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A definitive countdown of the best true crime podcasts

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WHETHER you’re cleaning the house, out for a run, or scouting the perfect place to hide a body, there’s no better way to pass the time than listening to a gripping true crime podcast.

We’ve leafed through the Apple Podcasts directory in search of the best true crime podcasts available right now. Here are some to tide you over for a spell.

For this list in particular, we’ve focused on episodic true crime shows, where the host delves into a new crime with each new installment.

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Mafia

Mafia is a podcast dedicated to America’s underworld – the lives of mafia bosses and those that worked to bring them down. So far, Mafia has explored the lives of Sam Giancana, Charles “Lucky” Luciano, and John Gotti, and promises to deliver upcoming episodes on Donnie Brasco, Bugsy Siegel, and Dutch Schultz. Mafia is comprehensive and presents the stories in a way that lets the extraordinary lives of the mob bosses do all of the work.

Mafia comes in at number 70 as one of our picks for the best true crime podcasts. 

 

Missing in America

What if you were the key to solving a missing person case?  Missing in America tells a new missing person story with the hope of helping listeners track them down.  There, the hosts take turns telling nuanced, heartwrenching stories from the point of view of those impacted most. This personal element reminds listeners of the human toll behind these gruesome tales of crime, murder, and punishment. The series is produced by Dateline and hosted by correspondents Andrea Canning and Josh Mankiewicz.

Missing in America comes in at number 69 as one of our picks for the best true crime podcasts.

Crooked City: Youngstown, Ohio

One might hear a name like Youngstown, Ohio, and picture a quiet middle-American suburb where nothing notable occurs. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Jokingly called Crimetown USA, Youngstown was home to long-running mafia wars, illegal gambling, and rampant political corruption. However, when Jim Traficant became the city’s eight-term mayor, everything beneath the surface came to life. In Crooked City: Youngstown, Ohio, Marc Smerling dives into the seedy underbelly of local politics and how many moving parts can lead to such a corrupt system. 

Crooked City: Youngstown, Ohio comes in at number 68 as one of our picks for the best true crime podcasts.

911 Calls Podcast with The Operator

911 Calls offer a pulse-pounding glimpse into the mind of the people who make them. The Operator dives into new calls every week, one harrowing, one with a happy ending. The host looks at one of the most high-stakes jobs with a thrilling rundown from the caller and operator’s point of view.

911 Calls comes in at number 67 as one of our picks for the best true crime podcasts.

 

Embedded

NPR’s Embedded takes a deep dive into the world’s biggest headlines, exploring the reasons, roots, and steps of the world’s worst injustices. From modern political discourse to the history of police shootings on video, Kelly McEvers is less focused on the human interest of strange cases and more interested in exploring the machinery behind the system. Most recently, this show digs into the class and race dialogues of The World Cup. 

Embedded comes in at number 66 as one of our picks for the best true crime podcasts.

The Firm

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made waves when they spoke about their treatment by the mysterious Firm. With Empire’s The Firm, viewers get an inside look at the power behind the Crown, and how they shape the myths behind the royal family’s public-facing perception. The result is a story of passion, deception, love, hatred, and bad blood between the most recognizable family on earth. 

The Firm comes in at number 65 as one of our picks for the best true crime podcasts.

Scamfluencers

The internet spawned a new way for grifters to unleash their lies into the world. Now, hosts Scaachie Soul and Sarah Hagi tell the stories behind major cyber grifts in social media, e-commerce, health, finance, and fashion. Scamfluencers bridges the gap between the classic grifts of yesteryear, and each new episode explains how the grifting world took advantage of an ever-connected world.

Scamfluencers comes in at number 64 as one of our picks for the best true crime podcasts.

Empty Frames

Empty Frames presents the story of one of the greatest art heist mysteries in modern history. Presenters Tim Pilleri and Lance Reenstierna uncover the theories behind who stole 13 pieces of artwork, with a combined estimated value of $500 million, from the Isabella Stewart Garner Museum in Boston in March 1990. With the first episode released on 6 February 2018, Empty Frames is an intriguing mash-up of the true crime and society and culture genres that is worth a listen. While the first episode is presented as though listeners have some assumed knowledge of the theft, don’t let this dissuade you – the second episode lays the groundwork for what is shaping up to be a thoroughly researched and fascinating pod.

Empty Frames comes in at number 63 as one of our picks for the best true crime podcasts.

