This is a post about what I do at home while reading the newspaper and eating spicy eggs and rice on a Sunday morning. It involves listening to podcasts about crime and murder. If that last sentence left you with wide eyes and a face or terror… I know. It’s ok. More food on Thursday. Carry on and good day.
Do you want to talk to me about a murder mystery episode of 20/20 from 2002? We could. I could tell you all about the suspicious shoe prints in the slow leading out of the master bedroom’s patio door. I could tell you that the wife didn’t just disappear leaving her children. We could talk about how suspicious the husband’s 911 call was. We could speculate all night because I have THEORIES! I’ve thought about it a lot… likely too much.
Here’s the thing- you know that I have a mind for butter and sugar and biscuits and bacon. You get it. I’ve nailed home that point, rather relentlessly, for the past nine years. I also have a mind for true crime. It’s dark, y’all. Have you seen every episode of Forensic Files, too? It’s where you go when Law and Order Criminal Minds just isn’t cutting it. It’s real life stories of people and their people, the stories of times cut short and the insane circumstances that surround trying to catch the awful people who commit terrible crimes.
Maybe you’re like me. Maybe you’re deeply horrified by me. Maybe you’re confused and curious. I understand every range of emotion. If you’re like me. If you’re a murderino (listen to the My Favorite Murder podcast and you’ll understand), here are a list of some of my favorite true crime podcasts. Some are really well-produced stories, others are more casual (inappropriate word choice?) and conversational (again with the word choice…). BUT, if you’re like me you’ve likely binge-listened to all of these. In that case. What else are you listening to?
Just know that if you see me with headphones in my ears on a plane, I’m listening to a murder podcast, taking mental notes as to not get murdered myself, and I’m feeling deeply suspicious of the man sitting next to me because you neeeeever know until you know.
• My Favorite Murder If you’d like to dip your toe into the true crime genre, you might need a friend or two. Hilarious, easy to laugh, sharp and clever friends who make no qualms about their obsession for crime and murder. Meet Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff. Let them talk to you about crime and murder and life and cats. I recommend starting from the beginning and just letting it wash over you. Really… the only way (this is not a true statement) to not get murdered is to be VERY well-educated and well-researched about murder. Georgia and Karen understand this and that’s why we’re staying sexy and NOT getting murdered (for as long as we can help it).
• Accused Brought to us by the Cincinnati Inquirer, is this thoughtful and compelling telling of Elizabeth Andes who was found murdered in her Ohio apartment in 1978. The police immediately pointed their police-y fingers and her boyfriend, but two juries disagreed. What happened? What the heck happened? I cried at the end of this podcast, spoiler alert.
• In The Dark I found myself listening to this podcast in my headphones (I think they’re called earbuds now but I don’t know when that changed or how official it is) at Target, in the kitchen towel aisle, with my heads covering my face in horror… if that’s any indication of this supremely tragic 1989 kidnapping. It’s the story of Jacob Wetterling, his friends, his town, his family, and how the case was just solved late last year, 27 years after his disappearance.
• Stranglers Have you ever heard of the Boston Strangler? Follow up question: do you have any idea how strange that string of murders in the 1960’s was? There was more than one strangler, and my goodness it was hard to be a woman and stay alive in Boston between 1962 and 1964. I’m not even kidding.
• Crimetown Think: organized crime, political corruption, great accents, Providence Rhode Island. I listened to much of this podcast while our gardening one afternoon and when I emerged from my podcast immersion I had bizarre knowledge of very specific Rhode Island politics and a little bit of a mob mouth. No apologies.
Are you listening to Casefile and/or Sword and Scale? Thoughts? Feelings?
If you’re wondering how I sleep at night after these true crime benders…. the answer is: not great. Be like me / don’t be like me. (Story of my life.)
I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while, long enough, I guess, that your marshmallows and chewy ginger chocolate chip cookies have become holiday favorites in my family. This post cracked me up because true crime and mystery novels and television (especially British ones) are a total guilty pleasure of mine (usually to people’s surprise and horror)! I live alone and often find myself pausing podcasts and shows so that I can double-check my locks and look behind my shower curtain; maybe scaredy cats shouldn’t be watching/listening to these things alone! Anyway, I wanted to recommend a couple of books, “A Very British Murder” and “The Art of the English Murder,” both written by Lucy Worsley. I’ve found them both to be addictively readable and entertaining; she essentially looks at both real and invented crime stories and talks about how we have become entertained by the macabre details of them. Thank you for all you do!
If I could leave you with one suggested podcast to listen to, it would be Missing & Murdered: Who Killed Alberta Williams? It delves a bit into the horrific Native American history in Canada. Many murders of First Nation women have taken place on the west coast of Canada and way too many are still unsolved. This is one of them. It is sad and thought provoking and lingers in the back of your mind.
One of my favorites is Crime Writers On. They started discussing Serial and now do reviews of other crime podcasts and tv shows. Four hosts including a married couple that all live in New Hampshire and done fictional or true crime writing.
I am OBSESSED with Crimetown!! But, yeah — the things I found myself wanting to holler out the window in the car rider line at the kid’s school later in the day? The reason I cannot binge-listen!
My weakness is Fox News channel. Whether it is for background noise or amusing polical choas, I am fascinated/addicted.
I’m definitely a Casefile fan. And I relate to everything you said in this post! I tell myself it’s because my mom was a criminal prosecutor, and I overheard too many crazy stories growing up. But I suspect I’m just weird!
Don’t worry – I’m as much as a junkie as you too!
I’m near the beginning of Sword & Scale at the moment. Some of the episodes have me utterly gripped, but some I think lose it a bit.
I don’t know whether to love you or hate you now! I’ve tried listening to podcasts in the past but could never really get into them…then I read this post. I’ve listened to My Favorite Murder during every free second I’ve had for the last 2 days! Thank you! I think…
I LOVE Casefile. It’s probably my favorite after MFM. He’s so good at research and just gives you the facts. Love that one.
Totally subscribing to Crimetown. I recently moved near Providence. Strangely excited to hear it.
I love My Favorite Murder! Have you listened to You Must Remember This? She has a whole series on Charles Manson and Hollywood that was GREAT.
Sort of on the other end of the spectrum, but still relevant, is Wrongful Conviction. It’s by Jason Flom, one of the founders of the Innocence Project, and it’s interviews with people who spent decades in prison for crimes they didn’t commit. He goes over the crime itself, interviews the exonerated people about how they ended up being arrested and convicted of the crimes, and then talks to them about the process of getting out of prison. It will make you sort of sad about how many thousands of people are serving time when they’re completely innocent (some for 20+ years…!), but also give you hope when you hear about all of the amazing things these people are doing when they’re coming out of prison and how they survived the whole ordeal. He recently did an episode with Amanda Knox that 100% changed my opinion of her. Totally eye-opening, and a really interesting look into our (very flawed) judicial system.
I second all the votes for Criminal. The most recent one about Wildin broke my heart. So many of them stick out as memorable- both the Melinda episodes, the one about the leper colony/prison, the one about the buddha. I still want to know how the La Brea Tar Pits case turned out!
I second whoever recommended All Killa No Filla! Similar to MFM. True Crime Garage is pretty good too which i haven’t seen mentioned here yet.
Yes! My Favorite Murder has recently become one of my favorites to listen to!! It’s hilarious and terrifying at the same time.