10 True Crime Podcasts Worth Your Time

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Heaven's Gate

The EW Scripps Company Heavens Gate

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?

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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.

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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.

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Already Gone


“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.

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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!

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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.

Who Killed Hazel Drew?: The True Crime Story That Inspired Twin Peaks

A common television crime series plot follows a detective unraveling the clues to a murder of a female jogger who disappears near a wooded area. As the investigation unfolds, more confusing information appears, leading to multiple theories and suspects. The detective’s intellect and hard work are no help against the complex details and secrets surrounding the case, so it remains unsolved. 

Many consider Twin Peaks, a well-known 1990s television mystery drama, one of the great mystery series of all time. FBI agent Dale Cooper investigates the murder of Laura Palmer, a popular and innocent homecoming queen in the town of Twin Peaks, Washington. 

At first glance, Palmer epitomizes the girl next door, but as the story unfolds, it becomes clear she secretly lived a life of danger. As Agent Cooper digs into the details surrounding the murder, he discovers Palmer wasn’t anything like she appeared. 

This mystery echoes many factors in the true, unsolved case of Hazel Drew, a young woman who tragically lost her life in 1908. Drew's murder occurred in Sand Lake, New York, a town that has become a popular tourist destination for fans of the TV series. The town of Sand Lake entertains many fans of the show who attempt to learn more about Hazel’s unsolved murder.


The Legend of Hazel Drew

Born in Poestenkill, New York, Hazel Drew lived a simple farm life until she turned 14. Her life changed when she became a domestic servant for the City of Troy’s mayor. By all reports, she was reliable and committed while working for the mayor. 

She left behind the city of Troy and returned to her hometown of Sand Lake when a local professor hired her as a governess. During her employment with the professor, she met a horrible end.

On the evening of July 7, 1908, Drew went for a stroll along Taborton Road in Sand Lake. A striking blonde 19-year-old, she carried her hat in hand and picked raspberries along the way. Witnesses noticed Drew walking by herself because it was uncommon for women to walk alone. She was later found dead, floating in a nearby pond.

Hazel Drew's Double Life

In the course of the investigation, it came to light that the day before her murder, Drew quit her governess job and took a trip to the city of Troy. The professor’s family that employed her as a governess mentioned that Drew’s clothing seemed out of place for a young girl on a restricted salary. Her clothes were stylish and expensive, not the sort they thought appropriate for her earnings.

Drew’s complex life continued to alarm investigators. They learned that Drew traveled frequently and they found a collection of handkerchiefs belonging to different men in her baggage. They discovered Drew had received a proposal from a married man and suspected she had another relationship with an affluent gentleman from Albany.

Drew’s double life, like that of Twin Peaks character Laura Palmer, surprised everyone, including her employers and those closest to her. The more details investigators uncovered, the more surprises they found.

To this day, Drew’s death remains a mystery with many outstanding questions. Detectives never found out conclusively who she was visiting in Troy, nor what caused her to return to Sand Lake. In the end, the investigators determined that her death appeared accidental, despite the oddities surrounding her double life.

Theories Abound

Regardless of the official findings, the death was the talk of the town. If tabloids had existed at that time, her death and the mystery surrounding it would have remained in the headlines for months.

The Herald Democrat, published an article on July 17, 1908 entitled “Mystery of Hazel Drew Death Probably Accidental”.  The journalist related that the police found no discernible evidence indicating foul play. The article suggests that a vehicle accidentally struck Drew and, in a panic, the driver took her body and threw it in the mill pond. 

Others believed that someone murdered her. Rumors suggested the married businessman got her pregnant and killed her. Several homicide theories, including a number of different suspects, all of whom allegedly had a reason to kill her, surfaced. 

Nevertheless, Drew’s double life and potential murder mystery lingered on, almost forgotten, until the creators of Twin Peaks used her story to help create the plot of their TV series.


A Mystery Still Unsolved

It is not surprising that a show like Twin Peaks had millions of fans. Real life mysteries terrify many and leave room for continued curiosity, concern, and a lack of closure. From television shows such as Unsolved Mysteries to Cold Case Files, people marvel over the unknown. 
Regardless of the various theories of how Hazel Drew died, her death remains unsolved. Last seen picking raspberries on the side of the road, Drew’s short life remains a well-known mystery to this day. 

Sand Lake receives many Twin Peaks fans eager to explore Drew’s case in hopes of solving her death. Perhaps one of them will stumble upon something that will support the finding of accidental death by the authorities. Conversely, maybe a citizen investigator will uncover new evidence that one of the suspects, or someone heretofore unknown, murdered her.

