5 Of The Best True Crime Podcasts
There was a time when admitting to a fascination with the macabre or showing an interest in a deep-dive into a serial killer’s murders and motivations might have raised an eyebrow or two and led to several of your friends, ahem, socially distancing themselves from you. But ever since the release of Serial Season 1 (not familiar? Read on), the true crime podcast genre has been at the forefront of the podcast culture revolution. And what better time to throw yourself headfirst into all this dark genre has to offer than when you’re locked down at home with (safely secured) doors and windows between you and the rest of the world? To get you started, here are five of the best true crime podcasts of all time.
5 of the best true crime podcasts
True Crime podcasts tend to fall into two categories when it comes to format. There are long-form deep-dives and weekly shows that touch on a number of cases or crimes. The former can be binged like your favourite Netflix show, immersing you in a (pretty horrifying) world for as long as you can stomach it without coming up for air. Serial series one aired in 2014 and can be held pretty much solely responsible for kick-starting the true crime podcast tidal wave. A spinoff of This American Life, the first season dives into the murder of Hae Min Lee and the potential guilt or innocence of her convicted murderer Adnan Syed. serialpodcast.org
My Favorite Murder
It’s murder, but with a smile. This writer’s favourite of the murder-y bunch, this long-running true crime podcast is fronted by the hilarious and likeable duo Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff. Each week they pick a murder each (although some weeks it’s a building collapse or air disaster for some light relief) and tell each other (and us, the listener) the story with a good dollop of humour and charm. Sure, a few of the facts are muddled (that’s what corrections corner is for), but they have a much more victim-sensitive approach than many others and have managed to build one of the most positive, all-inclusive fan communities in the podcast world. myfavoritemurder.com
One of the biggest British true crime podcasts out there, Red Handed is presented by two friends Hannah and Suruthi, who each week dive into one case for a detailed overview of what happened, and how. If you can stomach all the gory details, this well-researched murder-pod is the one for you. play.acast.com
Rather than focusing solely on murder cases, Criminal (which has been running since before Serial first aired) is a weekly dive into a specific element of the criminal justice system, made accessible through an engaging first person story, beautifully told by radio host Phoebe Judge (known for her incredibly soothing voice). From tax evaders to plane hijackers, there is a platform for all, with light-hearted stories mixed among incredible two-or-three-episode series telling unbelievable intertwined tales of murder and mayhem. One that springs to mind (everytime there is a noise overhead) tells of a woman who discovered a man had been living in her attic unnoticed for months. Perhaps not ideal lockdown listening, after all. thisiscriminal.com
If you prefer a one-story deep dive, there are plenty of good ones to choose from, including Dr Death, S-Town and Teachers Pet, all of which are well worth a listen. But Dirty John is one of the best, telling the story of Debra Newell, who was duped by coercive con artist John Meehanis. If you didn’t make it through the TV series (this came first and is better), give this a go instead. The plot twists and turns are almost too unbelievable to work on screen but told through a series of interviews, the podcast captivates the listener, while bringing to light the difficult-to-cover and important topic of coercive control and domestic abuse. wondery.com
Featured image: Dev Abhiram on Unsplash
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