My favourite true crime podcasts (plus the ones you’re loving right now)

Following on from my blog post rounding up the TV shows to watch right now, I thought I’d pull together one on podcasts.

But not any podcasts, the ones that delve into the dark and twisty world of (mostly) serial killers, murders and all round bad guys.

I’m almost embarrassed to admit it’s taken me until this year to get into podcasts. I love listening to music so that’s my usual go-to when I’m going for a walk or pottering around the house.

Until now.

Although I had joined half of Australia in listening to The Teacher’s Pet podcast when it came out, and Who The Hell is Hamish? during my stay at Bluey’s Beach last year, I still favoured my playlists over podcasts.

However, when Covid hit, I decided I should mix up my routine (in a number of ways) and downloaded The Dating Game Killer. And I was hooked.

I listened to it when I was walking (probably freaking people out when I’d randomly yell ‘What the f*ck’) and when I was driving. I even listened to it while scrubbing that floor at the pub. I couldn’t get enough and have now finished the first five on this list.

MY RECOMMENDATIONS: 

Motive for Murder (US) 
Dateline’s Josh Mankiewicz takes you inside one of the most twisted and confounding cases he’s ever covered. From the team who brought you the #1 podcast The Thing About Pam comes the chilling story of the race to find a killer by unmasking the motive.

Dr Death (US) 
Dr. Death is a 2018 podcast produced by Wondery that tells the story of Christopher Duntsch, a Texas surgeon who was convicted of gross malpractice after thirty-one of his patients were left seriously injured after he operated on them, and two patients died during his operation

Over My Dead Body (US) 
We all have limits and some people who are pushed beyond those limits will do unspeakable things. In “Tally,” Season One of Over My Dead Body, Dan and Wendi are two good-looking attorneys whose wedding is featured in the New York Times. But when this “perfect” couple falls apart, it leads to a bad breakup, a worse divorce, and a horrific murder.

The Dating Game Killer (US)
Hollywood & Crime’s new six-part series The Dating Game Killer uncovers the twisted secret life of one of America’s most prolific serial killers. When Rodney Alcala appeared as a contestant on the popular TV show, The Dating Game, he was a diagnosed sociopath and convicted child molester.

The Thing About Pam (US) 
Two days after Christmas, 2011, Russ Faria came home to find his wife, Betsy, dead. Betsy’s brutal murder set off a chain of events that would leave another person dead and expose a diabolical scheme.

Next up on my list:

Dead Wrong (AUS) 
Dead Wrong is the explosive untold story of the bizarre shooting of Jeffrey Brooks, where everything pointed to murder but family, friends and crime experts say a botched police investigation let a cold-blooded killer slip away. This is a special investigation by The Courier-Mail’s Kate Kyriacou and Peter Hall.

Hunting Warhead (AUS)
How do you take down a criminal network that’s hidden in the shadows? How do you rescue child abuse victims who could be anywhere in the world? Hunting Warhead follows the journalists and police on a global mission to expose the darkest corners of the internet. What they discover shocks them. Host Daemon Fairless tracks down the investigators, survivors and criminals themselves.

The Lighthouse (AUS)
Eighteen-year-old backpacker Théo Hayez is missing in Byron Bay, a beachside town on Australia’s most easterly mainland point, frequently in the spotlight for its famous residents. At the request of Théo’s family, The Australian’s national crime correspondent, David Murray, joined the unofficial search party, investigating the mystery disappearance.

The Lady Vanishes
A much loved mother, teacher and friend steps on a plane for an overseas adventure and is never seen again. Marion Barter, the former wife of Australian soccer great Johnny Warren, went missing in 1997. The circumstances surrounding her disappearance are bizarre. Her daughter has never given up hope of finding her. This is her quest.

22 hours: An American Nightmare
It was a case nightmares are made of. A DC power couple, their 10-year-old son and housekeeper held hostage for nearly 24 hours and murdered inside a burning mansion. This 15-episode podcast examines the complicated trail of evidence that police say led to finding their killer and why they say he committed such a brutal crime.

Unravel: Snowball (NZ)
With kooky plot twists to rival a Hollywood movie, the seven-episode series by Ollie Wards chronicles how his brother’s whirlwind romance with a charismatic Californian con woman ultimately cost his family more than a million dollars. It soon becomes clear to Ollie that his family’s story is just one piece of a bigger jigsaw — and the only way he can put the puzzle together is by tracking down the woman herself.

The Wonderland Murders (US) 
Journey back to 1981, when four people were brutally murdered in their home in the Hollywood Hills. The Wonderland Murders is the tale of a violent home invasion robbery and the revenge rampage that followed. It involves a drug-fueled gang of criminals, a crazed crime kingpin — and the world’s most famous porn star on a downward and deadly spiral.

Other recommendations:

Serial Killers (US)
If you’re a prolific listener, you’ll love Serial Killers because this twice-weekly podcast has almost 200 episodes now streaming. It takes a psychological and entertaining approach to provide a rare glimpse into the mind, methods and madness of the most notorious serial killers with the hopes of better understanding their psychological profile. With the help of in-depth research, they delve deep into their lives and stories.

