I’m a sucker for audiobooks and podcasts. They’re an easy, free way to keep my mind occupied while doing mindless chores or on the commute to work – they add a little spice to the mundane, if you will. While I like to mix it up and enjoy everything from Armchair Expert episodes to cheesy romance audio novels from the library, nothing has a hold on my heart, or my ears, like a good true crime story. Call me crazy, but morbid curiosity gets the best of me! It tickles my soul when I meet another person who digs it like I do, so I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorites for anyone that wants to dip their toes in the deep, dark water of true crime podcasts.
Serial – Serial is the podcast that started me down a rabbit hole. The host dives into the murder of high school student Hae Lee and the resulting conviction of her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed. His conviction was almost entirely based on the extremely sketchy testimony of one of his friends. Almost 20 years later and still in prison, Adnan denies any involvement in the crime. Did he or didn’t he? Subsequent seasons have since been released, with each focusing on a different investigation.
S-Town – John McLemore is a unique, colorful character who contacts the people at This American Life regarding a murder in his hometown – “Shit-town,” Alabama. He and the producer grow close over the investigation and keep in contact, despite the eventual discovery that no murder ever really took place. While the podcast was still in production, John committed suicide and the rest of the series is spent looking into his life and the aftermath of his death.
Root of Evil – What starts out focusing on the horrific murder of Elizabeth Short, also known as the Black Dahlia, ends up diving deep into the seriously messed-up family history of the case’s biggest suspect, Dr. George Hodel. The eight-part series is hosted by his great-granddaughters with appearances by other family members. This is the companion podcast to the TNT show I Am the Night.
Dr. Death – This series is the story of neurosurgeon Dr. Duntsch. He was highly regarded in his field for reasons unbeknownst to anyone who actually tried to do any research on him – and his victims were his trusting patients. This one really made me nervous about ever trusting anyone to operate on me!
My Favorite Murder – While the rest of my recommendations spend the entire series or at least a full season dedicated to one specific crime, this series spends each episode talking about a different story, which is great for those that want to skip around or not have to start from the very beginning. It’s hosted by two female comedians (with very colorful language) and the show has a cult following that call themselves “Murderinos.” In the words of the hosts, stay sexy and don’t get murdered!
I’m continually adding new series to my queue in all genres and love recommendations – now tell me, what are some of your must-listen podcasts?