Reader Favorites: The Best True Crime Podcasts.

Best True Crime Podcasts

You guys probably know by now that I’m a huge podcast person. I have my own podcast, I love listening to podcasts, the whole thing. But mostly I listen to newsy or conversational podcasts – never anything with an actual plot. (If you’re into those more conversational podcasts, be sure to check out my list of the most uplifting podcasts – I have a lot to share there!)

Recently I decided to give crime podcasts a try (I figured love crime related books and TV, so it seems like a natural fit!). And so I did what I always do when I have a question… I asked the Facebook group for recommendations. And MAN did you come through… so many great recommendations.

Below I’ve organized your recommendations into a list. They’re in alphabetical order as I figured that was only fair. HUGE thanks to everyone who weighed in and if you want to share your favorite true crime podcasts in the comments section I would absolutely love it!

 

Best True Crime Podcasts

Bear Brook

“Bear Brook!! It was named one of The New Yorker’s best podcasts of 2018. It’s about a cold case from the 1980s. There are a zillion murder podcasts out there, but this one explains the science behind this investigation so thoroughly, it will make your jaw drop. I was hooked from minute one.” – Maura W, New York

“This podcast investigates murders in New Hampshire and use the new process of Genetic Genealogy to solve the crimes the same process that eventually led to the capture of the Golden State Killer.’ – Rebecca, Boston

Broken Harts

“Just such a gripping story, I need to know more!” – Dani S

Criminal

CRIMINAL! It’s less murder-y than most, sometimes they are light hearted (like the episode where they’re trying to stop people in Colorado from stealing Exit 420 signs lol), but always with a criminal element.” – Renée from Nashville.

“I second Criminal for covering stuff that is a little unusual or different… kind of like true crime from a different angle. I have gotten really into Casefile True Crime because it goes really in depth on cases. It’s also done by an Australian so there are lots of Australian/British cases that I had never heard of before.” – Sara, from Rochester NY

Dirty John

“You will never look at an online dating profile the same way again. Also, you may want to put a tracker on your bf’s car” – Megan W, Boston

Dr. Death

“Are any of my doctors really qualified to be treating me?” – Megan W, Boston

Happy Face

“The daughter of the Happy Face serial killer is coming to terms with her father’s actions and how it’s played out in her personal life. A great change up of the theme and really heart-wrenching at parts!” – Rebecca, Boston

“I’m from Portland, Oregon and remember hearing about him when I was young. So it was shocking to hear about what happened from the killers daughter who told that story.” – Celeste, Portland

Hell & Gone

“A female private investigator opens up the search for the murderer of a young woman in 2004. She is not afraid to call people out and uses her podcast to get movement on the case and answers for the family. Great to hear a female-led investigation!” – Rebecca, Boston

In the Dark

“Incredible journalism and reporting. The first season is about Jacob Wetterling and not the typical, “what happened” but what went so wrong that made it take over three decades to solve? Second season is about the criminal justice system and involves the story of a man who has been tried 6 (!) times for a quadruple homicide. It’s eye opening, well researched, and the story telling is top notch. Highly recommend!”
– Molly, Atlanta!

“Such good storytelling, and crazy premises. They have two seasons and both stories have had serious developments since the podcast aired!!” – Sharona S.

“I liked In The Dark for the same reason I liked Up and Vanished. The stories were intense but the narrator made all the difference to me.” – Celeste, Portland

Last Podcast on the Left

“The three hosts focus on serial killers, but also cover cults, the occult, and UFOs.” – Teri S

Martinis & Murder!

The hosts, Daryn & John are hilarious and have a great vibe and each episode features a cocktail so, that’s always a bonus, right? 😉 – Jen W

My Favorite Murder

note from Grace:  This one might have gotten the most comments/recommendations! But also a little bit of hate. Many of you loved it; others argued it was poorly researched and even “irreverent to the point of disrespect.” I have yet to listen so don’t have an opinion here but I have to say I’m intrigued now.

“I love the repartee between the two women who are the hosts, both funny and relatable. I also love how they tell true crime stories with a splash of humor while always honoring the victim and their stories.” – Chrissy

“It feels like I’m hanging out with my best friends…who happen to love murders as much as me.” – Tierney

“My Favorite Murder. I really like the mix of adding humor to something that is terrible with the personalities of Georgia and Karen.” Anne, Brooklyn

Serial

note from Grace: This came highly recommended and is the original true crime podcast that got everyone hooked. A lot of you said to skip Season 2!

“Serial (Seasons 1 & 3): Season 1 was like the OG podcast got the entire movement started and Sarah Koenig is a genius with storytelling. Season 3 will make you want to take action regarding our criminal justice system.” – Jordan P from Boston

Slow Burn

note from Grace: One reader recommended this and then everyone chimed in to say how good it was.

“There was so much more to the Watergate scandal and the Clinton impeachment than I realized. Also, adds context and history to the current presidential investigation.” – Megan W, Boston

Uncover

“A former member of the cult NXIVM (that Alison Mack of Smallville was recently arrested for) is interviewed along with other members exploring the ins and outs of the twisted cult. Interesting to hear how people can get swept up into movements they think are going to better them.” – Rebecca, Boston

“It’s about this guy who was in charge of a cult meant to promote positivity and personal empowerment, but was really a manipulative ploy to get rich and control his followers.” – Sharona S.

