Podcast genres have been expanding rapidly with the sudden popularity of the downloadable episodes. True crime as a genre as a whole has always had an audience of interested people from all walks of life. There is something so enticing about learning about crime and the minds behind the criminals.
The fact that this genre is solely based on true events gives it that extra push toward creepiness, and separates it from the horror genre. If you're looking for the best true crime podcasts, look no further. We have completed a list of only the most chilling, thought-provoking and unique shows to listen to on your morning commute. Or if you're brave, right before bed.
Serial by WBEZ
What would a list of the best true crime podcasts be without starting off with the granddaddy of all horror pods? Hosted by Sarah Koenig, the series follows a true story, each season being a different plot with each episode being a chapter's worth.
The original season of Serial that created all of the buzz and had the podcast rated number one on iTunes, follows the story of a high school senior whose body was found a month after she went missing. To follow, her boyfriend is arrested for the crime. Winner of a Peabody Award, the podcast is currently being adapted for television.
Criminal by Radiotopia
Criminal is a podcast for listeners who love a good storyteller. Besides the podcast being about crime, the structure of the show revolves around the technicalities of the crime, such as the sociological and historical aspects.
With over 79 episodes, this is one of the best true crime podcasts you can truly get invested in. With episodes released twice a month of Fridays, you can't go wrong with adding some episodes to your listening queue. Plus, they won the Third Coast International Audio Festival for Best Documentary.
The Generation Why Podcast
With topics ranging from mysteries, conspiracies, and of course, true crime stories, two friends, Aaron and Justin, conversate about everything interesting in the world of crime. Derived from their true love for unsolved murders, controversies, and theories, the two created an outlet for not only themselves, but an audience of listeners. Entertaining is an understatement.
True Murder: The Most Shocking Killers in True Crime History and the Authors That Have Written About Them
A different approach to the true crime theme, True Murder is hosted by Dan Zupansky as he interviews authors that have just a ton of knowledge on some of the most well-known killers.
As one of the best true crime podcasts, each episode takes a different path, depending on the featured guest. And you won't believe the kind of stories these authors have, and are willing to tell Zupansky's listeners. With over 300 episodes to date, you'll always have a fix on some true crime content.
Someone Knows Something by CBC
Hosted by the filmmaker and writer David Ridgen, Someone Knows Something's first seasons investigates the true story of an unsolved case of the disappearance of Adrien McNaughton, a young boy who went missing during a family trip.
Written and produced by Ridgen himself, the podcast is comprised of three seasons, all following cold cases of suspicious disappearances. It's guaranteed you will become completely invested in these stories, all while appreciating Ridgen's narration abilities. Give it a listen for yourself.
Sword and Scale by Wondery
Released every other week, Sword and Scale is one of the best true crime podcasts to explore not only murders, but high-profile trials, missing person cases, and unsolved mysteries. They take the podcast that extra mile with aspects of trial audio, 911 call audio, interviews with victims, authors, and witness, and even interrogation audio. As one of the top ten podcasts in the Science category, the show is growing popularity rapidly, and for good reason.
Real Crime Profile by Wondery
Real Crime Profile is a podcast that not only tells the stories of real criminal cases, but analysis the behavior and the sociological aspect of the mysteries that so many listeners are invested in.
Hosted by a former FBI profiler, Jim Clemente, a criminal behavioral analyst, Laura Ricahrds, and a Criminal Minds casting director, Lisa Zambetti, what more could you need from a cast?
And That's Why We Drink
Interested in combining two of the most popular genres of the horror genre? Paranormal meets murder mystery with one of the best true crime podcasts, And That's Why We Drink. Encouraging their viewers to drink along with them due to the scary reality of the world, Em and Christine have always been interested in the world of the paranormal, as well as true crime. Do you share the same enthusiasm? Start with one of their 52 episodes.
My Favorite Murder with Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark
With help from their fans and friends, Karen Kilgariff and Georgie Hardstark share their love and interest for the true crime genre with their favorite bone-chilling stories. Think you've heard all the best tales? Try listening to a few of their 143 episodes to choose from.
True Crime Garage
Nic and the Captain host True Crime Garage, a weekly show in which they discuss real-life horror stories with beers in hand. Topics like serial killers, current news, and unsolved mysteries are all touched on.
The structure of the podcast allows you to feel as if you're cracking one open alongside the two. That alone is a reason the garage is one of the best true crime podcasts to download. If you're more interested in the storytelling aspect of the true crime genre, rather than giving yourself nightmares, this is a great option.