March 19, 2020

My Favorite True Crime Podcasts


It's no secret that I love true crime, and after yesterday's post about my own "true crime" experience, a few people asked me about what my favorite true crime podcasts are.

When I was working on remodeling the house over about nine months, I spent nine hours a day working on it. I would listen to podcast after podcast, and I definitely found some favorites! I binged those ones until I had heard every episode, and now I look forward to each new one.

From what I listen to, there are two types: The first is where a narrator (or two) read from a script telling stories about true crime; the other is where the host(s) explains the details of a true crime, in his/her own words. Most of the time, if there are two hosts, they will spend some time bantering.

I just choose whichever type I'm in the mood for at the moment. But anyway, here are my favorites and some commentary about them (in no particular order)...


1) Sword & Scale


This is a controversial one for a couple of reasons regarding the host, Mike Boudet. I don't want to get into the controversy because that doesn't affect how I feel about the podcast.

I really like the host's voice, and he is an entertaining story teller. He doesn't sugar-coat details, however, and he talks about some really terrible crimes--so, it's not for the faint of heart. And there is some bad language in this one, just FYI.

It's funny, when I listen to a past episode (sometimes I'll go back and listen to old ones) I can remember exactly what part of the house I was working on when I heard it, haha.

Anyway, his style of podcasting is basically telling the detailed story of a crime, interjecting with some thoughts of his own; he includes a lot of 911 calls and interviews as well.

There are lots of episodes of Sword & Scale, so if you enjoy it, it'll last a long time! I would suggest starting with the earlier episodes before it became controversial. Boudet's personality gets more cynical after the incident.


2) Morbid


I actually found this one accidentally, and it was quite the coincidence. I was searching for new true crime podcasts and I noticed one had an episode about Chelsea Bruck, which caught my eye. If you don't remember, Chelsea Bruck was a young woman who went missing from a Halloween party just a few miles from my house. It was a big deal, drawing national attention. I shared a little about it when it happened.

Anyway, I was very interested to listen to it, and I ended up LOVING the podcast. I adore the hosts (two women who are aunt/niece--Alaina and Ash, respectively). They exchange a lot of fun banter.

Just beware that the language in this one is not exactly for children's ears. There is a lot of swearing. Sometimes I think it's overkill, but I still enjoy listening. Lately, I haven't loved it as much as I used to--as they've gotten very popular, they do a lot of live shows (which I don't like to listen to) and they do a lot of talking before getting to the point. They get off topic a lot as well.

Lately, they've been doing a lot of two and three part episodes, which drives me crazy. I want to be able to listen to the whole story without waiting a week or two between episodes. Even more confusing, they will put some random episodes in between those.

However, if listening to this, I would start at the very first episode of the show and work your way forward. Or hey, start with the episode about Chelsea Bruck! That one stands out to me because it was so close to home.


3) Crime Junkie


Again, this one had some controversy (stating that the host was plagiarizing other podcasts). I didn't notice anything like that, and I didn't let it bother me. I did notice that the host has started stating her sources much more clearly, though.

Anyway, I really love the host of this one (Ashley). She has a co-host, Brit, who seems a little out place. Ashley does most of the talking (she's reading a script, but it sounds very natural and casual) and Brit will interject occasionally with something rather odd. Regardless, I like them and I really love their podcast. Ashley is a great story teller!


4) True Crime All The Time


This one has two male hosts, both named Mike--Mike Ferguson and Mike Gibson, affectionately called Fergie and Gibby)--and I adore their very different personalities. They banter a lot, but I really love that they stay on topic for the most part. One of my biggest peeves is when the hosts get way off topic, so I like that it's not an issue for this one.

They take a more light-hearted approach to the stories, but they still keep it very respectful and they don't joke about sensitive matters. Their language isn't an issue in this--I think there might be an occasional "damn" or something, but it's not out of place and certainly not excessive.

I really enjoy this podcast because the episodes tend to be longer and they tell a LOT of facts about the cases (they seem very well researched). I also love the banter while they discuss the cases, even while keeping to the subject. There are a lot of episodes of this--well over 100--so it's a great binge-listen!


