Crime podcasts offer a little bit of everything for listeners.
They typically offer great storylines packed with unique characters, plot tension, and the catharsis needed when the mystery is solved.
An excellent crime podcast takes deep dives into the inner workings of criminals.
If that is something that sounds interesting to you, then keep reading. We have compiled a list of the 15 best crime podcasts available.
What is a Crime Podcast?
A crime podcast is an audio version of a blog focusing on nonfiction actual crime events.
A good crime podcast provides details of the actions and reactions of the real people associated with and affected by criminal events.
Crime podcasts can cover all types of crime, from the simpler lawbreakers of petty theft to serial killers. Crime podcasts are also among the most popular podcasts.
What Does a Crime Podcaster Talk About?
A crime podcaster has to be a great storyteller to keep the audience involved and interested in the story.
A crime podcaster will typically go into a deep-dive investigation and discuss solved and unsolved cases.
Depending on the podcast will tell how graphic or intense the discussion of the crimes might be.
What is Included On a Crime Podcast?
Crime podcasts can include various types of elements.
Some components that you can find on crime podcasts include interviews with victims, background information and analysis of the crime, excerpts from courtrooms, a level of respect and honor for the victims of the crime, and occasional audio reenactments.
But crime podcasts are certainly not limited to these components. Many crime podcasts include other elements.
Other Things That You Can Find on a Crime Podcast
Depending on the podcast you choose, you can find various approaches and elements included in telling the crime.
The best podcasts find a unique, balanced way to present crime information in the best way.
- Analysis of the criminal mind: this would include a discussion of the reasoning and rationale for the criminals’ behaviors.
- Recaps of trials: many crime podcasts discuss elements of the trial, but some go into every motion, move, and testimony associated with the criminal trial
- Analysis of casefiles: this type of analysis tends to take a more emotionless and straightforward approach to the criminal case. They will take a more clinical spin on retelling the crime.
Types of Crime Podcasts
If you are interested in crime podcasts, there is undoubtedly one that will fit your needs perfectly.
Crime podcasts offer different ways for how to listen to a podcast, such as stand-alone stories where each episode covers a different crime, or the entire podcast season can cover one crime over its entirety.
You can also find crime podcasts that are lighter and inject pieces of humor or weighty ones that give you all the grit.
- True Crime Podcasts: True crime podcasts dive into and examine the story of actual crime events. True crime podcasts may cover any true crime, from kidnappings to extortion to criminal political activities.
- Podcasts About Murder: Podcasts about murder focus solely on murder. They might cover serial killers, mass murders, unsolved murder cases, or even murder cases of wrongful conviction.
- Scary Crime Podcasts: Scary crime podcasts are not for the faint of heart. If you are a fan of the gore, gritty, mystery, and macabre of crime, these are the podcasts for you.
True Crime Podcasts
True crime podcasts are their bread and butter for those who love crime podcasts.
There are so many excellent true crime podcasts to choose from for listening to. Below are our top 5 true crime podcasts.
The original true crime podcast, Serial, is a spinoff from the NPR radio series This American Life.
Serial, hosted by Sarah Koenig, tells the story of the murder of Hae Min Lee.
The podcast questions the conviction of Adnan Syed, Hae Min Lee’s ex-boyfriend.
The podcast intertwines jailhouse phone calls with Adnan, police interviews, witness interviews, and Koenig’s investigation.
2. Up and Vanished
Debuting in 2016, Up and Vanished is narrated by Payne Lindsey as he investigates cold cases near his hometown of Atlanta.
The podcast features an “as we learn” type style, with each episode released as he finishes them.
The episodes offered further investigation into the cases but did not provide any solving or closure, per see.
His podcast has helped provide more leads and some solving of cold cases, including Grinstead’s murder.
3. Bag Man
If you love political crime, then the podcast Bag Man, presented by MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow is perfect.
Going back to the vice presidency of Spiro Agnew, the podcast analyzes the corruption, bribery, and criminal activity that seems to get overlooked when history mentions the Nixon presidency.
The podcast is as entertaining as it is captivating and intriguing.
4. Dirty John
Following the story of a man (John Meehan) posing as a Navy doctor and his relationship with a woman named Debra Newell, Dirty John is an eight-part podcast that is hard to turn off.
Adapted from a 2018 L.A. Times article by Christopher Goffard, Dirty John includes as much gaslighting, psychological manipulation, and overwhelming trickery as a person can handle.
5. True Crime Obsessed
Sometimes listening to true crime podcasts can be heavy, but not with True Crime Obsessed.
Patrick Hinds and Gillian Pensavalle do a fantastic job of staying respectful to the victims while adding much-needed humor to some serious situations.
