Steve Boggan

Journalist and author.

United Kingdom

2024 British Press Awards - shortlisted team: Campaign of the year (Act Now on Asbestos, Sunday Times).
Shortlisted: 2023 British Press Awards, Feature Writer of the Year.
Shortlisted team: 2023 Society of Editors' Media Freedom Awards, Campaign of the Year (Act Now on Asbestos, Sunday Times).
Shortlisted: 2023 Fetisov International Journalism Awards, Contribution to civil rights reporting.

* Scroll down for examples of my work.

I have been a journalist for more than 40 years. During that time, I have written for, or contributed to, The Independent (as Chief Reporter and co-founder of its investigations unit), Times, Guardian, Mail, London Evening Standard, Sunday Times Magazine, Observer Magazine, Independent and Guardian Saturday magazines, National Geographic and YOU Magazine.

During my years writing news, I covered the war in Iraq, the war in Kosovo (from Albania and Macedonia), 9/11 in New York, the Concorde Crash in Paris, the death of Princess Diana, the mass shooting of schoolchildren in Dunblane and a host of other major stories. I warned about big data mining a decade before it became a crisis, proved Britain's 'impregnable' ID cards and passports could be hacked and faked, and listened while Myra Hindley told me about the secret code she used to write letters to Ian Brady in prison.

While writing features, I took ayahuasca in the Amazon for The Times, followed a £10 note round the UK for The Guardian, and was threatened by Nicholas van Hoogstraten for uncovering the riches he hid after his murder trial. I watched as South African patients in a persistent vegetative state woke up after being given a sleeping pill; helped to free an innocent IRA 'bomber'; proved the Conservatives were taking foreign donations from heroin traffickers; and had airline safety law changed after the Lockerbie bombing.

I've written two books, Follow the Money and Gold Fever, that were each chosen as Book of the Week by BBC Radio 4. Follow the Money was also a Time Out Book of the Week. And I was once included in Time Out’s “Culture 100” list of the most creative and influential people in the UK media industry.

I co-directed the movie Follow the Money, which was named Best Documentary at the Louisville Film Festival, shortlisted for Best Documentary at the SoHo International Film Festival in New York, and commended in the LA Film Review Awards. It was released on Amazon Prime in November 2019.

I have also taught journalism at Goldsmiths and City, Universities of London.

Features and long form commissions welcomed gratefully at [email protected]

Some examples of my work are offered below, in no particular order.

Portfolio
Sunday Times Magazine
08/08/21
Slave Trade: Shocking Stories from the Front Line

Tens of thousands of vulnerable people are being trafficked into Britain and forced to work in brothels, cannabis farms and car washes. Steve Boggan joins a specialist task force trying to free them from the gangs that control their lives.

The Sunday Times
23/07/2023
Asbestos in M&S flagship store killed my wife

J anice Allen met and fell in love with her husband, Stuart, when they worked together at Marks & Spencer’s flagship store in London’s Marble Arch. The shop would end up killing her

Daily Mail
16/9/23
Your makeup may be killing you - like it's killing me

Hannah Fletcher is dying from mesothelioma caused by asbestos in her makeup. She and her lawyers tell Steve Boggan the cosmetics industry has known for years that some talc is contaminated by potentially deadly asbestos

Daily Mail
19/03/2021
Stop! You're in a covid police state

The Covid police state: 68,000 Britons have now been fined for lockdown breaches including a young man dragged out of bed by cops and an 82-year-old questioned for having tea in a garden

The Independent
19/01/2022
Draconian Tory bills will deliver authoritarian Britain

Behind the boozy garden-party headlines, a far more sinister game is afoot. Some chilling legislation has been making its way through parliament, designed to give the government authoritarian powers to strip Britons of basic freedoms. Steve Boggan reveals all

Sunday Times Magazine
22/01/2023
Let me dig up my bitcoins - the man who threw away £107m

James Howells has £107 million on a hard drive. The only problem is that he’s thrown the hard drive away. Will council officials let him and his crack team recover it from landfill? Steve Boggan reports

South China Morning Post
10/10/2020
Yes, your smart home devices are listening to you

Phones, fridges, front door locks - devices from the 'internet of things' are easily hackable, risking not only your privacy but the security of you and your family.

