10 Best True Crime Podcasts

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If you’re a fan of gripping mysteries, intriguing investigations, and chilling tales of criminality, you’re in for a treat. True crime podcasts have taken the podcasting world by storm, offering an immersive and captivating experience that keeps listeners hooked from start to finish.

In this blog post, I’ll be your trusty guide, revealing the best true crime podcasts that will both entertain and educate.

With these best true crime podcasts as your trusted companions, you’ll become engrossed in the real-life tales that have baffled investigators, mesmerized audiences, and forever changed the course of history. Get ready to become the ultimate true crime aficionado!

Niall Mackay- The Podcast Guy
Niall Mackay- The Podcast Guy

What Is A True Crime Podcast

True-crime is one of the most popular types of podcasts that dives deep into exploring real-life criminal cases, often focusing on murders, missing persons, recent convictions and other criminal activities. These podcasts provide in-depth coverage and analysis of the cases, typically through a combination of storytelling, interviews, archival audio, and expert commentary.

They often deep dive into the details of the crimes, including the backgrounds of the victims and perpetrators, the investigations, the legal proceedings, and the aftermath. They have many formats, including interview podcasts, solo podcasts, and so on.

True crime podcasts not only entertain but also educate and raise awareness among their podcast listeners about real-life crime and its impact on society. They allow listeners to explore the complexities of criminal behavior, delve into the psychology of perpetrators, and examine the workings of the justice system.

True Crime Podcasts

True Crime Podcast Hosts

Various individuals can be suitable to host a true crime podcast, depending on their qualifications, expertise, and presentation style.

Journalists: Experienced investigative journalists often have the skills to conduct thorough research, interview key individuals, and present the facts in a compelling and informative manner. They often have a knack for storytelling and a strong understanding of investigative techniques.

True Crime Enthusiasts: People who have a genuine passion for true crime and extensive knowledge in the field can make excellent hosts. Their enthusiasm can shine through their storytelling and engagement with the subject matter.

Former Law Enforcement or Legal Professionals: Those who have worked in law enforcement or the legal field can offer insider insights into investigations, criminal procedures, and the justice system.

Why Is True-Crime Podcast So Popular?

True crime podcasts have gained significant popularity for several reasons.

Captivating Stories

True crime podcasts offer compelling narratives that captivate listeners. The real-life crimes, mysteries, and investigations create a sense of suspense and intrigue, keeping audiences hooked episode after episode.

Human Fascination

There is a natural curiosity about the darker aspects of human behavior. True crime podcasts allow listeners to explore the minds of criminals, their motives, and the factors that drive them to commit heinous acts. This fascination with understanding the psychology behind crime draws people to these serious crime podcasts.

Armchair Detective Experience

True crime podcasts provide an opportunity for listeners to play the role of an armchair detective. They can analyze the evidence, form their own theories, and engage in discussions with fellow listeners or through online communities. This participatory aspect adds an interactive element to the listening experience.

Detective

Informative and Educational

True crime podcasts offer insights into criminal forensic techniques and the complexities of investigations. They shed light on the intricacies of legal proceedings and the challenges faced by law enforcement. This educational aspect of these best true crime podcasts appeals to listeners who have an interest in understanding the workings of the justice system.

True crime podcasts provide a unique blend of entertainment, education, and the opportunity for listeners to immerse themselves in real-life crime stories. The combination of gripping narratives, psychological exploration, and the interactive nature of the genre contributes to their widespread popularity.

What Topics Are Usually Discussed?

Murder Cases

True crime podcasts often focus on telling the stories of murder cases, including both solved and unsolved cases. They explore the details of the crime, the investigation, and the legal proceedings surrounding the case.

Cold Cases

Podcasts may delve into unsolved or cold cases, examining the evidence, suspects, and theories surrounding these mysteries. They often aim to shed new light on these cases and potentially generate leads or public interest.

Missing Persons

Podcasts may discuss cases of missing persons, particularly those that remain unresolved. They examine the circumstances of the disappearance, the efforts made to find the missing person, and any theories or potential leads.

Missing Person

Historical Crimes

Some podcasts focus on historical crimes, exploring notorious cases from the past. These episodes often provide a historical context and analyze the social and cultural factors that contributed to the crimes.

