Sometimes, but not always, real life is stranger than fiction.
When Echo journalist Mostafa Darwish was researching an award-winning series on deaths of people in Direct Provision, he discovered that one of those who passed away was an American. His name was Thomas Stofiel.
When we dug deeper into his past, it opened up a strange and often poignant story.
Thomas was a man with illogical and unsettling beliefs, someone often struggling with his mental health, manacled to his convictions even as his life veered off course. Our investigation kept turning up more elements, opening more doors into his past - of his life in America, his life online, and ultimately, his time in Ireland, living as an asylum seeker in Tralee.
In Episode 1 of a two-part podcast series, we delve deep into Thomas's troubled time in his native country, tracing his often mysterious travels, before he finds himself in our own Kingdom, Co Kerry.
Thomas had a habit of going missing, and he was also the proverbial lost soul. This is the story of The Lost American.
Read part one of The Lost American immersive read on IrishExaminer.com.