The 50 Best True-Crime Podcasts

best true crime podcasts
The 50 Best True-Crime PodcastsCourtesy


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Our society’s fascination with true-crime stories is nothing short of, well, suspicious. Perhaps it’s our desensitization through media that increases our appetite for violence—and our ability to consume it without our stomachs churning. Or maybe it’s the advent of reality television and social media that has made us more and more eager to treat intimate details of real people’s lives like our favorite soap opera. Whatever the reason, it’s clear that the true-crime-obsessed wave isn’t stopping any time soon.

Authors and filmmakers have responded in kind, with gory books and movies inspired by real-life headlines coming out at a fast clip. The Jinx, a true-crime documentary on HBO, even earned a confession. Whether you’re already dedicated to investigating every story on the Internet or are looking to see what the buzz is about, true-crime podcasts are the greatest entry point into the genre. Not only does the audio component help you avoid any gory visuals, but the podcast sphere is usually led by vetted journalists, historians, and other established commentators.

So if you’re trying to get to the bottom of true crime, this list is a good trail for starting your search. Here are some of the most likely suspects for the best true-crime podcasts out right now.

The Shrink Next Door

Serving as the inspiration for an Apple TV+ series with Paul Rudd and Will Ferrell, The Shrink Next Door explores the disappearance of a Hamptons therapist, as told by Bloomberg writer Joe Nocera.

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shrink next door
Bloomberg

Ridiculous Crime

On the lighter side, Ridiculous Crime finds truly hilarious crimes in a murder-free environment for your morning commute. Recent episodes explore early Ponzi schemes and debauchery at a 2015 Furry convention.

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iHeartPodcasts

West Cork

Diving into the 1996 unsolved murder of French film producer Sophie Toscan du Plantier, West Cork focuses on the most alarming suspect who was never arrested.

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west cork
Audible

Black Girl Gone: A True Crime Podcast

Jason and Amara Cofer, a husband and wife who are both interested in true crime, shine a light on the families who are left behind when Black women and children go missing—especially as cases for young white women soak up all the media attention.

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black girl gone a true crime podcast
Cloud10

Your Own Backyard

Like The Jinx, Your Own Backyard is one of the few true crime projects that actually led to a reopening of the case. After looking into the 1996 disappearance of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart, investigator journalist Chris Lambert eventually dug up evidence that led to the arrest of two suspects.

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your own backyard
Apple Podcasts

Tom Brown's Body

Tom Brown’s Body explores the 2016 disappearance of Brown, a high school senior from Canadian, Texas. After his remains were found two years later, writer Skip Hollandsworth explored the botched investigation in this eight-part podcast series from the creators of Texas Monthly’s Boomtown.

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tom brown's body
Texas Monthly

Dig

Dig, from the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, explores Louisville’s failure to accurately report and investigate rape allegations. Not for the faint of heart, season 2 explored how the city responded to the 2020 killing of Breonna Taylor.

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dig
NPR

Hands Off My Podcast

Hands Off My Podcast is hosted by Jasmine Castillo, a voice-over artist and true crime fan who wanted to highlight stories within the #BIPOC and #LGBTQ community. Castillo also offers ways to help the victims of these tragic stories.

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hands off my podcast
Apple Podcasts

Court Junkie

Interested in the judicial side of true crime, Court Junkie looks at the state of the criminal law system and focuses on cases where the courts lost the plot and made insane decisions.

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PodcastOne

Sistas Who Kill: A True Crime Podcast

Best friends MaRah and Taz tell the story of Black women who kill, focusing on how the justice system treats them differently than their white counterparts.

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sistas who kill
Cake Media

American Scandal

Want to know more about Watergate, or President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial? American Scandal explores what happens when presidents lie (and try to get away with it).

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american scandal
Wondery

The Official Jinx Podcast

Want more from HBO’s The Jinx? Check out the official companion podcast that features never-before-aired conversations with Robert Durst from director Andrew Jarecki’s filming partner, executive producer Zac Stuart-Pontier.

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the jinx
HBO

Affirmative Murder

Hosted by Alvin Williams & Francel Evans, Affirmative Murder seeks to tell the story of marginalized murder stories without delving into morbid territory.

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Apple Podcasts

Scamanda

Scamanda tells the story of a woman in San Jose, California, who pretended that she had cancer to scam her family and her community out of an unbelievable amount of money.

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scamanda
Courtesy of Lionsgate

Who Killed Daphne?

After investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed by a car bomb in 2017, her case went unsolved. Who Killed Daphne?, investigated by reporter Stephen Grey, gets the killer's confession.

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who killed daphne
Wondery

American Hostage

If you long for the days of radio plays like War of the Worlds, this series starring John Hamm should scratch your itch. American Hostage sees Hamm as a radio reporter who finds an unexpected story lead when a hostage-taker demands to be interviewed live on-air.

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american hostage podcast
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Welcome to Your Fantasy

If you’re looking for a listen that’s a bit more salacious and a bit less gory, Welcome to Your Fantasy might be the true crime series of you dreams. Historian Natalia Petrzela hosts the investigative series on the rise of the Chippendales dancing company—and its dark backstory of organized crime, drugs, and murder.

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best true crime podcasts
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Undisclosed

Hosted by three attorneys, Undisclosed offers an unprecedented scope into the U.S. criminal justice system by breaking down wrongful convictions. The first season begins with the case of The State of Maryland vs. Adnan Syed See, previously covered by Serial.

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Forgotten: Women of Juarez

From iHeartRadio, Forgotten: Women of Juárez investigates the unexplained disappearances of an estimated 1,500 women in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, since the 1990s. Connecting related symbols and evidence from recovered bodies, and looking deeper into potential suspects, Forgotten aims to uncover the truth about these connected femicides.

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Son of a Hitman

In this Spotify original, journalist Jason Cavanagh investigates the suspected hitman Charles Harrelson—father of Woody Harrelson. With help from the Harrelson brothers and others close to Charles, Cavanagh attempts to demystify the total history of the alleged criminal, including his potential involvement in the Kennedy assassination.

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best true crime podcasts
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Suspect

A Halloween haunted house party goes awry when one of the hosts, Aparna Jinaga, is murdered. But, the web of harm only grows more complex when one of the guests is wrongfully arrested and sentenced to prison based upon incomplete evidence and racial bias. Returning to the case over a decade after the events unfolded, Suspect offers a unique look at forensic science, the investigation process of Jinaga’s murder, and how prosecutors’ quest for justice can often render the opposite result.

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suspect true crime podcast
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Dark House

If you’re the type of person who rotates between binging true crime and scouring through Zillow listings, you might find yourself right at home with Dark House. Shining a spotlight on America’s most infamous homes, House Beautiful editors Hadley Mendelsohn and Alyssa Fiorentino deconstruct the significance of what happens when a beautiful home becomes haunted by its ugly reputation.

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dark house podcast
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Bad Women: The Ripper Retold

Jack the Ripper, the man who gruesomely killed five women in 19th-century London, has arguably become one of the most infamous serial killers in history. But, according to Bad Women host Hallie Rubenhold, there’s a lot about the Ripper that we’ve gotten wrong. And, more importantly, a lot about his victims that we don’t know. Focusing upon the five women, the series offers a new lens to the notorious London murders.

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Stuff the British Stole

In many ways, the British Empire was built on criminal activity—one of the main characteristics of its imperialistic foundations being, of course, theft. Though a statute of limitations might clear the country from any charges nowadays, its history of erasing nations’ cultures through stolen artifacts should not be wiped from the record. Stuff the British Stole works to look beyond the story told on “polite plaques” in British museums, instead uncovering the true background of these coveted goods.

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stuff the british stole podcast
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Bear Brook

New Hampshire Public Radio’s Bear Brook centers upon a series of murders that occurred within the state park of the same name. Adding to the allure of the episodes, its decades-long unsolved perpetrator was identified in the midst of creating the podcast, making the series an in-depth look at a breaking news story. As the first murder case to be solved through genealogy, the Bear Brook Murders forever changed how such crimes are investigated.

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Believed

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.

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Apple Podcasts

74 Seconds

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.

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Apple Podcasts

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.

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Apple Podcasts

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.

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Apple Podcasts

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.

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Apple Podcasts

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.

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Accused

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.

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Apple

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?

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Apple

Lore

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.

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Apple

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.

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Apple

Atlanta Monster

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.

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Apple

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.

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Apple

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.

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Apple

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.

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Up and Vanished

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.

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Apple

Slow Burn

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.

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Apple

Criminal

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.

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Apple

Dr. Death

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.

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Apple

The Dropout

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.

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ABC Radio

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.

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Apple

Dirty John

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.

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Apple

Drilled

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.

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S-Town

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.

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NPR

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 hot, and don't get murdered.

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Apple

Serial

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.

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NPR

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