Face it, murder is addictive. Hearing about murder that is, not actual murder. I assume. When it comes to true crime podcasts, not everything is about murder. Some of our favorite series are about missing persons, or cults, or just plain old attempted murders.
If you’ve run dry on your crime podcast of choice, check out some of our favorites below.
Missing Persons/Cold Case:
Missing Maura Murray
I consider this to be one of the original missing persons podcasts. Two true crime buffs dissect the disappearance of Maura Murray, a college student with a complicated past who vanished from a car accident in the White Mountains of New Hampshire in the early 2000s. The podcast even inspired a 6-part television series, called Missing Maura Murray, on Oxygen in December. If you don’t have cable or missed the show, don’t worry because each episode is available to listen to via the podcast.
Up And Vanished
The biggest thing I have to say about this podcast is that it is CRAZY. It follows the disappearance of Tara Grimstead, a teacher and former beauty queen who goes missing from her small town in Georgia. What starts as a seemingly innocent deep dive into what may have happened to her, this podcast ends up blowing the case wide open and leads to the arrest of two of her former students. To truly appreciate it, I highly recommend starting from the beginning and going through every episode.
Produced by the same company who brought us Up and Vanished, Atlanta Monster goes into the case of the Atlanta Child Murders of the late 70s. What seems to be a solved case ends up being anything but, as it looks into if the man behind bars is really the guy who killed 27 boys throughout the course of a decade. It’s still a relatively new podcast and new episodes come out every Friday, so there is plenty of time to catch up and watch how it unfolds in real time.
My Favorite Murder
Comedy and Murder don’t tend to go together, but this is one of those podcasts that combines the two seamlessly. My Favorite Murder has created a cult-like following, with supporters calling themselves “Murderinos” and creating dozens of sub-groups on Facebook (To name a few: Meowderinos, Snoozerinos, and more).
Wine and Crime
A comedic podcast about crime. You will be in stitches after 5 minutes of listening to the Wine and Crime gals. Each week, the three women chat about a different true crime topic, ranging from Necrophilia to Forensic Botany and everything in between, while drinking a bottle of wine. If you’re looking to walk on the less serious side of true crime, this one’s for you!
Last Podcast on the Left
Admittedly, this comedy podcast is more blue-collar, mansplaining humor. However, if you can set your feminist hat aside for a couple hours, these guys are hilarious. The guys on Last Podcast on the Left cover a different crime every few episodes, ranging from serial killers to the Manson Family to government conspiracies. This is the perfect podcast the quench your thirst for dark, dirty humor.
Martinis and Murder
Martinis and Murder is a fairly new true crime podcast that is produced by Oxygen, which just recently switched over to a 24-hour true crime network. John and Darren give you the facts of the case, served straight up, with a new true crime themed drink each week. If you listen to episode number two, you’ll even hear a Twitter shoutout for Literally, Darling writer Darrian!
Anthology (New Crime Every Episode):
This is one of the older True Crime podcasts that are currently out there. Aaron and Justin of Generation Why are very thorough in their reporting and are willing to look at all sides of crimes — even if their listeners don’t agree with them. They have even done a few long-form series, including a very interesting case of Kansas City Firefighters.
Sword & Scale
If you have a weak stomach, this podcast is NOT for you. Sword and Scale is known for its deep dive into the gruesome facts of crimes. While the storytelling is fantastic, and the reporting is thorough and very well done, it’s not for everyone. No matter how much your boss says they are into true crime, they will never look at you the same if you recommend this podcast to them (trust me!).
If you thought Serial had some crazy twists and turns, you haven’t seen anything yet. Dirty John tells what seems to be a story of a family dealing with an abusive stepfather, but turns into something much more dark and sinister. Trust me, you will audibly gasp at the last episode.
If you’ve never heard of Serial, have you actually listened to podcasts? This one started the Podcast Revolution, turning podcasts into a mainstream phenomenon that people actually talked about. The first season tells the story of a man who has spent the last 17 years in jail for a crime he may or may not have committed (there is still an ongoing argument in the True Crime World on that one). The second season, which is honestly a little lackluster, deals with the desertion case against Bowe Bergdahl. A new season is expected sometime this year.
Someone Knows Something
If you’re an OG true crime podcast listener because of Serial, then you’ll love Someone Knows Something. SKS is a Canadian produced podcast that is on its second season currently. Each season, a documentarian takes on a new unsolved case, much like Serial, and features interviews with family and friends who are still trying to solve these cases.
Similar to the Anthology section, Cults takes a look at a new cult almost every episode and does a very thorough deep dive into who the leaders are, how people began to follow them, and what went horribly wrong (in most cases). The hosts have a handful of other podcasts, including an anthology on serial killers (called Serial Killers), and are well known for their good reporting and psychological evaluations (though they are the first to admit they are not licensed psychologists).
What makes Heaven’s Gate so interesting is that it is hosted by Glynn Washington, a man who himself grew up in a cult. While not a former member of Heaven’s Gate, Washington is able to bring an insight into what followers may have been thinking that is not available in other podcasts about cults. Only a 10-part series, this podcast will leave amazed at how a seemingly absurd religion could convince 39 people to kill themselves in the largest mass suicide in American history.
Photo by Aaron Mello on Unsplash
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