Best True Crime Podcasts Not to Miss

People like true crime stories for a variety of reasons, one of which is a desire to “understand how and why it occurs.” Most individuals have a want to empathize with other people, and true crime stories allow them to do so without having to go through the tragedy themselves. Another reality is that true-crime films educate the general public about various forms of abuse, allowing them to advocate for victims and themselves.

Get your pods ready for the ride! 

In This Article

Ten True Crime Podcasts We’re Hooked On

Dark House

Editors Hadley Mendelsohn and Alyssa Fiorentino dig into the strange histories of four homes in House Beautiful’s inaugural podcast. Each house has gained notoriety for a different reason, ranging from the supernatural to the heinous. The duo interviews authors, set designers, psychic mediums, and paranormal investigators in order to uncover and explain the secrets of the homes.

My Favorite Murder

My Favorite Murder - Melbourneaus

The podcast, hosted by comedians Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, is relatable and imperfect, and it delivers in spades on the potential of audio as the most intimate of media. It’s earnest and silly at the same time, irreverent and crusading, and it’s responsible for fostering an unmatched fan base that extends far beyond the podcast itself. It also introduced a new format to the genre, bringing the long-running comedian chat show to the generally bleak world of true crime.

Run Bambi, Run

Run Bambi, Run tells the story of the notorious 1980s Playboy Bunny who became a cop and then a murderer, and you will simply love it. Laurie was basically a tabloid preoccupation and a feminist cause célèbre after she escaped prison, if you’ve never heard of her. This story has been termed the’most glamorous murder case of the 1980s,’ so buckle in and prepare to be entertained. Laurie “Bambi” Bembenek, a stunning 21-year-old Milwaukee police officer who was dubiously convicted of killing her new husband’s ex-wife before attempting a daring escape as part of a years-long struggle to clear her innocence, is the subject of this new Apple TV+ Original podcast.

True Crime Obsessed

True Crime Obsessed - Melbourneaus

When you consume too much true crime, you may find yourself in dire need of a humorous pick-me-up. That’s where Patrick Hinds and Gillian Pensavalle, a humorous, theater-loving couple, step in. The cohosts rehash popular true-crime documentaries, from Tiger King to Making a Murderer, with a much-needed lighter, snarky twist, but ever making fun of the actual crime. Listen to their thoughts on I.D.’s The Atlanta Child Murders, a documentary about the almost 30 Black children who went missing or were murdered in Atlanta in the early 1980s.

Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo

Connie Walker, the CBC reporter and host of Missing & Murdered, recently told me that she wanted to do a history podcast about Canada’s systemic oppression of indigenous peoples, but she realized it had to be a true-crime narrative to get people to listen to it. Cleo Nicotine Semaganis, the titular “Cleo,” was a young child abducted from her Saskatchewan Cree family by government social officials in the 1970s as part of the heinous “Sixties Scoop” program.

The Night Driver

The Night Driver is a chilling thriller from Hedley Thomas, an award-winning Australian journalist. The podcast tells the story of Janine Vaughan, who was kidnapped and never seen again nearly 20 years ago on a rainy night in Bathurst. Her disappearance and probable murder have remained unsolved to this day, and her family is anxious for answers. Thomas (who previously wrote the now-famous The Teacher’s Pet) will take on the role of detective once more as he investigates the fraudulent police investigation, prospective suspects (including a former cop), and how Vaughan’s murder tore a small town apart. This podcast, according to Urban List reader Sophia, had her on the edge of her seat.

Paper Ghosts

Paper Ghosts is a must-listen true crime podcast if you want to feel like you’re listening to a superb true crime book. The first season of this podcast (detailing the long-cold disappearances of four Connecticut women and girls in the 1960s and 1970s, and the second looking into the killings of an Ohio family in 1981) is painstakingly examined and paced to keep you on your toes!

Believed

Believed is the epitome of a podcast that pulls off near-impossible achievements. The series, which focuses on the narrative of Larry Nassar, a former USA Gymnastics doctor who sexually abused kids and women for decades, manages to place Nassar’s victims front and center, daring listeners to flinch as they tell accounts of being groomed and molested. Because it tells one of the most viscerally painful true-crime stories of the contemporary period, Believed is shamelessly riveting, even fun. The series, which debuted at the height of the Me Too era, also has one of the best landings in podcasting, allowing us to listen in as more than 150 women testify during Nassar’s sentencing, a type of justice we urgently need but have yet to receive.

Bear Brook

Bear Brook - Melbourneaus

The bodies of two murder victims were discovered in barrels in Bear Brook State Park in New Hampshire in 1985. In the year 2000, two more were discovered in similar circumstances. Jason Moon chronicles the narrative of how the investigation into the strange Bear Brook killings went across the country and eventually led to the discovery of a serial killer whose crimes spanned decades in this very captivating podcast.

Up and Vanished

Up and Vanished - Melbourneaus

Despite its flaws, it’s difficult to dispute that Up and Vanished merits a place on true crime’s Mount Rushmore. Payne Lindsey, an aspiring filmmaker and singer, began the first season of his show by searching through the Georgia town where beauty queen Tara Grinstead vanished in 2005 with the help of a private investigator. He even crawls (with his microphone!) under a house where he suspects a body is hidden at one point.

Get Ready To be Spooked With These True Crime Podcasts

True crime can be a safe approach to express and process bad emotions by watching, reading, or listening to it. True crime, on the other hand, only represents a small percentage of the worst real-life crimes. It can also fall prey to victim blaming narratives, leading individuals to believe that particular acts are dangerous when they aren’t. A little bit of anything won’t hurt you especially if it keeps you entertained and rid of stress!

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