True crime podcasts are why podcasts initially experienced such a boom. When Serial Season 1 dropped, suddenly everyone was an investigative reporter, part time detective, and aspiring legal council. There’s something special about investing in a true crime podcast binge. You’re not just on the edge of your seat, you feel like you’re a part of the story. The story feels like it’s unfolding in real time, and it’s doing so right in front of you and for you.
Not all of the best podcasts are created equal, however. From low-quality audio to poor research to, well, just about anything else, the true-crime podcast gamut is wide. Trying to wade through to find the best of the best can be intimidating especially if you’re new to the genre, but worry not as we’ve decided to do it for you.
In 2016 Casefile started as a side project telling the stories of the murders of Christine Sharrock and Marianne Schmidt (The Wanda Beach Murders). The host of this true crime podcast is unknown but he’s affectionately known as “Casey” to fans derived from the podcast’s name. Casefile is an award-winning true-crime podcast that dives deep into the circumstances, investigations and trials of both solved and unsolved cases from all over the world. Wondering where to start? This Google sheet includes ratings for each episode.
It’s 2016 in the panhandle town of Canadian, Texas and a popular teenage boy has gone missing. Then, it’s 2018, and his bones are found beneath a tree outside of town. Now, it’s a few years later, and still no arrests have been made, but every suspicion possible has been raised. Tom Brown’s Body follows this remarkable, haunting, and continuing story.
Investigative journalist and true crime author M. William Phelps delves deep into the long cold case of 4 missing girls from the 1970’s in closely connected New England towns. This pod doesn’t just reveal the story of these cases, but also new information about how these cases may be connected, as well.
Legendary Man and man of the people Woody Harrelson has a storied career, but he also had a storied childhood. You may have heard (and subsequently gasped when you found out) that Woody Harrelson’s father was Charles Harrelson, a murderer who may or may not have been involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
No true crime list is complete without the OG. Serial takes on a new complicated crime every season, and they’re currently rolling out their fourth, but it’s tough to beat the original deep dive into the case for and against Adnan Sayed. The subsequent seasons, while maybe not as sensational, are certainly as stellar and scintillating.
New to true crime? Start here! Generation Why has been going strong for nearly 10 years now and the strength is in their great hosting. Aaron Hebel and Justin Evans have deeply honed their craft over the years and have an enormous stockpile of episodes for you to dive into this year where they share their theories and discuss their opinions on all things true crime.
So, you want something that’s like The Daily but gives you instead a daily dose of dastardly deeds? Look no further than Morning Cup of Murder. Short, digestible, and easy to get into when you’re getting ready in the morning or when you’re waiting for your other favorite true crime pod to come out during the week.
Wait, murder isn’t the only crime … American Scandal takes on different stories every season, but it’s one of the most deeply researched and informative crime podcasts on the market right now. Whether you want to dig into the Iran Contra affair, Enron’s crash, steroids in baseball, or more, American Scandal is a great place to find deep dives into all different kinds of crime.
If you love the investigative stuff, definitely check out Up and Vanished. Atlanta filmmaker Payne Lindsey looks into the lesser known cold cases of Tara Grinstead and Kristal Reisinger in its first two seasons, respectively. Lindsey aims to shine a light on these cases, and in the process puts forth a pretty compelling podcast.
But, how do cases go cold? And when they do, how does it affect the loved ones of those who are missing and gone? Someone Knows Something aims to answer those questions and more as host David Rigden speaks to the friends and families of the victims of these heinous and mysterious acts.
From BBC Radio, a closer look at the crimes of Anna Delvey. In 2013, “Delvey” moved to New York from Germany and made her way into celebrity society as a young socialite pretending to be a German heiress.
A timely podcast, Hunting Ghislane asks and answers a lot of the lingering questions surrounding Ghislane Maxwell, daughter of a disgraced billionaire and partner to Julian Epstein. Perhaps some of the heavier material on our list (and that’s saying something), reporter John Sweeney investigates where Maxwell came from, who she came to be, and what’s coming next as she faces multiple charges for her work with the late Epstein.
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