The Evaporated

As true crimes go, making yourself disappear has to be the most unusual. One day, journalist Jake Adelstein discovers his accountant has vanished without a trace. Adelstein enlists journalist Shoko Plambeck to help him explore the johatsu, or “evaporated people,” in The Evaporated: Gone With The Gods. You’ll find out about the “night movers,” the incentives for vanishing, why this happens the way it does in Japan, and what it takes to disappear.

The Evaporated comes in at number 62 on our list of the best true crime podcasts. 

Reveal

Please, do your ears and your mind a favour. You won’t necessarily find murders and serial killers if you tune in here, but you will tap into some compelling tales of deceit, corruption and holding the powerful to account. Reveal is a prominent platform for seasoned reporters to share their findings and offers a neat bundle of crafted storytelling, skillful journalism and some of the most intriguing podcast yarns ever told. To get a really quick sense for whether you’ll like the podcast or not, take a listen to a few of the more recently published episodes. Fair warning: Many of them can be confronting to listen to, but if you’re into real-world journalism that invests meaningful investigative resources to support its storytelling, then you’ll love it. Plus, all the goodness is wrapped up in a glossy layer of top-quality production that comes from the co-production with PRX.

Reveal comes in at number 61 on our list of best true crime podcasts. 

The Minds of Madness

The Minds of Madness — True Crime Stories podcast featured highly in our list of top criminal podcasts, and for a good reason. The show explores the psyche behind the people who commit heinous crimes, mostly to the people they know and love, and tries to dig into the why as much as the how. Winner of the Canadian Podcast Awards for Outstanding Sound, News, Series Debut, Main Title Music and the People’s Choice Award, this show is a must-listen for seasoned veterans and newcomers to the true-crime podcast world.

The Minds of Madness – True Crime Stories comes in at number 60 on our list of best true crime podcasts. 

Court Junkie

It’s no surprise Court Junkie also features highly on our list of top criminal podcasts. The highly-rated show looks forensically at some of the most vexed cases of true crime in American history. From Ohio’s youngest death row inmate to a father-of-the-year turned accused murderer, the Court Junkie team has a special focus on contentious cases where the guilt or innocence of the person standing trial is in question.

Court Junkie comes in at number 59 on our list of best true crime podcasts. 

 

True Crime All The Time

True Crime All The Time could be your next listening gem. Two American hosts discuss and tell the stories of an endless list of some of the world’s most heinous true crimes. Peppered with levity (which seems to work), the hosts manage to take the edge off some pretty somber subject matter. The style isn’t investigative nor deeply probing (if that’s what you’re looking for, this won’t be for you), but the hosts share a chemistry and a knack for yarn-spinning that makes it all-and-all pretty great. My listening advice would be to earmark the show for when you’re hankering for a light-and-easy dose of crime instead of an all-out head-bender.

True Crime All The Time comes in at number 58 on our list of best true crime podcasts. 

 

Canadian True Crime

Kristi Lee, the host of Canadian True Crimeis an Aussie expat living in Canada. With a palpable passion for her new homeland and its people, Lee has composed a small body of true crime work that deserves many commendations. The genuine compassion she demonstrates for the victims of the crimes she narrates gives Lee a unique differentiator as a crime host and we hope she continues to build out her burgeoning collection of Canadian true crime tales.

Canadian True Crime comes in at number 57 on our list of best true crime podcasts. 

 

Australian True Crime

Aussie comedian, radio host and TV presenter Meshel Laurie hosts Australian True Crime with fellow podcaster and friend, Emily Webb. As the name of the show suggests, Laurie and Webb focus predominantly on local Aussie crimes, covering a range of topics from corruption-led-murder in New South Wales in the 1980s to the crimes emanating out of the Calabrian Mafia’s stranglehold over the small farming town of Griffith. As is expected of a seasoned radio broadcaster (in Laurie), the episodes are brilliantly told and the production quality is superb. Best of all, there are untold gems of history, society and Australiana buried throughout this catalogue of Aussie true crime.

Australian True Crime comes in at number 56 on our list of best true crime podcasts. 

 

The Vanished Podcast

The Vanished Podcast will have you enthralled without a doubt. The host has great control over the narrative of her subject matter and does a fabulous job of delivering her findings to the listener. As the name suggests, the episodes focus primarily on missing person stories and the host does a fantastic job of finding people connected to the crimes, like family and friends, to get their incredible insights.

The Vanished Podcast comes in at number 55 on our list of best true crime podcasts. 