Harry is the content manager over at Arcadia Publishing. While he spends most of his time being a bookworm, he enjoys anything outdoors, especially if it involves the water.

Beyond Sword & Scale: 10 True Crime Podcasts Worth Your Time

Sword & Scale is arguably the most popular true crime podcast out there. The show has a crazy amount of support via Patreon, its subscriber numbers are in the millions, and I've seen it mentioned in various magazines and blogs. But there's so much more out there! Don't get me wrong, I love S&S - I just also love a lot of lesser-known shows. So, with the recent start of S&S's newest season, and since my podcast subscription list is about 98% true crime, I wanted to share some of my favorite shows that aren't S&S.


If you liked the first season of Serial, chances are you will like Accused. Cincinnati journalists, Amanda Rossmann and Amber Hunt, spent close to a year investigating the 1978 murder of Elizabeth Andes. This wasn’t a case I was familiar with, which naturally made the content a bit more interesting to me. The two women speak with friends and family of Elizabeth’s as they try to dig deeper into the mystery surrounding her murder. The show is only 11 episodes long so I’d suggest starting with numero uno, “The Crime.” As an added bonus, if you go to the Accused's website, each episode contains additional notes and info (there's even an interactive crime scene).

Snapped should sound familiar to seasoned fans of the Oxygen network. Snapped is a long-running Oxygen network show that quickly became a fan favorite. Riding this success, producers launched the podcast version of this popular true crime show and tbh, it seems to be a solid companion/addition. Featuring only women who've committed murder (or have attempted to), Snapped covers the women’s life stories, upbringing, and, most importantly, the circumstances which lead to them committing their crimes and the eventual fallout. Just like you’d expect from the TV show, the stories behind each of the crimes are delivered by the killers themselves, their family & friends, the family & friends of the victims, police officers & investigators, lawyers, and witnesses. Episode 1, about Carol Kopenkoskey and her confession to the murder of her husband, is a solid introduction to this entertaining show.

Article from the Oxygen network's blog: 33 Women Who 'Snapped' and Committed Murder

This was originally a show that aired on Investigation Discovery (my favorite channel). Similar to my next entry, Mind of a Murderer is a podcast that I really hope will be eventually brought back for another round of episodes. It’s hosted by Dr. Michelle Ward, a world renowned criminal psychologist and trial consultant, and covers six chilling cases of murder. Episode 5 - Evil Rider: Karl Knapp is an exceptionally unnerving episode as you can’t help but wonder what causes some people to just snap.

It’s no secret that I have a fondness for Ms. DeLong. I’m an Investigation Discovery junky so, of course, I'm a huge fan of the show Deadly Women, of which Candice DeLong is a recurring expert commentator. Her history as an FBI profiler makes her a perfect choice for a true crime show commentator - not to mention, her quips and puns about the killers just can't be topped. Facing Evil is also a regular show on ID and is currently in its fifth season. It’s really a damn shame this podcast was only one season because I will listen to just about anything that Candice DeLong hosts. If you don't start labeling everyone as a "sociopath" after watching/listening to a show w/ Candice, then you're doing something wrong.

Phoebe Judge hosts (and co-created!) this well-produced TC podcast. Though Criminal primarily covers stories of murder, there are multiple episodes peppered in throughout, which cover interesting crimes outside of the world of grisly murders. With each episode coming in at around 20 minutes long, you can easily squeeze a couple in during your morning commute. Criminal seems to prefer to focus on the various individuals involved in the crimes, and often uses recorded interviews with these folks, in order to give new perspectives on fairly well-known cases. If you need a place to start, I liked Episode 23: Triassic Park. It talks about the lure for some travelers to take “unauthorized souvenirs” home with them. In the case of this episode, you’ll learn why you shouldn’t take any wood home with you from the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona.

Hollywood & Crime is a serialized docu-drama that discusses and investigates a series of horrific murders which took place in 20th century Hollywood. Fans of TC will be familiar with at least one of these cases: Elizabeth Short, better known as The Black Dahlia. H&C uses voice actors and audio reenactments to transport its listeners back in time. Unlike the more info-heavy crime podcasts, this particular style plays out like some of my favorite Investigation Discovery shows, with equal parts entertainment and information. H&C is another newbie to the lineup of crime podcasts and hasn’t even hit ten episodes, meaning you can easily start listening now and catch up in no time.

