The 25 Best True Crime Podcasts
When you need an all-consuming distraction, murder and mystery are key.
Not everyone understands the fascination with true crime that seems to have swept the nation in recent years, but if you get it, you really get it. You can’t help but immerse yourself in these twisted stories and won’t stop until you know all of the gory details. Podcasts have become the perfect way to get your true crime fix, allowing you to listen to extremely in-depth accounts and investigations without having to take in any haunting visuals. They’re even able to keep up with some of these tales in real time so that you never miss a thing. Whether you’re interested in murder, fraud, unsolved mysteries, or infamous cases, there are enough true crime podcasts out there to shock, inform, and keep you on your toes for years to come.
In The Dark
American Public Media really stole the show last year with In The Dark, an investigative journalism podcast that goes deep into two different cases (so far) that attempts to dissect some serious questions around murder cases that had more than a few skeptics surrounding them.
While the first season of Accused focused on the 1978 murder of college grad Elizabeth Andes, a second season focuses on a different unsolved murder—and a third season is on the way. The production, based out of Ohio, is one of the early favorites of the genre.
Up and Vanished
Fascinated by the stories of those who have simply up and disappeared? Well, Up and Vanished has you covered with new stories of those who have quite literally vanished without a trace.
Important true crime stories don’t have to involve murder. This powerful Michigan Radio podcast examines how Larry Nassar, the US Olympic gymnastics doctor, got away with sexually abusing girls for decades before getting caught. It features the voices of the parents who unintentionally turned a blind eye and the survivors that ultimately brought him to justice.
Someone Knows Something
Focusing on a single cold case a season, Someone Knows Something dives into the past with the hope of revealing something about a disappearance most have forgotten about.
Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo
Missing & Murdered is a heartbreaker. Following the death of a Cree girl in the 1970s leaves those involved in the case wondering, what happened to Cleo?
A little less murderous, a little more political. Slate’s podcast Slow Burn goes deep into the cases that have lived in American infamy to uncover details you might have forgotten about—if you even knew about them to begin with.
If you’re looking for an extremely relevant true crime story at this moment, this Minnesota Public Radio podcast launched in 2016 to tell the story of the first police shooting to go to trial in the state of Minnesota, when Officer Jeronimo Yanez shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop. Through Castile’s story, 74 Seconds highlights the intersection of race, policing, justice, and safety in America.
The biggest name in true crime murders gets the last spot because odds are, if you love true crime, you’ve likely already hit this one… or at least the first season that tackled the case of Adnan Syed. If not, this is a solid place to start. Let the sweet voice of Sarah Koenig introduce you to the world of true crime podcasts.
Criminal keeps it fresh by offering several different true crime cases to dive into. Come for a solid kick off, and stay for the variety.
Less pure-true crime and more just in line with non-fiction scary stories, Lore dares to move you more toward the terrifying spoken truths of people who have faced situations way beyond what they signed up for.
Do you love absolute medical debauchery? Try out Dr. Death, which investigates a Texas surgeon who seriously botched 31 cases, leaving patients seriously injured and two dead.
To Live and Die in LA
Rolling Stone journalist Neil Strauss follows the disappearance and death of aspiring Albanian Macedonian actress Adea Shabani, who was last seen alive leaving her Hollywood apartment with her boyfriend in February of 2018. He was asked by the family to aid them in their search for answers, and that’s exactly what he did, no matter the cost.
Everyone dreams about what it might be like to come up with the next big business venture, but no one ever thinks about what it might be like if the whole thing falls out from under you. That’s what is explored in The Dropout: the painful story of Elizabeth Holmes and the once-hopeful Theranos.
The Teacher’s Pet
The disappearance of Lynette Dawson is fascinating and the central story of the Australia-based podcast that explores the inside of what would have been a perfect marriage between a former football star and beloved teacher… had the secrets complicating their marriage never come up.
Root of Evil
If you can’t get enough of the Black Dahlia case, Root of Evil transforms it into a podcast deep dive that should keep your attention for a while.
The Lost Kids
This debut podcast from the television station behind true crime hits like Dirty John and Dr. Death dives deep into the search for a missing boy from New Jersey, uncovering the dark and twisted business of a therapeutic boarding school for “troubled teens” and their ties to one of America’s most dangerous cults.
It’s the podcast that inspired the hit TV show about John Meehan’s sociopathic tendencies. While Connie Britton gave the Los Angeles Times’ investigation the celebrity face it needed, the story got its legs as a breakthrough podcast.
Investigating the Atlanta Child Murders between 1979 and 1981, the chilling podcast takes a deep dive into the homicides of 25 children in the three-year span.
If you think climate change is a crime against nature, then you’ll understand Drilled’s inclusion on this list. The podcast unveils decades of propaganda that spreads and encourages climate change denial.
Missing in Alaska
Investigative journalist Jon Walczak hosts this true crime podcast based on nine years of research into the 1972 disappearance of two U.S. congressmen whose plane vanished in Alaska. Walczak uncovers shocking new information that was never reported by the media in this captivating unsolved mystery.
The NPR podcast that followed Serial took a rural twist on the true crime genre, but the death that kicks off the podcast isn’t the one that punctuates it. One of NPR’s most controversial listens to date, S-Town take the lure of small town mystery and blows it up.
The Last Podcast on the Left
The Last Podcast on the Left is a bit more of a grab bag than the rest, with subjects that range from serial killers to full-on demons and cults. If you like variety, On the Left is for you.
My Favorite Murder
MFM has become an institution among Murderinos. The two charismatic hosts didn’t have much of a background in true crime to start, but after tackling different cases each week, the duo has become quite the pair in the true crime community. And they have the best advice in the game: Stay sexy, and don’t get murdered.
Over My Dead Body
The first season of this complex podcast, subtitled Tally, examines the picture-perfect marriage between two attorneys. But when the relationship breaks apart, all hell breaks lose—escalating from a messy divorce to a murder case.