IT’S official. The world has been swept into a bloodthirsty true crime binging bubble.
I turn on Netflix and see true crime and Adam Sandler every which way. I open my podcast app and fall headfirst into a true-crime-induced state of content hypnosis.
I go to breakfast with friends and we talk about a dirty creeper named John, an innocent/guilty teenage dude named Adnan (still) and a New Zealand kid who maybe/maybe-not gunned down his entire family.
All crime podcasts are great, but for this list we went looking for the ultimate criminal podcast — where the focus is on the minds and motives of the evil doer behind the crimes, instead of the crimes themselves — and found 10 great ones.
Imagine taking a plumb job in the Caribbean only to be conned into trafficking huge quantities of liquid cocaine back into your home country? Or you accept an invitation to go on holidays with a love interest only to have them pull out at the last minute, conveniently, because they’ve left you to smuggle heroin into Mauritius. Locked Up Abroad tells the frightening real-life stories of when holidays go dangerously wrong and how everyday people can become international victims and criminals overnight.
A surviving member of the Manson Family shares what it was like living with one of the world’s most notorious cult criminals. One of the psychiatrists charged with diagnosing the mental state of serial killer, Ted Bundy, reveals his evaluation process and how he came to his miraculous conclusion. As the title suggests, True Murder chronicles the lives of some of history’s worst serial killers, from the perspectives of those closest to them.
Andre Chikatilo “The Butcher Of Rostov” slaughtered 53 people over a killing span of 12 years. The “Lethal Lovers”, Gwen Graham and Cathy Wood were made infamous in the Alpine Manor Killings. Then, of course, there’s good ol’ Jack The Ripper. As the name suggests, Serial Killers chronicles the lives and crimes of history’s most notorious and prolific killers and the hosts do a fantastic job of telling their personal stories.
From Ohio’s youngest death row inmate to a father-of-the-year-turned-accused-murderer, Court Junkie takes a forensic look at some of America’s most controversial crime cases and the people accused of committing them and asks, did they really do it? Alongside those potential instances of wrongful convictions, the Court Junkie team also looks at the reverse scenarios, where there is seemingly enough evidence to convict the obvious suspect but, frustratingly, no conviction sticks.
Suspect Convictions pieces together chilling recorded interviews with the accused and convicted killers themselves, news audio from the crime coverage, and expert interviews with the writers, journalists and law enforcers covering some pretty brutal murder cases. The unique method of bringing together a collage of insights is used brilliantly to paint the dark pictures of the criminals at the centre of the attacks.
The phenomenally rated Crimetown digs deep to uncover the entrenched network of organised crime and corruption that exists in most major US cities. With the release of season two on the horizons, the wrapped-up season one hones in on the city of Providence in Rhode Island and puts everyone from the cops to the crims to the lawyers under the magnifying glass.
It’s a shame The Mind Of A Murderer Podcast only ran for 6 episodes back in 2015 because it’s absolutely one of the better products of the sub-genre. The basic premise is that the host, Dr. Michelle Ward – a Criminal Psychologist – visits inmates in prison and on death row to interview them personally about the crimes they committed and the lives they destroyed. It’s unique concept not replicated in many other shows makes it worthy of a listen.
Crime podcasts need more Norwegian hosts like Thomas Wiborg-Thune, if for nothing other than the suitability of the accent for the subject matter. If you want to diversify your listening of true crime into international hosting waters, do yourself a favour and revel in the stories told by Wiborg-Thune in The Serial Killer Podcast.
Foster parents who report the disappearance of their 3-year-old foster child, only to become the prime suspects. A quiet taxi driver in England who gets fed up and turns a gun on everyone he knows and loves. A newly married husband who commits an unspeakable act on the night of his wedding. The Minds of Madness delves into what happens in the minds of ordinary people that causes them to commit horrendous crimes. With a keen focus on the criminals themselves, each new episode is more compelling than the last.
The National Public Radio (NPR) has tonnes of great podcasts but Embedded has to be one of its best. Exploring the back stories of some of the world’s most controversial stories, characters and places, from Donald Trump to the Bandidos bikie gang, the show lifts the lid on all the big news stories. Arguably not your regular crime podcast, we had to put it in this list for its plight to draw the spotlight onto some pretty questionable protagonists and human stories.
That’s it — our list of the top 10 podcasts that put the criminals under the spotlight. If you agree with our selections, great! If you don’t, there are two things you can do: (1) Click here to join the PodChat conversation about whether we got the list right and share your views (2) Make a suggestion for a podcast we’ve missed by searching for it in the box below and hit submit. We’ll get an email with your tip and may include it in this list.