 

True Crime Garage

From the murder of a 53-year-old woman in Ohio to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, Nic and the Captain leave no crime unturned on True Crime GarageSampling craft beers from all over the world as they narrate their crime tales, the show is one of the more ebullient crime podcasts on Apple Podcasts and makes for easy listening. With a focus on the crimes, the victims, and the criminals who commit them (the likes of Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, OJ Simpson, and hundreds more), if you want your true crime served with a pint of obscure beer, this one’s for you.

True Crime Garage comes in at number 54 on our list of best true crime podcasts. 

 

Small Town Murder

Hosts James Pietragallo and Jimmie Whisman (who also host the Crime in Sports podcast, also featured in this list) go deep on the crimes committed in small towns across America. From a quadruple murder in Sarah, Mississippi to a trio of bodies found charred in a burnt-out car in Manistique, Michigan, Small Town Murder is the perfect blend of goofy comedy and gritty crime.

Small Town Murder comes in at number 53 on our list of best true crime podcasts. 

Crimelines

You know you’re going to love a true crime podcast when one of the first episodes you land on is about the slaughter of the Clutter family in 1959, made infamous by Truman Capote’s 1966 groundbreaking nonfiction novel, In Cold Blood. The hosts of Crimelines, Ali and Charlie, have together covered dozens of true crimes since the show’s launch in early 2016, from the missing Beaumont children to the disappearance of William Tyrrell.

Crimelines comes in at number 52 on our list of best true crime podcasts. 

 

UK True Crime Podcast

If you love true crime podcasts but get a bit creeped out listening, UK True Crime Podcast might just be in your sweet spot. The show lacks a bit of production polish, and the host doesn’t exactly have Walt Disney’s knack for storytelling, but the episodes are engaging and not as dark as others in the genre. Bottom line: If it’s the mystery and the rich and dark investigative “who dunnit” storytelling that rocks your crime-listening boat, this won’t scratch your itch, but if you’re just looking for some easy listening true crime tales, this one’s for you.

UK True Crime Podcast comes in at number 51 on our list of best true crime podcasts. 

 

They Walk Among Us

They Walk Among Us is one of the few podcasts included in this list from the UK and is a catalogue of episodic true crime with a British focus. Told by a narrator with the perfect voice for delivering his chilling subject matter (you’ll know what I mean when you start listening), you’re bound to find episodes that win over your attention. A good place to start is Season 2 – Episode 8, an instalment about the life and crimes of the very troubled Stephen Farrow. The podcast has won a British Podcast Award for best true crime podcast and a Lovie Award for best entertainment podcast.

They Walk Among Us comes in at number 50 on our list of best true crime podcasts. 

 

Already Gone Podcast — True Crime

Want well-told true crime podcast episodes pleasantly narrated for easy and engaging listening? The Already Gone Podcast — True Crime is probably what you’re looking for. An American host tells her tales with great pace, interjecting important details with skilful timing to build the tension and intrigue of each story. Expansive but interesting detail is given of the backgrounds of countless victims and perpetrators, which helps to personify what would otherwise be near-storybook characters. If you’re in the mood to be enthralled but not petrified by your next dose of true crime, give the latest few episodes a good listening over.

Already Gone comes in at number 49 on our list of best true crime podcasts. 

 

Trace Evidence

The great power of the show comes from the broadcasting ability of host, Steven Pacheco, who deserves praise as a fine independent storyteller. Focussing primarily on missing persons cases and unsolved crime mysteries, if you’re new to the true crime genre, or you’re returning for a new dose, you won’t go wrong exploring Pacheco’s work on Trace Evidence.

Trace Evidence comes in at number 48 on our list of best true crime podcasts. 

 

True Crime Historian

The unique oratory stylings of Richard O. Jones inevitably grows on you as you delve further into the True Crime Historian back catalogue. Speaking with a deep American drawl, Jones tells tales of crime and woe of the long past with a great matter-of-factness and knows how to deliver a good line. The true richness of this podcast come from the straightforward storytelling mastery that Jones commands, and you’ll turn dreary work commutes and gut-busting gym sessions into wild adventures if you tune in here.

True Crime Historian comes in at number 47 on our list of best true crime podcasts. 

Pretty Scary

Listen to the first two minutes of Pretty Scary and tell me one of the host’s voices doesn’t belong to Jack Black (it’s not really, I checked). If you like your true crime told seriously, with the appropriate mood and tone, this show won’t float your boat. Hosted by comics who share laughs and inject casual snippets of kinda irrelevant conversation amongst the crime stories they tell. If you prefer your true crime told in a lighter, less formal way there’s a good chance you’ll really enjoy Pretty Scary (it works really well as an in-the-background podcast).

