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I’ve been into listening to podcasts for a time now. I love listening to a podcast when I get ready for the day to get inspired but sometimes I just want to listen to stories. My favorite stories are by far the ones that fall under the true crime podcast genre.
When I worked in an office I always had to travel by train for more than an hour. Perfect to pop in my headphones & listen to an episode. Or even when I was working on designs or planning social media, I would listen to a podcast episode.
If you’re into true crime cases as much as I am, than these podcasts are perfect for your next commute:
SERIAL (SEASON ONE)
First up is the OG of the bunch. The podcast that started my true crime podcast addiction. I started listening to this podcast a couple of years ago & got hooked straightaway. The first season of Serial is about the case of Adnan Syed who has been serving a life sentence for almost 20 years for killing his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. However, he claims that he didn’t do it.
During the whole season they go over all the evidence in the case. They retrace his steps, interview people & try to see if there is reasonable doubt. You’ll be wondering while listening to every episode on your commute whether he is telling the truth or not. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll be going down a rabbit whole of Googling the case in the evening.
FOLLOW-UP PODCAST: CARRIER
Serial season one felt like an audiobook to me. And even though Serial is about a real case with real victims, I wanted to suggest to check out Carrier after listening to season one of Serial. Carrier is fictional & not a regular podcast. They call it a dimensional listening experience and you are advised to wear headphones to get the full experience. The story is about a female truck driver that picks up a trailer with a suspicious cargo inside. It’s not true crime but definitely a podcast you can listen to if you have a short commute and you love a storytelling podcast like Serial.
UP AND VANISHED
The Up and Vanished true crime podcast is a podcast about investigating missing persons cases. The podcast has two seasons of which one has a pretty satisfying ending. An ending most investigative true crime podcasts dream of. When Payne Lindsey was reporting on his podcast about the Tara Grinstead case, he didn’t just uncovered new evidence but the focus of the case led to persons of interest. Even with knowing this, it’s an interesting true crime podcast that explores the evidence & has interviews with witnesses.
At the moment season two is well on its way & takes on the case of Kristal Reisinger. A mother who left home to live in a remote town to work on herself. Instead of finding enlightenment she disappeared & no one knows what exactly happened to her. To be continued…
FOLLOW-UP PODCAST: THE MURDER SQUAD
If you liked how Up and Vanished season one went and loved how there was a little bit of a resolve, you will love The Murder Squad. This podcast is part of the Exactly Right network of My Favorite Murder and focuses more on the victims of unsolved cases. The premises is that as a true crime junkie you’ve been interested in the cases and now it is the time to put all your knowledge to help with these unsolved cases. Go on your own investigation and maybe there will be more cases that will get resolved.
EDITED: WHAT TO LISTEN INSTEAD OF SWORD & SCALE
I haven’t listened to any Sword & Scale episodes anymore so I wanted to update with other true crime podcasts that also discuss true crime cases:
MY FAVORITE MURDER
So this podcast is a little different than the other ones on this list because this is a true crime comedy podcast. No they don’t make fun of the victims but they do make the cases a lot more fun to listen to. It’s hosted by two women which makes it even better. My favorite episodes so far (I am still catching up):
EPISODE 184: Part of this episode is actually about two women from my hometown. I would not say that this is my favorite murder but the case is really interesting and bizar but most of all very tragic.
EPISODE 185: This episode is I the funniest ones so far — even though it is still about murder. The story about the fake doctor is so ridiculous and the commentary is gold.
EPISODE 189: This is the latest episode and has a pretty recent, crazy story that doesn’t involve murder. The story sounds a lot like the movie the Orphan and is just as crazy. It is an unresolved case at the moment I think. The second story however is one insane murder story, so buckle up.
MINI EPISODES: If you want more light-hearted stories, check out the mini episodes. In these ones the women behind the podcast read listeners stories. It’s sometimes crazy, sometimes sad but mostly funny.
Casefile is a more serious podcast that retells the stories behind the cases and is narrated by an anonymous host. It’s very well researched, respectful to the victims and has a lot of Australian stories. The five part case series about the Belanglo murders was really interesting and the first one you should check out. The second I would recommend is Case 30 about the Claremont serial killer. It’s one of the cases that for some reason really stayed with me.
This podcast is another female led podcast that goes over different cases. There are unsolved ones, mysteries, murders and more. They run through the cases and focus on the facts of them. I think the one episode that’s worth checking out is the episode about the killer on the High Bridge about the unsolved murders of Abby & Libby.
THE TEACHERS PET
This is the podcast I’m binge listening right now when I’m doing design work or editing photos. I read about this podcast online. As a true crime podcast lover I needed to add this to my que. So I haven’t catched up with all the episodes yet, but so far so good. Or more like mind blowing. This true crime podcast is about Lynette Dawson — a young mother of two kids — who left her home. But as the years went by it became clear that she did not ran away but probably died the day she presumably left home.
The whole podcast dives into the story: why it wasn’t investigated properly, why people just assumed she just left when there were signs of abuse & they uncover another big scandal. So far I’ve been wondering — along with many others — why her husband hasn’t been locked up. If not for her murder, than for being in a relationship with one of his students. Yes, it’s a rollercoaster ride to listen to. If you’re a true crime fanatic, you’ll want to listen to this one!
SIMILAR PODCAST: UNCOVER
If you like the more investigating podcasts like Serial or The Teachers Pet, then this might be a podcast for you. Every season explores a different unsolved case in Canada that is personal to the journalist that runs the season. I especially thought the cat lady case was interesting but they are all worth checking out and stories that need to be (re)told.
The Gateway is the odd one out. This story has more of a cult vibe — another one of my favorite genres. It focuses on the internet spiritual guru Teal Swan & the unconventional advice she has for people struggling with mental health issues like depression. The host of this true crime podcast — Jennings Brown — stumbled upon her videos & started looking into her practices. He even went to her retreat center to see for himself what goes on there but also to talk to the woman in charge — who obviously denies claims of running a cult.
What I really find interesting is how she “entered” the lives of her followers through insanely good (video)marketing & the stories about the Satanic Panic in the 80s. The podcast goes places you will not have anticipated when you start the podcast. But I’m sure you’ll be listening to it on your commute to work & when you go home.