True crime has been around for decades in the form of documentaries and books. But the genre took a monumental leap forward into the public consciousness when podcasting became a thing and soon people could get lost in a word of true crime stories while on the go or if they just want to pass the time.
It goes without saying that there have been a heap of crime podcasts in recent years, which is why we’ve cobbled together a list of the quintessential true crime listens that you definitely need to wrap your head around.
Of course we have to start with the granddaddy of crime podcasts and the one that kicked this whole genre off. Over the course of three engrossing seasons (so far), Serial hooked listeners in with its in-depth dive into high-profile cases and the American justice system, and created the template in which all future true crime podcasts will follow in years to come.
What Happened To Zac?
18-year-old Zac Barnes disappeared in 2016 and was never seen again. No one knows what exactly happened to Zac. But what we do know is that his disappearance took a toll on his family, friends and community, all of which is explored in What Happened To Zac?
Horologist John B. McLemore contacted S-Town host Brian Reed and asked him to investigate an alleged murder. What followed instead was less of a podcast exploring a heinous crime and more of a gripping – and at times invasive – look into the life of McLemore, an eccentric yet supremely interesting man.
The Disappearance Of Des
Desmond Francis Carr went to work along in outback Western Australia on August 2nd, 1979. He was never seen again. 40 years after his disappearance, The Disappearance Of Des podcast may have some answers and whether a crime took place or not.
Over My Dead Body
Dan Markel and Wendi Adelson were both successful lawyers and seemingly had the perfect marriage. That is until Dan was shot to death on July 19, 2014. What unfolds over the course of Over My Dead Body is the true crime podcast take on Valentine’s Day mixed with a dash of Groundhog Day. Check out the best podcasts made for and by women.
The Last Podcast On The Left
For those wanting a crime podcast that’s lighter in tone yet still seeped in heavily researched deep dives into the unsettling and macabre like serial killers, cults conspiracies and other creepy things you’ve seen on the internet, The Last Podcast On The Left is perfect for you. Looking for a podcast covering 2020’s most important topics? Head here.
In The Dark
No crime podcast has managed to combine impeccable storytelling with quality journalism quite like In The Dark. Not only is it an engrossing, but the work put in has had real world consequences on the subjects explored by the podcast. It’s become insanely popular, just like these podcasts.
Mindhunter explored the Atlanta Child Murders in its second (and final) season in entertaining fashion, but Atlanta Monster goes into even more depth into the murders and is a thoroughly fascinating listen even without the need of Mindhunter‘s dramatic flourishes and fictional additions. If you’re looking for this year’s best podcasts, head here.
There are also plenty of podcasts out there if you’re looking to learn a new language, consume some of BBC’s best content or do a bit of self-improvement If you don’t know where to start, check these podcasts out – or these, if you’re a Spotify user.
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