I never used to be a big fan of podcasts, but lately I have been obsessed. Whenever I’m getting ready in the morning, cooking dinner or doing some boring admin work on my laptop I can almost guarantee I’ll be listening to a podcast, and the true crime genre is by far my favourite. From serial killers to government conspiracies, these seven true crime podcasts cover a range of morbidly fascinating topics which are surprisingly entertaining.
My Favorite Murder is probably my favourite podcast on this list. Hosted by friends Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, in each episode the ladies pick their favourite murder related to a particular theme and discuss the cases with each other. Unlike some other true crime podcasts, this one isn’t a serious affair and it feels more like listening to a conversation you’d have with your pals (if your pals were hilariously funny and equally into discussing serial killers). My Favorite Murder perfectly mixes comedy and realistic anxieties about getting murdered with tales of horrible crimes. It’s good, I promise – “stay sexy, don’t get murdered“.
Focusing on the origins of folklore stories, Lore delves into the true crimes and strange happenings which form the basis of many of the world’s myths and legends. The episodes are nice and short, at around half an hour each, so it’s really easy to race through a few at once. Aaron Mahnke does a fantastic job of creating a creepy, dramatic atmosphere so this probably isn’t the best one to listen to before you go to sleep! From vampires and werewolves to serial killers and bodysnatching, Lore explores the darker side of history and explains the fact behind the fiction of folklore.
If you’re after a serious, documentary-style true crime podcast, Sword & Scale is the one for you. The majority of episodes focus on a single case and go into detail about the background of the case, the crime itself and the consequences. The podcast seems really well researched and often includes excerpts from 911 calls, interviews with specialists or even interviews with people involved in the case. As well as specific cases, host Mike Boudet also discusses general aspects of the criminal justice system and crime related news.
Even if you’re not a huge fan of true crime podcasts, you’ll no doubt have heard of Serial. This was really the podcast that got me into podcasts and, although it has fallen slightly in my list of favourites, it’s a great starting point if you’re new. Following the case of Adnan Syed who was arrested for the murder of Hae Min Lee in 1999, host Sarah Koenig delves through the evidence to find out whether or not Syed was really guilty. It’s kind of like the podcast version of Making a Murderer and you’ll definitely be hooked once you’re a couple of episodes in. I must admit I’ve never bothered listening to Season 2 as the story didn’t interest me, but Season 1 is definitely worth a listen.
Casefile is a little bit different as, rather than focusing on American criminals like the majority of podcasts I listen to, it looks at Australian cases (as well as a few from the UK, Europe and USA for good measure). It’s interesting to hear things from a different perspective, as most of the cases they cover are ones I haven’t heard of before. The podcast covers a range of topics – from Australian serial killers to unsolved murders – and each episode focuses on a different case.
Another one that doesn’t take itself too seriously is The Last Podcast on the Left. Hosted by Ben Kissel, Henry Zebrowski and Marcus Parks, in each episode the guys discuss the horrors of the world – both imagined and real – relating to a particular topic or case. This can mean everything from alien sightings to notorious serial killers and government conspiracies to supernatural phenomena. Some of their humour isn’t really my thing and I do occasionally zone out, but it’s worth a go – I tend to dip in and out of the particular episodes that interest me.
Rather than straightforward true crime, Thinking Sideways covers a whole host of mysteries, conspiracies and unsolved cases. With episodes about historical serial killers, mysterious disappearances, paranormal sightings, unsolved murders and lots more, there’s plenty to keep you entertained. Each episode focuses on a different case, with hosts Steve, Devin and Joe discussing the known facts as well as theories about what really happened. It’s really interesting to hear about all these things that can’t be explained, although it is a little frustrating that no one knows the truth!
What are your favourite true crime podcasts?