Pretty Scary comes in at number 46 on our list of best true crime podcasts. 

 

True Crime Couple

Kay tells her husband, John, about true crime cases so he can react with the audience. True Crime Couple digs up stories like the brutal death of an Amish woman at the hands of her husband, a brilliant military doctor pursued over the slaying of his young family on a US Army base, or The Secret Service tracking down a notorious money counterfeiter only to find his criminal deeds are far more sinister than expected.

True Crime Couple comes in at number 45 on our list of best true crime podcasts. 

 

Dark Topic: A True Crime Podcast

With his growing popularity in the US, Jack Luna looms as a true crime host to watch over the coming years. His show Dark Topic: A True Crime Podcast is impeccably moody and his gloomy delivery draws you into the worlds he depicts, of murder and sorrow. If you’re new to true crime you might find this style dark and somewhat peculiar, but what can’t be denied is Luna’s spooky and gripping storytelling demeanour, which eventually draws you in even as you try and resist.

Dark Topic: A True Crime Podcast comes in at number 44 on our list of best true crime podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

 

Small Town Dicks

Small Town Dicks is definitely worth your time. Two hosts, two detectives, unlimited crime. Yeardley Smith and Zibby Allen, two friends fascinated by true crime, sit down every week to discuss and hear real stories of assault, robbery, murder, burglary, sexual abuse and child abuse, from their friends, Dan and Dave, who are detectives in “Small Town, USA”.

Small Town Dicks comes in at number 44 on our list of best true crime podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

 

Curiosity Kills

In Curiosity Killstwo American hosts laugh and swear their way through weird, wicked and wacky stories of true crime you have to hear to believe. The show is different to most in the genre, but we ultimately added for one simple reason: You might just absolutely love it! To find out whether you’ll dig it, we suggest you listen to Episode 55 — Jimmy Hysell & The Murder of Samantha Burns.

Curiosity Kills comes in at number 43 on our list of best true crime podcasts. 

 

And That’s Why We Drink

A very fun podcast about paranormal activity and true crime, And That’s Why We Drink takes some very scary and serious subject matter and sprinkles it with light-hearted banter. This is a great pod to get into if you want to continue to consume true crime, but need a break from the super serious. Hosts, Em and Christine are approaching their 300th epidose and at about an hour and a half each, there is so much material (and wine) to enjoy!

And That’s Why We Drink comes in at number 42 as one of our countdown of top interesting podcasts. 

 

The Clearing

Yet another hit for Pineapple Street Media and Gimlet, The Clearing tells the unbelievable story of how April Balascio realised, at the age of 40, that her father was a murderer and her decision to report him to authorities. With the help of Josh Dean, April trawls back through her memories to uncover her father’s secrets. The Clearing is told over the course of captivating eight, 45-ish minutes episodes.

The Clearing comes in at number 41 on our list of best true crime podcasts. 

 

Dirty John

An exceptional true-crime story of deception, seduction, stupidity and survival that masterfully leaves the listener wondering, who done what to whom? until the last episode in the six part series. Presented by the Los Angeles Times and hosted by journalist, Christopher Goffard, Dirty John is a captivating true story of Debra Newell’s ill-fated brief marriage to John Meehan.  Fans of hosts staying out of the story will love this podcast.  Goffard resists the urge to inform listeners of his views and leaves the story to be told predominantly by Debra Newell and two of her daughters, Jacqueline and Tarra.

Dirty John comes in at number 40 in our list of best true crime podcasts. 

 

Women and Crime

Presented by Dr Meghan Sacks and Dr Amy Shlosberg, two experienced criminologists, Women & Crime gets down and dirty about all female-related crime matters. The show addresses female criminals and female victims – all tales dripping with tragedy and desparation. Drs Sacks and Shlosberg also look at the criminal justice system more generally and look at its gendered aspects and the female experience in that system. The most gut-wrenching of all of the stories told are those of wrongful convictions. Women & Crime is an interesting and valuable contribution to the true-crime podcast landscape.

Women & Crime comes in at number 39 as one of our countdown of best true crime podcasts. 

