We love true crime here at Marie Claire, but there are some things a Lifetime TV movie just cannot capture. Because they’re often easier to produce than a TV show, podcasts are the new frontier of this genre, allowing listeners to go deep on cases, form their own theories, and occasionally even help out the investigators in real-time. The best true crime podcasts are ones that ultimately say something about society in general, and those are the ones rounded up below.
Here are 37 of the best true crime podcasts currently on. There’s plenty to binge-listen to on your next long road trip or train ride or just, you know, Sunday.
Swindled takes a closer look at white-collar crimes, con artists, corporate villains, and all-around terrible events that happen to good people. Topics range from a coal mining freak accident that isn't what it seems to a woman who faked her husband death after 9/11 to become famous. The anonymous host is "a concerned citizen" like the rest of us when it comes to seeking out justice—one who wants you to know the truth.
Nothing gets our blood pumping (besides coffee) like talking about creepy things. Hosts Whitney and Dani talk everything from true crime to paranormal activity on Creepy Caffeine, and discuss their favorites, stories, movies, and books about them. They even have a GoodReads account, so you can always be in the loop on what has been giving them goosebumps.
The hosts of True Crime Garage are two brothers from Columbus, Ohio who keep things casual when it comes to discussing crime. Each episode begins with the brothers cracking open a cold one as they dive into infamous cases like JonBenet Ramsey to the Malibu Creek Murders, taking a more in-depth look at the famous cases you thought you knew.
From the same people who brought us Crime Junkie, Red Ball dives into one of Indiana's most famous unsolved cases: the Burger Chef Murders. The series covers the 41-year old cold case about four young employees who went missing and, days later, were found dead 20 miles away in the woods.
Detective Trapp follows Julissa Trapp, the only female detective on the homicide team in Anaheim, California. When she finds a woman's body at a recycling plant, Trapp starts to think the case could be linked to the disappearance of three other women in nearby Santa Ana. She's soon lead down a path darker than anything like she's seen before.
If you're a true crime junkie, you've probably heard about Fred and Rosemary West, the English couple who killed at least 12 women, including their own daughter. The duo cut up their victims and buried them under their house, continuing to live unnoticed for over 20 years. This 12-part podcast follows the cassette tapes of Howard Sounes, the author of the crime book Fred & Rose. Listeners will hear his unheard research tapes from 1994 as well as interviews from new witnesses.
On the 30th anniversary of the kidnapping and murder of Amy Mihaljevic, VAULT Studios and WKYC Studios in Cleveland look back on one of the most famous cold cases in Ohio. The 5-part podcast interviews Mihaljevic's best friends and siblings about what happened on that one October day in 1989, and what came after.
We always hear from or about private investigators in true crime podcasts, but we've never been able to really follow the day-to-day life of one. In Conviction, we meet New York Times reporter, Saki Knafo, as he follows detective Manuel Gomez as Gomez takes on the biggest case of his career.
Crime in Sports is exactly what you think it is: a podcast about crime in the sports world. Two comedians, James Pietragallo and Jimmie Whisman look at athletes who were known for winning, but somehow ended up losing big time to the law.
Crime never takes the day off, so neither should your podcast. Meet Today in True Crime, a daily podcast that looks back at true crime events from that day in history. The episodes are only 20 minutes, so it's great if you have a quick commute.
This 12-part documentary podcast, from the creative team behind Fatal Voyage: The Mysterious Death of Natalie Wood, tells the tragic story of Marilyn Monroe—from her early days as Norma Jean to her suspicious death, which was ruled a "probable suicide." The Killing of Marilyn Monroe "analyzes the tangle of sex, power, corruption, and lies that led the most powerful men in America to silence Marilyn Monroe for good."
From the people behind Fatal Voyage: The Mysterious Death of Natalie Wood, the podcast Diana: Case Solved is a deep dive into the circumstances surrounding Princess Diana's tragic 1997 death. In the 12-part documentary series, former Detective-Sergeant Colin McLaren, who investigated Diana’s death in 1997, returns to the scene to investigate the conspiracy theories that continue to dominate the discussion of the late royal's fatal crash.
Not all true crimes are murder stories—case in point: Gangster Capitalism. Season 1, from award-winning documentarian, Andrew Jenks, focused on the 2019 college admissions scandal, digging deep into just how this wide-ranging, totally captivating scam worked exactly (because you know you're fascinated by this scandal, just like everyone else).
True Crime Fan Club has been a staple of the genre since it launched in 2016. Host Lanie Hobbs and her small team of researchers and producers give listeners a glimpse into some of history's most evil minds.