The podcast covers a different true crime with every episode, and between the sass of Gillian and the hysterical antics of Patrick, you will feel like you are listening to old friends.
Podcasts About Murder
If you are more niched about the true crime you are listening to and want something that focuses on murder, we have five excellent podcasts about murder for you.
1. My Favorite Murder
The lightest of the murder podcasts on our list, My Favorite Murder, combines a few laughs with a whole lot of murder.
Hosts Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark integrate their perfect comic styles with the morbid and grotesque narrations of murders.
They do a superb job of making you feel grounded while hearing some horrid details of the crimes.
2. Morning Cup of Murder
Morning Cup of Murder is unique in that every released episode covers the dreadful events that occurred on that particular day.
Since its inception in 2019 and with over 1000 episodes, Morning Cup of Murder, hosted by Korina Biemesderfer, will give you your daily fill of the macabre.
So if you ever find yourself thinking, “I wonder who died on this day in history?” Morning Cup of Murder will give you the answer.
3. Jensen and Holes: The Murder Squad
Hosts Paul Hole, a retired cold case investigator, and Billy Jensen, a well-known investigative journalist, work together (with their listeners) to investigate unsolved murder cases.
They attempt to solve the infamous Golden State Killer Case in their most famous episode.
And even though they are not still making episodes, Jensen and Holes: The Murder Squad is a great listen at any time.
4. Dr. Death
The Dr. Death podcast follows doctors’ crimes who take advantage of patients and ultimately pay the price for malpractice.
Season one of Dr. Death is fantastic and follows Christopher Duntsch, a surgeon from Texas who left over thirty of his patients seriously injured and two even dead after his ridiculous and horrendous surgeries.
5. Who Killed Daphne?
Following the murder case of Daphne Caruana Galizia, killed by a car bomb in 2017, host Stephen Grey investigates the extraordinary and mysterious circumstances surrounding the event.
The Who Killed Daphne podcast is captivating and mesmerizing.
It takes the listener along on an investigative journey they will never forget.
Scary Crime Podcasts
If horror movies, scary stories, and gritty tales are your thing, you will have no problem getting your daily creepies with these five scary crime podcasts.
1. Morbid: A True Crime Podcast
Morbid: A True Crime Podcast, hosted by an autopsy technician Alaina Urquhart, and a hairdresser, Ashleigh Kelley, should tell you everything you need to know about this fantastic crime podcast.
The show can balance a bit of lightheartedness with gory and gruesome case details.
2. Anatomy of Murder
After making its mark in 2020 with its debut, Anatomy of Murder gives an insider’s perspective to every case it covers.
Hosted by New York City homicide prosecutor Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi and former sheriff Scott Weinberger, each episode provides as much expertise and insider information to give the listener the eerie feeling of actually being at the crime scene.
3. Sword and Scale
Sword and Scale is known for telling the “worst of worst” when it comes to true crime stories.
Each episode is gripping and will leave that goosebump feeling (at the very least).
Including gut-wrenching and terrifying 911 calls to the descriptive and ominous narrative, Sword and Scale will satisfy your need for the horrific.
4. Happy Face Season 1
In 2995, Melissa Moore discovered that her father, Keith Hunter Jesperson, was the notorious serial killer, The Happy Face Killer.
The Happy Face podcast tells Mellisa’s story in her own words and puts a personal side to a serial killer that murdered at least eight women.
And will chill you to the bone.
5. The Clown and the Candyman
The Clown (John Wayne Gacy) and the Candyman (Dean Corll) are infamous in their own right, but the podcast covers more than these psychotic men from the 1970s.
The Clown and the Candyman podcast covers famous and obscure predators who hunt, terrorize, and kill young boys.
This podcast will evoke emotions ranging from dread and repulsiveness to wrath and deep despair.
Similar Podcasts Types to Check Out
Suppose true crime is not your cup of tea, no worries. Several other types of podcasts are available for your listening entertainment.
- Fiction Podcasts: A scripted podcast that tells the fictional story of an event or person over one episode or several.
- Conspiracy Theory Podcasts: A podcast that can focus on telling or debunking a theory used to explain an event resulting from a secret plot.
- Mystery Podcasts: Mystery podcasts focus on anything hard or impossible to explain.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few questions that still need answering.
Who has the best crime podcast?
While opinions may differ, most people agree that Serial is the best crime podcast of all time.
What is the number one true crime podcast?
The most downloaded crime podcast is Serial, with over 250 million downloads in 2017 alone.
Hearing crime podcasts allows the listener to feel uncomfortable and secure simultaneously.
You safely interlope in a scary world and can come out on the other side safe and sound.
No matter what crime podcasts you choose, there are different platforms to listen to podcasts like the ones we mentioned.
We listed our favorite 15 best crime podcasts; what are yours?