True Crime Podcasts That Will Keep You Coming Back for More
We can’t seem to get enough of true crime podcasts. Ever since the concept started (Serial was the first), the genre has taken off. In fact, there are so many true crime podcasts, it can be hard to keep up with all of them. But that won’t stop us from trying.
If you’re just dipping your toes into true crime, we highly recommend starting with this list. The podcasts below are among the most listened-to and beloved of the genre, though there are plenty more. Some true crime podcasts take one case and really dive in deep; other podcasts go over things more quickly and jump from case to case.
However you listen, be sure to arm your Cove home security system for a more enjoyable and safe experience.
Crime Junkie stands out as a fan-favorite true crime podcast, renowned for its engaging storytelling and the infectious enthusiasm of hosts Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat. In each weekly episode, hosts explore various true crime cases, ranging from well-known mysteries to lesser-known but equally intriguing stories. The storytelling is straightforward, steering clear of unnecessary detours, ensuring that each case remains suspenseful and easy to follow.
Widely credited with popularizing the true crime podcast genre, Serial takes a deep dive into a single compelling case each season. Hosted by Sarah Koenig, this podcast, produced in collaboration with WBEZ Chicago, tells a true story over the course of a season. Serial has garnered numerous awards, including the duPont-Columbia, Scripps Howard, Edward R. Murrow, and the first-ever Peabody awarded to a podcast.
Your Own Backyard
Journalist Chris Lambert wanted to know more about the 1996 disappearance of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart, and thus Your Own Backyard was born. Lambert's respectful storytelling reignited interest in the case after more than 25 years, eventually aiding in the conviction of the responsible party. The 10-episode series takes listeners from the initial events in San Luis Obispo, California, to present-day court, where Lambert thoroughly recaps trial events with insights from the prosecution team and the jury.
While not strictly a true crime podcast, Otherworld features elements of true crime in select episodes. Host Jack Wagner takes an open-minded and journalistic approach to real stories of people who have experienced something paranormal or unexplainable. The podcast aims to unravel some of the world's biggest mysteries and explore how individuals react to the unexplained.
Murder with My Husband
Murder With My Husband offers a unique twist on the true crime podcast genre, with host Payton Moreland, who loves true crime, and her husband Garrett, who despises it. The podcast delves into dark stories, presenting a dynamic where Payton's true crime obsession meets Garrett's reluctance to discuss such stories. The result? A podcast born out of their impasse.
Produced by KSL in Utah, Cold is a narrative podcast series focused on missing persons cases. Hosted by investigative journalist Dave Cawley, each season explores a single story, such as the Susan Powell Case Files, Justice for Joyce Yost, and The Search for Sheree Warren, providing a comprehensive examination of these cases.
Criminal, launched in 2014, takes a unique approach by covering different cases in each 40-minute episode. Host Phoebe Judge, a University of North Carolina-produced podcast (now on the Vox network), emphasizes the emotional resonance of each case for the people involved rather than solely focusing on forensic facts. With a thoughtful and measured approach, Judge explores a wide definition of crime, recognizing it as something that happens to people.
In the Dark
Combining skillful storytelling, surprising developments, and compassionate reporting, In the Dark, hosted by Madeleine Baran, stands as a near-perfect example of the crime podcast genre. The Peabody award-winning first season centers on the 1989 abduction of Jacob Wetterling, leading to the establishment of federal sex-offender registries. The second season exposes wrongdoing in the case of Curtis Flowers, contributing to the U.S. Supreme Court overturning his conviction in 2019.
Anatomy of Murder
Anatomy of a Murder offers a closer look at homicide cases and the paths to justice for the victims. Hosted by former New York City homicide prosecutor Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi and Emmy award-winning investigative journalist Scott Weinberger, the podcast provides an insider's perspective on compelling homicide cases from around the country. Each episode includes insights from a victim's family member, the prosecutor, or a member of law enforcement directly involved in the investigation.
What is it about the true crime genre that keeps us so enthralled? Perhaps it’s the mystery, the clues, the characters, or the crime itself. Whatever it is, it’s apparent that truth is even stranger than fiction. Which true crime podcasts are your favorite? Before you settle in to listen to the next episode, be sure to arm your Cove home security system.
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