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Best Podcasts

The Best True Crime Podcasts

The Best True Crime Podcasts

True crime podcasts have become a phenomenon in recent years, dominating podcast charts and captivating listeners with their gripping storytelling and deep dives into some of history’s most notorious criminal cases. From unsolved mysteries to high-profile trials, these podcasts provide an in-depth look at the criminal mind and the justice system. With so many true crime podcasts, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of the best true crime podcasts you shouldn’t miss.

Whether you’re a true crime enthusiast or a newcomer to the genre, this list has something for everyone. I’ve included podcasts covering various topics, from cold cases to serial killers and from small-town mysteries to international crime. So sit back, relax, and get ready to dive into the fascinating and often chilling world of true crime.

Crime Junkie

Crime Junkie

Listen to Crime Junkie

The Crime Junkie podcast, hosted by Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat, dives into the chilling and often perplexing world of true crime. Each episode presents listeners with meticulously researched cases, ranging from cold cases to current criminal investigations, providing detailed accounts of the events, evidence, and theories surrounding them. The hosts’ engaging storytelling and compassionate approach to victims and their families have earned Crime Junkie a dedicated following.

Real Crime Profile

Real Crime Profile

Listen to Real Crime Profile

Engage with Jim Clemente, a former FBI profiler, Laura Richards, a criminal behavioral analyst with experience at New Scotland Yard, and Lisa Zambetti, the casting director for CBS’ “Criminal Minds,” as they dive into the behavioral profiling of actual criminal cases.

Southern Fried True Crime

Southern Fried True Crime

Listen to Southern Fried True Crime

Dive into the world of true crime with Erica Kelley, a true-blue Tennessean, as she takes you on a lively journey through the historical and modern criminal cases of the South. While she might aim for southern charm, it’s the southern sass that truly shines through. Come along and discover the quirkiest, most “southern fried” aspects of the justice system in the Deep South.

The Dating Game Killer

The Dating Game Killer

Listen to The Dating Game Killer

In 1978, Rodney Alcala appeared on the well-known TV program, The Dating Game, and secured a date. Unbeknownst to everyone, he was a notorious serial killer, actively engaging in a nationwide murder rampage. This six-episode series, hosted by Tracy Pattin (known for Hollywood & Crime) and Stephen Lang (famous for roles in Avatar and Don’t Breathe), guides listeners through the shocking hidden life of Alcala. Despite holding ordinary jobs, such as a typesetter at a leading newspaper and a summer camp counselor, Alcala managed to deceive employers, prison psychologists, and parole boards, all while perpetrating vicious murders across the United States.

Casefile

Casefile

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Known for its meticulous research and detailed storytelling, the host of Casefile guides listeners through each case with a compelling narrative style, offering insights into the criminal minds, investigation processes, and the impact on victims and their families. Covering a wide range of crimes, from unsolved mysteries to infamous serial killers and complex heists, Casefile provides an exploration  into the darkness of human behavior, making it a must-listen for true crime enthusiasts seeking to understand the depths of real-life horror and intrigue.

Crime Countdown

Crime Countdown

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Who ranks as the most notorious serial killer? Which cult is the eeriest? Which cold case remains the most unsolvable? Ash and Alaina might not be authorities, and their opinions might not always align. Nevertheless, they’re taking on the challenge and counting down regardless!

Criminal

Listen to Criminal

Criminal stands out as a pioneering podcast in its genre, offering a unique exploration into the complex world of crime. It’s a meticulously crafted show that explores the lives of individuals who have either committed wrongdoing, been victims of injustice, or found themselves entangled in situations that blur the lines between right and wrong. Through its compelling storytelling, Criminal provides an in-depth look at the multifaceted nature of crime, shining a light on the human stories behind the headlines and offering listeners a nuanced perspective on the legal and moral quandaries that arise when people find themselves caught in the web of criminality.

Women & Crime

Women & Crime

Listen to Women & Crime

Two Criminologists, Dr. Meghan Sacks and Dr. Amy Shlosberg, from Fairleigh Dickinson University, dive into female-centric criminal cases in each episode. They combine compelling narratives of women involved with insights from criminology to identify where things went astray. The podcast covers topics like the causes of female crime, victimology, and the legal system, while also highlighting women who’ve made significant impacts on criminal justice. 

Crimetown

Crimetown

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Welcome to Crimetown, a podcast by Marc Smerling and Zac Stuart-Pontier with Gimlet Media. Each season explores crime culture in a unique city. Season 2 takes us to Detroit, Michigan, the Rust Belt’s core, tracing its evolution from Motor City to its resurgence akin to the Midwest’s Brooklyn. The series touches on critical themes such as race, poverty, policing, industrial decline, the drug war, and the search for redemption, mirroring the broader American experience.

