“My Favorite Murder” is a popular true crime comedy podcast hosted by comedians Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. The podcast, launched in 2016, is a blend of humour, storytelling, and deep dives into historical and modern cases of murder and other true crime phenomena. Each episode typically features Kilgariff and Hardstark sharing and discussing their “favourite” murder case of the week. The hosts’ unique approach to the serious subject matter, expressing empathy and outrage while using humour as a coping mechanism, has resonated with a large and dedicated fanbase, “Murderinos.”
Kilgariff and Hardstark also often delve into their personal experiences, mental health, and self-care, providing a relatable and human element to the podcast. They invite listeners to share their own “hometown murder” stories, which they read out on “minisodes” released each week.
Here are the best episodes of the My Favorite Murder podcast
Episode 129: Coincidence Island
This My Favorite Murder episode is a tropical cocktail of true crime and comedy featuring the tales of the Honolulu Strangler and The Galapagos Affair. Trust me; these stories are so bizarre that you’ll scratch your head and ask, “Wait, what? How did that even happen?”
Here’s the gist: back in 1929, a couple and a family, each from Europe, independently decided to ditch civilization for the wilds of the Galapagos Archipelago (yes, the one Darwin made famous). Friedrich Ritter and Dore Strauch, the couple, leave their families behind in Germany to create their own Eden on Floreana Island. But Ritter isn’t precisely the Adam of this new Eden, and the island is a different paradise than they’d hoped for.
Enter stage right: Heinz and Margret Wittmer, a family inspired by Ritter, arrive on the island with their son. Despite being a doctor, Ritter gives them the cold shoulder, even refusing to help Margret during her pregnancy. WTF?!
But more crazy things start happening. Cue the dramatic entrance of “Baroness” Eloise von Wagner Bosquet and her two lovers, Robert Phillipson and Rudolf Lorenz. The “Baroness” claims she’s there to build a hotel, but things quickly go south. People vanish, possible murders occur, and the plot thickens. Today, the Wittmers’ descendants live on the island, running a bustling tourist hotspot.
Next, this episode dives into the chilling tale of the Honolulu Strangler, Hawaii’s first known serial killer. This shadowy figure is suspected of the unsolved murders of five women in 1985 and 1986. Each woman was strangled and sexually assaulted. A suspect was nabbed, flunked a polygraph, but was eventually let go. No arrests have been made, but the strangulations stopped, and the suspect is believed to be deceased.
Episode 221 – Symbolic Violins
Karen’s idea for a show about Baby Jessica? Absolute comedy gold! And Georgia’s take on Sid & Nancy? Spot on! Karen and Georgia each bring their unique storytelling flair to the table, and boy, do they light up this episode like a Fourth of July fireworks display!
Now, these stories might ring a bell. Remember Baby Jessica, the little tyke who tumbled down a well and had the whole nation glued to their TVs, biting their nails as rescue attempts unfolded? And then there’s Nancy Spungen and Sid Vicious, the punk rock power couple of the late ’70s. Nancy’s murder in ’78 sent shockwaves through the media, and Sid was never convicted despite his conflicting accounts.
Episode 323 – Pills and Thrills
Karen and Georgia dive deep into the chilling tales of the “National Forest Serial Killer” Gary Michael Hilton and the enigmatic vanishing act of Judy Smith.
Gary Michael Hilton, has a pretty grim nickname – the National Forest Serial Killer. This American bad guy is on the hook for four confirmed murders between 2007 and 2008. The eerie part? All of these happened within the boundaries of national forests spread across three states.
Hilton’s rap sheet includes a death sentence in Florida and life behind bars in Georgia and North Carolina. But the story doesn’t end there – he’s still under the microscope for several other unsolved murders, including the case of Judy Smith.
Episode 209 – Big Sweater Energy
Get ready for a rollercoaster ride with this episode as the hosts delve into the spine-chilling death of Davina Buff Jones in 1999. Serving as a cop in a quaint North Carolina village, the eeriest part about Davina “Dee” Jones’s demise is that she was caught on her police radio chatting with her killer while calling for backup.
A police officer heard the whole chilling exchange from the station before rushing to the scene, only to find Davina lifeless. It was instantly tagged as a homicide. While Karen and Georgia are self-proclaimed “murderinos,” they’re also fans of survivor stories where victims barely escaped their assailants. They wrap up this episode with the awe-inspiring tale of Tiffany Taylor.
Fast forward to 2016, a murder spree in New Jersey led to the tragic deaths of four women, all under eerily comparable circumstances. Tiffany Taylor was next on the killer’s list, but it wasn’t the boys in blue who swooped in to save her. You’ve got to tune in to this episode to find out who turned out to be Tiffany’s knight in shining armour.
Episode 105 – Proclensity
Murderinos, get ready for a blast from the past! Sometimes, the historical tales of terror get the fanbase buzzing. In this episode, Georgia unravels the story of Typhoid Mary, the original pandemic nightmare. And hold onto your hats, because Karen’s side-splitting impression of Mary has become a legendary piece of murderino folklore. MFM is chock-full of long-running jokes, but few tickle the funny bone quite like Karen’s Irish accent.
She unknowingly spread typhoid around the estates she worked for in the 1800s, giving Karen’s accent a prime chance to shine. They can’t help but crack up at the thought of this woman, so determined to keep cooking her stew, refusing to believe she was the common denominator in a string of typhoid cases. Sure, there’s a fair bit of death in this one, but their ability to find humor in the absurdity of the case makes it a fan favorite.
Karen also dives into the chilling murder of Christa Worthington, a successful fashion writer and single mom who was attacked and stabbed right on her kitchen floor. This brutal crime sent shockwaves through a small town that hadn’t seen a murder in three decades.