I’m not shy in hiding my new found passion for true crime podcasts and documentaries. When I find like-minded individuals, I won’t shut up about the last episode of “My Favorite Murder” or whatever Netflix documentary that I binged over the weekend (seriously it’s a problem). The increased public interest in forensic science and investigative journalism presented through the podcast platform is a hook for me.
From unsolved crimes to true crime comedy, there has been a recent flood of true crime podcasts and documentaries that have gained a strong fan following. To say I’m “excited” might not be the most politically correct word to use, but I can say that I’ve joined the trend and I’m obsessed.
If you are a “murderino” like me, or you are interested in dipping your toes into the true crime world, I’ve selected my top five true crime podcasts, documentaries, and current books to share with you in a three-part series. This week I’m sharing my top five true crime podcasts that I love to binge and I know you will too!
#1 – “Serial” (Type: investigative journalism)
Session one of the “Serial” podcast, created by Sarah Koenig and Julie Snyder, kicked off the investigative journalism podcast upward trend that brought the case against Adnan Syed and victim Hae Min Lee to everyone’s listening devices around the world. We took a deep dive into a day by day recap of events leading up to Hae Min Lee’s disappearance and ultimate recovery of her body.
Interviews with witnesses, interviews with family members, and interviews with Adnan have you immersed in this investigation and into the criminal acts that resulted in the conviction of Adnan Syed, Hae’s ex-boyfriend. The podcast leaves you wanting more and questioning everything about this case – A case that is known to be the first of it’s kind for using cell phone towers to map out and convict a killer, or so we think. This case is currently back in the news and making headlines, largely in part to the investigative journalism of Serial podcast creators.
#2 – “In the Dark” (Type: investigative journalism)
I binged the first season and I’m glad I did because it was perfectly timed with the release of wrongfully convicted (SIX times), death row inmate – Curtis Flowers. Season one was intense – breaking into the topic of racial discrimination among jurors and a carefully crafted illustration of the eye witness accounts by the state’s defense, leaves you with a lot of emotions. For me, it left me shocked, it left me angry and it empowered me to join the forces that support the wrongful conviction of Curtis Flowers. I anxiously await season two’s weekly podcast releases.
#3 – My Favorite Murder (Type: true crime with a comedy twist)
The words comedy and true crime don’t often find themselves in the same sentence and they definitely don’t find themselves in a podcast… but in this case, they do. I’m not sure how Karen and Georgia (yes, we’re on a first-name basis) bring a comedy twist to true crime, but they have mastered it. Before you get upset, know that they are not disrespectful or tasteless in their comedy. They provide a comfortable space to discuss uncomfortable topics, such as true crime.
Another element that I enjoy about this podcast is their ability to engage with their fans through the podcast. They invite listeners to join in on telling their own brushes with murder through “hometowns” stories and fans even call themselves “murderinos.”
#4 – True Crime Garage (Type: unsolved crimes)
I’m ready to have a beer with the guys from True Crime Garage. They kick off each episode with shout outs to contributors of their “beer fund”. That’s right, you can sponsor their beer at the beginning of every show. Beyond the beer, the duo has a casual and sometimes intense back and forth dialog, running through every possibility of unsolved crimes. They look at the evidence and sometimes the lack thereof and walk through the crime. I feel like I’m sitting in a bar talking through the possible scenarios of each crime. I’m afraid to say that I am often talking out loud during this podcast, they have a way of including you in the conversation and I find myself wanting to jump right in during the discussions.
#5 – The Murder Squad (Type: unsolved crimes)
Investigative journalist, Billy Jenson, and retired cold case investigator, Paul Holes come with “receipts” to each episode. They utilize social media, new advances in DNA and the listener to create “the murder squad.” This podcast really provides details about cases and lays out all of the known facts to inspire listeners to take charge and help solve cold cases.
I really like this podcast because they present the facts in the case, and provide intel based on their working knowledge of other crimes happening in the area of the cold case at the time. Then through social media and podcast listeners, they ask for help.
Check back next week for part two of my true-crime series. I will go through my top five true crime documentaries that you need to binge now! In the meantime, download my top five true crime podcasts and let me know what you think.