You don’t know how many times I’ve Googled “list of true crime podcasts” and been frustrated with the search results. Maybe this genre is still to niche to warrant a comprehensive list of most—if not all—true crime podcasts. But, how useful would that be for obsessive-types like myself?
I have so many opinions about true crime podcasts, but no one with whom to share them in real life! I mean, I spend most of the work day with headphones on, listening to podcasts about fucked up shit.
And because I’m a DIY-type person, I decided to make that list myself. I intend to update this post as regularly as I can, but work/exhaustion/illness/laziness will probably get in the way.
While I’ll withhold my less-kind opinions, I’ve indicated if a podcast is a fave by putting its title in red text. So, purple text = quality listen.
Please help me complete this list by commenting with your favorite true crime podcasts! Be the change you want to see in the world!
While other podcasts on this list cover serial killers, those below focus on either serial killers in general or specific serial homicide cases exclusively.
- Serial Killers — So scripted it’s sometimes a little Stepford Wives-y, but it’s good nonetheless (Anthology-style)
- Atlanta Monster — Covers the Atlanta Child Murders of the 1980’s and Wayne Williams’s conviction
- Stranglers — Examines the Boston Strangler case and the convicted’s guilt
- You Must Remember Manson — This series, taken from You Must Remember This (also a highly-recommended podcast), is probably the best, most comprehensive telling of Charles Manson’s story, in my opinion.
While other podcasts on this list cover missing persons cases, those below focus on either many missing persons or specific missing persons cases exclusively.
- Unfound — In-depth interviews with the loved ones of missing persons (Anthology style)
- Thin Air — (Anthology style)
- The Vanished — Interviews with loved ones of missing persons paired with the host’s pretty comprehensive research—she makes Freedom of Information Act requests pretty regularly, which warrants mad respect (Anthology style)
- Up and Vanished — Covers the disappearance of Tara Grinstead
- Missing Richard Simmons — I really wasn’t sure where this podcast belonged in this list; however, because “missing” is in the title, I feel like it kinda fits here. This was one of the “hottest” podcasts of 2017, and why becomes obvious by the end of Episode 1. The ethical questions raised by this podcast are intriguing, too.
While other podcasts on this list cover cold cases, those below focus on unsolved crimes exclusively.
- The Trail Went Cold — Delightfully Canadian (Anthology-style; unsolved murders, missing persons, suspicious deaths)
- Unresolved — The writing can be a little rough sometimes, but I’m still a huge fan (Anthology style; unsolved murders, serial killers, missing persons)
- Trace Evidence — Covers cases you’ve probably read about on the internet, but never seen (or heard) examined in a long-form format. A total underdog in the true crime podcast (Anthology style; unsolved murders, suspicious deaths, missing persons)
- The Fall Line — Season 1 (now completed) covered the Georgia disappearance of the Millbrook Twins and all the shadiness surrounding the investigation.
- In the Dark — Because this case has since been solved, I wasn’t sure where to put In the Dark; however, when the show was originally published in late 2016, Jacob Wetterling’s disappearance was an open—but cold—case. It’s one of the best true crime podcasts we’ve seen to date.
- Devil’s Teeth — This five-episode podcast discusses the bizarre 1972 murder of a New Jersey teen, Jeannette DePalma. I’ve yet to listen, but it’s on my to-do list.
- West Cork —-Can true crime podcasting get any better than West Cork?! I doubt it. It’s Irish as fuck, incredibly in-depth, well-written, and beautifully produced. Note this podcast is only available through Audible, but you don’t have to be an Audible subscriber to listen (i.e. you don’t have to pay for it).
Cults/New Religious Movements
- Heaven’s Gate — One of the best podcasts that’s ever graced my earholes.
- Cults — Anthology series; from the same people who produce “Serial Killers” (Anthology style)
- Zealot — I haven’t listened to Zealot, but the host did the moonwalk during a My Favorite Murder live-show.
- Getting Off — Described by the two defense attorney hosts as, “Lawyers talking shit.” Literally one of my favorite podcasts ever (Anthology style with episodes about policy and law)
- Court Junkie — Like Court TV without the pearl-clutching (Anthology-style)
Podcasts by Journalists
- Accused (seasons 1 & 2) — From the Cincinnati Enquirer. Season 1 focuses on the 1978 murder of Elizabeth Andes; season 2 focuses on the murder of Retha Welch in Kentucky. Host Amber Hunt is brilliant.