The Independent
04/11/2022
Planting trees isn't enough to save the planet

While planting trees can be good for all sorts of reasons, relying on tree-planting to save the planet might not be one of them – they may even do harm, reports Steve Boggan

Daily Mail
10/112021
Retirement Homes Scandal Wiping Out Life Savings

They’re billed as luxury flats with everything from spas to cinemas. But spiralling fees mean they can take years to sell — and many get just a fraction of what was paid. Steve Boggan investigates

The Independent
08/14/1998
Revealed: New evidence that might free Myra Hindley

MYRA HINDLEY is preparing for a bitter public battle with Ian Brady as part of high-risk legal moves to persuade the Court of Appeal to free her from jail. In a series of EXCLUSIVE interviews with Steve Boggan, she describes her relationship with Brady for the first time.

The Independent
08/14/1998
The Myra Hindley Case: The secret code that kept me quiet

HINDLEY CLAIMS she remained silent about her treatment at the hands of Ian Brady because he was blackmailing her with letters she wrote to him in a secret code. She knows the letters' contents will add to the public perception of her as a callous and evil killer, but the discovery of photographs depicting the injuries Brady inflicted on her made her decide to go public.

The Independent
Revealed: secret plan for football revolution

A pounds 2BN EUROPEAN football super league would involve as many as 80 clubs, according to secret plans which show for the first time the scale of the soccer mutiny being planned.

the Guardian
Steve Boggan on the missing children of Kenya

Nineteen babies appear mysteriously in Kenya. Are they the work of God, miracle births? Or have they been stolen? And how is the man suspected of being the ringleader allowed to carry on preaching in Britain? From a south London church to an illegal clinic in Nairobi, Steve Boggan goes on the trail.

The Times
08/06/2008
'Fakeproof' e passport is cloned in minutes

New microchipped passports designed to be foolproof against identity theft can be cloned and manipulated in minutes and accepted as genuine by the computer software recommended for use at international airports. Tests for The Times exposed security flaws in the microchips introduced to protect against terrorism and organised crime.

The Independent
15/07/2020
Are you racist, sexist, Sizeist? Take a test and find out

Sir Keir Starmer urged his party to undergo unconscious bias training but can it help us understand our own prejudices or is it just a corporate sticking plaster to cover up festering wounds? Steve Boggan reports

The Independent
05/04/1999
'The IRA "disappeared" my mother

The IRA came for Jean McConville in the dead of night. Her daughter, Helen McKendry tells Steve Boggan she never saw her mother again

The Independent
01/23/1998
Exclusive: Secret donors who saved Tories

Records of secret donations to the Conservative Party are revealed for the first time today. Steve Boggan discloses how the party, then close to bankruptcy, raised millions of pounds over a frenzied four-month period, largely from 'anonymous' donors.

The Independent
01/20/1998
The ultimate betrayal. Tories took money from a heroin baron

The Conservative Party received a pounds 1m donation from one of south- east Asia's most notorious drug smugglers, his family alleged yesterday. Steve Boggan and Anthony Bevins report the latest, and probably most damaging, instalment in the Tory funding controversy

YOU Magazine
22/03/2020
The truth about those trendy new gummy vitamins

Supplements have had a hip makeover - they come in pretty jars and rainbow colours, promising everything from shiny hair to eternal youth. But they have an eye-watering price tag to match. So are they worth it? Steve Boggan investigates.

The Independent
11/07/1993
Northern Ireland: The Belfast that's not on TV

A MIST from Belfast Lough is smothering the city centre like wet cladding. Early shoppers bow their heads as if weighed down by the drizzle, while soldiers train rifles on them, taking imaginary potshots at imaginary terrorists.

the Guardian
02/05/2007
Nowhere to hide? Steve Boggan on the government's cold war nuclear bunker

Deep beneath Wiltshire lies an abandoned fortress, strewn with old bedding, rusting machinery and stationery marked 'top secret'. This is the Corsham bunker, where the nation's elite would have retreated in the event of nuclear war. Built at the height of cold war paranoia, it has since been left to crumble. So is the government still preparing for the worst? And would the rest of us have anywhere to shelter? Steve Boggan investigates

The Independent
27/012021
The tech that claims it can play with your mind

Lucid dreaming has become much more popular during lockdown. And people are eager to learn, control and prolong this dream state – but beware the charlatans, warns Steve Boggan

the Guardian
12/11/2010
Pass the bucks - Steve Boggan's epic journey chasing a $10 bill across the USA

What do you do if you want to test the mood of a country as it emerges from the deepest recession for almost a century? You can delve into banking reports or believe what you hear from politicians. You can spend endless hours with academics and accountants or you can do what Steve Boggan did and 'follow the money'

The Times
08/07/2010
Is free NHS heroin best for everyone?

The Swiss claim giving junkies their fix on the state cuts crime, restores ruined lives and saves millions. Steve Boggan watches them shoot up in Zurich

The Times
RAM raiders - inside the secret world of hackers

Hackers have a reputation for sneaking around the internet stealing money and identities, even threatening national security. But the White Hats are hackers who spot security breaches and are a force for good

the Guardian
02/09/2006
Steve Boggan meets Bolivian president Evo Morales

The crowd of mainly coca growers - or cocaleros - goes wild. There are easily 20,000 people from all over the tropical region of Chapare here to welcome the new president of Bolivia, their favourite son.

the Guardian
02/27/2007
No More Secrets

Steve Boggan on a Big Brother-style government super-database

Followthemoneyfilm
Follow The Money - Documentary Film | Official Website

For thirty days and thirty nights three British filmmakers follow a ten dollar bill as it criss-crosses the United States. The bill passes through the hands of countless wonderful characters, and as the journey stretches out across 6,000 miles, a unique portrait of contemporary American life unfolds before us.

The World from PRX
How a proper Englishman caught gold fever in the American 'Wild West'

Gold fever - that crazy gleam in the eye some people get just thinking about finding a big chunk of gleaming metal. "Gold Fever" also happens to be the name of a new book, by the unlikeliest of prospectors - an Englishman named Steve Boggan. Here's his story.

the Guardian
04/20/2013
A history of violence: is Clare's Law working?

When Clare Wood was murdered by her ex-boyfriend, a scheme was set up to allow women to see details of their partner's violent past. Six months on, Steve Boggan finds out if 'Clare's Law' is working

Irish Independent
21/08/2004
The human butchers who slay in the name of 'medicine'

As gardai investigate the death of a Malawian woman whose headless body was found in Co Kilkenny, fears are rising that ritual killings may have arrived on our shores. Steve Boggan reports on Africa's muti murders ou can still see blood on the rocks that shaped the sly hiding place where they butchered Sello Chokoe.

The Sunday Times Magazine
Beware the friendly new spies lurking in your smart home

You've had a hard day at the office and, as you step into your driverless car, sensors and facial recognition systems register that you are tired. You could do with a hot bath. Back home, your house springs into life. Your bath runs and will be at your preferred temperature by the time you arrive.

The Times
07/08/2020
'After my mother, all I need is one bullet for myself'

BY THE time Ricky Rodriguez telephoned his wife, Elixcia, on a cold Arizona evening last month, there was no doubt in his mind that he was going to kill himself. The only question was whether he would die alone.

Evening Standard
04/16/2003
'Mass graves litter Iraq'

An Iraqi colonel in the Iraqi internal security service today claims he has damning evidence directly linking Saddam Hussein to a series of horrific crimes against humanity. He has testified in chilling detail to witnessing thousands of innocent men, women and children being murdered by Saddam's henchmen and buried in mass desert graves.

Evening Standard
11/05/2002
A new brand of fear - How Albanian Gangs Took Over London's Crime

When Nadia had finally had enough of being used, abused, sold for sex and brutalised day after day, she decided to stand up to her Albanian pimp - a man who saw her less as a human being than as a simple lucrative investment. It was the worst decision she ever made.

the Guardian
02/04/2007
Steve Boggan on the life and death of Robert Broudie

Gifted lawyer Robert Broudie, civil rights campaigner and champion of the underdog, leapt to his death from the top of Liverpool cathedral in October last year. It was the final act of a man full of promise but blighted by depression and anxiety. Steve Boggan charts the life and tragic death of a local hero.

HuffPost
09/12/2015
How I Finally Learned The True Value Of Striking It Rich At Age 50

I couldn't sleep the night after I asked Gene Meyers to go prospecting for gold with me. It wasn't the heat inside my tent or the rasp of a million cicadas that kept me awake. No, it was my conscience, a voice cooler than the evening and quieter than the insects.

The Independent
11/21/1997
IRA convict may clear man for Warrington bomb

John Kinsella was sentenced to 20 years for hiding explosives and weapons for an IRA gang. He has always pleaded his innocence - and now one of the real bombers may help prove he was telling the truth. Steve Boggan examines the evidence.

The Independent
08/07/2001
Steve Boggan: Space - the final frontier in a new and terrifying race

During the frenzied debate over his plans for ballistic missile defence (BMD), President George Bush has come in for much criticism over his argument that the United States must defend itself against the threat posed by "rogue states". Who, it has been asked, are these rogues? Is he being overly paranoid?

the Guardian
09/12/2006
The 'miracle' treatment that's bringing the brain-damaged back to life

We have always been told there is no recovery from persistent vegetative state - doctors can only make a sufferer's last days as painless as possible. But is that really the truth? Across three continents, severely brain-damaged patients are awake and talking after taking ... a sleeping pill.

