The 31 Best True-Crime Podcasts to Listen to in 2021

198
0

We remember the day we discovered Serial like it was yesterday. The evidence, the witnesses, the soothing sound of Sarah Koenig’s voice—we, along with the rest of the world, hung on her every word and couldn’t wait to hear the outcome of Adnan Syed’s trial. True crime has been one of our favorite genres ever since, and we’re always looking for podcast recommendations on the topic. Fortunately, there are many, and we rounded up our best picks for the best true-crime podcasts that report events with care and consideration, for your listening pleasure.

Some are one-offs, where every episode follows a different incident; others are serialized and let you really get to know a case over multiple episodes. Whatever you’re in the mood for, these are the best true crime podcasts to listen to on your morning walk, your next long drive, or while you do the dishes.

1. Bruh Issa Murder Subscribe

There’s no one better to dive into the wide world of true crime with than a diverse group of true-crime nerds. Now in its third season, this gripping podcast exposes the dark underbelly of our justice system when it comes to missing and murdered POC, bringing light to cases of color that are often swept under the rug. Excellent stuff here, people.

We sure love to be wined-and-dined, but how about some Wine and Crime? (Sorry, bad joke). Wine & Crime is a true-crime and comedy podcast hosted by three childhood best friends from Minnesota, who discuss some of the most bizarre, captivating criminal cases over huge glasses of wine. It’s the best of both worlds.

3. Bear Brook Subscribe

Rather than a continuous series about several cases, Bear Brook focuses on one— the infamous Bear Brook murders, a cold case that went unsolved for years. Distributed by the New Hampshire Public Radio, the podcast goes deep into the fascinating details of the genealogy and genetic techniques used to solve the case, which reopened in 2013 after more than 30 years of inactivity. It even has its own original soundtrack; all recorded performed by the hosts.

3. Morbid: A True Crime Podcast Subscribe

It’s ~spooky season~, and that means it’s the perfect time to get addicted to Morbid: A True Crime podcast. Hosted by an autopsy technician and a hairdresser, the two sisters discuss murders, creepy history, and all things spooky in every hour-or-so-long episode. You can tell they have a genuine love for true crime and everything out of the ordinary, and guess what? So do we.

4. The Murder in My Family Subscribe

Rarely do we get to hear direct perspective from the family members of victims involved in a murder, but The Murder in My Family is here to change that. It adds another layer of humanity to the victims we sometimes forget are real people and reveals how the loss has affected their loved ones’ day-to-day lives. It’s especially sad knowing that, sometimes, the killer is still on the run, and the families are still campaigning for justice years later.

5. Scam Goddess Subscribe

No gory details here, folks! Take a break from all the murders and listen to Scam Goddess, a new kind of true-crime podcast covering some of the best, absurd financial crimes people have committed. We never thought racketeering would be so fascinating to hear about, but we guess we should’ve known, given that Money Heist is one of the top shows on Netflix right now.

6. Casefile Subscribe

More on the serious side, Casefile is a true-crime podcast that covers some of the most difficult-to-solve cases with care, conviction, and respect for the victims. It’s hosted by an Australian man who wishes to remain anonymous so that he can “stay out of the story and “let the facts speak for themselves.” While the details of some of the cases are unsettling, his unique brand of storytelling often makes you feel like you’re a part of the investigation, giving you a nitty, gritty, nuts-and-bolts timeline of what went on.

7. Criminal Subscribe

In the words of host Phoebe Judge, this show isn’t just about crime, in the cold sense. It’s about something a little more multi-faceted— “stories of people who’ve done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle.” And like some of the other podcasts on this list, it aims to expose the shortcomings of the US justice system when it comes to particular criminal cases, often leaving you questioning whether enough action was taken. With Phoebe, you’ll see there’s always more to the story.

If you fancy more flowery details and fancy language, look no further than And That’s Why We Drink. Join Christine Schiefer and Em Schulz as they chug wine and talk about true crime and paranormal encounters, seamlessly undercutting the seriousness of the cases they cover with some dark (but tasteful) humor. After all, that is why we drink sometimes, right?

Fancy a little comedy with your true crime? Join hosts and sisters Mikki Wilkerson and Brandi Samples as they combine two of their favorite things: true crime and history. You’ll learn about disturbing deaths, unsolved mysteries, and some seriously fascinating figures in the world of true crime.

