Do you love mysteries and true crime? This world is full of strange cases, unsolved mysteries, and stranger-than-fiction investigations, and podcasts do a great job of telling these stories by incorporating interviews, narration, songs, recordings, and sound effects to make entertaining and informative productions. Whether you’re a big fan or just looking at getting into true crime podcasts, here’s a list of some of the best true crime podcasts of 2019! We went with a mix of violent and nonviolent crimes, so no matter what there should be a fascinating mystery here for everyone.
The Shrink Next Door
This is a fascinating true story of abuse and manipulation. When host Joe Nocero buys a house in the Hamptons, he meets his new neighbor, a proud, name-dropping psychiatrist named Ike. Then, Joe finds out that Ike isn’t actually his neighbor. He uncovers a bizarre story of psychiatric abuse and control that spans decades and takes years to uncover. This is a great podcast about a nonviolent crime that asks listeners to question the ethics of mental health professionals.
Root of Evil: The True Story of the Hodel Family and the Black Dahlia
This podcast was released as a companion to the TV show I Am the Night, which is based on the true story of Fauna Hodel, a young woman who was adopted to a black family but one day discovered that she was the biological granddaughter of Dr. George Hodel, the white doctor who is believed to be the murderer of Elizabeth Short (known as the Black Dahlia). This podcast is hosted by Fauna’s daughters, and it is in collaboration with many people in their family–cousins, aunts and uncles, and other distant relatives with information about this dark case and family details that have never been shared before now.
Man in the Window: The Golden State Killer
The Golden State Killer first became famous in Michelle McNamara’s book, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. He made headlines when he was caught mere months after the book’s release, thanks to the hard work of McNamara, her team, and investigators. Now, two LA Times investigative reporters trace the making of this killer from the perspective of his victims. This is an excellent podcast that takes a well-known case and tells it from the perspective of the people most affected.
Sheree Fertuck was a truck driver, and her latest job involved hauling gravel. When she disappeared one afternoon, it’s another day before her truck was found, abandoned in a gravel pit in Saskatchewan. No one has seen her since, and she’s presumed dead. CBC investigative journalists dig into the case, uncovering a dark web of guns and violence, hoping to find justice for Sheree.
Joe Exotic: Over My Dead Body
Joe Exotic is a larger-than-life character who lives in Oklahoma. He’s gay, polygamous, and he owns a fantastic zoo where he breeds ligers. A man like this is bound to make a few enemies in his lifetime, and his enemy is killing his animals. One of his enemies, Carole Baskin, runs a big cat sanctuary in Florida, and when their feud reaches its boiling point, both of them will cross a line. This podcast is a wild tale of big cats, big personalities, and two different murder plots that just gets even more bonkers with every episode!
By now, most everyone has heard of Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of Theranos. Her medical technology, which claimed it would revolutionize healthcare, ended up not working and the youngest self-made female billionaire was exposed as a fraud. This podcast is an in-depth investigation into how Theranos was founded, its early days, and how the success and excitement that made Holmes a celebrity also exposed the flaws in her company and the technology. This is a must-listen for those who enjoy non-violent true crime and cases involving start-ups and medical technology.
Confronting: OJ Simpson with Kim Goldman
Oftentimes in true crime media, the victims of the crimes are exploited or not given much of a voice. In this podcast, Kim Goldman (sister of murder victim Ron Goldman in the OJ Simpson case) digs deep into the case that ended her brother’s life and became a media sensation. She goes over every detail, interviewing journalists, witnesses, jury members, and even prosecutors about the case, the trial, and the fateful decision.
Uncover: The Village
This podcast, produced by the CBC, is about a series of disappearances in Toronto’s gay scene. Some of these disappearances date back to the 1970’s, and they all share a common connection. Investigative journals Justin Ling looks into the individual cases and the connections they share, but also into why these cases and their link went unobserved for years. Did they slip between the cracks, or is something more sinister at play? This is an excellent podcast about a killer who preyed on a vulnerable population, and how people from marginalized backgrounds don’t get full investigative attention.
Culpable is hosted by Dennis Cooper, whose mission is to explore “unsettled cases where people deserving of blame seem to have eluded justice.” In the first season, he takes a look at the case of 21-year-old Christian Aedreacchio, who was found dead in his apartment with a gunshot wound. After investigating for less than an hour, police ruled it a suicide, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Dennis looks into the case, interviewing suspects and witnesses, and even looking at the forensics of the scene to try and discover who might have wanted Christian dead, and how they got away with his murder.
In Room 20, investigative reporter Joanne Faryon looks into the strange case of a man who has been in a vegetative state for over 15 years, cared for in a nursing home where no one knows his name. They call him Sixty-Six Garage. As Faryon digs into how he was injured, and where he possibly came from, she hopes to uncover his identity and unite him with his loved ones…even as she begins to suspect that he’s has not really been unconscious for all of these years.
What to Watch & Read Next
Tirzah Price is a writer and contributing editor at Book Riot. She’s a big fan of mystery novels and true crime podcasts. Find her on Twitter @TirzahPrice.