Love Serial and S-Town? Here are 10 addictive true-crime podcasts to get hooked on
Embrace your love of the mysterious and macabre.
The makers behind the award-winning true-crime podcast, Serial and This American Life, are back with another gripping story: S-Town. All seven chapters dropped on Wednesday and the eerie podcast has become the water-cooler topic of the week.
But if you've already binged your way through the series and need another murder mystery fix, we've got 10 podcasts that are full of intrigue. Just don't listen to them before bedtime.
Gimlet Media's audio documentary that looks at the expansive web of corruption and crime in Providence, Rhode Island. Characters weave in and out of the gloriously pulpy narrative. One of the most notable characters is Raymond Patriarca Senior, the Italian-American mafia boss who was allegedly one of the inspirations for The Godfather.
The series was created by the people behind HBO's The Jink, so expect the same level of gripping detail and eeriness as the Robert Durst miniseries.
2 In the Dark
A Serial-style podcast that examines the abduction of Jacob Wetterling, who went missing in the US 27 years ago. His case rocked the media in 1989 and led to a federal law that required US states to create sex offender registers. In an unexpected twist, the unsolved murder at the heart of this true-crime podcast was solved a week before its launch. Reporter Madeleine Baran looks at how law enforcement mishandled the case.
“When a case takes 27 years to solve, we should stop and ask some tough questions of law enforcement,” she notes near the start. “Jacob was kidnapped on a dead-end road, in a town of just 3,000 people. There were witnesses. Law enforcement got there right away. It seemed like the kind of case that could have been solved that night, while there was still a chance to find Jacob alive.”
3 Someone Knows Something
This gripping podcast series focuses on Canadian cold case crimes in effort to uncover new information. In the first series, award-winning documentarian David Ridgen dives into the disappearance of a five-year-old boy in Ontario back in 1972, who went missing on a fishing trip with his father and siblings and was never seen again.
The second series is just as gripping: On December 31, 1997, at a New Year's Eve party broadcast on live TV, Sheppard accepted a marriage proposal from her boyfriend, Michael Lavoie. Two days later, she disappeared. Ridgen works with her mother to unearth new details which might propel the case forward.
Listeners are brought deep into the murky grey area of crime stories in these bite-sized episodes (ideal for the commute). The show tells "stories of people who've done wrong, been wronged or gotten caught somewhere in the middle".
Each episode examines a new true story. Using expert original reporting - interviews with perpetrators, victims and onlookers - giving a compelling glimpse into the minds and lives of criminals and their victims.
A haunting podcast that examines the darker side of history - the kind of tales that would be served up at a campsite at midnight. Producer Aaron Mehnke's creepy tales of folklore, mythology and real-life 'ghost' stories shows how our modern superstitions are shaped. You'll discover something new about stories you've always taken for granted.
Speaking to the Guardian, Mahnke said: “None of my episodes contain stories or details that I’ve fabricated for the show. All of the material is from documented stories or historical events. Some are ancient and some are modern, but they are all factual in the sense that people reported these things and believed they were true.”
6 Sword and Scale
Host Mike Boudet tells the stories of disappearances, murders, kidnapping and conspiracies in this "immersive audio experience", complete with sound effects and creepy music to get you spooked.
Boudet and his team dive into real-life cases using 911 recordings, court testimonies, interviews with victims and their own detailed research to create haunting tales that pull the listener in from the start. But it's more than just shock and horror, the team created the series in the hope of discovering how and why these crimes happen.
This podcast looks at the unsolved murder of Elizabeth Andes, who was found dead in her Ohio apartment in 1978 -just days after her college graduation. The crime was pinned on her boyfriend who confessed to the crime but later retracted his statement. What was an open-and-shut case lingered for 37 years.
Journalists Amber Hunt and Amanda Rossman have spent a year looking into the case and detail the investigation with the hope of shedding new light on the murder. It was inspired by Serial and topped the iTunes charts when it was released last year.
8 Unsolved Murders: True Crime Stories
A podcast that plays out like a radio drama with impressive sound effects and an ensemble of voice actors to take you through the crime scenes.
Hosted by American actor Carter Roy, the first series looks into true unsolved cold cases that happened from the early 20th century up until 1970. One story digs up the mystery of the Axeman of New Orleans, an early 20th-century jazz-loving serial killer.
A South African podcast that goes back in time to 1994 to investigate the story of Anthony de Vries, a man imprisoned for murders he claims he didn't commit. Two security guards were shot and killed during a cash-in-transit robbery at a supermarket. The crime happened in broad daylight. De Vries blames the apartheid police for his alleged wrongful conviction.
Journalist and author Paul McNally tracks the 1994 case to the present day and examines de Vries claims of innocence in the eight-episode series. His investigations uncover some holes in the prosecutors' testimony and police stories.
10 Court Junkie
A true-crime podcast that looks at intriguing court cases and the ways in which the criminal justice system can sometimes let people down. Jillian Pandav created the series to share the latest crime and courtroom news and shine light on cases of missing persons.
She explains: "Imagine being wrongfully convicted for a crime you didn’t commit, or imagine your child’s killer is still on the loose even though there’s enough evidence for an arrest. I want to help shine light on the injustices of our judicial system. I delve into court documents, attend trials, and interview those close to the case to help me tell their stories."