Seven-part podcast unravels the wild world of ‘GPO Girl’ Samantha Azzopardi
Listeners across Ireland and the globe have been gripped by the story of the life of a young woman with more than 100 identities documented in new RTÉ Documentary on One podcast Finding Samantha
A young girl found wandering the streets of Dublin, a teenager deported from Canada and a woman with stories of sustained sexual abuse at the hands of many as well as kidnapping charges, prison time, and fraud. Could all of these stories and more than 100 identities be traced back to just one person? The RTÉ Documentary on One team have spent two years investigating the life of Samantha Azzopardi.
In 2013, Gardaí are called to O’Connell Street in Dublin city centre to find a distressed and seemingly abandoned girl wandering in front of the GPO. As suspicions rise that she’s a victim of a serious crime, everyone scrambles to help her, however a month-long investigation by the Irish authorities reveals almost nothing about her. As time goes on it’s clear that in addition to her connections to Ireland Samantha has a seemingly long and troubled history in Australia.
Over the course of the 7-part documentary series, the RTÉ Documentary on One team lead by Nicoline Greer and Sharon Davis speak to law enforcement from across the world, judges, health care workers, friends and victims to tell the gripping story of Samantha’s deception.
Episodes 1 – 5 of the Finding Samantha are available now on the RTÉ website, Spotify and Apple Podcasts, with episodes six and seven dropping on Tuesday May 30th and Tuesday June 6th.
The podcast has reached the number one spot on Apple Podcasts, and in a first for an RTÉ podcast, the number one spot on Spotify in Ireland. The podcast has reached audiences in more than 100 countries to date and has hit the number four spot on Apple in Australia and the number three spot on Apple in New Zealand, both firsts for a podcast from RTÉ.
Speaking about the RTÉ Documentary on One podcast, programme-maker and presenter, Nicoline Greer said: “When Samantha Azzopardi left Ireland after being the ‘GPO Girl’ many people might think that was the end of the story. But we have discovered that Samantha Azzopardi has touched the lives of hundreds of people – including young children – leaving many of them feeling deeply betrayed and traumatised. We delve into what might be going on for her – and what could possibly be done to help her.”
During the making of this series, Samantha also began to draw the production team into her world.
Freelance podcast producer and presenter Sharon Davis said: “It’s not often you get to tackle a mystery like this. Searching for a woman with over 100 aliases can do your head in. Trying to understand why she does what she does was a huge challenge. For someone who has spent her life trying to avoid the media, who in fact depends on not revealing her true identity, I was amazed when Samantha started to engage with me online, not as some fictitious character but as herself.”
Finding Samantha is written, recorded and produced by Sharon Davis in Australia and Tim Desmond and Nicoline Greer in Ireland. Liam O’Brien is the executive producer of the series.