6 True Crime Podcasts To Get Stuck Into Instead Of Studying
True crime podcasts in 2018 are the equivalent of Hamish and Andy's drive show in 2010. As in, everyone is listening.
Covering some pretty ugly sides of humanity — homicide, kidnapping, cults — these podcasts are not only super addictive, but can be really informative about aspects of crime-solving you may not be so familiar with.
I’m a bit of a fanatic in this area, so if you’re looking for a place to start (or have finished watching Evil Genius on Netflix and want more true crime drama), look no further.
#1 Serial Season 2 (Yes, Really)
Season two covers the high-profile case of Bowe Bergdahl, a soldier who abandoned his post and walked off his base in Afghanistan. Let me tell you, after hearing about Bergdahl’s life in the army, back-story and how his story ends (in this podcast at least), you’ll be absolutely hooked. No matter what the reviews say.
If the long-form narrative style of Serial isn’t for you, you’ll love the variety of cases that are covered by Casefile. Narrated by an anonymous Aussie presenter, affectionately referred to as “Casey”, this podcast covers criminal cases from all over the world.
I’d strongly suggest starting with #76 (Part 1, 2 and 3) ‘Silk Road’, which covers the illegal sales of drugs on the dark web. Then listen to #83 ‘Chantelle & Leela McDougall, Tony Popic’, a case from my home town of Perth featuring a cult leader and the disappearance of his family members, and #59 ‘Amy Lynn Bradley’, which centres on the mysterious disappearance of Amy while on a Caribbean cruise with her family in 1998. Warning: this podcast is addictive!
#3 Up And Vanished
In October of 2005, in the small town of Ocilla, Georgia, history teacher and beauty queen Tara Grinstead vanished from her home. Her house was locked, car was in the driveway, and the only things missing were her purse and keys. She was declared legally dead in 2010, and when the podcast was created by Payne Lindsey in 2016, it instantly became big news within Ocilla and all around the world. You won’t believe how this case unravels. Hearing directly from people within the town as it unfolded will send chills up your spine — a must listen.
#4 Atlanta Monster
‘Up And Vanished’ creator Payne Lindsey once again manages to uncover some interesting evidence and information about the Atlanta child murders in the early 1980s.
Atlanta Monster focuses on Wayne Williams who in 1982 was found guilty of murdering two men (and at the time of his sentencing, he was also “guilty” in the public eye for the aforementioned child murders). However, Williams believes he was wrongly imprisoned all those years ago.
This podcast takes twists and turns, covering what might be referred to as the darkest period of history Atlanta had ever seen.
#5 Monsters Who Murder
Monsters Who Murder is created by best-selling true crime author Amanda Howard, who features as a guest on Australian True Crime (her episode is titled ‘The Serial Killer Whisperer’). She has collected almost 30 years of research — notably, letters and recordings directly from serial killers themselves.
The episode of this podcast that really spooked me was their coverage of David Birnie in episode one. Amanda had retained a phone conversation she had with him in 2005 and it’s the last contact David made with the outside world before he passed away.
#6 Phoebe’s Fall
Phoebe’s Fall by Fairfax is another victory for the Australian podcasting game.
Phoebe Handsjuk, 24, was found dead at the bottom of her apartment’s garbage chute in Melbourne in 2010. Even though it’s already a pretty chilling situation, the exploration of possible scenarios is what makes this podcast so heartbreaking. Add the Coroner’s confusing account of what happened and you’ve got one of the most riveting and perplexing podcasts on iTunes.