There’s nothing better than chilling out and relaxing on holidays with a true crime podcast. There’s something so intense and interesting about them that just captures your full attention and keeps you wanting more! And there’s no better time to binge a podcast than when you’re travelling, so here are our top 8 true crime podcasts to listen to while you’re away on holidays!
Casefile True Crime
Casefile True Crime is one of the most engaging podcasts out there right now. Maybe it’s the Anonymous host’s Australian accent helping us listen more and more. The true crime stories are truly stellar here. The production value is high, the stories are amazingly researched, and the narration pulls you right into the madness of it all.
There are over 90 episodes to choose from right now. Each one is about an hour or so and really you can jump in anywhere. There are a couple multi-episode series in the mix. The three episode arc about Jonestown is a great place to dive in and get a sense of the quality of this pod.
The Teachers Pet
Lyn Dawson and her husband Chris appeared to have the perfect marriage until Lyn disappeared without a trace and was replaced by her husband’s high school lover two days later. The Australian’s Hedley Thomas delves into a cold murder which has been unsolved for 36 years, uncovering shocking new evidence.
The show that brought podcasts into the mainstream, Serial follows journalist Sarah Koenig and the show’s staff as they investigate a single story over the course of a season. The show’s serialized nature gives the storytelling an added dramatic weight, as episodes often end on revelations that leave listeners wondering where the next episode will go. Season 1 examines the case of Adnan Syed, a prisoner serving time for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, but who claims to be innocent. Season 2 explores a more recent story, the capture and negotiated release of U.S. Army soldier Bowe Bergdahl, who was eventually charged with desertion.
Serial is unique not just for its production values — Koenig and her fellow producers originally worked on This American Life, and that experience shines through in the audio — but for its insight into the journalistic process; as episodes are recorded as the investigation progresses, so listeners hear Koenig and company grappling with new evidence.
S-Town is a spin-off of the insanely popular Serial — which sort of felt like all anyone could talk about as 2014 turned into 2015. This iteration finds This American Life producer Brian Reed heading to Alabama to do some true crime digging at the behest of one John B McLemore, a resident of “Shittown.” After someone ends up dead, “the search for the truth leads to a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man’s life.” Add in some southern gothic characters and Spanish moss and you have yourself a must listen.
This is a serialized story, so start with Chapter One. And good luck not binge-listening to the whole thing.
My Favourite Murder
Comedians Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff host this lovingly rambling examination of true crime stories from the American mythos. My Favourite Murder’s often silly and always gripping coverage of grisly crimes has spawned a close-knit community of Murderinos who send in hometown murders which get covered on mini-episodes and posted up on the show’s blog. It’s interactive!
You can really jump around anywhere in the episode list. But if you have to have a recommendation, Episode 60: Jazz It Up is a great benchmark of the series.
It’s the summer of 1988 and an Indigenous teenagers body is found on the railway lines just outside of Tamworth, NSW. Yet something doesn’t add up. ABC’s Unravel explores the story behind this suspicious death and follows some of Australia’s leading journalists as they investigate unsolved crimes.
ABC’s debut true crime podcast, Trace, tells of the cold-blooded murder of Maria James who was about to confront a priest who had been sexually abusing her young son. The Melbourne mother never had the chance face her son’s abuser as she was stabbed in the back of her Thornbury bookshop in 1980. Coincidence or not? We’ll let you decide.
Having worked as a crime reporter and novelist, Christopher Goffard has experience with the darker elements of humanity and a knack for storytelling. Both of those qualities are on display in Dirty John, a six-episode series (and accompanying written feature) in which Goffard tells the story of Debra Newell, a 59-year old interior designer who meets a man named John Meehan on a dating site. Meehan comes on strong, but Newell falls for him, even as her daughters suspect something is off. Goffard interviews Newell and her family, among others, constructing a multifaceted narrative that may surprise listeners. It helps that Goffard has a measured, professional voice, making Dirty John feel at times like an audiobook.