The Weekend Series: five true-crime podcasts that you need to listen to immediately
When it comes to entertainment in the digital age, the realm of podcasts has become one the new frontier. From music, comedy, sports or current affairs, there’s bound to be a podcast for every special interest. One of the most popular niche categories to emerge recently is that of true crime, where podcast hosts research, analyse and regale listeners with a play-by-play of notorious crimes. The craze, which took hold thanks to the trailblazing success of Serial, is undergoing a massive boom with numerous true-crime podcasts emerging with their own take on the genre. If you’ve got a long roadtrip planned or need something to listen to on your daily commute, we’ve put together a list of high-quality podcasts that you can immerse yourself in. Be warned, some of these podcasts don’t shy away from the grisly details.
My Favorite Murder
One of the most popular entrants in the true-crime podcast genre is My Favorite Murder. Hosted by avid crime fanatics Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, My Favorite Murder puts a comedic spin on its analysis of crime, leaving in all the gruesome details and imbuing each episode with sharp – albeit dark – humour. With over 100 episodes, regular appearances in the iTunes comedy podcast charts and even live tours around the world, My Favorite Murder is a great place to start if you are interested in dipping your toes into the true crime pool with something gentle.
Last Podcast on the Left
Another entrant in the true-crime-meets-comedy podcast scene, Last Podcast on the Left is also a great spot to start if you’re also eager to hear accounts of spooky occult happenings and cultish behaviour in addition to your notorious murders and run-of-the-mill crime. Hosted by comedians Ben Kissel and Henry Zebrowski and researcher Marcus Parks, this trio of horror lovers dig deep on all manner of dark subjects, from serial killers and war crimes to infamous cults and werewolves. Nothing is sacred for these lads, so put this in your playlist if you’ve also got a penchant for the bizarre.
Image: Last Podcast on the Left
Casefile is a podcast that operates with the motto that sometimes fact is scarier than fiction. This Australian-made podcast – narrated by an anonymous chap that seemingly has a bigger fascination with grisly crime than most – takes in all the gory details of crimes from within Australia and around the world. Stories that Casefile has examined in detail include the Lin Family Murders, the disappearance of Daniel Morcombe and the Port Arthur Massacre, with a large amount of research undertaken to humanise each case and offer suitable context needed to understand each tragic event, while also providing utmost sensitivity to the victims.
Unlike the previous choices that dissect a story over one or two episodes, Dirty John examines a particular event across an engrossing six-episode season. Dirty John looks at the whirlwind romance between successful interior designer Debra Newell and handsome but unstable stranger John Meehan, and the web of deceit and abuse that formed after their meeting through a dating site. Dirty John is hosted by L.A. Times journalist Christopher Goffard, who interviews members of Debra’s family and other figures central to the story of John Meehan to unravel the mystery behind the man.
Image: L.A. Times
Someone Knows Something
This Canadian podcast is another that dedicates several episodes to one case, but the key difference here is that is specialises in cold cases. Someone Knows Something is created by award-winning filmmaker David Ridgen, who has put his passion for investigative work into creating a podcast that looks at unsolved crimes. Now in its fourth season, Someone Knows Something digs back decades to help unearth new information about infamous cold cases – interviewing relatives of the deceased, friends and members of the community to discover any information that can potentially help put the case to rest.