A Beginner’s Guide to True Crime Podcasts

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I often overhear moms talking at baseball games or other gatherings asking each other for book recommendations. More and more lately, I’ve heard it asked, “do you ever listen to any podcasts?

Do. I. ever.

I’m a voracious podcast consumer. We’re talking about several hours a day that I’m listening. Here is a simple starter list if you’d like to dip your toe in the water of the popular world of true crime podcasts. Don’t be scared, it’ll be like Dateline for your ears!

Noticeably missing from the following list is Serial. It’s the podcast that started it all for this genre so if you somehow haven’t listed to it yet, start there—and ASAP.

New podcasts are popping up all the time, but here are a few I consider classics and easy listens:

  • Criminal: This is a true crime podcast you can skip around with as the episodes don’t relate to each other. The subject matter varies, but it covers crime in a very non-traditional way. You almost have to listen to see what I mean. Host Phoebe Judge’s voice is smooth like butta, plus the episodes are short enough that you can usually sneak one in during a commute to work.
  • Up and Vanished: This case is B-A-N-A-N-A-S. It tells the story of a missing beauty queen from a small town and the investigation running throughout the podcast actually leads to a HUGE break in the case, which is still currently ongoing through the courts. Be sure to start at the beginning so you can get the full story.
  • Dirty John: There actually was a Dateline episode about this case after the podcast dropped. It’s almost unbelievable if it were to be fiction. You will fly through these episodes and not believe your ears!
  • Casefile: Who doesn’t love an Australian accent? The anonymous host of this show releases about three episodes a month that cover crimes you’ve likely never heard of.
  • Dr. Death: This is the sad but true story of one surgeon and his patients (actually, victims!) Even if you’re not normally into the medical field as a subject matter, you will want to binge this one and it will certainly leave you shaking your head.
  • Crime Junkie: This is basically two women chatting about a new case each week. It’s easy to love because the hosts are so relatable.
  • Accused: Season one of Accused was one of the first podcasts I ever listened to, and the case, while an older one, is compelling and masterfully told. 

true crime podcastNext level recommendations:

  • In the Dark: I majored in journalism in college so I feel confident in saying this is one of the best pieces of investigative reporting EVER. The Curtis Flowers case was reviewed by SCOTUS and his verdict overturned! It’s important, educational, emotional—all the things. Listen now!
  • Believed: This podcast is a collection of personal stories of the survivors of abuse by Larry Nassar, Olympic gymnastics doctor. It’s a heavy topic, but a hugely relevant story that they weave together and one that all moms should hear. There’s also a documentary about this available on HBO.
  • The Shrink Next Door: Trust me on this one. It’s the most twisty, unexpected story you’ve ever heard and will ever hear. Proof that sometimes fact is stranger than fiction! 
  • Breakdown: This host has such southern charm. There are multiple seasons, all featuring deep dives into cases you likely do remember reading out in the news at one point, such as **(dad who left kid in car)
  • Broken Harts: I don’t want to give away much about this one, but it’s relatively new and it’s a sad story about the life and times in which we live.
  • Truth & Justice: This is not the best produced podcast in the world, but his podcast journey started with the host on a microphone talking about his opinions of each Serial episode and it has evolved into many additional seasons where he asks for listeners to help him on a crowd-sourced search for the truth.
  • Someone Knows Something: Canadians have a reputation for really flowery storytelling and these seasons of podcasts are no exception.
  • This Sounds Serious: True crime podcast veterans will appreciate the satire, but it’s still a funny and enjoyable narrative for newbies.

There are so many podcast platforms on which to listen – just type in one of these titles into your internet browser and go from there! I make time to listen a lot at work, in the car, and while I’m doing my chores after kids’ bedtimes (helps pass the time while picking up Legos, that’s for sure)! When the weather is nice, podcasts keep me company when I go for a walk. 

If you’re looking to go all-in like me and listen on-the-go and with comfort and ease, I recommend headphones like these. My husband uses them nonstop, too (super early stocking stuffer idea alert)!

There are so many to choose from, but what are your favorites?
Do you have any podcasts you think are missing from this list?

1 COMMENT

  1. Cold is another good one! Its the story about Susan Powell’s disappearance. They just came out with a documentary on it on hulu. My favorite murder is a good one as well. I loved Dr Death Dirty John and Crime junkie and need to add these other ones to my list!!

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