True crime has become increasingly popular over the last decade or so. In fact, so many people enjoy watching documentaries about real-life murders and serial killers, the true crime genre has been one of the fastest-growing segments of the streaming industry. But just as popular as watching true crime is listening to podcasts. So we’ve put together a lucky number 13 list of the Best Crime Podcasts for True Crime Lovers for you to sit back and enjoy.
Table of Contents
What is True Crime?
Though it comes in many forms, True Crime is the telling of real stories of actual crimes, mainly of murder and serial killers. The stories include the details of the crimes themselves and of the actions of the criminal(s) as well as the victim(s). Many people find these types of tales fascinating because they’re considered taboo. As a culture, we want to find out what makes killers tick so we can somehow hope we can do something to prevent it. And, like a natural disaster or a car wreck, it’s the same reason cars slow down and look – we can’t help it!
True crime podcasts, unlike watching on TV, are an interesting way to absorb these types of stories because there aren’t any photos. It’s all verbal, mostly in the story-telling form and discussion, so it’s easy to digest, but also leaves a lot up to the listener’s imagination. With each podcast also comes a unique author or authors, and the way each story is told varies. So get your listening ears on, and try one or try them all to find the best one out there for you!
What do an autopsy technician and a hairstylist do when they’re put together? Chat about all things true crime of course! This crime podcast is spooky and weird with a dash of comedy thrown in for good measure. Ash and Alaina are the unique aunt-niece duo out of Massachusetts bringing both the well-known killer crime podcasts and the lesser-known stories from their own listeners.
If you’re looking for people who are just as crime obsessed as you are, look no further than Crime Junkie. These self-proclaimed crime junkies and life-long besties – Ashley and Brit – pride themselves on well-written and researched content without the rabbit holes. The female-owned media network Audiochuck produces the podcast which is dropped every week and tells the stories of a variety of crimes. There’s something in their crime podcasts for everyone to binge on.
The first of the genre, true crime podcasts, Serial was uber popular and may have inspired the ones that followed. Created by the same creators of This American Life, Serial tells one true crime story over the course of an entire season. Lisa Koenig, the host, is able to dive into all the details like in the first case of Hae Min Lee in Baltimore in 1999 when she went missing and her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was arrested for the murder. But he says he’s innocent. A classmate can back up his alibi but now she’s nowhere to be found. (As of September 2022, he’s also been released!) Now with season 3 complete, there are plenty of episodes to binge.
For the past four years, every show on their My Favorite Murder live tour has been sold out. And there’s a good reason why. My Favorite Murder is one of the crime podcasts that is as funny as it is true. The weekly episodes Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark put out regularly land within the iTunes’ Top 10 Comedy Podcast chart. It also quite quickly gained a large fan following, and even cooler, many refer to themselves as “Murderinos”. Listen to it enough and not only will you see why, but even become one!
When looking to listen to one of the best true crime podcasts of all time, look no further than Criminal. This addictive listen features a new story each episode, which only releases twice a month. However, even the minimal episodes keep you intrigued with the fresh take of actually interviewing the subject of each podcast. This personal level of the show really draws listeners in and they have the awards to boot. Give Criminal a try and you may never listen to another.
Missing and Murdered
Missing and Murdered is a true crime podcast that looks at the murders and disappearances of young Indigenous women in Canada. The first season, Who Killed Alberta Williams?, is an eight-part series examining the specific case, the murder of Alberta Williams in 1989 British Columbia. Not only does this podcast fit the love of true crime, but shines a light on the crisis of violence and missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada.
Read More: 7 Podcasts to Inspire Your Side Hustle
Root of Evil, also known by its full name – The Root of Evil: The True Story of the Hodel Family and the Black Dahlia – is a very unique take on true crime podcasts. The hosts, Yvette Gentile and Rasha Pecoraro, are actually the great-granddaughters of the prime suspect George Hodel. Throughout the crime podcasts, the sisters interview their relatives, dive into years of their family history, and reveal details of how their family was intertwined within the Black Dahlia case. So much so, that they believe George Hodel, their great-grandfather, did commit the murder.
Also from the creators of This American Life and Serial, comes STown. True crime isn’t always simple and straightforward. And sometimes it’s just downright weird. The host, a longtime This American Life producer, was asked to look into a wealthy family’s son who had allegedly been telling people that he got away with murder. Not just that. But then someone else ends up dead, a feud is started, there’s a hunt for hidden treasure, and it all brings up tons of mysteries to make this show a sure-listen in your list of true crime podcasts to listen to.
As with most crime podcasts, someone always knows something right? Instead of just telling the story, this podcast continues to investigate the cold case. With a passion for investigative work, director and host David Ridgen begins season 1 back in his own hometown searching for five-year-old Adrien McNaughton who vanished during a family fishing trip. With each season hosting a different cold case, Ridgen himself travels on location, talks to witnesses, and dives deep into each disappearance looking for new evidence and leads.
If seeking justice for the victims within crime podcasts is your jam, Anatomy of Murder’s got you. The hosts take you behind the scenes for an insider’s perspective of compelling homicide cases. Get professional-grade crimes from career homicide prosecutor Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi, as well as a three-time Emmy-award winning Investigative Journalist and law enforcement officer. Listeners will also gain insight from victim’s family members, prosecutors, and/or law enforcement that were directly involved with the investigations.
Read More: 7 Podcasts to Inspire Your Side Hustle
What does a journalist do when he’s sent a letter from a self-proclaimed “innocent” man awaiting trial for murder? Well, he agrees to look into the case of course. It all started at a Halloween party in Seattle. Everyone is in costume, there are multiple suspects and plenty of questionable and irreversible choices are made by professionals. The only evidence against the prisoner is “Touch” DNA, so complex it takes special algorithmic software to make sense of it. It’s a story that’s so strange you gotta listen.
Sure, crime podcasts can be grim, depressing, and even send chills up your back. But they can also be funny. If you’re into recapping crime stories with a lighthearted feel, complete with humor and sass, check out True Crime Obsessed. There’s not much more you’d expect out of two true theatre and pop culture nerds.
Sometimes crimes are committed by those you trust most, making their stories the scariest crime podcasts. Doctors are trusted to fix and help us, which is why Dr. Death is super scary – it’s all about medical malpractice crimes. From a Texas surgeon who was convicted of gross malpractice after thirty-one of his patients were left seriously injured, and two who died after he operated on them, to a doctor who prescribed chemotherapy to patients who didn’t have cancer, it makes anyone who listens to this podcast second guess all professionals.
Podcasts are a great way to get entertainment while staying away from screens and TV, while also multi-tasking, supporting small businesses, and all while enjoying amazing storytelling. There is no doubt crime podcasts are becoming an increasingly popular genre. The question really becomes, which ones are going to be your favorite? Try them all and let us know your favorite.
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