The popularity of true crime podcasts is due to more than just morbid curiosity. True crime podcasts have to balance facts with sensationalism while staying true to their storytelling. Due to their ability to reach people far and wide, they have the power to correct societal misconceptions surrounding cases, make the cases feel intimate to the listener, and as has happened in a few situations, bring to light new evidence.
It all started with Serial. The first of the series-style true crime podcasts that followed stories in a chapter format. The series won all sorts of awards due to its incredible storytelling. It charmed audiences all over the globe and inspired many spin-offs.
From classy narration to friends sitting in their living room figuring it out as they go along, here are five (non-Serial) podcasts guaranteed to keep you up all night long.
My Favorite Murder – Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff are the masterminds behind this hilarious weekly podcast. Fittingly slipped into the iTunes ‘Comedy’ genre, the women take turns narrating the stories of harrowing murders, embellished by their own anecdotes. MFM is not for the hardcore fact-nerds out there, but definitely for those who love a good, grisly story. Stay sexy and don’t get murdered.
Sword + Scale – With Mike Boudet as its host, S+S is a polished, factual take on the true crime genre. It features a variety of true crime stories, intertwined with auditory evidence and interviews from witnesses, victims, criminals, and experts. A podcast you won’t shake off too easily.
Accused – A podcast with an agenda. When Amber Hunt decided to create a series dedicated to the unsolved 1978 murder of Elizabeth Andes, she had a goal in mind. Amber knew that podcasts can have a broad reach, and so she made a quality product with the purpose of inspiring people to come forward with new information, should they have it. In creating the Accused series, Hunt gathered as much information as she could. She interviewed investigators, witnesses, coroners, et al. Yet, the case remains unsolved.
Most Notorious! – Hosted by Erik Rivines, Most Notorious! details true crimes throughout history. The series drips with era-defining flavor, and because of it is one of the most enticing podcasts around. Think Lizzie Borden, Al Capone, and Billy the Kid.
Criminal – A podcast about more than just murder. The series covers people who have done wrong, been wronged, or have gotten caught in the middle of the two. Shedding the restriction of being a podcast for pure entertainment, Criminal seeks to shine light on the science behind criminal activity. They present crime as being sociological, anthropological, and historical – and it’s encapsulating.