 

Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom

Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom is, as it’s title suggests, a podcast about the tragedy of wrongful convictions and the victory of subsequent acquittals. The pod is substantially interview based giving voice to those who tirelessly toil for wrongful convictions to be set aside – an undoubtedly arduous and all-consuming task. Most importantly, the stories told in this podcast are inspiring and a cause for hope despite the critical flaws their cases highlight in the criminal justice system.

Wrongful Conviction comes in at number 38 on our list of best true crime podcasts. 

 

WHO THE HELL IS HAMISH?

Presented by The Australian newspaper (Australia’s nation-wide broadsheet), Who the Hell is Hamish? is the story of Hamish Watson, an international con man who has left a trail of financial devastation in the USA, Canada, the UK, Hong Kong and finally Australia. The overriding questions sought to be answered in the series are whether he actually did all that he is alleged to have done, how did he get away with it for so long and, where the hell is all the money?

Who the Hell is Hamish? comes in at number 37 as one of our countdown of top interesting podcasts. 

 

Welcome to Your Fantasy

Produced by podcasters who know what they’re doing, Pineapple Street Studios and Gimlet, Welcome to Your Fantasy is a thoroughly engrossing 9-part original series about Chippendales. For the unacquainted, Chippendales is an all dance/strip-tease troupe established in 1979. Bow tie, collar and shirt cuffs (without the other elements of a shirt to make it so) should be coming to your mind. Unsurprisingly, there is a dark side to Chippendales origin story and Welcome to Your Fantasy tells it brilliantly. Drugs, corruption, assault, murder, suicide – this story has it all.

Welcome to Your Fantasy comes in at number 36 on our list of best true crime podcasts. 

 

The Trail Went Cold

The Trail Went Cold is a true crime pod dedicated to unsolved mysteries. Host, Robin Warder lives and breathes true crime and his passion for it is on impressive display in the pod. The back catalouge is substantial and the range of cold cases addressed is expansive, with international cases often explored.

The Trail Went Cold comes in at number 35 on our list of best true crime podcasts. 

 

Tom Brown’s Body

Tom Brown’s Body is a story about the disappearance of a much-loved high school senior interwoven with a tale about a small town in Texas, USA. Everyone is a suspect. Even one of the people charged with investigating the disappearance! Distrust and suspicion permeate the town which consists of under 3,000 people, only exacerbated by the discovery of reains two years after Tom disappeared. Unease remains as there have still been no arrests made. Journalist Skip Hollandsworth asks and seeks to answer in this compelling 8-part series, how can that be?

Tom Brown’s Body comes in at number 34 on our list of best true crime podcasts. 

 

The Teacher's Pet

Lyn Dawson has been missing for almost four decades. Two State Coroners reached the view that she is deceased. There has only ever been one suspect, Lyn Dawson’s husband, Chris Dawson. Within days of Lyn Dawson’s disappearance, Chris Dawson’s teenage lover was instilled to fill the hole left by Lyn. The Teacher’s Pet brought so much attention to the case that Chris Dawson was, for the first time, charged in connection with her disappearance. All of the shocking facts are laid bare in this captivating Australian true-crime pod that is also presently playing out in the Court’s.

The Teacher’s Pet comes in at number 33 on our list of best true crime podcasts. 

 

24. Swindled

While this podcast falls into the true crime genre, it is refreshingly specific, telling true tales of white collar crime. Since its release in January 2018, Swindled is building an impressive back catalogue of haunting accounts of corruption, fraud and embezzlement all with devastating consequences. Each episode of Swindled reminds listeners of how easy it is for innocent schemes to snowball into complex crimes.

Swindled comes in at number 24 as one of our countdown of top interesting podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

 

23. Son of a Hitman

The Spotify smash hit, Son Of A Hitman explores, over 10 episodes, the murders of 3 people including a US District Judge in 1979 with an alleged connection to Charles Harrelson, the father of actor, Woody Harrelson. Discussion of conspiracy theories are interspersed with details of the inconsistent case theory pursued by authorities and the largely circumstantial evidence relied on in this tale of this infamous ‘hitman’s’ activities. While Woody Harrelson doesn’t participate in the series, members of his family are interviewed and address the questions they have about Harrelson’s guilt.

Son of a Hitman comes in at number 23 as one of our countdown of top interesting podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

 

22. Root of Evil

The Root of Evil is an eight episode pod dedicated to investigating the Black Dahlia murder and the man suspected of committing it, George Hodel. It’s a murder for history buffs that takes listeners back to 1947 when Elizabeth Short (aka Black Dhalia) was killed. After Hodel’s death in 1999, his son (a former homicide detective with the Los Angeles County Police Department, no less) discovers information that leads him to believe that his father committed the murder. The podcast is unique because it is hosted by Hodel’s great-granddaughts who interview various family members to peel back the family’s uncomfortable history.