Mafia

Mafia

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Dive into the dark realm of American organized crime to uncover the tales of the ascension and demise of history’s most infamous mob figures. Mafia dives into the sagas of legendary gangsters such as Charles “Lucky” Luciano, John Gotti, Donnie Brasco, “Bugsy” Siegel, and Dutch Schultz. This exploration sheds light on their notorious lives, as well as the dedicated law enforcement officers and lawyers who endeavored to dismantle their criminal empires.

Dr. Death

Dr. Death

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Our trust is most exposed when we seek medical care. But what occurs when that trust is misplaced? Dr. Death, an acclaimed series now in its fourth season and hosted by Laura Beil, dives into this unsettling question.

The Vanished

The Vanished

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The Vanished podcast discusses the mysteries surrounding individuals who have disappeared. Eschewing traditional news coverage, the show offers an in-depth exploration into the life of a different missing person every week. Marissa Jones hosts, providing listeners with exclusive conversations featuring the missing persons’ families, friends, law enforcement, and specialists, to uncover the stories behind those who have vanished.

The Trail Went Cold

The Trail Went Cold

Listen to The Trail Went Cold

The Trail Went Cold is a true crime podcast that airs weekly, diving into perplexing unsolved mysteries and unresolved cases. Every episode sees host Robin Warder investigating a fresh case of murder or disappearance, covering a diverse range of enigmas across various nations and historical eras.

Lady Killers with Lucy Worsley

Lady Killers with Lucy Worsley

Listen to Lady Killers with Lucy Worsley

Lucy, alongside a skilled team of female detectives, delves into the criminal acts committed by women in the 19th and 20th centuries, analyzing them through a modern, feminist lens.

Who The Hell is Hamish

Who the Hell is Hamish?

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Originally known as Hamish Watson from Sydney, this chameleon could transform into whatever his victims needed. Set for a 2019 jail sentence, Hamish swindled over $7m from several individuals. Yet, these scams are merely the latest in a decades-long spree across the US, Canada, Britain, Hong Kong, and Australia, accumulating tens of millions. How did he manage this? How did he elude international authorities for so long, and where did all the stolen money go?

Can I Tell You a Secret?

Can I Tell You a Secret?

Listen to Can I Tell You a Secret?

It begins innocently enough with a message that seems to come from a young woman: “Can I tell you a secret?” However, as this six-episode podcast reveals, online identities are often far from real, and in one case, a man took deception to an extreme. The series investigates the chaos unleashed by a cyberstalker who devastated lives across the internet. What drove him to wreak such havoc, and what were the consequences of his actions?

Park Predators

Park Predators

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Often, the most picturesque locations conceal the deepest mysteries. This podcast focuses on crimes committed in North America’s national, state, and provincial parks and forests.

Uncover

Uncover

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Dive into a world where crime meets drama and every investigation reveals more than you bargained for. Uncover serves up true crime stories that pack a punch, delivering explosive tales of CIA mind games, serial offenders, baffling vanishings, and the fight against unjust imprisonment. Each season, a new storyteller with a personal stake in the narrative takes you on a relentless quest for the truth. 

Crime Beat

Crime Beat

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Most people associate their hometowns with familiar streets, beloved eateries, or the nearest shopping center. For Crime Reporter Nancy Hixt, however, it’s the crime scenes she’s visited in the last two decades that map out her city. Dive into the heart of Canada’s most notorious criminal cases with her. Each episode invites you into the narrative, revealing details that never made the headlines, offering a closer look at the stories behind the stories.

Morbid

Morbid

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Welcome to a delightfully eerie experience, fellow oddballs! Morbid weaves together true crime, spine-chilling history, and everything unnervingly spooky. Hosted by an autopsy technician and a hairstylist, this podcast blends rigorous research with just the right amount of humor for taste. Dive in for a mix of the macabre and mirthful that’s sure to entertain.

Someone Knows Something

Someone Knows Something

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Angel Carlick, known as ‘Happy-Go-Lucky’ to those close to her, was a dedicated youth worker with a bright future. She was looking forward to graduating and had plans to become the legal guardian of her brother, aiming to support other young people in need through her local resource center. However, just before her graduation in 2007, at the age of 18, Angel mysteriously vanished. Her body was discovered months later in a secluded part of the Canadian north.

Bear Brook

Bear Brook

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Jason Carroll is currently serving a life sentence for a murder he claims he didn’t commit, with his taped confession being the sole piece of evidence against him. Over 30 years have passed since his conviction, raising questions about the possibility of uncovering the truth and determining who has the right to narrate it.

Last Seen

Last Seen

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Diving into the aftermath of a devastating murder within Boston’s Haitian neighborhood to the quest for a real-life Willy Wonka in Cambridge, WBUR’s ‘Last Seen’ podcast returns for its third season. This series unveils a fresh set of mysteries through public radio’s captivating storytelling, spotlighting extraordinary individuals, locations, and items that have mysteriously disappeared.