Up & Vanished

“Season 1 + 2, both different cold cases about missing women. Season 1 takes places in a small town in Georgia and covers the disappearance of a beauty queen/teacher. The more and more the town kept talking about it after the podcast was released…two suspects have since been charged! Season 2 takes place in Crestone CO, a town that deserves its own podcast. I love this season/podcast because it follows the missing person story of a woman who’s story would have faded from the headline to be told. The story and investigation will have you on the edge of your seat.” – Justine

Wine and Crime

“3 best friends that do true crime topics/cases while drinking wine! Hilarious and they go into the background and psychology behind it all!” – Kelly Z

Don’t forget to comment with your favorite true crime podcasts!

Leave a Comment

Comments

  1. Crime podcasts are so interesting but they scare me sometimes, haha! 😛 Thanks for the recommendations! ❤️❤️

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  2. Julie says 2.7.19

    Last seen published by WBUR/ the globe about the Isabella Stewart gardener heist. You’ll never see the world of art the same way! Or the city of boston!

    • That’s actually the only True Crime podcast I’ve listened to! I LOVED IT!!!! Totally agree.

  3. I love true crime podcasts and loved Serial (agree with skipping Season 2), Dirty John, and Dr. Death. Also – Gladiator about Aaron Hernandez is fantastic.

  4. Kendal says 2.7.19

    Wow, I’ve only listened to a handful of these! I’ll have to download some of these to my phone today and give them a listen!

    Kendal / Life With Kendal

  5. Genevieve says 2.7.19

    Such a great list! So many of my favorites are on there, including Bear Brook. I would also recommend The Cold Podcast about the disappearance of Susan Powell…it is fascinating and still has new episodes each week.

  6. Sarah says 2.7.19

    Love all the ones you listed. I also listed to the Manson Family series on You Must Remember This (a podcast that focuses on stories from old Hollywood). I was totally gripped by it.

  7. Marta says 2.7.19

    Serial is what got me into true crime podcasts (or podcasts in general) too. I’m gonna save this post and definitely come back to it when I need something new to listen, thanks for sharing.

  8. meredith says 2.7.19

    Have you checked out ‘the Drop Out’ yet? It’s all about Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos and has some serious Fyre Festival similarities

  9. Julia Dzafic says 2.7.19

    Loveddddd Dirty John, Dr. Death and Up & Vanished. I’m going to start Bear Brooke next!

  10. Millie says 2.7.19

    Ho.ly. $$$$ this is such a comprehensive list!! Thank you for sharing!! I had most of them but am excited to download and listen to those that I don’t have. I HAVE to share my favorite ones – The Teachers Pet (convictions are happening RIGHT NOW because of this podcast and it’s a 40+ year old cold case based in Australia – it’s NUTS). Monster; the Zodiac Killer, Unravel (another Australian one), This Sounds Serious, Sworn, Sword and Scale, Heaven’s Gate, Casefile and Australian True Crime.

    • Thank you!!!!

    • Deb says 2.8.19

      The Teacher’s Pet was excellent and I also love Casefile (great to hear about crime in other countries).
      Casefile is such a great crime podcast – well researched and very entertaining. That was the first crime podcast I listened to and the one I make sure I catch up on every week.

  11. Kevin Smith says 2.7.19

    Good list, but leaving Casefile off is egregious. There are some on here that I’ll have to check out. Thanks for compiling and sharing.

  12. Danielle says 2.7.19

    CRIME JUNKIE!

  13. Natalie says 2.7.19

    I love You Must Remember This! It isn’t all True Crime but does have some true crime seasons. I also prefer And That’s Why We Drink over My Favorite Murder – similar premise (two friends gabbing over murder – with the addition of paranormal) but I feel like the do a much better job a researching.

  14. Lindsey says 2.7.19

    This is awesome! I have listened to a lot of these but I’m super intrigued by Bear Brook and hadn’t heard of it.

    I have to add Teacher’s Pet to this list. It’s Australian (and on-going) and it’s INSANE. Basically, the podcast has gotten authorities to actually do something about a 40-year-old murder and also uncovered a lot of other crazy stuff in the process.

    Also seconding whoever else said Crime Junkie! It’s perfect for commutes – 30ish minutes and Ashley and Britt are the cutest. Sometimes I feel like “group hosts” can be a little bit… detached/too jokey (like, these are real people we’re talking about) but they never give that vibe at all.

  15. Karen says 2.7.19

    Thanks for this post. I love true crime (books, movies, shows and now podcasts). I listened to Dirty John (which is also a Bravo series) and Serial Season 1 & 3; you definitely need to check those out. As far as My Favorite Murder, as morbid as this sounds, it is a fun listen. It makes the gruesome stories bearable to listen to. The girls do a good job keepings things light. The one I will suggest that is not on this list is called Crime Junkie Podcast — https://crimejunkiepodcast.com/ Their podcast is similar to My Favorite Murder but less sarcastic. It is now my favorite podcast. Music is quite eerie too.
    Hope you find your true crime podcast obsession.

