9 Chilling Must-Listen True Crime Podcasts
True crime has been a television hit for decades (Forensic Files or Dateline ring a bell?), and in more recent years, people have discovered that true crime and podcasts go together like peanut butter and jelly. As an avid true crime buff, I’ll admit that I didn’t even realize that podcasts were a thing until I heard about 2014’s Serial – and realized that the iPhone came stock with a Podcast app where you could listen to everything for FREE.
Podcasts have seemingly exploded over the last few years, with many people tearing through the true crime genre and wanting more. There are a ton to choose from but here are some of my all-time true crime favorites that I subscribe to and listen to regularly.
1. Generation Why: Generation Why is an insanely addicting true crime podcast that covers unsolved murders, controversies, mysteries, conspiracies, and all things true crime. Two Friends, Aaron and Justin, spend about an hour recounting various subjects or cases in a conversational manner. Each episode is well-researched and presented in a conversational tone that still manages to come off as educational and respectful to the victims or those involved. There are currently over 200 episodes to choose from. Episode 206 covers infamous serial killer, Ed Gein. They not only tell about his crimes and what he did, but they give you an in depth look at who he was and why he might have done the things that he did, dating back to his childhood.
2. True Crime Garage: Each week, two friends sit in their garage, drink beer, and talk true crime. The hosts of True Crime Garage, Nic and The Captain, cover a new case each episode ranging from headline news to local real life horror stories. Their back-and-forth banter effortlessly guides you through difficult topics so that you easily absorb all the facts with a hint of humor. The real-life friends discuss infamous serial killers, missing persons cases, disappearances, and unsolved mysteries in a factual way, but do give their own opinions and talk through different scenarios. Check out Episode 69: Diane Schuler and Episodes 87 and 88: Body Barrel Part 1 & 2.
3. The Vanished: The Vanished is a true crime podcast that explores the stories of those who have gone missing. I love the host, Marissa Jones, who investigates each case and often interviews the loved ones who are still searching for answers. Marissa introduced me to many cases that I had never heard of, either because they are older or because they haven’t received much media coverage. She really researches each case and takes the time to be compassionate toward the friends or family that she is often interviewing, while still getting to the “meat” of the case and providing the facts. The episodes aren’t numbered, but check out the episode entitled “Rachel Cooke”. Rachel was 19-years-old when she vanished while jogging in her quiet neighborhood and fifteen years later, her disappearance is still a mystery.
4. Casefile: “Fact is scarier than fiction.” That’s the tagline and after listening to almost every episode of Casefile, I’m inclined to agree. Featuring an anonymous host, this Australian podcast thoroughly covers crimes from all over the world. Casefile doesn’t rely on interviews to get the story across to listeners, but is meticulously researched and presented. Although Casefile delves into the gritty details of various crimes, the host did state in an interview that respecting the victims and their families is at the forefront of everything they do and they only use clips if they think they add to the storytelling process. Check out Case 02: The Somerton Man and Case 16: Chris and Cru Kahui.
5. The Trail Went Cold: I can definitely say that The Trail Went Cold is definitely the first podcast I’ve listened to that mostly covers cases that I haven’t heard of before. Writer Robin Warder is the host of The Trail Went Cold and he examines unsolved mysteries and offers his own theories and insight into what really happened. Robin is consistent and thorough in his presentation, sticking strictly to the facts before presenting his opinion. Many of the cases Robin chooses to cover were featured on the classic tv show, Unsolved Mysteries, and he often provides information or theories that armchair detectives have gathered and presented themselves on the Unsolved Mysteries sub-reddit page. Check out Minisode 20 – Leigh Occhi and Episode 6 – Laureen Rahn.
6. Sword and Scale: Sword and Scale, hosted by Mike Boudet, tells the stories of disappearances, murders, and conspiracies. In each episode, Sword and Scale weaves together original audio, news clips, creepy music, expert commentary, and witness statements (an effective mashup of fact and drama, if you will) to create compelling case studies that prove that the worst monsters are real. Mike enjoys implementing music and Foley sound effects to immerse the listener into the story and is passionate about creating a narrative that leaves a lasting impression on his listeners. There’s something unsettling, yet satisfying about the way this podcast allows you to go into a very dark world for an hour or so without actually leaving the safety or comfort of your home. Check out episodes 11 & 12 which tell the tragic (yet fascinating) story of Morgan Ingram and her family.
7. Thin Air: Thin Air is a true crime podcast driven to investigating unsolved missing persons cases from around the world. Although hosts, Jordan and Daniel, are relatively new to podcasting, Thin Air is well-produced, thoroughly researched, and extremely engaging. Their passion for the true crime genre shines through in their detailed, factual retelling of cases and thorough interviews. Check out Episodes 2, 3, and 5 – a three part investigation into the disappearance of Marie Ann Watson.
8. They Walk Among Us: They Walk Among Us is one of the newer true crime podcasts out there but don’t let that scare you off. The bi-weekly UK podcast focuses on British headline-grabbers and the host, Benjamin, tells the stories in a mysterious and sinister way. Each episode is painstakingly well researched by Benjamin and his wife, Rosie. Check out episode 1, which covers the story of Sadie Hartley, who died after being stabbed on her own doorstep.
9. Already Gone: Last but not least, Already Gone is a true crime podcast that focuses on sharing the stories of the missing, the lost, the mysterious, and the murdered. Host, Nina Innsted, is professional, yet likeable, and covers a wide variety of cases that haven’t been covered on every other podcast out there. Residing in Michigan herself, Nina covers many cases from the Michigan area, but she also covers other cases as well. Each episode is well-researched, well-written, and told in a way that makes you want to keep listening. Check out Episode 25: Deanie Peters – Who Killed Me? and Episode 56: #MissingMarissa