Independent
04/23/1999
Blood and death through the eyes of children

AT first, the damaged children of Kosovo drew pictures of fairytale houses surrounded by picturebook flowers, images that surprised the aid workers who had been brought in to help them. ``We asked if this was their home, and a surprising number said, `No, this is the house we will go back to,''' said one of them.

National Geographic
08/22/2013
Author series: Steve Boggan

I'm at a hot and sticky gig surrounded by groupies and the earth is moving slightly beneath my feet as complete strangers send me over cold beers and shots, catching my eye and nodding with raised glasses and smiles.

National Geographic News
09/02/2015
Why A Londoner Became a Backwoods California Gold Prospector

When British journalist Steve Boggan, author of Gold Fever: One Man's Adventures On The Trail Of The Gold Rush , swapped the comforts of London to become a gold prospector in the backwoods of California, he had few illusions of striking it rich.

The Independent
09/22/1997
Money Laundering: Global fraudsters use sea fortress to evade the law

Money-launderers and drug-dealers have discovered a new way to fool banks and fraud investigators; they use false identities and pretend to be from a fictitious country. Steve Boggan discovered how they are using their new scam all over the world - and how effective it can be.

The Independent
11/30/2001
Like a river of grief, widows and children flowed past a memorial to 9/11 dead

Not until the end, when tears had been shed almost solidly for an hour at Westminster Abbey, did the full scale of the loss show itself in a seemingly never-ending procession of sadness.Children holding the hands of now-single parents; the elderly being propped up by their son or daughter's widowed partner; brothers, sisters looking fractured in their sorrow.

Thetimes
07/04/2020
My unborn baby was cut from my womb by a kidnapper

THE NIGHT Sol Angela Cartagena stumbled into a village clutching her bloody little girl's hand as tightly as the gaping wound in her belly, there was a whole host of people who simply didn't believe what she told them.

Mail Online
01/25/2011
Why mice are being gassed so YOU can look younger

When Jenny Brown agreed to go ­undercover to investigate the testing of a rival to Botox on animals, she knew it might be unpleasant, but nothing had prepared her for this: highly trained lab technicians kneeling on the floor while they tried to break the necks of mice with a ballpoint pen.

The Independent
08/03/2000
A tragic tale emerges from the wreckage of Concorde

Irene & Christian: Of all the tragic tales to emerge from the wreckage of Concorde flight number AF4590, few can be more poignant than that of this ordinary middle-aged couple from Dusseldorf. Because, for them, the trip that ended in disaster was supposed to be a celebration, against all the odds, of a life renewed...

the Guardian
12/11/2010
Pass the bucks - Steve Boggan chases a ten dollar bill across the USA

What do you do if you want to test the mood of a country as it emerges from the deepest recession for almost a century? You can delve into banking reports or believe what you hear from politicians. Or you can take the advice Bob Woodward was given by his Watergate source Deep Throat: "Follow the money.

The Independent
10/03/1996
Kevin Maxwell hid pounds 32m pension switch

Kevin Maxwell concealed a pounds 32m share transfer from Mirror Group pension fund officials which was later used to raise a pounds 22.5m loan for a private Maxwell company. Enquiries by The Independent have established that Kevin was instrumental in transferring the shares away from the funds, but he failed to tell fund administrators for more than 13 months that the shares had gone.

The Independent
01/20/1996
Matter of trust and missing millions

STEVE BOGGAN "I trusted him then as I trust him now," said Ian Maxwell as he stood outside the court, his arm round his brother's shoulder, eyes red from weeping. In the final analysis, that is what it had all come down to: trust.

Independent
07/05/2020
Boy (11) re-united with dad after Serb massacre

AN 11-year-old Kosovo boy who watched as Serbs killed 19 of his relatives, including his mother and three sisters, has been re-united with his missing father. Dren Caka was also shot during the massacre at Djakovica on April 3 but escaped by pretending to be dead and then hiding in a smoke-filled room as the murderers tried to burn the evidence.

Thetimes
07/04/2020
So who would be a Catholic priest?

Father Stephen Langridge was minding his own business, walking down the road in South London, when a man approached him and began demanding cash. "I didn't want to give him money for more drink," says the Roman Catholic priest.

Thetimes
07/04/2020
Any bids? The $262m fortune up for sale

ON PAPER, Diana Bilinelli is one of the richest women in the world. Twenty years ago, an American judge issued an order demanding that her husband, a wealthy Saudi sheikh, hand over half his fortune as part of a legal separation.

BA High Life
The Midas Rush

Steve Boggan pans for gold in the Sierra Nevada