Wrongful Convictions

True crime podcasts may shed light on cases of wrongful convictions, where individuals were wrongly found guilty of crimes they did not commit. They examine the flaws in the evidence that led to the wrongful conviction, and the efforts made to rectify the situation.

Criminal Psychology

Certain podcasts delve into the psychology of criminals, exploring the motives, behaviors, and psychological profiles of perpetrators. These episodes aim to provide insight into the minds of criminals and the factors that contribute to criminal behavior.

7 Must-Listen True-Crime Podcasts

Here are my recommendations for the best true crime podcasts!

1. Serial

“Serial” is a highly influential and widely acclaimed true crime podcast that first aired in 2014.

“Serial” revolutionized the podcasting landscape by popularizing the true crime genre and introducing a serialized narrative format. The podcast’s meticulous research, immersive storytelling, and Koenig’s thought-provoking commentary captivated audiences worldwide.

It not only explored the mysteries and intricacies of each case but also shed light on broader societal issues, sparking discussions and debates.

Podcast Host

It is hosted by Sarah Koenig, a journalist and producer.

Koenig, along with her team, conducts in-depth investigations into the cases, reexamining the evidence, speaking with key individuals involved, and analyzing the trial proceedings.

 Sarah Koenig
Sarah Koenig

Topics

The topics discussed vary from season to season, as each season focuses on a different true crime case.

Season 1: The first season of “Serial” centers around the case of Adnan Syed, who was convicted of the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 1999. Host Sarah Koenig explores the details of the case, examining the evidence, witness testimonies, and inconsistencies in an attempt to unravel the truth and question Syed’s guilt.

Season 2: The second season takes a departure from true crime and explores the story of Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. Army soldier who walked off his base in Afghanistan in 2009 and was subsequently captured by the Taliban. Koenig investigates Bergdahl’s motivations, the circumstances surrounding his capture, and the political and military implications of his actions.

Season 3: In the third season, “Serial” shifts its focus to the criminal justice system by examining various cases within the city of Cleveland, Ohio. Koenig explores the inner workings of the police station the court system, the experiences of defendants, and the complexities of the justice system through in-depth interviews and observations.

Season 4: The fourth season of “Serial” centers on the story of Curtis Flowers, a man who was tried six times for the same crime: the 1996 murder of four people in a small town in Mississippi. Koenig explores the racial dynamics, flawed investigations, and potential misconduct in the case, shedding light on the systemic issues within the criminal justice system.

2. My Favorite Murder

“My Favorite Murder” is one of the best true crime podcasts in recent years. a weekly true crime podcast that stands out for its blend of true crime storytelling, humor, and personal anecdotes. The hosts’ chemistry, relatability, and genuine passion for the subject matter have contributed to its enduring popularity among true crime enthusiasts.

“My Favorite Murder” has built a large and dedicated fanbase, referred to as “murderous.” The podcast has fostered a supportive community where listeners can connect, share their own true crime stories, and discuss the cases covered in the episodes.

The hosts encourage listeners to prioritize their own safety and mental well-being, promoting awareness and resources for personal safety and mental health.

Podcast Hosts

  • Karen Kilgariff: She is a comedian, writer, and musician known for her work on shows like “Mr. Show” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” Kilgariff’s dark humor and storytelling abilities contribute to the unique tone of the podcast.
  • Georgia Hardstark: She is a television host and writer who has appeared on programs like “Drunk History” and “Renovation Realities.” Hardstark’s witty banter and personal anecdotes add to the engaging dynamic between the hosts.
Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark

Topics

  • Notorious Serial Killers

The chilling details of cases involving well-known serial killers such as Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and John Wayne Gacy. They explore the motives, methods, and impact these individuals had on their victims and society.

  • Unsolved Mysteries

Kilgariff and Hardstark explore unsolved cases that continue to baffle investigators and captivate the public’s interest. These cases often involve mysterious disappearances, unexplained deaths, or unidentified individuals, leaving listeners intrigued by ghost stories and unanswered questions.

  • Infamous Murders

The hosts discuss high-profile murder cases that have garnered significant media attention and public fascination. They analyze the circumstances, evidence, and trial outcomes, providing their own perspectives and opinions on the cases.