5) The Minds of Madness


This one is quite different from the others I've mentioned. The host is a man named Tyler, and the entire episode is scripted. The host doesn't interject with commentary or opinions. He states the facts of cases in a story-telling manner. I really like these episodes because they are well-researched and cover interesting cases.

If you read the reviews of this podcast, lots of people mention the male narrator's voice. Some people hate it, some people love it. It's very deep and some may say that it's monotone. I realize I'm making this podcast sound incredibly boring, but I really do love it! It's at least worth giving it a try. I love that with a scripted podcast, there is no straying from the point.

The host also delves into the past of the criminal, which sheds some light on what may lead them to commit such terrible crimes.


6) Serial Killers


This one reminds me a lot of The Minds of Madness, only there are two hosts. The hosts are Greg and Vanessa, and they tell a scripted story. Greg tells most of the story, while Vanessa discusses the psychology of the case based on research. She usually discusses the past of the murder and how they grew up. The hosts never stray from the story, which is great, and the episodes aren't super long (about 35 to 45 minutes).


7) Criminology


This podcast is also an unscripted one with some banter between the hosts (ALSO both named Mike--and one of them is Mike Ferguson from True Crime All the Time). It actually reminds me a lot of True Crime All the Time, but I don't think that the dynamic between the hosts on Criminology is a great as TCATT. Still, the cases are well-researched, and the story telling is great!



Well, there they are--my favorites! I've found that as podcasts get more popular, I tend to like them less and less. For example, when I listened to the first dozen or so episodes of My Favorite Murder, I loved it! But eventually, they started spending 30 minutes or more chatting at the beginning of the show, and I really just want to hear about the crimes. I feel like this is starting to happen with Morbid, which is a bummer!

Anyone have suggestions for more true crime podcasts? Please share! I'm always looking for new ones. :)


13 comments:

  1. I like Southern Fried True Crime and Generation Why. Also, Cold is a great longform podcast, about one specific case (Josh and Susan Powell). Well worth the listen.

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  2. Thanks for the tips, I'll check them out! Here are some of my favourites: The Dating Game Killer, Verified, The Shrink Next Door, The Missing Crypto Queen & Death in Ice Valley. All of them are a series of episodes about one case, so here's a lot of detail and usually also interviews with people involved.

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  3. Criminal is really good! The host, Phoebe Judge, has the best podcast voice I've heard. I also really loved Cold. It's a single story podcast about the disappearance of Susan Powell. I agree that Brit on Crime Junkie just doesn't sound right. It sounds to me like they aren't even in the same room when they record.

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  4. Small Town Dicks is good--Yeardley Smith (the voice of Lisa Simpson) is the host. People love My Favorite Murder, but I personally could never get into it.

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  5. Have you tried that subscription box about tracking down a murderer? I forget what it's called... sounds like fun though.

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  6. Because you like Serial Killers, which is a Parcast production you should just search Parcast, they have a ton of different ones out there. I am currently binging on their Unsolved Murders, also true crime just unsolved and I love the hosts. My other fav it Dateline, it is the show but in podcast form.

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  7. I don't listen to podcasts, but I read true crime. Ann Rule is my favorite author. She spends a lot of time on the people involved and you feel like you really get to known them.

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    Replies
    1. I love Anne Rule! When I was in college, somebody gave me a bunch of old books and one of them was Dead By Sunset by Ann Rule. I wound up buying every book of hers I could find and reading them over the next few months. She eventually wrote a book about some people I knew! Too Late to Say Goodbye about Bart Corbin, if you've read that one.

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  8. Cold is a whole series about a specific crime but is awesome.
    Casefile is also awesome. I love the narrator.

    In the Dark also is one crime per season but season 2 is the single best podcast I’ve ever listened to. Do not google the crime before listening!

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  9. Up and Vanished is amazing!!

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  10. I'm surprised no one has mentioned My Favorite Murder, I like it better than Morbid, but they are similar. A very light-hearted (well, sorta since they are still discussing true crime) one is Housewives of True Crime, but they do a lot of "extra" discussions, so you may not like that one.

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