him - and why. While delving into the conspiracy underbelly of this picturesque town, she finds out more about Gary's life - and discovers a story that's been repeated across the country, and around the world.
    Producer: Ant Adeane
    Editor: Mike Wendling

    • 14 min
    9. The Conspiracist Mindset

    9. The Conspiracist Mindset

    Marianna asks what we get wrong about people who are drawn to conspiracy theories – and finds out who's really at risk of falling down the rabbit hole.
    Gary Matthews was a talented artist and photographer, sociable and well-liked - a familiar face in his hometown of Shrewsbury. A few years ago, his friends noticed that he was getting into conspiracy theories. Like millions of others, he fell for Covid pseudoscience when the pandemic hit. In January 2021, at the age of 46, Gary caught the virus, and died.
    Marianna Spring, the BBC’s specialist disinformation reporter, travels to the serene medieval Shropshire town that Gary Matthews called home to investigate what happened to him - and why. While delving into the conspiracy underbelly of this picturesque town, she finds out more about Gary's life - and discovers a story that's been repeated across the country, and around the world.
    Producer: Ant Adeane
    Editor: Mike Wendling

    • 14 min
    8. Tracking the Timeline

    8. Tracking the Timeline

    Marianna looks at the role that social media played in pushing Gary towards conspiracy theories.
    Gary Matthews was a talented artist and photographer, sociable and well-liked - a familiar face in his hometown of Shrewsbury. A few years ago, his friends noticed that he was getting into conspiracy theories. Like millions of others, he fell for Covid pseudoscience when the pandemic hit. In January 2021, at the age of 46, Gary caught the virus, and died.
    Marianna Spring, the BBC’s specialist disinformation reporter, travels to the serene medieval Shropshire town that Gary Matthews called home to investigate what happened to him - and why. While delving into the conspiracy underbelly of this picturesque town, she finds out more about Gary's life - and discovers a story that's been repeated across the country, and around the world.
    Producer: Ant Adeane
    Editor: Mike Wendling

    • 14 min
    7. Gary's Final Days

    7. Gary's Final Days

    Marianna examines new evidence and fills in the gaps of Gary’s last days.
    Gary Matthews was a talented artist and photographer, sociable and well-liked - a familiar face in his hometown of Shrewsbury. A few years ago, his friends noticed that he was getting into conspiracy theories. Like millions of others, he fell for Covid pseudoscience when the pandemic hit. In January 2021, at the age of 46, Gary caught the virus, and died.
    Marianna Spring, the BBC’s specialist disinformation reporter, travels to the serene medieval Shropshire town that Gary Matthews called home to investigate what happened to him - and why. While delving into the conspiracy underbelly of this picturesque town, she finds out more about Gary's life - and discovers a story that's been repeated across the country, and around the world.
    Producer: Ant Adeane
    Editor: Mike Wendling

    • 14 min
    6. Tristan's Quest

    6. Tristan's Quest

    Filmmaker Tristan hears about the death of his cousin Gary. Seeking to understand what happened, Tristan returns to Shrewsbury, where he encounters Charlie Parker.
    Gary Matthews was a talented artist and photographer, sociable and well-liked - a familiar face in his hometown of Shrewsbury. A few years ago, his friends noticed that he was getting into conspiracy theories. Like millions of others, he fell for Covid pseudoscience when the pandemic hit. In January 2021, at the age of 46, Gary caught the virus, and died.
    Marianna Spring, the BBC’s specialist disinformation reporter, travels to the serene medieval Shropshire town that Gary Matthews called home to investigate what happened to him - and why. While delving into the conspiracy underbelly of this picturesque town, she finds out more about Gary's life - and discovers a story that's been repeated across the country, and around the world.
    Producer: Ant Adeane
    Editor: Mike Wendling

    • 14 min
    5. Reflections in the Glass

    5. Reflections in the Glass

    Gary’s death is covered in the local media – and online, the information battle heats up.
    Gary Matthews was a talented artist and photographer, sociable and well-liked - a familiar face in his hometown of Shrewsbury. A few years ago, his friends noticed that he was getting into conspiracy theories. Like millions of others, he fell for Covid pseudoscience when the pandemic hit. In January 2021, at the age of 46, Gary caught the virus, and died.
    Marianna Spring, the BBC’s specialist disinformation reporter, travels to the serene medieval Shropshire town that Gary Matthews called home to investigate what happened to him - and why. While delving into the conspiracy underbelly of this picturesque town, she finds out more about Gary's life - and discovers a story that's been repeated across the country, and around the world.
    Producer: Ant Adeane
    Editor: Mike Wendling

    • 14 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
66 Ratings

66 Ratings

khsgget ,

Judy should he wear

Jack be careful when he gets home he better take back ha he didn’t know he name his mom

Bloom Lynn ,

What?

I didn’t really get where the story was. Or what was special about his particular story, compared to others. I also felt like the reporting wasn’t neutral at all. It wasn’t even like….let’s find the truth, wherever that leads. It was clearly…let’s prove it all in our favor.

I stopped after the 4th episode.

Truly though, very heartfelt sorry to Gary’s family that they lost him at all. I wish maybe his story was told in a better podcast and in a better way that honored him.

KattieeMak ,

Wonderful

I am a physician and have been waiting for someone to tell this story in a way I could hear. Thank you for the wonderful, thorough, human, kind but clear approach. It is healing for me to hear.

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