Your Own Backyard

Your Own Backyard

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A documentary-style podcast series delving into the 1996 vanishing of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart.

Suspect

Suspect

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Suspect is a series probing into flawed justice and the critical choices made by detectives, lawyers, and jurors that are nearly irreversible. Season 3, “Five Shots in the Dark,” tracks Leon Benson’s 24-year incarceration in Indiana for the 1998 murder of Kasey Schoen, a conviction based on two eyewitnesses whose memories might be mistaken.

The Trojan Horse Affair

The Trojan Horse Affair

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A mysterious letter claiming an Islamic extremist plot to infiltrate Birmingham, England’s schools, dubbed Operation Trojan Horse, lands on a city councillor’s desk. The story quickly ignites national hysteria, leading to multiple government probes, an overhaul of the UK’s counterterrorism strategy, school reforms, and lifetime educational bans for some individuals.

Swindled

Swindled

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This podcast employs narrative storytelling, archival sounds, and enveloping audio landscapes to explore the real-life tales of white-collar criminals, fraudsters, and corporate wrongdoing. It spans a range of financially driven crimes, including corruption, fraud, Ponzi schemes, and environmental devastation, highlighting how these acts of greed have transformed our world in ways beyond imagination.

Sweet Bobby

Sweet Bobby

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How well do you really understand the one you love? Sweet Bobby, an acclaimed investigative series, tops charts and wins awards as it unravels the story of the globe’s most cunning catfisher. Dive into the complete six-part saga and additional bonus episodes now.

Small Town DIcks

Small Town Dicks

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Welcome to Small Town Dicks, now in its 12th season! This podcast goes behind the scenes with actual detectives sharing how they cracked their most pivotal cases. Hosts Yeardley Smith, twin detectives Dan and Dave, and forensic expert Paul Holes dive deep into each story, providing essential insights that bring these tales right to you.

Cheat!

Cheat!

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Is rule-breaking ever justified? Cheat! is a podcast hosted by Alzo Slade, blending journalism with comedy to explore major cheats and scandals. Each week, dive into tales of heists, scams, and dubious characters, questioning the motivations behind their actions. From get-rich-quick schemes to the lives of imposters and even deceitful nuns, Cheat! asks what you’d do if you knew you wouldn’t get caught.

Cold

Cold

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Cold looks into various missing persons cases through narrative storytelling. Host and investigative journalist Dave Cawley tackles one story per season. Season 3, “The Search for Sheree,” investigates the 1985 vanishing of Sheree Warren, focusing on two suspects and exploring the increasing severity of domestic abuse and sexual violence. The Cold team aims to uncover the truth behind Sheree Warren’s disappearance.

To Live and Die in LA

To Live and Die in LA

Listen to To Live and Die in LA

In February 2018, a hopeful actress disappeared from her Hollywood home. Neil Strauss, a journalist for Rolling Stone, joined forces with her family to seek answers, often facing significant personal danger. This award-winning true crime podcast explores the complex and sorrowful case that propelled Neil Strauss into the realm of true crime investigations, alongside his wife, Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger, and concert violinist Ann Marie Simpson.

Hunting Warhead

Hunting Warhead

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What does it take to dismantle a criminal empire lurking in the shadows? How can you save victims of child abuse who might be hidden anywhere across the globe? Dive into Hunting Warhead, where daring journalists and determined police embark on a worldwide quest to uncover the internet’s darkest secrets. Their findings will astonish you.

The Lazarus Heist

The Lazarus Heist

Listen to The Lazarus Heist

Hackers, North Korea, and a quest for billions – the saga of Lazarus continues, revealing that the culprits never really disappeared. Season 2 kicks off with a mysterious ATM incident that might be closer to home than you think, featuring Jean Lee and Geoff White. Investigators have pointed fingers at a covert, high-level North Korean hacking collective known as the Lazarus Group, accusing them of global theft amounting to billions. 

I’m Not a Monster

I’m Not a Monster

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In a quest to distinguish reality from myth, the acclaimed series is back to dive into the contentious case of Shamima Begum. The 2015 disappearance of three London schoolgirls sparked international attention and has kept the media buzzing ever since. During that time, investigative journalist Josh Baker was documenting activities at a local mosque in the girls’ community as their desperate families sought assistance; unbeknownst to them, their daughters were en route to Syria to align with the Islamic State group. Unfortunately, they vanished into the shadows of the so-called caliphate.

Chameleon: Hollywood Con Queen

Chameleon: Hollywood Con Queen

Listen to Chameleon: Hollywood Con Queen

Explore the pursuit and tale of the infamous fraudster dubbed the Hollywood Con Queen. For additional Chameleon narratives, look for Chameleon on your preferred podcast platform.

Do you know of another true crime-related podcast that you think should be on this list? Let me know.

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