  • Cold Cases

A cold case refers to a criminal investigation that remains unsolved and has gone inactive. They examine the evidence, potential suspects, and investigative challenges associated with these cases, hoping to bring renewed attention to this cold case and potential leads.

3. Crime Junkie

This is another must-listen podcast that you should consider.

Crime Junkie’s popularity can be attributed to its combination of thorough research, captivating storytelling, and the hosts’ genuine passion for the true crime world. By offering a well-executed and empathetic exploration of compelling cases, the podcast has resonated with true crime enthusiasts and become a staple in the genre.

Podcast Hosts

Ashley Flowers, the main host, is a true crime enthusiast and entrepreneur. She brings her passion for true crime to the podcast, leading the research and storytelling. Brit Prawat, the co-host, provides additional insights, and commentary, and engages in discussions with Ashley.

Crime Junkie follows a narrative storytelling format, where Ashley presents the details of each case in a captivating manner. The gripping podcast also features a combination of extensive research, audio clips, interviews, and the hosts’ commentary to provide a comprehensive account of the crimes.

Topics

  • Murder Cases

The podcast delves into various murder cases, both solved and unsolved. They explore the details of the crimes, including the victims, suspects, evidence, and investigation processes.

  • Serial Killers

Crime Junkie examines the chilling stories of notorious serial killers and their gruesome crimes. They provide in-depth profiles of these individuals, discussing their motivations, methods, and the impact they had on their victims and communities.

  • Missing Persons

Ashley and Brit discuss cases of missing persons, exploring the circumstances surrounding their disappearances and the ongoing efforts to locate them. They raise awareness about these individuals and their stories, featuring interviews, hoping to generate new information or leads.

  • Infamous Crimes

Crime Junkie covers high-profile and widely known crimes that have captured public attention. These may include cases with significant media coverage, historical significance, or unique aspects that make them stand out.

4. Sword And Scale

The podcast utilizes a combination of narrative storytelling, audio recordings, and interviews to create a gripping and immersive listening experience. This distinctive format allows listeners to feel fully immersed in the details and emotions surrounding each crime.

Podcast Host

Mike Boudet is the creator and host of “Sword and Scale.” He has a distinctive storytelling style that blends his narration with audio clips, interviews, and sound effects to create an immersive and chilling experience for the listeners. Boudet’s delivery is often intense and captivating, drawing listeners into the dark world of each true crime story.

Topics

Kidnappings and Abductions: Episodes of “Sword and Scale” also delve into cases involving kidnappings, abductions, and missing persons. It explores the circumstances surrounding these incidents, the impact on the victims and their families, and the search for justice and closure.

Psychological Profiles: “Sword and Scale” often delves into the psychological aspects of criminal behavior, discussing the motives, personality traits, and mental states of the perpetrators. It explores the intersection of psychology and crime, providing insights into the minds of individuals who commit heinous acts.

Social Issues and Impact: Alongside recounting the crimes, “Sword and Scale” addresses broader social issues and the impact of true crime on society. It examines topics such as mental health, societal factors contributing to crime, victim advocacy, forensic advancements, and the portrayal of crime in the media.

Psychological Profiles: “Sword and Scale” often delves into the psychological aspects of criminal behavior, discussing the motives, personality traits, and mental states of the perpetrators. It explores the intersection of psychology and crime, providing insights into the minds of individuals who commit heinous acts.

5. Scamanda

The podcast’s name is a combination of “Scam” and “Amanda”.

“Scamanda” is a new podcast that explores the story and true identity of Amanda, a charismatic and vibrant woman who appears to have it all—loving family members, a successful blog, and a community of supporters. However, beneath the surface, Amanda carries a secret she is desperate to keep hidden.

Podcast Host

Hosted by Charlie Webster, “Scamanda” explores the unbelievable and bizarre story of Amanda from San Jose, California, whose secret has shattered her family and left the community in disbelief.

Topic

The podcast follows investigative producer Nancy, who receives an anonymous tip directing her to Amanda’s blog. Intrigued by the mystery, Nancy embarks on a journey to uncover the truth behind Amanda’s secret. Award-winning journalist Charlie Webster narrates the captivating and shocking tale of Amanda, a woman whose own words hold the key to her undisclosed truth.

6. Park Predators

“Park Predators” is a true crime podcast hosted by investigative journalist Delia D’Ambra. The podcast focuses on crimes that have occurred in national parks and other outdoor recreational areas.

