Since the release of Serial, true crime podcasts have been all the rage. I mean, the qualifier “true crime” is almost understood any time someone even mentions a podcast! We fell in love with Karen and Georgia at My Favorite Murder a long time ago, and they made some truly morbid crimes accessible for those of use who need to know, but need it not to scar us forever and ever. And now that the Murdaugh trial just convicted, the Murdaugh Murders Podcast is truly going full-blast popular—not that it ever wasn’t. One could argue that talking so much about true crime is what keeps it in the public eye…and contributes to not letting the case run cold. (There was a whole Oscar-winning movie about that concept. Remember Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri?)
If anyone thought true crime podcasts were just a fad, they were exactly wrong. Most of Apple Podcasts’ top-rated shows are true crime, in fact. Here are a few trending crime podcasts that you might want to investigate:
The Deck Investigates
“38 years ago, a mother of three was murdered in Argos, Indiana. The killer has never been caught. Now we’re looking to change that.” That’s the text that introduces Ashley Flowers’ new podcast, The Deck Investigates. The first season focuses on the murder of Darlene Hulse, a case that has been cold for more than three decades. That’s what the show focuses on: the coldest of cases are so cold that law enforcement has put the victims’ faces on decks of playing cards. They’ve passed them out prisons just hoping someone might recognize someone, and cough up some answers. The podcast follows those cases.
Ashley Flowers’ first successful podcast was the flagship Crime Junkie, which is still among the top trending shows on Apple Podcasts. Ashley and Brit explain a different case every week, and they cover crimes from murder to missing persons to conspiracy and beyond.
If you’re a true crime fanatic, there’s no way you don’t know Dateline from its television presence. It’s followed the trend, though, and now they have a podcast that includes current and classic episodes about true crime mysteries.
The Girl in the Blue Mustang
Dateline NBC podcast’s newest spinoff series, this podcast is an all-new original hosted by Keith Morrison too. It’s all about the murder of Michelle O’Keefe, whose body was found in her new, blue Mustang in a park and ride. For a deep dive into an investigation full of twists and citizen sleuths, subscribe to The Girl in the Blue Mustang.
The Coldest Case in Laramie
Almost forty years ago, Shelli Wiley was murdered in Laramie, Wyoming. Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for the New York Times, Kim Barker, went to high school in Laramie at the time, and now she’s re-examining the crime. Why? Because a former Larmie police officer who was accused in the murder was just arrested. This show is a deep dive into the case around Shelli Wiley’s murder… a new take on the premise Serial once used.
For listeners who are seeking something a little more lighthearted, try this one. It’s still definitely true crime, and it follows a different story each episode. The hosts are an autopsy technician and a hairstylist, and there’s definitely comedy sprinkled into the deep research.
Something Was Wrong
In a break from murder cases, this docuseries is about the “discovery, trauma, and recovery” of enduring those events, from one perspective or another.
Sword and Scale
Back to the darkest depths of human depravity comes this classic that is still topping the charts. In this show, the raw, uncensored audio tells the story—with authentic 911 calls, interviews, and testimonies—this one is not for the faint of heart.
This Is Actually Happening
On each episode of This Is Actually Happening, listeners get a firsthand account of the bizarre, criminal things that actually happened to them. They have stories from getting T-boned in traffic, keeping a nanny’s crazy secret, to the hazards of a career as a repo agent.
What to Read Next
Mary Kay McBrayer is the author of America’s First Female Serial Killer: Jane Toppan and the Making of a Monster. You can find her short works at Oxford American, Narratively, Mental Floss, and FANGORIA, among other publications. She co-hosts Everything Trying to Kill You, the comedy podcast that analyzes your favorite horror movies from the perspectives of women of color. Follow Mary Kay McBrayer on Instagram and Twitter, or check out her author site here.