Episode 39. Ciaran Tracey and Chris Warburton of End Of Days

The story of David Koresh: the prophet whose cult in Waco, Texas preached an apocalypse — and the 30 Britons taken in by his message.”

End Of Days tells the story of the British victims of the deadly standoff between the US government and David Koresh in Waco, Texas in 1993.

Published by the BBC in 2018, journalists Ciaran Tracey and Chris Warburton shine light on untold stories and under-appreciated details of events that lured a number of British citizens to leave the UK to join Koresh in the USA.

In this episode of MetaPod, we hear Chris and Ciaran recount their investigation and storytelling, work that took place 25 years after the tragic event. They reflect on what it was like to consider the event, and the big (political) questions that arose from it, with the advantage of age.

They also discuss the challenges of exploring the belief system of the Branch Davidians. How do you understand the religious justifications for a way of life that most people struggle to accept as normal?

You might be surprised to learn that heavy metal played a role in generating the idea for the podcast. While Chris and Ciaran rightly share their pride in a project that managed to unearth stories from a site that no longer exists, you’ll also discover that the story “nearly couldn’t have been brilliant”.

Show notes for End Of Days:

About Ciaran Tracey

Ciaran Tracey is an award-winning creator and executive producer of flagship BBC podcasts. Ciaran created the groundbreaking End Of Days, – the story of the British victims of Waco. It earned a British Podcast Award and has been bought for TV development. His next podcast series followed cricketer Kevin Pietersen on location through the South African bush in his struggle to save rhinos from illegal poaching in Beast Of Man. In 2020 Ciaran created a first-of-a-kind dual-format factual + drama series Ecstasy: The Battle Of Rave, working directly with leading BAFTA-winning screenwriter Danny Brocklehurst (Shameless, The Stranger) to acclaimed reviews and 1.5 million downloads. In 2020 he was in the leadership team for the tough Sounds podcast Gangster, charting the life and death of Paul Massy, one of the year’s best performing Sounds titles. He established Big City Nights in 2021 to create premium podcast box sets.

About Chris Warburton

Chris Warburton is a presenter on BBC Radio 5 Live. He has also worked on the podcasts End Of Days and Beyond A Reasonable Doubt?