Here are my favorite 20 true crime podcasts and some of the lessons I learned after listening to a dozen true crime podcasts. Lessons about law, police, podcast making, serial killers, mysterious disappearing and myself. Also, my to-listen list of 25+ more true crime podcasts to listen to.
What is it about true-crime podcasts that’s so addictive? I don’t have a sick mind. I Google all these murder and abduction cases, and I’m always waiting for the next episode.
How bizarre? For me, it all started when I was living in Manly, Sydney, Australia. I had been hooked on podcasts for a couple of years already (Gary Vaynerchuk was my favorite!) and I was craving his content while doing beautiful beach walks. The perfect way to make workouts fun again because these long hour, two-hour keynote sessions made the perfect back noise for my weekend 30 km walks.
So after a while, doing daily hikes, I needed more podcasts to love.
I discovered my true crime obsession after watching Netflix’ ‘Making A Murderer’. Who didn’t obsess over the Steven Avery documentary? But instead of watching obsessive true crime documentaries, I decided to finally give Serial a listen. Documentaries often are too graphic, I can’t deal with seeing the graphic stuff that gives me nightmares and lowers my vibration too much. I also HATE to watch programs like crime stoppers, I can’t deal with it and once I did watch it because someone didn’t want to turn it off, I started to cry like a baby. Nope, that’s not for me. So I knew Serial was the best, I decided to listen while doing some housework. And boy, I was hooked! I listened to it non stop and completed it in one very robotic day – all I could do was listen to season 1.
But then I finished it. I needed answers. I needed to talk to people about it. So I Googled the case to disappointedly find out that there wasn’t an update yet. I’m very sad to conclude but I think he did it. And why does Jay not speak up? Ugh, this case is a mystery and I can’t deal with not knowing how it is. Imagine being how sad Hae’s family and friends would feel.
I also listened to the other podcast about that case, Undisclosed but the sound quality wasn’t that good so I didn’t finish it. I’m that picky about my podcasts.
Something that I always think about, the family and loved ones left behind. And I find that 100% important in ‘enjoying’ a podcast, the host should respect the family and friends as much as possible, and I noticed with the rise of the popularity of these podcasts, unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.
Some are more about the host making his big ‘break-through’ and some are not very respectful. I don’t listen to those podcasts. I mostly listen to podcasts to learn from them, to spark my interest in the justice system and to know more about cases that shock entire countries and communities that I don’t know much about yet. I’ve learned a lot about politics, different counties, how different counties and regionals work together, how serial killers work and psychology.
I’ve quietly tried to help solve cases – just in my mind, but I wondered for a while, should I go back to school to study law to fight for people’s rights (note, I’m not talking about the serial killer here)? I didn’t, but I continued to listen to these podcasts and still hope to get discovered by the FBI to become a profiler 😉
It’s surprising to how most cases remain a mystery, although it’s so obvious who did it. Yet, some are truly mysterious and make no sense at all (I’m talking about you Maura Murray!). I’ve learned that when people disappear, it isn’t always a crime. Some just wanna start over and we will never know what happened. Some people are murdered for a reason we only learned years later: they were spies. Sometimes it isn’t the boyfriends, but a random opportunistic act from a stranger.
So fast forward 1,5 years into the future. I listen to podcasts daily on my daily 10.000 steps walks and 90-hour gym sessions, today I have listened to tens of true crime podcasts and Googled even more. Here are my 20 favorite cases, from very favorite to least (you know, when you’re out of EVERY other podcast but still need a fix).