  16. Don’t forget The Cold podcast. This podcast delves deep into the investigation of the disappearance of Susan Powell, who disappeared from her Utah home one cold and snowy December morning. Her husband, Josh, is the only person of interest in the case. The Cold podcast is thoroughly researched and excellently produced. Currently there are 13 episodes, new episodes are released each Wednesdays.

  17. Kelsey says 2.7.19

    Oh man I have a few more recs:

    – The Dream, about MLMs
    – Gladiator, about Patriots player Aaron Hernandez who was convicted of murder and then committed suicide
    – Cold, about a woman who disappeared and her husband probably did it. Extra points because they have a TON of the husbands audio diaries
    – The Dropout, about Elizabeth Holmes/Theranos. Still good, even if you’ve read the book

  18. Angela says 2.7.19

    Thank you so much for the list! Currently trying to get through Crime Junkie….my all time fave was Up and Vanished Season 1.

  19. A says 2.7.19

    Small Town Murder!!! Comedians who already have a podcast called Crime in Sports but I love Small Town Murder just a little better!

  20. Stephanie says 2.7.19

    Crime Junkie!

  21. Jae says 2.7.19

    Bear Brook sounds so interesting! Thanks for this post — I’ve been looking for a good true crime podcast ever since I listened to Dirty John!
    Jae
    http://www.editedbyjae.com

  22. Mychal says 2.7.19

    Seconding people who said to listen to Gladiator (about Aaron Hernandez and the NFL), The Drop Out (Theranos/Elizabeth Holmes), and Last Seen (Isabella Stuart Gardner museum heist). Gladiator especially.

    Also, it’s just a single podcast episode but The Feather Heist episode of This American Life is about such a weird crime, and it’s fascinating. I ended up reading the book about the crime after I listened to the episode.

  23. sara says 2.7.19

    Small Town Dicks with Yeardley Smith and Zibby Allen. The point of view and stories are fresh for this genre. Stories range from 1-4 episodes. I have listened to season 1 and half of season 2 and have enjoyed every episode.

  24. Annie says 2.7.19

    I second the recommendation for Cold! I vaguely remember hearing about Susan Powell’s story on the news a number of years ago, but had no idea how disturbing her husband’s behavior was (along with other members of his family.) The reporting is very thorough and includes recordings of Josh (the husband) and Josh’s father, making it extra creepy.

  25. Caroline says 2.7.19

    Im loving “Monster: the zodiac killer” at this moment.

  26. Tara says 2.7.19

    Hi Grace

    The K. Ess purple shampoo also made my hair purple! And cannot get it out…thought it was only me! Will be returning to Target for sure (couldn’t DM you on Insta so leaving a note here!)

  27. Emily says 2.7.19

    Check out Someone Knows Something, another CBC podcast. He’s a journalist who investigates Canadian cold cases. Sometimes can be a bit of a let down because he hasn’t solved a case, but he presents you with all the facts and interviews everyone involved skillfully and with a lot of respect. Makes you appreciate that a lot of crimes go unsolved and don’t have a resolution.

  28. Lauren says 2.7.19

    SO surprised no one recommended Crime Junkies. They’re my favorite, as they discuss a different crime each episode.

    • That’s why we have comments! SO many people have said amazing things about that one – can’t wait to listen!!!!

  29. Katie says 2.7.19

    A podcast called COLD by Wondery (which has a become my favorite podcast company/developer/people haha). Wondery also has Dirty John and Dr. Death under their belts as well.

    Cold is about a LDS family in which the wife goes missing but all signs point to the husband and they just can’t charge him. All the background information is fascinating – like how the father in law was in love with her and how she had papers at her work saying look at my husband if something happens to me.

    It’s happening in real time at the moment, even though the case is from 2014 ( I think) and there are very few commercials. No Madison Reed hair coloring or Blue Apron interruptions!

  30. Erin says 2.7.19

    Someone Knows Something from CBC. He covers a different unsolved case (either a missing person or a murder) each season. Usually they are Canadian-based cases, but not always!

  31. Christin says 2.7.19

    I listen to most of those you listed—I’ll have to check out the ones I haven’t heard of!! You must check out True Crime Obsessed, which is hysterical, and Crime Junkie—the hosts have such soothing voices and are great storytellers!

  32. Abby says 2.8.19

    I’m shocked that Casefile didn’t get any comments – it’s by far my favorite true crime podcast and I listen to most of these on the list!

  33. Stefanie Pappalardo says 2.8.19

    Hello, you really need to listen to True Crime Obsessed. It’s the best!!!

  34. Beth Fuller says 2.9.19

    Criminal Broads! Well-researched and well told. A thoroughly outstanding and engaging podcast!!

  35. Courtney says 2.20.19

    Last Podcast on the Left is one of my FAVORITES! I will caution that it’s even less family friendly than the others on the list. I’d give it a skip if you want something clean–they swear wildly and make a ton of jokes about sex, etc. That being said, it’s incredibly well-researched and informative. They strike a pretty good balance between treating topics with the seriousness they deserve and injecting a little humor & levity into them.