True Crime Podcasts For Every Taste
I love true crime, and I love podcasts.
And naturally, I’ve listened to a borderline unhealthy number of true crime podcasts over the past couple of years. They’re one of the things that have gotten me through the insanity of life.
Today, the true crime media landscape is huge — with new podcasts popping up every day. There are a lot of great ones, a lot of meh ones, and a lot that fall somewhere in between.
Now, I certainly have my preferences, but when it comes to true crime podcasts, I’m aware that it gets very subjective. (Check the arguments in forums on Reddit if you don’t believe me.)
Different listeners are looking for different things, even in what would seem to already be a rather specific niche.
With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of some of the true crime podcasts I like but which also fall into separate sub-categories and cater to different preferences.
I hope it helps you find something you’ll enjoy!
Serialized true crime podcasts
These podcasts generally follow one case for an entire season, often with the goal of figuring out what really happened.
For those who are new to the world of true crime podcasts
Serial: If you have never listened to a true crime podcast, then hey, I say start with the OG. This classic podcast, which came out in 2014 is the one that started it all.
In season one, host Sarah Koenig investigates the murder conviction of Adnan Syed for the murder of his high school ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. Did he do it, or is he actually innocent?
That first season has been criticized for going too easy on Adnan, but that’s no reason not to listen. It’s an extremely compelling entry into the world of true crime.
Alternatively, if you want to get really upset about how bleak our criminal justice system is, check out Serial season three, which follows the ‘ordinary’ cases that make up the day-to-day proceedings of one Cleveland courthouse.
For those who want to get to the bottom of cases that went wrong
In The Dark is all about investigating the details of poorly investigated cases — those that let down the victim(s) or have seemingly put someone innocent behind bars.
Season two, which investigates the case of Curtis Flowers will likely raise some concerns for you about how often the criminal justice system may get it wrong, even in death penalty cases. Get ready to get angry.
For those who just love the serialized investigative format
I also recommend:
- Uncover — This podcast from CBC radio has already done seven seasons, each on a different, fascinating case.
- Stranglers — This twelve-episode series investigates the still officially unsolved case of the Boston Strangler murders of the 1960s.
- Teacher’s Pet — This podcast, which is no longer available in Australia, is a gripping investigation into the disappearance of a woman whose husband had been having an affair with one of his high school students.
For those who like an investigative podcast, but want something calm, poetic, and atmospheric.
Someone Knows Something is just that. The show is produced, hosted, and investigated by Canadian director, David Ridgen, with each season exploring a different unsolved case. Ridgen gets to know the families on a very personal and emotional level in his intensive and empathetic search to bring them closure.
Missing and Murdered: Those who enjoy SKS, will likely also enjoy Missing and Murdered which focuses on cases involving indigenous women, a group whose cases often go unsolved and unreported.
There are just two seasons so far, but I hope very much that CBC News and investigative reporter, Connie Walker keep it going.
For those who want their serialized true crime weird and twisty
Root of Evil investigates the unsolved Black Dahlia murder case and one suspect in particular, George Hodel, who very well may have done it.
The show is hosted by Hodel’s great-granddaughters, and the family history they wade through is unbelievable. This is super-bingeable podcast that is about so much more than the true crime case at its center.
S-Town: This podcast is far from your normal true crime fare. Where it starts is not at all where it ends. I won’t spoil it, but I haven’t heard from anyone who didn’t get into this podcast, which is truly an exploration of the human experience.
Episodic true crime podcasts
These podcasts cover a different case every week, with a few covering cases across a couple of episodes.
For those who want humor, mental health chat, and personality
My Favorite Murder: MFM is the premier podcast in this category, with each of the hosts telling the other a true crime story of the course of the episode. The hosts, Karen and Georgia make very clear that this is a true crime comedy podcast. If you aren’t comfortable with that, “then you can get the f*ck out.”
They are also are very open about their personal lives and what they’re up to, so expect the first thirty to forty minutes of the podcast to be mostly chit-chat, especially in episodes recorded during COVID.
Yes, some people hate how much of themselves Karen and Georgia insert into the podcast, but I find it endearing. If you’re lonely, MFM can make you feel like you’re with friends.
Yes, fine, they occasionally get a couple of details wrong. This is not a podcast about intensive research, so if you’re an expert on a case, this one may piss you off.
Redhanded: These ladies are number two in the UK and are in many ways the British version of MFM. The hosts Hannah and Suruthi are perhaps slightly crankier than Karen and Georgia, but they mean well.
Nothing Rhymes With Murder: The ladies of Nothing Rhymes With Murder go in the other direction. Kate and Georgie, also of the UK, are almost always sweet and bubbly, even when they’re a little down. They upload podcasts with less regularity than MFM or Redhanded, but I think we can try not to hold it against them.
The best thing about Nothing Rhymes with Murder is that the cases they cover are international. Each week they “go to” a different country, which means you’ll get a lot of cases you’ve probably never heard of before.
For those who love research
True Crime Garage: For the guys of the garage, it’s important that they get it right. Most cases will be covered over two podcasts, as the two hosts, Nic and ‘the Captain’ pore over every detail.
‘The Captain’ is also an audio engineer, so cases that involve audio as part of the investigation — for instance, the Delphi murders — will get extra special audio attention.
Nic tends to stay pretty serious while The Captain occasionally interjects something dumb. Some people hate that, but it works for me.
For those who love research but are fine with yelling and like dirty jokes
Last Podcast on the Left is one of my favorite podcasts ever. Yes, the hosts Ben, Henry, and Marcus can be silly, but wow, do they put in the time, researching each case using all kinds of primary and secondary source material.
They. Know. What. They’re. Talking about.
The show isn’t entirely true crime focused. They have great series on a range of subjects from serial killers to cults to potential UFO cases and supernatural experiences. Regardless, they have plenty of strictly true crime episodes if you aren’t interested in the woo-woo stuff.
For those who want to hear more about the cases that are often ignored
The Fall Line by Laurah Norton and Brooke Hargrove, which could easily have been listed above as “calm, poetic, and atmospheric,” is an empathetic podcast focused on bringing attention to unseen victims.
Serious in tone, it covers unsolved and underreported cases from the Southeast of the US, most of which involve people of color.
Expect solid reporting from this important podcast, which has already put out eleven seasons and counting!
Black Girl Missing is the indie podcast here— much smaller but arguably much more important than others on the list. Episodes cover cases of missing Black girls ages 0–17 — some of whom have been found dead and others who are still missing.
A recurring theme across many of these cases is the lack of seriousness with which these cases are treated. Often, little early action is taken, and one has to wonder how many of these girls would have been found if more had been done.
In addition to the main case featured, each episode starts with the details of a Black girl who has recently gone missing, in hopes that someone in the audience may have some information.
The podcasts listed above are just a small cross-section of what’s become a very large body of true crime material in the ever-growing podcast landscape.
Admittedly, I haven’t listened to every true crime podcast out there, but I have listened to quite a few, so if you’re looking for something specific, let me know, and I’ll pull some more recommendations out of my hat.
Which true crime podcasts are your favorites?