Within the last few years, the genre of true crime has exploded in popularity.
In the wake of legendary podcasts such as Criminal, S-Town and Serial, true crime junkies have been flooding out of the woodwork. Due to their gripping stories and execution of research (no pun intended), these are some of the most consumed true crime podcasts of our time.
If you have already binged these podcasts, chances are you are looking for your next true crime fix. If so, you are in the right place.
Below we have listed some of the best up and coming true crime podcasts of 2021. These shows have either just made an appearance, or are finally catching their wave of recognition. Either way, these are some of the podcasts we feel are worth giving a download this year.
1. In the Dark
The ongoing search for eleven year old Jacob Wetterling, is still to this day one of the biggest search efforts in US history. The manhunt for the killer had hundreds of national guardsmen sweeping the Minnesota countryside. Not only did the disappearance of Jacob Weterling send a cold chill into the hearts of parents nationwide, it gave birth to the term “stranger danger.” Serial investigative journalist, Madeleine Baran, takes you on a journey through this heart wrenching case. In the Dark takes a deep dive into what went wrong within the investigation, and why Jacob Wetterling’s remains have yet to be found.
2. Unraveled: Long Island Serial Killer
Imagine a murder case in which the chief of police is the prime suspect. It’s been more than ten years since eleven dismembered bodies were discovered, strewn along the coast of Long Island. Within this seven part podcast investigative journalists, Billy Jensen and Alexis Linkietter, explore these brutal murders in hopes of solving them.
3. Tenfold More Wicked
Investigative journalism at its finest, Tenfold More Wicked is a blend of both narrative nonfiction and research. Focusing on a single case for episodes at a time, Kate Dawson shines a spotlight on crimes lost to history. This true crime podcast delves into the intimate lives of both the victims and their killers.
4. My Favorite Murder
One of the best banter based, true crime podcasts, My Favorite Murder has one of the largest cult followings seen by the true crime community. Lifelong fans themselves, hosts Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark unite forces each week, to retell their favorite true crime stories. These stories range from harrowing near misses with murderers to house hauntings. If you enjoy comedy sprinkled in, to lighten your true crime obsession, this podcast is for you.
5. Dr. Death
The average person’s worst nightmare, the story of Dr. Death will leave you clinging to the edge of your seat. Seemingly honest and personable neurosurgeon, Christopher Dunsch, reveals a dark, sinister side. Leaving thirty of his patients permanently injured or dead, this podcast goes into depth of his story. This true crime podcast is Grey’s Anatomy with a sick twist.
6. Jensen and Holes: The Murder Squad
This podcast provides listeners the unique experience of being involved in a true crime investigation. Retired cold case investigators, Billy Jensen and Paul Holes take on cold cases each week. This podcast actively encourages their listeners to use their social media platforms to help solve crimes. Tips from listeners, DNA searches and social media geo targeting help these detectives solve forgotten cases, and give closure to victims’ families. Through using their broad listener base, they hope to inch closer to justice.
7. The Clown and the Candyman
On a scale from one to twisted, this podcast is especially dark. The Clown and the Candyman provides a deeply disturbing insight into 1970’s America. Clown and the Candyman takes a deep dive into a pedophile network established in the 70’s, comprised of prominent figures from society. Some infamous serial killers that make appearances in this podcast include John Wayne Gacy and Dean Corll.
8. The Apology Line
In the late 1980’s, posters with a mysterious hotline began emerging across New York City. The Apology Line tells the mysterious story of Allan Bridge, also known as Mr. Apology. This phone line quickly became an outlet for those needing to anonymously apologize for crimes they have committed. To his surprise, thousands of apologies came flooding in through this hotline. Apologies and confessions ranging from petty theft to murder. Told through the eyes of his wife, this podcast dives into the secret life of Mr. Apology, and of his mystery callers.
9. 90s Crime Time
Presenting a new crime each week, Simone Tayler transports listeners back in time, landing in 90s America. Her podcast revolves solely on crimes, ranging from petty theft to murder, that occurred between 1990 and 1999. Many of these crimes, lost within the pages of time, were largely unknown by the true crime community. That is of course, until she unearthed them.
