The best true-crime podcasts we obsess over
Podcasts! The majority of us listen to them. While there are a plethora of genres within the podcasting sphere to pick from, the most abundant and popular remain the true crime podcast. From focusing on a single case to a more episodic format, true crime podcasts are everywhere.
From the wine and crime genre to the more straightforward just the facts tales, there’s something for everyone if you’re curious about crime and criminals. While we’ll be repping the old standbys in the genre of which there are plenty, hopefully, we can give some lesser-known podcasts some love as well.
Here are the true crime podcasts that we’re obsessing over now.
Casefile: True Crime
Casefile is an impeccably researched series with over 130 episodes. Hosted by an anonymous Australian host, we’re taken through the investigation of cases both solved and unsolved over a wide range of crimes: kidnappings, massacres, serial killers, and more. Our Host, meanwhile, delivers the story in a calm and steady “just the facts” tone as he proves the tagline for the series: “Fact is scarier than fiction…” more than correct.
Even so, if you want to get into the nitty-gritty of solving cases, this is the perfect series for it. Some episodes can run up to two hours long not to mention the multi-part series as well.
Some episodes we recommend to check out are “Case 18: The North Hollywood Shootout”, “Case 50: Jennifer Pan”, “Case 75: Graeme Thorne”, “Case 78: The Janabi Family”, “Case 85: Tom Browne”, and “Case 118: The Chicago Tylenol Murders”.
If you’re interested in their multi-part stories, then we recommend the following: “Case 53: East Area Rapist/Original Night Stalker” (five parts), “Case 60: Jonestown” (three parts), “Case 76: Silk Road” (three parts), and “Case 109: Belanglo” (five parts).
No matter how you slice it, there’s just not a true crime podcast like Criminal. It’s a good thing. Host Phoebe Judge and her soothing voice take us through “stories of people who’ve done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle.” From looking at those wrongfully convicted to a trip to a body to the origins of “420”, there are just so many angles to look and think about crime.
It’s weird to call something in the true crime genre “happy”. Rather than be bogged down by murder all the time, Judge and her team take us through different aspects of how crime can be considered in the wider world.
We’ve heard it called the true crime podcast for intellectuals, but Judge makes it so that everyone can understand what’s being talked about. With episodes rarely exceeding 40 minutes, it’s also less of a time commitment if you prefer your podcasts short and sweet and to the point.
We recommend the following episodes: “Episode 5: Dropping Like Flies”, “Episode 13: The Big Sleep”, “Episode 25: The Portrait”, “Episode 29: Officer Talon”, “Episode 37: Hastings”, “Episodes 40: Pappy”, “Episode 45: Just Mercy”, “Episode 51: Money Tree”/”Episode 52: The Checklist”, “Episode 66: Bully”, “Episode 68: All the Time in the World”, “Episode 75: The Gatekeeper”, “Episode 83: The Mothers”, “Episode 93: Lavender Scare”, “Episode 99: Racehorse Haynes”, “Episode 103: Get Out of My House”, and “Episode 123: Mrs. Sherlock Holmes”.
Sorry, murderinos, but let’s another podcast about best friends talking about crime take center stage. Morbid: A True Crime Podcast follows best friends Alaiana, an autopsy tech, and Ashleigh, a hairstylist, as they talk about crime (and sometimes the paranormal but mostly crime). Their dynamic is great to listen to as the pair have been friends for a long time.
Actually, if you find the whole “wine & crime” genre of the true crime podcast sphere annoying, then seriously give Morbid a chance. The dynamics are great along with the cases from the familiar staples to the new are always interesting to listen to. There are also minisodes where Alaina and Ash individually take us through some of their fave cases one on one.
We recommend the following episodes “Episode 9: The Axeman of New Orleans AKA a Real Crumb”, “Episode 18: Katherine Knight is the Worst Nana”, “Episode 23: The Salem Witch Trials Were Bonkers”, “Episode 36: Tyler Hadley”, “Episode 58: Kurt Cobain”/ “Episode 60: Kurt Cobain”, “Episode 99: The Schoolbus Kidnapping of 1976”, “Episode 110: What Happened to Alissa Turney?”, and “Episode 117: Finders Highway AKA The Highway of Death Aussie Madness”.
Southern Fried True Crime
Some true crime series will focus on a region rather than go for the big wide world out there. Southern Fried True Crime takes us through the crimes of the American South with host Eric Kelley. With her “bless your heart” Southern accent and asides, it feels like you’re listening to a friend relay all the facts. Kelley, who is a journalist, definitely does her research.
Most episodes will range from 45 to 90 minutes, there is definitely a time commitment for Southern Fried True Crime. The cases are always interesting though and Kelley just draws you in to want to know more. Currently, there are 84 episodes of the series released. So it’s not the hundreds upon hundreds of other series.
We recommend the follow episodes: “#FreeCyntoiaBrown: A Minor Facing Life in Prison”, “The Babysitter Murder: Scandal in Music City”, “The Suspicious Death of Lauren Agee on Center Hill Lake”, “The Corpsewood Manor Murders”, “The Bitter Blood Murders: Susie Newsom Lynch & Fritz Klenner”, “The Socialite & the Gardening Shears: The Murder of Idella Thompson”, “Meth, Lies, & Murder: The Redneck Ted Bundy”, and “The Vampire Rapist”.
Tired of all the murder in true crime? Well, we have a show that sticks to the crimes that are infinitely more aggravating to the living: white collar crimes. Swindled, hosted by A Concerned Citizen, tells the tales of those who harmed people worse than just killing them by taking their money and screwing them over. Now, this isn’t true for every episode, but white collar crime does come into play.
Each episode begins with a Prelude, which is essentially a mini-episode detailing a crime that ties into the larger story. Usually, the episodes last from 30 minutes to an hour and cover a wide array of straight-up crooks and conmen. But each episode is interesting as audiences go through the rise and downfall of these felons along with the devastation that they leave in their wake.
We recommended the following episodes: “The Horse Queen (Rita Crundwell)”, “The Canal (Love Canal)”, “The Delivery Man (Brian Wells)”, “The Leak (Bhopal Gas Disaster)”, “The Judges (Kids for Cash)”, “The Association (FIFA), “The Lawsuit (McDonald’s Hot Coffee)”, “The Psychic (Sylvia Browne)”, “The Formula (Nestle Boycott of 1977)”, “Downline (Herbalife)”, “The Whistleblower (Karen Silkwood)”, “The Survivor (Tania Head)”, and “The Switch (Flint Water Crisis)”.