Podcast Host

Delia D’Ambra, the host of “Park Predators,” is an experienced journalist with a passion for true crime. She brings her expertise in investigative journalism and dedication to uncovering the truth to the podcast, providing listeners with in-depth and thought-provoking storytelling.

Topics

A single episode delves into a specific case, examining the details of the crime, the victims involved, the prime suspect, the serial killer, and the investigations that followed. The podcast not only investigates the crimes themselves but also explores the factors that contribute to these incidents, such as the isolation of the wilderness, lack of resources, and the challenges faced by law enforcement agencies in these remote areas.

The podcast aims to raise awareness about the potential risks and safety concerns in national parks while unraveling the unsettling and often disturbing crimes that have occurred within these natural settings.

7. Criminal

Hosted by Phoebe Judge, “Criminal” goes beyond the sensationalism often associated with true crime. It focuses on the human side of crime, featuring stories that highlight the complexity and nuance of the criminal world. Each episode offers a thought-provoking and emotionally engaging narrative.

Podcast Host

Phoebe Judge is the host of the true-crime podcast “Criminal.” With her distinct and engaging storytelling style, she takes listeners on a captivating journey through the world of crime. Phoebe’s soothing voice and meticulous research bring the stories to life, keeping listeners hooked from start to finish.

Topics

  • Lesser-Known Crimes

“Criminal” also shines a light on lesser-known or overlooked crimes that deserve attention. These stories often reveal intriguing details and shed light on the human experiences behind the crimes.

  • Historical Crimes

The podcast delves into historical crimes, exploring how they shaped society and influenced the development of criminal justice. These episodes provide a fascinating look into crimes from the past and their relevance today.

  • Criminal Justice System

Phoebe Judge discusses the flaws, challenges, and complexities of the criminal justice system. She explores issues such as wrongful convictions, legal controversies, and the intersection of justice and social issues.

  • Unsolved Mysteries

The podcast covers intriguing unsolved mysteries, inviting listeners to speculate and form their own theories. These episodes leave room for ongoing investigation and exploration, sparking conversation and community engagement.

  1. “Bad Blood: The Final Chapter”

This one is a true crime podcast that serves as a follow-up to the book “Bad Blood” by journalist John Carreyrou. It delves deeper into the scandal surrounding the rise and fall of the healthcare technology company Theranos and its founder, Elizabeth Holmes.

Elizabeth Holmes
Elizabeth Holmes

“Bad Blood: The Final Chapter” appeals to fans of the original book and those intrigued by the captivating story of a Silicon Valley unicorn turned cautionary tale. It provides a platform for Carreyrou to share additional insights and perspectives, ensuring that the public remains informed about one of the most significant corporate scandals in recent history.

Podcast Host

John Carreyrou, the host of the “Bad Blood” podcast, is an accomplished investigative journalist and author. He gained widespread recognition for his groundbreaking reporting on the Theranos scandal, which earned him a Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting in 2018.

Topic

In this podcast series, Carreyrou continues his exploration of the Theranos story, providing new insights, interviews, and updates on the aftermath of the scandal. He uncovers additional details about the deception and fraudulent practices carried out by Theranos, shedding light on the impact it had on investors, employees, and the broader healthcare industry.

By continuing the narrative from his book, Carreyrou offers listeners an opportunity to further explore the intricacies of the Theranos scandal and to stay informed about the ongoing developments and revelations surrounding the case.

9. The Teacher’s Pet

The podcast focuses on the mysterious disappearance of Lynette Dawson, a mother, and wife who vanished from her home in Sydney, Australia, in 1982. Hedley Thomas delves into the cold case again, reexamining the evidence and uncovering new leads in an effort to uncover the truth about what happened to Lynette Dawson.

Podcast Host

Hedley Thomas: Hedley Thomas is a highly respected Australian journalist with extensive experience in reporting on high-profile cases. He has a reputation for thorough research, meticulous investigation, and compelling storytelling.

Topic

The podcast explores the story of Lynette Dawson’s marriage to Chris Dawson, a former rugby player and high school teacher who was her husband at the time of her disappearance. It examines the allegations of infidelity, domestic violence, and the dysfunctional nature of their relationship. Through interviews with family members, friends, and individuals involved in the case, Hedley Thomas pieces together a complex web of secrets and potential motives surrounding Lynette’s disappearance.

