My Top 3 True Crime Podcasts

Close friends and family know that I’m passionate about true crime and that podcasts are one of my favorite mediums to learn more about it. I used to think I was singular in this interest, but it turns out, true crime is quite the phenomenon, with many millennials largely embracing and researching the subject as opposed to eschewing it for being taboo. Let me be clear; I’m not fan-girling murder and crime. I am openly acknowledging that I am just one of many that find it fascinating.

So, if you’re interested in exploring true crime podcasts, I’ve got three you should check out.


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The Last Podcast on the Left is hosted by Marcus Parks, Ben Kissel and Henry Zebrowski. While not strictly a true crime podcast, they do cover all things macabre and spooky!

PROS:

  • Topics range from serial killers, cults, spree murders, aliens, ghosts, cryptids, magic and more. You’ll never be bored or wanting for a fresh subject.
  • The dynamic between the three is a winning formula that’s informative, balanced and hilarious. For more details on the individual hosts, keep reading.
  • They never try to rush or squeeze in what they call “heavy hitters” in one episode. For example, they just completed a five part series on Jonestown that was phenomenal!

CONS:

  • Admittedly, I had to give this one a second chance after trying to listen for the first time! Not being able to distinguish between the hosts, who have very strong individual personalities, made it overwhelming and difficult to engage in initially. So, because I’m so nice, I’ve broken it down for you here:
    • Marcus: he’s the main researcher that moves the exposition along. Beyond his Texan accent, Marcus is an excellent, comprehensive storyteller with a contagious laugh (and he laughs a lot). He’s very thin, obsessed with pickles, and has crooked teeth that he straightens throughout the episodes. Marcus is arguably the intellect of the show.
    • Marcus-Parks-745x490_0.jpgBen: he introduces the podcast at the beginning of the episode. Ben is arguably the most skeptical of the three, particularly when topics relate to aliens, cryptids and ghosts. He’s also hilariously bad at telling stories and reading Creepypastas. Ben is interested in politics and sports, often teased for his large stature and German heritage. Ben is pretty witty in his own right, but his discomfort and wariness gives the other boys great material to poke fun at.

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    • Henry: he’s an actor that’s appeared in films like “The Wolf of Wall Street” and television shows like, “Heroes Reborn”, “Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell” and “Characters”. Henry is gregarious and is known for his voice impressions and  maniacal interest in the subjects at hand. Short, red haired and originally from Long Island, Henry practices magic, smokes a lot of weed and pushes the boundaries of the show in the best way.

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My Favorite Murder is a true crime comedy podcast hosted by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. Only a few years old, “Murderinos”, can expect full episodes with each host recounting a murder of their choice and “Minisodes”, when they read listeners’ hometown stories.

PROS:

  • The self deprecating banter between Karen and Georgia is often hilarious, and surprisingly sweet.
  • Karen and Georgia both are engaging in their own ways, with the former being dry, witty and irreverent and the latter being more sensitive, effusive and candid.
  • They cover a wide range of true crime stories, from major serial killers to lesser known regional murders.
  • They have used their popularity as a platform to empower women, support crime survivors by telling their stories, create awareness for crime prevention and other issues such as the treatment of sex workers and national gun control (without becoming too political or ranting).
  • The audience can participate by submitting their hometown stories to the ladies. That doesn’t guarantee they’ll be read on a Minisode, but it’s worth a shot.

CONS:

  • Sometimes they chat for a little too long in the beginning of an episode or go off on distracting tangents. This can be fun, but once in a while it can be disengaging.
  • The amount of research that goes into each telling is questionable. If you don’t mind paraphrasing of information readily available on Wikipedia or Murderpedia, than it shouldn’t be an issue.

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Hosted by Carter Roy and Wendy MacKenzie, Unsolved Murders: True Crime Stories covers cold cases that are brought to life with voice actors and what I believe are Foley artists. From Jack the Ripper to Bob Crane’s murder in 1978, the hosts end each two part episode postulating on the most likely suspect(s) and motive(s).

PROS:

  • This podcast really does cover a wide range of mysteries, sampling different time periods, geographies, victim demographics, etc.
  • Some of the subjects are of more obscure cases and I love researching new true crime stories I’ve never heard of before.
  • I enjoy that the hosts don’t just present the cases, but actually express their opinion and don’t always agree on who was responsible.

CONS:

  • The hosts do popcorn readings, bouncing back and forth in the initial episodes. You aren’t Mary Kate and Ashley, okay? Luckily, this isn’t as much of an issue in later episodes.
  • Some of the voice actors can not only be unconvincing, but pretty tacky. I try to ignore or just pretend they’re trying to be camp to get through it.
  • They’re pretty heavy on sponsorship, sometimes having their hosts make gauche segues into an advertisement right after discussing something gruesome. Still worth a listen though, in my opinion.

 

Now that I can take my little nerd hat off, can you share any others that you like? I’m open to non-crime podcasts as well!

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