If you know anything about me you know this: I love true crime. The maid of honor at my wedding even brought it up during her speech – and reminded my new husband of my extensive detective knowledge.
In recent years I’ve narrowed the scope of my consumption to something easier to devour: podcasts. From the grandfather of true crime podcasts i.e., Serial, to chilling cases like COLD, if you can name it I’ve probably listened to it.
These are what I consider the greatest hits of true crime podcasts, perfect for getting in a spine-chilling mood this fall:
My Favorite Murder
By far my favorite podcast OF ALL TIME. MFM (My Favorite Murder) was my gateway drug into true crime podcasts. What I love most about MFM are the hosts, Karen and Georgia, who every week tell each other about a murder that interests them. Listening to them gives me the same feeling I get when I call my best friend to divulge the details of a gruesome case I just read about in the paper – might not have all the details or pronunciations correct, but it sure as hell is going to be entertaining.
I love these ladies so much I made a trip to Atlanta for a live show at the Fox Theatre and am a proud member of their fan cult. I even wear a Murderino shirt around town and don’t pay any attention to the strange looks I’m given. I guess you could say we’re going steady.
Favorite Episode: Episode 18 – Investigateighteen Discovery
Up and Vanished: Season 1
The Tara Grinstead case is fascinating and deeply disturbing. Tara was a beauty queen, teacher and small town girl – not unlike a lot of women from my hometown. The idea that she went missing without a trace and her killer went free for more than 10 years speaks to the investigation done on this case prior to Payne Lindsey’s (podcast host) examination.
What sets this podcast apart is the ending: they break the case wide open.
Root of Evil: The True Story of the Hodel Family and the Black Dahlia
Remember the Black Dahlia case? Of course you do. Everyone does. This podcast explores the family dynamics of the suspected Black Dahlia murderer and it left me thinking this is definitely the guy.
Warning: if you’re queasy beware. This podcast goes deep into the details of the murder and autopsy, including the torture that was inflicted upon Elizabeth Short.
Root of Evil, paired with its tv counterpart, I Am The Night, delves into the man behind one of the most infamous murder cases in US history. Both are good, but I’d recommend listening to the podcast before watching the show (if you haven’t seen it already). Directed by Patty Jenkins (director of Wonder Woman) and starring Chris Pine, it’s an eerie piece of television that lends itself more to creative direction.
The Last Podcast On The Left
Let’s sit crooked and talk straight: this podcast is raw and raunchy. Marcus Parks is SO GREAT at researching cases and all the guys riff constantly. Their multi-part series are what keep me coming back despite the vulgar humor which is comparable to a Will Ferrell movie and sometimes causes me to shift uncomfortably (especially the Albert Fish series).
That being said, this podcast provides very detailed information with a solid foundation of humor. Their Jonestown series BLEW MY MIND and included recordings from Jim Jones himself. These guys are my fillers when I’m waiting on new MFM episodes and I don’t regret it one bit.
Favorite Series: Episode 300-304 – Jonestown
You know what I love? Cold Cases. You know what I love more? Cold Cases that are cracked by a librarian turned internet sleuth.
Bear Brook tells the untold story of barrels filled with bodies found in the Bear Brook woods. More than 30 years later, the case takes a surprising turn and is finally solved using familial genealogy. I never saw this ending coming and that’s why it rounds out my podcast greatest hits.