“The Teacher’s Pet” raises broader issues related to domestic violence, the role of law enforcement, and the challenges faced by victims seeking justice. It examines the impact of Lynette’s disappearance on her family, the community, and the subsequent push for accountability and closure.

10. The Clearing

“The Clearing” is a gripping true-crime podcast that delves into the chilling story of April Balascio and her father, Edward Wayne Edwards. This podcast follows April’s journey of uncovering her father’s dark secrets and her courageous decision to come forward and assist law enforcement in bringing him to justice.

Podcast Host

Josh Dean: Josh Dean is an acclaimed journalist and author known for his investigative storytelling. With a background in journalism and true crime reporting, Dean brings his expertise and compelling narrative style to “The Clearing.”

Topics

“The Clearing” figures out the life and other crimes of Edwards, a charismatic and manipulative individual who evaded capture for many years. Dean examines Edwards’ criminal activities, his modus operandi, and the psychological aspects that contributed to his ability to deceive.

The podcast explores the tireless efforts of law enforcement and investigators who worked to piece together Edwards’ crimes and bring him to justice. Dean uncovers the methods used by investigators to connect Edwards to multiple unsolved cases and the challenges they faced in unraveling the truth.

It also explores the complex family dynamics surrounding Edwards and the impact his crimes had on his loved ones. Dean examines the repercussions for April Balascio’s family, the challenges they faced in coping with the truth, and the legacy left behind by a father with a dark past.

Other True Crime Podcasts

Dirty John: It tells the chilling and captivating story of a charismatic con artist named John Meehan and his manipulative tactics that led to a series of disastrous relationships. Hosted by journalist Christopher Goffard, the podcast delves into the life of John Meehan and his encounters with various women, particularly Debra Newell, whom he targeted and ensnared in his web of lies and deceit.

The Dropout: This podcast recounts the rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes, a powerful woman and the founder of Theranos, and explores her toxic mix of ambition and hubris as well as the profound impact that Theranos brought to society.

False Confessions: This is a podcast that explores the phenomenon of false confessions in criminal cases. Hosted by Laura Nirider, a lawyer and co-director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University, the podcast delves into the stories of individuals who have been wrongfully convicted based on coerced or false confessions.

Stolen: The Search For Jermain: It is a podcast that focuses on the case of Jermain Charlo, a missing Indigenous woman. The podcast follows the two-year investigative efforts by the police in trying to uncover the truth about her disappearance. It takes listeners inside the investigation, tracking leads, participating in search parties, and delving into the challenges and experiences faced by Indigenous women in America.

Bonaparte: A podcast that revolves around Anne Champion, a Manhattan attorney who decides to investigate the death of her childhood friend, Laura Van Whye after 25 years. The podcast is hosted by Jason Stavers, a former lawyer and journalist who joins Anne in unraveling the mystery surrounding Laura’s death.

Sweet Bobby: Kirat, a successful radio presenter, enters the world of online connections and meets Bobby, a charming cardiologist, through Facebook. Their love affair seems perfect, but beneath the surface lies a web of lies and manipulation. In a shocking turn of events, Kirat uncovers a deception of extraordinary magnitude.

Best True Crime Podcasts- A Wrap-Up

True crime podcasts have revolutionized the way we consume and engage with crime stories. With their compelling narratives, in-depth investigations, and expert storytelling, these podcasts have gained immense popularity and a dedicated following.

With their immersive storytelling and in-depth investigations, these podcasts have captivated audiences around the world. But it’s not just about entertainment. True crime podcasts have also become a valuable educational resource about culture and

By listening to true crime podcasts, we not only get a front-row seat to gripping stories but also gain insights into the complexities of crime and its effects on individuals and communities. We learn about the intricacies of forensic science, criminal profiling, and the pursuit of justice.

I hope my list of recommended true crime podcasts has been helpful in your quest for captivating and informative content. The world of true crime is vast, with numerous podcasts offering unique perspectives and gripping narratives. Now that you have a selection of intriguing options, it’s time to grab your phone, plug in your earphones, and immerse yourself in the fascinating world of true crime.