Years ago, my husband and I traveled from our home in Charleston, South Carolina, to his home in Atlanta, Georgia, multiple times a year. During one trip, I decided to begin listening to a podcast after seeing it pop up on my newsfeed a few times.
We listened to the Serial podcast in one trip, and ever since then, we have been hooked on true crime podcasts. From series that have ended with answers, to series that have left me with more questions and endless nights on Reddit— these are my top podcasts for your listening pleasure:
The One That Will Hook You: Serial (Season 1)
Season one of Serial follows a true investigative journalistic approach. The story of a high school student who was tragically murdered takes center stage in this podcast. Her ex-boyfriend is suspected, charged, and ultimately convicted of her murder. The interesting part of this podcast is that it led to multiple appeals – even as recently as the fall of 2020.
Pros: It’s pure journalistic beauty in the way that the facts are presented.
Cons: There are no definitive answers unless you believe the murderer has been convicted.
The One That Will Leave You Looking Over Your Shoulder: Up and Vanished
Am I the only one who glances over my shoulder even in broad daylight? This podcast may have contributed to my incessant need to wonder if I’d be taken. During season one of this podcast, the disappearance of a beauty queen shocks a small southern town. During the podcast, there are only guesses as to who the identity of the criminal. The interest in her case was reignited, and an individual is currently awaiting trial for the murder.
Pros: It plays out like a television show with phenomenal story-telling.
Cons: During the podcast, you’re given so many possible whodunits that it almost feels cruel to know the podcast was completed as it opened up old wounds for a family.
The One That Has A [Somewhat] Happy Ending: The Clearing
This is probably my favorite one as it explores the impacts of those left behind after violent crimes. The daughter of one serial killer sets out to learn more about her father and the nightmares he left behind. As far as a “happy ending,” it’s not because the killer was ever convicted, but because of what happens when a killer’s daughter meets a victim’s father.
Pros: This is told with the help of a serial killer’s daughter, so it’s a different angle than usual true crime podcasts.
Cons: The narrator drones on a bit every now and then, but it doesn’t take away from the story.
The One That Gives You Your Weekly Dose: Crime Junkie
Are you looking for a weekly fix? Crime Junkie is the ultimate podcast for you. In this series, two best friends and true crime fans explore a different murder, disappearance, and even conspiracy theories (about crimes, not the other stuff going in the world today), so you’ll never run out of content to listen to on your drives.
Pros: New content every week and two best friends who have great dialogue to keep you entertained.
Cons: Some of the episodes leave you with more questions than answers, but I guess that’s why we keep coming back.
There you have it, my list of true crime podcasts that will let you forget your right now and help you relax after a long day of motherhood. Or make you jump when your partner sneaks up behind you.