Root of Evil comes in at number 22 as one of our countdown of top interesting podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

 

21. Real Crime Profile

Jim Clemente is a former special agent in the FBI’s criminal behavioral analysis unit. Laura Richards is a former violent crime analyst at Scotland Yard. Liza Zambetti is the casting director for the long-running CBS crime drama series, Criminal Minds.  On the Real Crime Profile podcast they form a panel of experts that dives deep into profiling the criminals who have committed some of the world’s gravest personal atrocities, from Charles Manson to Dirty John’s evil protagonist, John Meehan.

Real Crime Profile comes in at number 21 on our list of best true crime podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

 

20. Park Predators

We recommend that you do not listen to this podcast while in parks! It will frighten the bejesus out of you. Listeners are taken on horror-filled visits to Glacier, Shenandoah, Yosemite, Grand Teton, Hawaii Volcanoes, Chiricahua National Parks and many, many more. It’s no wonder national parks are popular locations for gruesome crimes – few people are around and the bodies are very difficult to locate. We recommend you check out the Park Predators website for epic cover photographs for each episode. Despite the tragic events that occurred in them, the photographs go a long way to ensuring listeners still want to visit them.

Park Predators comes in at number 20 as one of our countdown of top interesting podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

 

19. Morning Cup of Murder

Who knew there was a market for a 10-ish minute daily podcast about a historical murder? Morning Cup of Murder has proved that there is. It’s short, sweet and gruesome! Having first been released in Augsut 2019 there are SO many episodes in the back-catalogue that you will be set for morning, midday and afternoon cups of murder for some time to come.

Morning Cup of Murder comes in at number 19 as one of our countdown of top interesting podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

 

18. LAST PODCAST ON THE LEFT

Having launched in 2015 and now with a back catalogue of hundreds of episodes, the Last Podcast On The Left (which also appears on our list of the best funny podcasts of all time) balances morbid true crime with light-hearted comedy. From the haunting crimes of black widow serial killers to the murderous misdeeds of Canada’s deadliest serial killer, Robert Pickton, the show is definitely only suitable for an adult audience, but if you love black comedy and want to hear broody real-life stories laced with outlandish jokes and impersonations, this one’s for you.

Last Podcast On The Left comes in at number 18 on our list of best true crime podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

 

17. Fake Heiress

Fake Heiress tells the story of the rise and fall of convicted fraudster Anna Sorokin (aka Anna Delvey). Using the concocted alias of Anna Delvey, Ms Sorokin convinced New York’s high society that she was a wealthy German heiress. To maintain the facade she defrauded banks, hotels and wealthy individuals. It’s mind boggling how many institutions gave her money to enable her to perpetuate her extravagant lifestyle. Fair Heiress is presented in partially dramatized format with actors and actresses performing fictionalised elements of the otherwise true story.

Fake Heiress comes in at number 17 as one of our countdown of top interesting podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

 

16. Dating Game Killer

Rodney James Alcala aka the Dating Game Killer is a brutal rapist and murderer. His crime spree spaned the American east and west coasts between 1971 and 1979. So brazen was he that in 1978, during the period when he was most criminally acitve, he appeared on the television show, The Dating Game. He actually won the competition but the eligible bachelorette refused to go out with him because she reportedly found him “creepy”. Talk about a reliable gut-reaction. While convicted of 8 murders, it has been estimated that the number of deaths caused by his hand is as high as 130. The pod is produced by Wondery so it’s professional with high-quality production.

Dating Game Killer comes in at number 16 as one of our countdown of top interesting podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

 

15. Believed

Believed, produced by NPR tells the terribly sad story of the crimes committed by Larry Nassar, an Olympic gymnastics doctor against hundreds of women and girls in his case. The pod looks at how these women struggled and ultimately achieved justice. Like so many stories like it, this podcast highlights the prevelance of doubt in otherwise responsible adults and how it is exploited by perpetrators to facilitate the continuance of their own twisted desires. Believed is ultimately a story of perserverance and hope.