Death in Ice Valley (UK)
This podcast sounds like no other in the world: an immersive listening experience which involves thousands of followers in a live investigation, actively trying to solve a 48-year-old real-life mystery. It follows a two-year investigation into the mystery surrounding the life and death of an unknown woman whose burned body was found in western Norway in 1970, at the height of Cold War.

Australian True Crime (AUS) 
Australia’s suburbs are home to some of the most mysterious and disturbing true crime cases in the world. Meshel Laurie is a true crime obsessive. Emily Webb is a true crime author. And together with expert interviews with writers, victims, investigators and perpetrators, they probe the underbelly of our towns and suburbs, and uncover the darkness at the heart of Australian life.

Gone Fishing (NZ)
Gail Maney was sentenced to life in prison for ordering the murder of a man she claims she never met. Now, after serving 15 years behind bars, she makes the case for her innocence in this fascinating and award-winning true crime podcast from New Zealand.

Confronting: OJ Simpson
It’s been 25 years since the crimes that ignited the “Trial of the Century” and in this 10-part series Ron Goldman’s sister Kim is digging deep into the vicious crime that changed her life, and many others, forever. She sits down with prosecutors, investigators, and witnesses who never got to speak and jurors who voted not guilty.

Man in the Window (US) – I was warned not to listen to this at night
In Man in the Window, Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter Paige St. John has uncovered never before revealed details about the Golden State Killer—one of California’s most deadly serial killers.

Beenham Valley Road (AUS)
When Kirra McLoughlin died on a property on Beenham Valley Road near Gympie, Queensland, law enforcement and medical examiners were baffled. Kirra’s former partner would claim she went to sleep after a fight and simply didn’t wake up. Kirra’s body had 105 signs of bruising, and there was a 12 hour period where emergency services weren’t contacted about her rapidly declining state. Former police officer Jamie Pultz investigates the case, talking to Kirra’s friends and family, and looking into the events leading up to and following her death.

Monsters who Murder: Serial Killer Confessions
It’s the podcast dividing listeners. Their case files bring the facts, while exclusive interviews show another side—the human side. Amanda Howard is a best selling true crime author who doesn’t just talk about serial killers, she talks to them. Now Amanda is sharing almost 30 years worth of research, including letters and never-before-heard recordings that will shed new light on famous cases.

True Crime Conversations (AUS) 
From Mamamia, True Crime Conversations explores the world’s most notorious crimes many with an Australian focus by speaking to the people who know the most about them. 

Casefile (AUS)
Casefile appeared on the internet without fanfare back in 2016 and was introduced as “Australia’s first true crime podcast,” although the show includes some cases from overseas. The series, hosted by an Australian man who remains anonymous, deals with solved or cold criminal cases, often related to well-known murders and serial crimes. 

Women and Crime (US)
Hosted by criminologists Dr Meghan Sacks and Dr Amy Shlosberg study women who have been victims of crime, and those who have committed crimes, and those who work in the criminal justice system. In Women and Crime they tell a new story each episode, and use a criminologist’s lens to look at how women are treated in the criminal justice system, the causes of female crime and victimisation, as well as cover cases in which women have been wrongfully convicted and exonerated.

True Blue Crime (AUS)
Join hosts Shaun and Chloe each week as they discuss an Australian criminal case, deep diving into the backgrounds of perpetrators, details of crimes, impact on victims, and effects on the community.

My Favourite Murder (US)
American comedians Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark met at a Halloween party in 2014 where Kilgariff was describing a violent car accident she had witnessed. Hardstark approached Kilgariff, finding they had a shared interest in true crime.

Bear Brook (US)
In 1985, a hunter walking through Bear Brook State Park in Allenstown, New Hampshire made a grisly discovery: a 55 gallon drum left deep in the woods, containing two sets of skeletonized remains, which investigators believed had been left in the woods for years. A subsequent investigation yielded little results until 2000, when a second barrel containing another pair of bodies was discovered, just a hundred meters away. This seven-episode series sought to untangle the case and its various angles

Root of Evil
Equal parts true crime and family mystery – these sisters uncover a dark family secret suspecting their great grandfather’s involvement in the Black Dahlia murder. When Elizabeth Short, also known as The Black Dahlia, was brutally killed in 1947, it gripped the entire country. More than 70 years later, it remains America’s most infamous unsolved murder. Now, through never-before-heard archival audio and first-time interviews, the Hodel family opens up to reveal their shocking story in this 14-episode series..

RedHanded (UK) 
RedHanded is a True Crime podcast presented by British pals, Hannah and Suruthi, whose shared love of the genre led to them starting their own podcast. RedHanded covers everything from big time serial killers (and those you may never have heard of), to hauntings, possessions, disturbing mysteries, bizarre whodunits and basically anything that tickles their creepy fancy.

I Catch Killers with Gary Jubelin (AUS) 
After 34 years in the police and 25 years in homicide, Detective Inspector (retired) Gary Jubelin is tracking down the detectives who inspire—and the odd hardcore criminal—to extract their tricks of the trade. Over beers, they reveal the untold true stories of Australia’s most terrifying murders – and the cases that still haunt them. Equal parts hilarious and horrifying, this is “shop talk” like you’ve never heard before.

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