- S-Town — From the people behind This American Life; it’s hard to summarize this beautiful piece of journalism without giving anything away.
- Dirty John — From the Los Angeles Times
- Patty’s Got a Gun — From CNN’s Brian Stelter and Jeffrey Toobin (Patty Hearst story)
- Someone Knows Something (seasons 1-4) — From the Canadian Broadcasting Channel’s David Ridgen. This season focuses on a the unsolved murder of man by letter bomb, and I can’t recommend it enough.
- A Murder on the Cape
- Suspect Convictions
True Crime Media/Meta
- True Crime Obsessed — This podcast’s true-crime documentary recaps gives me life! Recommended as a palate-cleanser between episodes regarding heavier shit (crime documentaries)
- A Date with Dateline — Another fave; recaps an episode of Dateline each week and is a pretty fun listen. I want to be their friends, too. Kimberly and Katie, if you’re reading, I want to be your friend!
- Crime Writers On — This one’s great because it makes me feel like I’m having an IRL conversation with people who care about true crime.
- True Murder — Interviews with true crime authors, audio quality is kinda shitty, but the content can be good.
Fraud, Corruption, and Political Crime
- The Pope’s Long Con — Before you ask: no, this show is not about the Catholic Church’s and sexual abuse. Unfortunately, sexual abuse is a crucial element of this story—so much so, that Danny Ray Johnson, the Kentucky preacher-turned-politician around whom this story revolves, took extreme action following the third episode’s release. Created by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, The Pope’s Long Con is an example of how good true crime journalism can be when it’s done correctly. | Read more about The Pope’s Long Con and listen on iTunes, SoundCloud, Podbean, and probably other places, too.
- Slow Burn: A Podcast About Watergate — From Slate, Slow Burn tells the ancillary stories that revolved around Nixon and the Watergate scandal. It’s a fascinating listen
“Casual” True Crime
“Casual” is not a pejorative; in this context, it means that listening feels like having a conversation with some friends. The discussion is the focus, rather than the audio-engineering.
- My Favorite Murder — Hosted by two comedians (murders, serial killers, survivor stories)
- True Crime Garage — (Anthology style; solved and unsolved cases)
- True Crime Couple — (Anthology style)
- The Night Time Podcast
- Thinking Sideways — (Anthology style; mysteries of all kinds)
- Generation Why — While they cover a range of cases, the hosts have stated the motivation to start this podcast was covering wrongful convictions.
- Disgraceland — This podcast’s new to the game, but it’s quickly becoming a favorite. Each episode focuses on a crime relating to a musician. Episode 1, for example, focused on Jerry Lee Lewis’ suspiciously dead fifth wife. While host Jake Brennan is a great storyteller with a butter-smooth voice, I have some concerns about the stories’ authenticity; however, only time can tell where Disgraceland will land in the true crime annals.
- Crime In Sports — From the same people who brought you Small Town Murder. You don’t have to like sports to like Crime in Sports—trust me, the extent to which I can contribute to sports discussions is, “Go blue team!”
- Last Podcast on the Left — With its swearing and gallows humor, LPoTL could maybe fall into the “casual” category, but the amount of research that obviously goes into every episode warrants its inclusion here (Anthology style; serial killers, cults, paranormal, UFOs, mass murder)
- Small-Town Murder —- Could maybe fall into the “casual” category, but the amount of research that obviously goes into every episode warrants its inclusion here (Anthology style; obscure murder cases)
- Casefile — Australian accents, long-form stories (Anthology style; serial killers, high-profile cases, murders)
- Done Disappeared — John David Booter may save the true crime genre from crawling too far up its own ass. I really don’t want to say too much for fear of spoiling your experience.
- A Very Fatal Murder — From The Onion; I’ve yet to listen to this one.
True Crime Samplers
With these podcasts, you get a little taste of everything.
- Sword and Scale — (anthology; warning: gratuitous use of 911-audio)
- Once Upon a Crime — (anthology)
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- FBI Vault: Serial Killers and Mass Murderers
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