Believed comes in at number 15 as one of our countdown of top interesting podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

 

14. American Scandal

Produced by the ultimate podcasting professionals at Wondery, American Scandal is constituted by a variety of “seasons” (29 in total to date) of mini-series dedicated to some of America’s most notorious scandals. American Scandal has made our top crime list despite it being crime adjacent, rather than crime centric: the subject matter covered in each mini-series is wide-ranging, both in terms of content and time-period. Lance Armstrong, The Red Scare, Bernie Madoff and, The Unabomber are but a taste of the subjects addressed. American Scandal stands apart because the topics are addressed comprehensively over three to four, 30-40ish minute episodes. The format means that listeners are taken on a deep dive, but each episode is easily digestible. It’s a good format for maintaining listener’s attention. Having actors role-playing short snippets during episodes mixes up the way the information is delivered and helps to transport listeners to the world of those wrapped up in each scandal.

American Scandal comes in at number 14 as one of our countdown of top interesting podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

 

13. Undisclosed

Undisclosed is dedicated to presenting stories of wrongful convictions and the US criminal justice system. The 400+ episodes that span 20 seasons in the archives demonstrates how massive the phenomenon is. Fans of Serial experiencing withdrawals after finishing listening to Season 1 will be delighted to learn that the Undisclosed team take a look at The State v Adnan Syed. The show has an impressive social justice record – they have been instrumental in achieving relief for of 14 defendants whose cases they have explored. Absolutely worth your time and respect.

Undisclosed comes in at number 13 as one of our countdown of top interesting podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

 

12. Someone Knows Something

We loved Someone Knows Something so much we also included it on our list of top podcasts like Serial. In the first of multiple series of the hugely popular show, David Ridgen investigates the case of Adrien McNaughton who, at the age of 5, disappeared without a trace on a family fishing trip in 1972. In season two, Ridgen searches for answers in the case of Sheryl Sheppard who disappeared 4 days after her boyfriend proposed to her on national television, in 1998. The most recent series investigates the murders of Charles Moore and Henry Dee who were found in the Mississippi River in 1964.

Someone Knows Something comes in at number 12 on our list of best true crime podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

 

11. RedHanded

Presented by two quick-witted socially progressive true-crime buffs from the UK, Hannah and Suruthi, RedHanded has amassed a cult following. A huge part of the show’s charm is the rapport the presenters have with one another and their often hilarious takes and tangents. The research is far-ranging and with more than 200 episodes in the bank, you will have more than enough eps to quench your thirst once you have become addicted.

RedHanded comes in at number 11 as one of our countdown of top interesting podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

 

10. Paper Ghosts

Paper Ghosts, as the name suggests, is dedicated to investigating stone cold murder cases. Season 1, released in August 2020 takes listeners back 50 years to when four girls went missing in neighbouring New England towns. Season 2 tackles the death of four membes of the Stevenson family found inside a farmhouse in Ohio during the 1981 Fourth of July weekend. Both series strike at the heat of how devastating not-knowing truly is.

Paper Ghosts comes in at number 10 as one of our countdown of top interesting podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

 

9. Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo

Connie Walker and her team have returned for season 2 of Missing & Murdered with the tragic tale of Cleo Nictone Semaganis. Cleo, a young Cree girl was apprehended by Saskatchewan child welfare officers in the 1970s and, her family believes, was raped and murdered while she was attempting to hitchhike from her foster family in the United States back to Canada. With only a single photo of Cleo as proof of her existence, Missing & Murders: Finding Cleo seeks to discover what really happened to Cleo and ascertain where her remains are located. With episode one released on 14 March 2018, now is the perfect time to start listening.

Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo comes in at number 9 as one of our top mystery podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

 

8. In the Dark

It took 27 years for law enforcement in Minnesota to solve the case of the disappearance of Jacob Wetterling, even though the man who would finally admit to the crime was sitting under their nose the whole time. In The Dark tells the story of Jacob’s disappearance and explores how badly the police bungled their duties to solve the case.

In The Dark comes in at number 8 in our top podcasts like Serial. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

 

7. Generation Why

Jeffrey Dahmer, the necrophiliac murderer who cannibalized his victims. Dr. Death, the British doctor caught intentionally and covertly killing the patients who trusted him. Edmund Kemper, the Co-Ed Killer who was released from custody for killing his grandparents only to orchestrate a string of horrific slaughters on college students. Since 2014, The Generation Why Podcast has profiled the worst serial killers of all time, the world over, and put together a body of podcasting work that all true crime fans should explore.