There’s a reason Redhanded was named the #1 most popular true-crime podcast in the U.K. in 2020. From mysterious murders to cold cases, Hannah and Suruthi are experts on all things creepy. Some days you’ll get a new take on a big-time story; other times, you’ll learn all the spooky details about a case you’ve never heard of. Best of all, they do it with British accents.

90s Crime Time started as an Instagram account, but it quickly became so much more. Simone’s followers begged her to make a podcast, and voilà, the rest was history. Every week, she shares a new story about a kidnapping, theft, or murder that happened in the ’90s. You’ve definitely never heard of some of these stories.

If anyone knows that true crime stories have multiple angles, it’s Amanda Knox. The latest season of her podcast is about the murder of 18-year-old Jennifer Levin, who was found dead in Central Park in 1986. Knox dives deep into the murder, trial, media sensationalism, and more that surrounded Levin’s death.

Subscribe

If you’re looking for something a little more ~paranormal~, this spooky podcast hosted by House Beautiful editors Hadley Mendelsohn and Alyssa Fiorentino should do the trick. The two combine their expertise on all things houses to explore some of the spookiest crimes that have taken place at home sweet home.

If you like to spend time with a story you can really sink your teeth into, give In the Dark a listen. Catch up now on seasons one and two, which are about the abduction of a man in rural Minnesota and a man who was tried for the same crime six (yes, six) different times.

Alvin and Fran don’t just host another true-crime podcast. They’re very intentional about their subjects and use Affirmative Murder as a platform to tell stories about minority serial killers from marginalized communities. Subscribe and diversify your listening list!

If you love the ’90s, this pod is for you. The sisters who host it focus each episode on a different crime, and you’ll want them to be your BFFs after listening. Friends quotes are frequent, FYI.

Another non-serialized podcast, this one is all about correcting the wrongs of the past. Each week, the hosts pick apart a misconception society holds about a particular famous crime or event, from the O. J. Simpson trial to Tonya Harding and the ENRON scandal.

The title’s pretty self-explanatory here. It’s about people who were put away for crimes they didn’t commit. Right now, it’s digging into stories about people who confess to something they didn’t do because they were under pressure.

Farrow is no stranger to taking down powerful men and holding them accountable for their crimes. Catch up on all 10 episodes of season 1 now.

From the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, this podcast explores how rape allegations are treated by law enforcement in Louisville. Spoiler: It’s not good. Season 1 covers an investigation that is still ongoing, and it may not be the most uplifting as far as true-crime podcasts go but it’s compelling nonetheless.

Uhhh, apparently one time, a serial killer used a game show to attract a victim in the middle of a killing spree. Consider me hooked. (Also, this has Ryan Murphy miniseries written ALL over it.)

Most Americans were shocked when Bill Cosby, “America’s dad,” was revealed as a predator. In this podcast, survivors speak out about the experiences and what his conviction means to them.

One night in Georgia in 2016, the wife of a police officer was found dead, locked inside a closet with two apparent gunshot wounds to the head. His service weapon was found under her body. Who tried to kill whom? You’ll have to listen to find out.

Rainbow Valentine, the host of this podcast, discovered that her mom and dad were part of a major drug operation during her childhood. In this series, she unpacks what it was like growing up in that kind of setting, when she had no idea it was happening.

This might be the true-crime podcast that started the whole genre. Popular episodes of the pod cover topics like the Challenger explosion, Al Capone, Leo Frank, and the Corpsewood Manor murders.

This podcast has a particular affinity for all things spooky/scary like cults, serial killers, and even demons. In 2020, it went all in on Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who assassinated former president John F. Kennedy Jr….or did he?!

True crime and celeb gossip? Yes, please. This pod has stand-alone episodes and longer investigations, so it’s perfect for whatever kind of commitment you’re feeling. Plus, there’s a mini episode titled “Durst Trap,” which is the best title ever.

Killer Fun also covers Hollywood, but it’s actually about how murderers are portrayed on TV and in movies—as well as what inspired the characters we love to hate and hate to love. (Yes, there’s lots of You content.)

Great news, Red Ball fans: The team is hard at work on season 2! It’ll follow a 30-year-old case that many people thought was closed, but a man may have been wrongfully convicted because of racial bias. While you wait, re-listen to or catch up on season 1.

No list of best true-crime podcasts is complete without one about female murderers. Not only does Women & Crime get into the psyches of these killers, but it also looks at how women fare in the criminal justice system.

This is another long-running pod, and one of the subjects it investigated in 2020 is Lenny Bruce. That should delight Marvelous Mrs. Maisel fans everywhere.

[Read More…]