Listening to These True Crime Podcasts Will Make You Feel Like a Detective
Solve the case with these true crime podcasts!
You can't browse through Netflix or Hulu these days without coming across a true crime documentary or series. As a genre, it's more popular than ever and only getting more popular to the point that the TV channel Oxygen rebranded in 2017 to devote its programming lineup to true crime. Along with TV shows, books, and documentaries, podcasts are among the media that has seen a spike in true crime.
What is it about true crime that attracts so much interest? Clinical psychologist Krista Jordan, PhD, explained it to Health. Basically, it's the "shock value that attracts you [to true crime], when you've seen something you've never seen before or you hear something you don't hear about very often." It's similar to the way people tend to gawp at a car crash when they drive by. It makes sense that true crime has only become more popular as time passes.
Because of this, listeners are gifted with more and more high quality podcasts to listen to. Here are 10 fantastic podcasts to check out today!
1. Jensen & Holes: The Murder Squad
One of the best true crime podcasts on the air, The Murder Squad features retired cold case investigator Paul Holes and investigative journalist Billy Jensen. The show features unsolved cases that they attempt to shed light on. One interesting aspect of the show is that they ask for audience (i.e. the murder squad) help solving the case through crowdsourcing.
Swindled's episodes rarely contain brutal murders and grisly rapes. It's a true crime podcast that's a little different, instead focusing on white collar crimes like Ponzi schemes, embezzlement, and corporate negligence. The host, who goes by the moniker "A Concerned Citizen," perfectly delivers with his dry, sarcastic humor that never fails to get an emotional response from the listener.
3. Monster: DC Sniper
The third season in the Monster series (the previous seasons focused on the Atlanta Child Murders and the Zodiac Killer), is a great addition to the true crime genre. Over the span of fifteen episodes, host Tony Harris delves into the crimes of John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, weaving together a story that is so much more than a cut and dry serial murder.
If you want a break from the more traditional true crime podcast (i.e. often bloody and gruesome), then Criminal is the perfect reprieve. Criminal is an anthology series that covers crimes from Venus Flytrap criminal rings in North Carolina to the "Ghostbusters ruling" of a haunted house in New York. Each episode is both interesting and refreshing and definitely worth checking out.
Parcast's Cults is all about - you guessed it - cults! Hosted by Greg Polcyn and Vanessa Richardson, the podcast is an in-depth look at both the history and psychology of cults. They cover everything from well known cults like David Koresh's Branch Davidians and NXIVM to lesser known cults like the Chicago Rippers and the Rama cult. It's a fascinating look into an often misunderstood issue.
6. The Dating Game Killer
In 1978, Rodney Alcala was a contestant on the popular game show The Dating Game. He was also a serial killer and rapist, ultimately getting the death penalty after being convicted of five murders. The Dating Game Killer podcast looks into Alcala's life and crimes he was subsequently convicted of.
7. True Crime Garage
Each week, Nic and the Captain share a beer and an interesting true crime case (and two new episodes each week), typically told over two or four episodes. They cover a wide variety of cases, including well known true crimes like those of the BTK Killer or the murder of JonBenet Ramsy. Lately, they've been focusing a lot on bringing cold cases to light.
8. Son of a Hitman
Hosted by Jason Cavanagh, Son of a Hitman is a ten-part podcast detailing the life and crimes of hitman Charles Harrelson, father of actor Woody Harrelson. The podcast contains interviews with the Harrelson family, including Woody's brothers. Harrelson was connected to at least three murders and claimed to have been involved in JFK's assassination. Pretty wild, huh?
9. Generation Why
Around since 2012, Generation Why is a top-rated podcast hosted by BFFs Aaron Habel and Justin Evans, basically pioneering the true crime podcast. On the show, they break down both popular crimes and lesser known cases, offering insightful analysis. With nearly a decade of podcasting under their belts, the hosts put out an enjoyable, if grim, show.
10. The Clearing
In 2009, 40 year old April Balascio called a detective and told them about her longtime suspicions: that her father, Edward Wayne Edwards, was a serial killer. From there, he was arrested and convicted in multiple murders. The Clearing is the tale of April's childhood and the truth behind her father's crimes.
Let's Keep the Conversation Going
What is your favorite true crime podcast?