The Generation Why Podcast comes in at number 7 on our list of best true crime podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

 

6. Dr. Death

The creators of Dirty John have cemented their place as top creators of pods in the niche, medically inspired true crime pod genre with the release of Dr. Death. In this captivating season, the shoddy practices of Christopher Duntsch, a former neurosurgeon are laid bare. The stats that drew suspicion to Duntsch’s work alone are staggering: out of the 38 patients operated on by Duntsch in a two year period, 2 died and 31 suffered serious injuries. Listen to discover how this happened and why the system didn’t identify the problem sooner. While we’ve been raving on about Dr. Death since its release, others in high places have been entralled deciding to turn it into a television series for Netflix.

Dr. Death comes in at number 6 as one of our countdown of top interesting podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

 

5. Casefile

Casefile True Crimeenthralling at the best of times and downright chilling at the worst of times, sits alongside Serial in the pantheon of great crime podcasts and tops our list as the best episodic true crime show out there right now. Each episode of Casefile is told in precise detail, with exceptional control over the crime narrative, and the well-kept anonymity of the host adds much enigma to the show’s brand, which percolates through to each epsiodes. For the listener, the host’s apparently natural storytelling talent draws out the drama and suspense inherent in every tale. Ironically, perhaps the only criticism that can be levelled at the show is that it can be too powerful on the psyche and can become omnipresent in your life if you listen to too many episodes in quick succession. You might find yourself, like I did, second guessing everyone you thought you once knew…

Casefile True Crime comes in at number 5 on our list of best true crime podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

 

4. Up and Vanished

In October 2005, Tara Grinstead, a 30 year old high school teacher disappeared after leaving a friend’s BBQ.  Since her disappearance was reported, there has never been a confirmed sighting of Tara and no persons of interest were identified until February 2017. The audio, particularly the interviews, can be difficult to hear but the presenter, Payne Lindsay circles back and ensures that the listener catches pertinent details.  Getting a fresh take on Grinstead’s disappearance was always going to be tough given the level of press coverage the case has received. But Lindsay achieves it in Up and Vanished by seeking to crack the tough veneer of small town Ocilla, Georgia and speaking directly to those involved rather than focusing on old case files.

Up and Vanished comes in at number 4 in our top podcasts like Serial. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

 

3. MY FAVORITE MURDER

Having already covered over 100 true crimes, My Favorite Murder has raked in a swag of 5-star reviews since its launch in January 2016. The show’s hosts, Karen and Georgia, have perfected the art of blending comedy with gritty crime and their kooky hosting chemistry makes for both entertaining and compelling listening. If you’re looking for a break from the brooding true crime shows you’ve been listening to, My Favorite Murder offers the perfect cocktail of felony and frivolity.

My Favorite Murder with Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark comes in at number 3 on our list of best true crime podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

 

2. Criminal

From Alcatraz escapees who may or may not still be alive to biologists who’ve made their careers testing stomach contents to work out estimated times of death in criminal trials, Criminal explores just about every true crime topic imaginable, and does it with incredible storytelling mastery. Nothing slips through their investigative traps and every episode is short and well narrated for optimal listener engagement.

Criminal comes in at number 2 on our list of best true crime podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

 

1. Serial

The podcast that started it all: Serial. We unresevedly believe Serial deserves the top spot in this top true crime podcast list. One cannot underestimate the impact that this groundbreaking series presented by Sarah Koenig and developed by This American Life has had on the true crime podcast genre. Series One, especially, stands the test of time – it is as good on a 2021-lockdown re-listen as the first time we downloaded it in 2014. It has also had massive international attention – by February 2016, season 1 of Serial had been downloaded over 80 million times. For those of you who aren’t in that group of 80 million, season 1 is dedicated to investigating the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, an 18-year-old female student at Woodland High School in Baltimore. In season 2, Koenig and her team investigate the disappearance of Private Bowe Bergdah who walked off his US Army post in 2009 and was captured by Taliban members. Season 3 changes tact and rather than presenting a linear story about a single event, various cases being heard and determined in the Justice Centre Complex in Cleveland are examined. Serial’s most recent series (series 4, ‘Nice White Parents’ released in August 2020 and series 5, The Improvement Association released in April 2021), have moved away from the true crime genre. Nevertheless, by the time you get to these series, you will be so addicated to the impressive display of investigative journalism that you’ll gladly step-away from true crime to listen.

Serial comes in at number 1 as one of our countdown of top interesting podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

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