For those of you who may not know, I’m a huge podcast junkie and love nothing more than a good binge. I find them fascinating and always have one on the go, whether I’m in the bath tub soaking away my cares or furiously tapping away at my computer at work. And ever since Serial, my podcasts of choice have always been true crime.
It’s funny really; I’m a complete wimp when it comes to horror – I can’t stand scary films! But I find true crime podcasts really interesting. Sure it’s a bit morbid, but it can really tell you a lot about the society we live in! Anyway, today I thought I would share my top five true crime podcasts with you, you never know, one of these might be your next listen!
Sword and Scale – listen to it here!
Sword and Scale is without doubt one of the slickest and most polished true crime podcasts about right now. Mike Boudet has this magical way of telling the saddest, scariest, most depraved stories and making you feel as if you were there, witnessing the horror of it at all; it’s emotive storytelling at its finest. What’s really great about this podcast is that it’s not an hour-odd of Boudet droning on and on (not that I think he drones!) Each episode is interwoven with court recordings, police phone calls, witness tape audio – sometimes even guest speakers – to really help bring the story to life. It’s a fascinating listen but Boudet does delve in to the darker side of crime – well, with a tagline of “The Worst Monsters Are Real” what can you expect? The only downside to this podcast is that it’s bi-weekly and I definitely need more S&S in my life than that.
Listen to: Jump straight in at episode number 4 and the tragic tale of Jessica Ridgeway who was murdered whilst on her way to school. Featuring audio tapes from the police who were investigating her disappearance to a phone call confession from her underaged killer, this episode is truly horrifying. Expect to be looking at every passer-by in a new (and more suspicious light) for at least a week after you give this a listen!
Court Junkie – listen to it here!
Court Junkie is my latest obsession, in just a few short weeks I have already devoured the archive (around 38 odd episodes!) and I just can’t get enough. Firstly, how amazing is Gillian’s voice? Honestly, she could be relaying the most dreadful of crimes and I would still find it soothing. Unlike the majority of true crime podcasts on this list, CJ has quite a strong focus on the court system with lots of audio coming from court cases and trials. I really enjoy podcasts with a good mix of story telling and audio and CJ definitely ticks all the boxes as far as that’s concerned.
Listen to: dive in at episode number 31 for the strangest, most fascinating episode you’ll hear on any podcast ever. Since this episode was released, other podcasts have covered the Donna Scrivo case but I feel none have done it the justice Court Junkie has. The Donna Scrivo case is the weirdest, cruellest, saddest, most messed up case you’ll ever hear. I don’t want to give too much away but honestly, if you’re not screaming why?! And feeling like a total utter confused and furious mess by the end of it, you’re probably as much a psychopath as Scrivo herself.
They Walk Among Us – listen to it here!
They Walk Among Us is the only British true crime podcast to grace this list. We all know that in most areas of life the Americans are just that little bit slicker than us Brits but TWAU is a rough and ready podcast that works so very well. Narrated by Benjamin, TWAU covers the big cases that hit our headlines (think Colchester killer and Shannon Matthews) to the smaller and lesser known cases. To me this podcast feels the realest and in turn the scariest. I think a lot of that has to do with how close to home it all is! Again, TWAU has a good mix of narrative and audio to help create a real atmosphere and build an image in your mind.
Listen to: all of it. Seriously, go listen to all of it, What are you even waiting for?! If you need a place to start I would suggest season two episode two which tells the story of the glamourous Leigh Sabine and the dark and deadly secrets she took to her grave. This story has so many twists and turns it can totally leave you wrong-footed at every corner.
The Vanished Podcast – listen to it here!
The Vanished Podcast is probably the most unique and unlike anything else on this list. Exclusively covering missing persons cases, The Vanished Pod also aims to solve on-going cases and provides you with contact numbers at the end in the hopes of a listener having vital information. Each case is handled respectfully by the narrator who talks through the details with the missing persons loved ones. No extra audio here but the stories told are so bizarre, sad and poignant that you are gripped from start to finish – no court tapes needed.
Listen to: episode one is a good place to start with this podcast. It will give you a real feel for what it’s all about as well as what’s to come.
Generation Why – listen to it here!
The Generation Why podcast most feels like a good friend giving you the latest gossip…although in some cases that gossip is considerably weirder and possibly more gory than the tedium of daily life we’re used to. Hosted by exceedingly likable narrators and friends Justin and Aaron, Generation Why covers a huge range of cases from historical to the latest and on-going. With an impressive 256 episodes there is definitely enough to keep you going for a good few months! Most episodes are just Aaron and Justin discussing the case (with no additional audio.) This does sound like it could get dull, and I concede that usually it would be, however it’s just not the case with Gen Why. The chemistry between the narrators is so entertaining and they do a good job of passing the story back and fourth, asking, uncovering and debating all of the big questions.
Listen to: go ahead and have a listen to episode 255 – the story of the deranged Pamela Hupp. It was hard to pick just one recommendation because there are so many great episodes that stand out in my mind…but the Hupp episode is very recent not to mention completely insane so it’s definitely the perfect starting point!
Do you listen to any interesting podcasts? Let me know in the comments below and I will have a listen!