Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve shared my Top podcasts for writers and my Top podcasts for readers.
Today is the turn of the true crime podcasts. Below is a great selection for you to get your ears tuned into.
MISSING is an award-winning podcast series, selected as one of iTunes’ Best Podcasts of 2015. Hosted by best-selling crime writer Tim Weaver, the show investigates the world of missing people – who disappears, why they disappear, the pressures of life on the run, and who tracks them down – and charts the progression of a missing persons search. We follow Tim as he meets with leading experts from the worlds of investigation, surveillance, data, forensics, psychology, and technology. Each week on MISSING, he challenges them – and himself – with the ultimate question: is it really possible to disappear?
This is great because at the end of the series Tim attempts to go missing for 5 days…
Welcome to Crimetown, a new series from Gimlet Media and the creators of HBO’s The Jinx. Every season, we’ll investigate the culture of crime in a different American city. First up: Providence, Rhode Island, where organized crime and corruption infected every aspect of public life. This is a story of alliances and betrayals, of heists and stings, of crooked cops and honest mobsters—a story where it’s hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys. Hosted by Marc Smerling and Zac Stuart-Pontier.
The phone hacking scandal that closed News of the World was big, that was just the tip of the iceberg. At the bottom of that iceberg of ‘dark arts’ – hacking, burglary, bugging, and bribing bent cops – is the body of Daniel Morgan. It’s been described by an Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police as “one of the most disgraceful episodes in the entire history of the Metropolitan Police Service.” Over the three decades since Daniel was killed, five failed police investigations and an ongoing panel inquiry, his has become the most investigated murder in British history. The story moves from back streets of London, through the highest echelons of Scotland Yard, to the offices of Rupert Murdoch’s best selling newspapers, to the doors of Number Ten Downing Street. If you haven’t heard this story, ask yourself, why?
A body is found on the moor, with no clue as to who the man was. And he died from poisoning. Who is he? Why was he there? Jon Manel follows the police inquiry for BBC Radio 4.
Fascinating. Though not strictly crime, it does hold a lot of helpful investigative information for crime writers on missing persons and identification procedures.
Mystery. Manipulation. Murder. Cults are associated with all of these. But what really goes on inside a cult? More specifically, what goes on inside the minds of people who join cults and leaders who start them? Every Tuesday, Greg and Vanessa (co-hosts of the podcast Serial Killers) explore the history and psychology behind the most notorious cults.
5 live uncovers the incredible story of Kathleen and Michael Peterson
Elizabeth Short was a star-struck young woman whose body was found completely severed at the waist in January 1947 in Los Angeles. She would be forever remembered as the Black Dahlia, and her murder remains one of the most infamous unsolved cases in the world to this day. But few people know that more than a dozen women died in similar circumstances in Los Angeles around the same time. In this ground-breaking serialized docu-drama, host Tracy Pattin investigates these sensational cases, uncovers new evidence, and immerses listeners in both the glamour and the underbelly of 20th century Hollywood.
Serial is a podcast from the creators of This American Life, hosted by Sarah Koenig. Serial unfolds one story – a true story – over the course of a whole season. The show follows the plot and characters wherever they lead, through many surprising twists and turns. Sarah won’t know what happens at the end of the story until she gets there, not long before you get there with her. Each week she’ll bring you the latest chapter, so it’s important to listen in, starting with Episode 1.
S-Town is a new podcast from Serial and This American Life, hosted by Brian Reed, about a man named John who despises his Alabama town and decides to do something about it. He asks Brian to investigate the son of a wealthy family who’s allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder. But when someone else ends up dead, the search for the truth leads to a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man’s life.
Criminal is a podcast about crime. Not so much the “if it bleeds, it leads,” kind of crime. Something a little more complex. Stories of people who’ve done wrong, been wronged, and/or gotten caught somewhere in the middle. We’re a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX, a curated network of extraordinary, story-driven shows.
Let me know if I’ve missed any of your favourites and I’ll have a listen and see about doing another list later on.
Next time I’ll be looking at productivity podcasts. Perfect for the start of a new year.
Alex J. Cavanaugh says
If that’s your top ten, must mean there are dozens upon dozens more podcasts.
Have a blessed Christmas, Rebecca!
Rebecca Bradley says
There are so many true-crime podcasts! It’s an area people are obsessed with. Lot’s to choose from.
Have a great Christmas, Alex x
Marina Sofia says
I don’t listen very much to podcasts, but now you’ve really tempted me, especially with the Cults ones. That was my specialty at university!
Rebecca Bradley says
The Cults one is really interesting. I love audio at the minute. Podcasts and audiobooks. It’s easy for me to listen to no matter how I feel.
Margot Kinberg says
These all sound interesting, Rebecca. I don’t usually listen to/read a lot of true crime, but some of it is fascinating, and it’s nice to have these to explore.
Rebecca Bradley says
I prefer my crime fictional, but I know a lot of people are interested in true crime. These are some great podcasts in this genre.