10. Hunting Ghislaine with John Sweeney
Hunting Ghislaine reveals the story of Ghislaine Maxwell finally being brought to justice. For an entire year after the case on Jeffery Epstein was exposed, Maxwell hid in the shadows. Although her role in the sexual exploitation and abuse of underage women was undeniable, it took the authorities twelve months to convict her. This story investigates how she became involved and her role in one of the largest pedophilic rings in the world.
11. Killer Fun
Throughout this podcast series, Christy and Jackie explore TV shows, movies and books that revolve around both real and fictional crime. Their aim is to take their listeners on a harrowing journey, filled with both entertainment and terror. Christy, currently enrolled in Psychology at Harvard, provides a unique edge in understanding the fascinating world of true crime.
12. Crime Junkie
Each week Ashely Flowers provides straightforward storytelling on the missing, murdered and wanted. She features episodes covering stories of stalkers, conspiracy theories, serial killers, missing and murdered cases, mysteries and disappearances and more. If you enjoy skipping the small talk and banter of true crime shows, this podcast is for you.
13. Fatal Voyage: The Mysterious Death of Natalie Wood
This true crime podcast delves into the legendary disappearance of hollywood actress, Natalie Wood. The mystery surrounding her disappearance has had investigators perplexed for the last four decades. Wood was reported to have accidentally fallen overboard, off of a pleasure cruise. However, the hint of a deeper more sinister motive still lingers in the air. This twelve episode podcast follows Los Angeles homicide detectives who are attempting to solve this case, once and for all.
14. Southern Fried True Crime
Down to earth and with a southern charm, Erica Kelley explores historical and current true crimes that have taken place in the Deep South. As a native Tennessean herself, she tells all her stories with a mild southern drawl, which is impossible not to get swept in by. Released weekly, the Southern Fried true crime podcast explores family murders, mysterious disappearances, poisonings and more.
15. Anatomy of Murder
Taking a magnified view, former NYC homicide prosecutor, Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi and former Deputy Sheriff Scott Weinberger provide insider intel to homicide cases. This podcast gives an insight into what being on the ground, during a murder investigation, would feel like.
16. Killer Queens
Tyrella and Tori, podcasts hosts and sisters, engage listeners with their complete obsession with everything true crime. This conversation based podcast will transport you into the world of each crime filled story. They cover all of the best aspects of true crime, such as murder, betrayal, mysteries and more. All while maintaining a southern sass.
Serial is an investigative journalism podcast hosted by Sarah Koenig, which tells a true crime story over multiple episodes. Launched in 2014, the first season explored the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee and the subsequent conviction of Adnan Syed. Each season focuses on a new case, combining thorough research, interviews, and storytelling to shed light on complex criminal cases. Serial has received critical acclaim and has been influential in the true crime podcast genre.
Criminal is a true crime podcast created by Phoebe Judge, Lauren Spohrer, and Eric Mennel in 2014. Each episode features a standalone story, exploring a wide range of criminal cases, from historical events to contemporary issues. The podcast is known for its in-depth research, empathetic storytelling, and focus on the human aspect of crime. Criminal’s unique approach to the genre has garnered it a dedicated following and critical acclaim.
19. Sword and Scale
Launched in 2014, this true crime podcast covers various aspects of the criminal underworld, such as murders, abductions, and unsolved mysteries. Sword and Scale delves deep into the minds of criminals, using interviews, 911 calls, and court recordings to provide a chilling and immersive experience. The podcast is known for its intense storytelling and unfiltered look into the darkest corners of human behavior.
What Do You Think Are the Best True Crime Podcasts?
That’s our list of the best true crime podcasts in 2020. They’re full of interesting stories, tragic experiences, and compelling drama. Do you have a favorite show? Tell us which shows you think are the best true crime podcasts in the comments.
Still browsing for more great podcasts to add to your routine? Check out some more of our roundups: