The 13 Best True Crime Podcasts Worth Listening To
In 2014, Sarah Koenig launched a true crime podcast named Serial. The weekly investigative journalism format was an immediate hit, and listeners couldn’t get enough of Koenig’s in-depth reporting into the criminal trial of Adnan Syed. Serial breathed new life into podcasting, and popularized the true crime genre.
For many, Serial invigorated an interest in podcasts, especially those in the true crime genre. However, there have been many more fascinating true crime podcasts released since Serial. So, for those who enjoy these fascinating glimpses into the criminal underworld, here are the best true crime podcasts you need to hear.
In Undisclosed, three hosts investigate wrongful convictions and problems with the US justice system, from investigation through to trial and ending with the verdict. The program is the product of three great legal minds: attorney and author Rabia Chaudry, University of South Carolina law professor Colin Miller, and lawyer Susan Simpson.
Fans of Serial will appreciate Undisclosed because it began as a deeper dive into Adnan Syed’s case, but has since expanded into covering other questionable convictions.
2. Bear Brook
Bear Brook covers a cold case of bodies being discovered inside barrels in Bear Brook National Park. The specifics of the story are chilling, especially because the police were unable to identify the victims or find the killer.
However, a breakthrough in genetic genealogy meant that researchers and sleuths were able to work together to shine a light on the case. The technique changed criminal justice forever and it’s thrilling to listen to it play out.
Someone Knows Something is an investigative podcast from Canada’s CBC Radio. Like Serial, the first season of Something Knows Something looked at an older unsolved case, the disappearance of 5-year-old Adrien McNaughton in 1972.
Filmmaker David Ridgen writes, produces, and hosts the podcast, mixing his expertise in investigative work with the narrative format. It makes for a thrilling listen into the world of cold cases as he tracks leads, speaks to suspects, and searches for answers.
If you like this podcast, you’re sure to enjoy the best true crime documentaries on Netflix .
4. Crime Junkie
Crime Junkie is a podcast hosted by childhood friends Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat. Growing up on stories like Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie, the pair have taken their obsession with crime tales and turned it into this podcast.
Each episode takes a different case or subject—missing persons, convicts, murderers, and so on—and explores it over an hour. The passion of the hosts comes across clearly and is sure to hook you.
From the creators of Serial, the S-Town podcast is a must-listen for fans of the investigative narrative format. Over the course of seven episodes, host Brian Reed looks at an Alabama town after receiving a tip from a man named John, who claims to despise the town.
John says the son of a wealthy family in town has been bragging about getting away with murder. Later, another person is found dead, and the investigation unveils what turns out to be an intense family feud.
While many true crime podcasts often deal with grisly topics like murder, American Scandal puts the focus on the corruption in business, politics, sports, and society. As you can imagine, there’s a lot of deceit to cover.
Not only does American Scandal delve into the dodgy dealings, but it also explores the people involved. What drove them to break the rules? What happens when they get caught?
Breakdown is an investigative podcast from a newspaper, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and covers different stories each season. One season revolves around a man accused of burning down his own house and killing an elderly woman who lived next door. Another season is about a man accused of murdering his 22-month-old son by leaving him strapped in an overheated car.
Investigative podcasts from newspaper publishers, such as Breakdown, should be right in the wheelhouse of Serial fans, because they cover insane true life stories in podcast form and apply professional reporting standards.
8. In the Dark
In the Dark is an investigative true crime podcast hosted by Madeleine Baran, who each season dives deep into an intriguing case. For example, the first season explores Jacob Wetterling, who was abducted in a small Minnesota town in October 1989.
Like Serial, the In the Dark podcast has twice won a George Foster Peabody Award, considered among the highest honors in broadcasting.
Crime doesn’t just happen in the big cities. Small Town Dicks is all about exploring big-time crime that happens in places with small populations. Each episode includes the detective involved in the case, along with jail calls, suspect interviews, and 911 recordings.
Perhaps the best part about this podcast is that it’s hosted by Yeardley Smith, the voice of Lisa Simpson. She’s also joined by identical twin detectives Dan and Dave. Together, they make a wonderful hosting team.
10. Court Junkie
The aim of Court Junkie is to explore the injustices of the American judicial system. Each episode covers a different case, whether it’s someone wrongfully convicted for a crime or someone who has gone free despite there being evidence for conviction.
Court Junkie is so good because it backs up everything with first-hand research; they attend trials, interview those involved in the case, and pore over the court documents in search of justice.
Are you a fan of true crime? Of course you are! That’s why True Crime Fan Club is perfect for you. Lanie Hobbs created the show, inspired by an event from her childhood when she and her family had guns pointed at them.
That experience of an attempted carjacking, paired with her background in public speaking, make this show a great listen as she dives into a range of different crimes. It shares the stories of other people who have found themselves in uncertain situations.
The business world is full of crime. Greed, political corruption, con artists, and more. Swindled is a podcast that exposes corporate evil, using narrative storytelling and archive audio to immerse you in the story.
Interestingly, the host of Swindled is anonymous, known only as “A Concerned Citizen”. He tells tales of embezzlement, fraud, Ponzi schemes, environmental disaster, and more.
If you can’t get enough of true crime podcasts, then there’s one that you definitely need to start listening to: Today in True Crime. It’s a daily podcast that examines a true crime event from that day years ago.
In each episode, the team look at the true crime story and then see what impact that event had on the present. The episodes are only around 15 minutes long, which means they’re easily digestible and a great way to get your true crime fix.
Add Some Mystery to Your Podcasts
The true crime podcast genre is pretty saturated at this point. However, these are the best true crime podcasts we could find, and they all contain a wealth of investigative journalism.
And when you’re done with these, why note try listening to mystery podcasts guaranteed to tingle your spine .
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