Our love of true crime started around the same time as the release of popular Serial podcast, first released in October 2014 and now into its third series. The podcast hosted by investigative journalist, Sarah Koenig, follows the true story of Hae Min Lee’s disappearance and murder, the same murder her ex-boyfriend was then convicted of despite claiming to be innocent throughout.
Serial shot to popularity and in its aftermath, the true crime genre within the podcast world suddenly exploded and not just in terms of providing us with entertainment or satisfying curiosity. It also served as a credit for reopening long abandoned cases as has been the case with The Teacher’s Pet. The case the podcast is based upon was announced to be reopened by Australian police following popularity of the podcast and the issues raised in its release. The case in question is that of a missing persons investigation dating back to 1982 following the disappearance of suburban Sydney housewife, Lynette Dawson. Her body was never recovered and her husband has long been suspected of her murder despite his insistence that she’d run away to join a religious sect. Questions were raised about his version of events when two inquests concluded Dawson must have been killed by a ‘known person’.
It’s easy to get lost down a (very deep) rabbit hole of conspiracy theories and revisiting old criminal cases and with an abundance of true crime podcasts now available, it can be hard to keep track of those worth listening to first. We did some deep-dive investigation of our own to bring you the best of true crime podcasts currently available.
These are the eight you should add to your podcast queue next. For once, you won’t want your commute to come to an end.
Author Peter Jukes follows the murder of Private Investigator, Daniel Morgan, in Sydenham pub car park in 1987, one of Britain’s most investigated homicides. Through the ten part series Jukes, with the aid of the victim’s brother, Alistair, “moves from back streets of London, through the highest echelons of Scotland’s Yard, to the offices of Rupert Murdoch’s bestselling newspapers, to the doors of No. 10 Downing Street.”
You’ll be hooked in no time.
Season one of Crimetown explores the unexpectedly, Godfather-esque saga of alliances, betrayals, heists and mobsters in the otherwise, sleepy New England town of Providence, Rhode Island. Season two, released at the start of October heads to the heart of the rust belt, Detroit, Michigan, a town that has weathered riots, drug epidemics and political scandal and dealt with issues such as race, poverty, policing, war on drugs and many other hardships.
The people of Detroit have many a criminal story to tell and we’re more than ready to sit back and listen.
Sword and Scale
Sword and Scale isn’t for the lighthearted in its unflinching approach to revealing dark details. This bi-weekly podcast, hosted by Mike Boudet, uses a variation of mixed media to bring its tales to life. The show sparked controversy when they published – without permission – an audio tape of a 14-year-old reporting the murder of his mother to the police.
As their tagline explains, this is the show that reveals that “the worst monsters are real.”
For once a story originating closer to home isn’t that of comfort in this true crime podcast hosted by journalist Sam Bungey and producer Jennifer Forde. Together they try to solve the brutal murder of Sophia Toscan du Planteir who was found murdered on the edge of her property in Ireland, days before Christmas in 1996. Turns out, this was only the beginning of this criminal tale.
My Favourite Murder
In a slightly more lighthearted setting (as lighthearted as discussing criminal cases can be) My Favourite Murder, hosted by two friends, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark plus the occasional appearance from cat Elvis, is described by its hosts as a form of therapy for them and their fans (nicknamed Murderinos) to bond over their anxieties about the crimes up for discussion that week. In terms of format the podcast starts with hosts checking in with the latest news in the true crime world and checking in with one another before getting right to the good stuff where the pair break down their favourite murder stories that week. Certainly more conversational as opposed to intense investigation but doesn’t overstep boundaries of insensitivities to those involved.
Criminal is a true crime podcast that ticks all of the boxes – offers variety, a no-nonsense, straight-forward approach and takes you beyond the police reports and headlines – perfect for those who only have time for one podcast. Each episode offers a quick rundown of certain crimes as opposed to a deep-dive series dedicated entirely to one case. Hosted by Phoebe Judge, Criminal trades “the stories of people who’ve done wrong, been wronged or got caught somewhere in the middle.”
Combining our love for pop culture, music and true crime, Disgraceland, is perfect for those into the true crime that goes down behind closed doors in Hollywood, exploring some of the most famous crimes associated with some of the most famous names in the music world. Episodes include focus on Marvin Gaye’s murder at the hands of his own father and apparently host, Jake Brennan knows what really went down between Biggie and Tupac.
With technology gaining more and more of a hold over our lives we couldn’t avoid mentioning Darknet Diaries. While Black Mirror predicted what technology may be capable of in the future, this podcast explores the cyber crimes happening right now, right under our noses. Possibly hitting a little too close to home, if you weren’t paranoid about ‘Big Brother watching’ before, you will be now.