This is a newer find for me and it’s already one of my favorites. In fact, it’s a newer podcast in general and is currently only in its first season. Host, Benjamin, uses his calm and almost hypnotic voice and pacing to discuss cases of UK crime. As I don’t live in the UK, many of the cases he covers are new to me, which is always an added bonus. One of my favorite episodes so far was Episode 9, which talks about MI16’s (the UK’s Secret Intelligence Service - think James Bond) involvement in the murder of a 14-year-old boy from Manchester. Each episode seems thoroughly researched, well-paced, and relatively short, with most coming in at around 30 minutes. I look forward to future episodes and seasons!

Here’s another new show that was an immediate hit with me. It’s produced by Earwolf Radio, in partnership with Investigation Discovery, and is described as a “12-part weekly documentary podcast...a fascinating, contemporary audio investigation of the Boston Strangler story.” Stranglers is hosted by Portland Helmich, who has worked as an actress (The Purge: Election Year) and TV producer. Her narration and interviews are refreshing and light in contrast to the heavy, grim subject matter of the Boston Strangler murders of the early 60’s. Stranglers uses witness and expert interviews, as well as voice actors and sound effects to bring listeners right back to this terrifying time in Boston’s history. As this show is a 12-part documentary, it’s likely there aren’t any plans for a second season. But if they change their minds, I’ll be one of the first to subscribe.

This show has remained in my top three true crime podcasts since I first started listening. The host is an anonymous Australian gent, who primarily discusses cases of Australian true crime (the show does venture away from Australia every so often). Kudos and high praise are due to those behind-the-scenes researchers of Casefile because this seems like one of the better-researched shows I’ve listened to. At just over a year old (started in January of 2016), Casefile is already a hit with true crime fans and I, for one, hope it sticks around for a while. If you’re looking for somewhere to start, try Episode 19: Snowtown. The Snowtown murders are fairly well-known and it was interesting to hear about it from an Australian. If you’re a horror fan and have not seen the movie The Snowtown Murders, cancel your plans for tonight and watch it. It’s one of the most unsettling movies I’ve seen - Daniel Henshall (The Babadook) is seriously chilling in his portrayal of murderer, John Bunting.

This is a perfect podcast for folks who are interested more in the facts and circumstances surrounding crimes and less so in all the gory details. That’s not to say hosts Aaron and Justin don’t ever discuss the grim details surrounding any particular crime (sometimes it’s impossible to avoid) - it’s just not the focus. When I first started listening to GWP, I was instantly hooked and binged almost the entire catalogue in just over a week. I say “almost” because I’m not so much a fan of the episodes where the hosts either interview someone or have a guest “expert” joining in for the discussion (I skip over most of these). I can’t really say I have a favorite ep, but if you’re looking to check it out for the first time, try Episode 69 about Lucie Blackman. Even though there is a guest on this episode, he is well-versed and knowledgeable about the case and is able to discuss it in a factual way without much focus on his personal views/biases. If you are intrigued by the case of Lucie Blackman, I highly recommend reading the novel, The People Who Eat Darkness. I couldn’t put it down and read the entire book on a 6-hour flight to Brazil.

In addition to my 10 current faves, these are the podcasts that either simply didn't make the cut or are still sitting on my list of shows to check out. If there are any that you want to share that aren't listed here, put them in the comments! I'm always looking for new true crime to check out. I'm a serious junkie...

  • Detective - I enjoyed the first season of this show (it's all interviews with Lt. Joe Kenda) but my interest has sort of waned with the second.
  • Unsolved Murders: True Crime Stories - This is a great "filler" show. I haven't been totally sucked in, but I like it enough to keep checking out new episodes.
  • My Favorite Murder - It's obvious hosts Karen and Georgia have a genuine love of true crime and use that to offer a casual and humorous approach to covering cases of murder. I'm just not wild about it, personally.
  • Real Crime Profile - I've only listened to a handful of eps, but this show seems to be well thought-out and produced.
  • Thinking Sideways Podcast - Though not one of my favorites, it's a popular show that has a lot of listeners. The hosts seem to offer a nice balance to the heavy subject matter.
  • True Crime Garage - This is a show that has been suggested to me by multiple folks however, I have a really difficult time listening to the hosts and their banter. One of the host's has a voice that's like nails on a chalkboard to my ears...
  • Last Podcast on the Left - I get that a lot of people love this show and I respect that, you do you. I'm no Puritan but I'm definitely more facts/material over personal commentary and this show is just packed with too much off-putting humor for my taste.

Already Gone Podcast, The Vanished Podcast, Undisclosed, Truth & Justice with Bob Ruff, What the Crime?!, In the Dark, Someone Knows Something, A New Winter, True Crime Historian, Thin Air, True Murder, The Trail Went Cold, Actual Innocence, True Crime All the Time, Serial Killers