The Apex & The Abyss
I’m still making my way through the back catalogue of this one but so far, I’m into it. The majority of episodes are true crime-related, but there are a handful of paranormal stories sprinkled in throughout. The episodes have a nice, short run-time and seem to be well organized and researched. For true crime junkies like myself, it’s nice to find a show that has a good balance of well-known and not-so-well-known cases. The pacing is a little rocky in some of the earlier episodes so, if you’re checking it out for the first time, you may want to start with a couple of the more recent ones.
Facebook | Twitter | Stitcher
The Minds of Madness
First off, I’m a big fan of this show’s intro music. I know that has nothing to do with the actual content, I just wanted to make it known. In terms of the content, though, the cases discussed on Minds are informative, interesting, and (appear to be) thoroughly researched. This show simply provides the facts of the cases it covers and doesn’t employ a lot of the “gimmicks” used on other shows (voice actor reenactments, sound effects, etc.). While there’s nothing wrong with shows that do that (I even have a few on my regular playlist), I prefer “substance over style” when it comes to my favorites.
Facebook | Twitter | Patreon | Audioboom
Intrigue: Murder in the Lucky Holiday Hotel
This show from the BBC is a 5-part series that investigates and explores the murder of businessman Neil Heywood. This isn't a very well-known case, which is a shame because despite the fact that it's maybe not the most riveting story, it's one that had a serious and lasting effect on the course of Chinese politics. The case is at least interesting enough that it made me want to hang in there through all five episodes - though, I’d save it for when you’re all caught up with your regulars. With each episode coming it at under 30 minutes, you can easily binge this during a long commute or road trip.
If you’ve listened to the Serial Killers podcast, the voices of Cults’ hosts, Greg and Vanessa, should sound familiar to you. This time, however, instead of covering the lives of infamous killers, they’re focusing on some of history’s most notorious cults. This is the first show I’ve come across that focuses solely on cults and, honestly, it’s about time. Greg and Vanessa do a great job of investigating the history and psychology behind each cult, as well as exploring the possible reasons for why a person might join, or even worse, become the leader of one.
Website | Twitter | Facebook
This podcast showed up around the same time as Cults, which is not terribly surprising considering, as I mentioned before, there seems to be an unfortunate lack of shows focusing only on cults. In 1997, the Heaven’s Gate cult cemented themselves in the annals of bizarre true crime history when 39 of its members committed suicide in an apparent attempt to board an extraterrestrial spacecraft, which they believed was following the comet Hale-Bopp. Host Glynn Washington’s (from Snap Judgment) unique perspective into the history of Heaven’s Gate and the lives of its members comes from his own personal experience growing up in a cult. Really, do you need any more reason to check this out?
Website | Facebook | Twitter
Made in Sweden: the Podcast of The Father
I’m a bit of a sucker for these miniseries-type shows, and focusing on one case over a set number of episodes seems to be a pretty successful format. Made in Sweden is a six-part series covering the true story of three brothers who grew up to become three of Sweden’s most notorious criminals. The podcast is technically based on Anton Svensson’s novel, The Father (hence “the Podcast of The Father”), and serves as a very nice accompanying piece. I reserved the novel from my library so fingers crossed that it’s just as good!
TheCrimeVault | acast
Black Hands - A Family Mass Murder
This show is a 10-part podcast about the infamous Bain family murders. The case of the Bain murders has been covered by other true crime podcasts so there’s a good chance most folks are already familiar with it. Either way, I’d recommend this podcast to any fan of true crime. Each episode runs anywhere from 30 - 45 minutes and in that amount of time, manages to pack in an impressive amount of information. Save this one for a road trip or weekend of yard work.
Stuff Interactives | Stitcher
True Crime All the Time
Hosts Mike Ferguson and Mike “Gibby” Gibson delve into some of true crime’s worst cases, and they manage to do it in a way that’s both entertaining and thorough. As with any podcast, the host(s) can make or break a show, and if you're anything like me, having two hosts makes it that much more likely someone will start to annoy you. Luckily, Mike and Gibby are great at what they do and they each offer interesting and unique perspectives into each case. Their show has helped me through countless hours of sitting in rush hour traffic and for that, I thank them.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Patreon
“Sharing stories of the missing, the lost, the mysterious, and the murdered.” Host Nina Innsted delivers intriguing and well-researched episodes, focusing primarily on Michigan-based crime. As a born and raised Michigander, I have a special place in my heart for Almost Gone. I thought I was pretty well-versed in my knowledge of Michigan true crime but find myself repeatedly shocked and surprised by stories I’ve never heard before. She does venture out of Michigan often enough that you don’t get cabin fever but the history of my beloved mitten-state gets darker and darker with every episode.
Website | Facebook | Twitter
Canadian True Crime
This show is about as close to true crime podcast perfection as one can get (at least, imho) and it was added to my top 5 favorites almost immediately. Host Kristi Lee consistently delivers my preferred format for true crime shows: episodes that are heavy on the narration, with some recordings sprinkled in (police interviews, court testimony, etc.). She provides the facts of each case without dwelling on the more graphic details and while remaining respectful to the victims and their families. Honestly, I can't say enough positive things about this show. The best news is, since it’s still a relatively newer show, it won’t take you very long to catch up!
Facebook | Twitter | Podbean | Patreon
I know there are more great shows out there and I plan on checking out as many as I can, so if you know of a show that has yet to make one of my lists, leave it in the comments.
Want more suggestions? Check out my other list of true crime podcasts.