DIE-ALOGUE: a true crime conversation is a weekly true crime podcast in which host Rebekah Sebastian interviews "fascinating people connected to true crime in unique ways." Rebekah and her guests dig deep and try to get to the heart of the "why" that drives true crimes.
Small Town Dicks is the podcast for anyone fascinated with the biggest crimes that go down in the smallest of towns. Now in its fifth season, Small Town Dicks brings listeners a captivating case from Small Town, USA in every episode, complete with interviews with the detectives who broke the case, the suspects, 911 call audio, and more. Identical twin detectives Dan and Dave anchor the show, which is hosted by actress Yeardley Smith.
This one is almost like a reverse-engineered crime: It begins when 40-year-old April Balascio realized that her father, Edward Wayne Edwards, was actually a murderer. We follow her journey from that realization to her call to a police detective, to the emotional upheaval that such a revelation causes a person.
From Wondery and the L.A. Times—the team that brought us one of the greatest true crime podcasts of all time, Dirty John—comes this series on the man who would come to be known as the Golden State Killer, one of the most prolific serial killers in California history. Though finally brought to justice recently after decades at large, this podcast sets out to answer deeper questions about the case, like: How can we make sure this never happens again?
This podcast will blow your mind. Created in partnership with the Moscow Project, an initiative from the Center for American Progress that aims to investigate President Trump's ties to Russia, this series takes listeners through everything we know so far about the president and the Kremlin. Some of it you know, some of it will shock you, and all of it—especially when it's laid out like this—points a very disturbed finger at what the president knows, and who might be manipulating him.
On its face, this podcast investigates the case of four bodies that were found in a couple barrels in the woods of New Hampshire. But then it goes way further, looking at the forensic technologies used to figure out who put the bodies there, and how they could have repercussions on the way crimes are solved—and who's found guilty—that extend far beyond these murders.
This addictive podcast from journalist Neil Strauss follows the disappearance of Adea Shabani, a beautiful aspiring actress from Los Angeles who got into her boyfriend’s truck one day and never came back. But if that makes it sound like you already know what happened, strap in: There are twists and turns here that you’ll never see coming.
Who would break into someone's house, take a well-regarded couple hostage for nearly a day alongside their young son and housekeeper, and then murder them? This podcast tries to get to the bottom of that very real, horrific scenario, and follows the police on a winding journey to try to figure out what happened, why it happened, and who would do such a thing.
Writer Jon Ronson is no stranger to getting disgraced online: He wrote an entire nonfiction book about people who were “dragged,” as it were, called So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed. But not all of those stories end as sadly as the one this podcast is about: After making what was perceived as a homophobic comment on Twitter, porn actress August Ames received massive backlash. In a matter of hours, she had killed herself. Like all true crime podcasts, though, the story doesn’t end there, and Ronson talks to fellow porn actors, shady LA wheelers and dealers, and even Ames' family to try to figure out what really drove her to suicide.
Released as a companion to the TNT show I Am the Night, "Root of Evil" explores a very intriguing theory about the killer behind the infamous Black Dahlia murder of 1947, when an actress named Elizabeth Short was found brutally dismembered at the side of the road. The story is told from a family member of the alleged killer, so you know it’s juicy.
Less true crime and more deep dive into news stories both obscure and mainstream that occasionally intersect with true crime, this award-winning podcast by Al Letson is dedicated to the nitty gritty process of investigative reporting. You’ll learn a lot and sometimes get really freaked out about what goes on in the world.
This podcast—from the creators of the excellent other podcast Atlanta Monster and the producers of Up and Vanished (which also appears on this list)—follows the perennially creepy, still unsolved murders of the Zodiac Killer, who wreaked havoc in the Bay Area in the 1960s and 1970s and who is probably not Ted Cruz’s father.
Don’t listen to this one at night: Sword and Scale delves into some of the most heinous crimes imaginable. We’re talking people eating each other, real-life dismemberment, and grisly murders. While that may seem gratuitous, there is value in looking directly at the darkest parts of human nature in order to better appreciate the light.
I love these guys! Billy Jensen is an investigative journalist, Paul Holes is a retired investigator, and together they are Jensen and Holes: The Murder Squad. In each episode, the pair attempts to solve cold cases using everything from brand new tech to old fashioned know-how. And listeners play an important role here, calling in to offer their own tips and theories along the way. You can be an investigator, too!
Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark are the two hilarious women behind this hit podcast with a major cult following (fans call themselves "Murderinos"). Each episode, they select a different real-life murder and chat about the circumstances around it, ranging from the mega-famous cases to the ones you’ve never heard about before. Also, they are very funny, so if you aren’t okay with irreverence around serious topics, you might want to skip this one.
Hosted by an anonymous Australian, this gloomy podcast goes over in excruciatingly researched detail the play-by-plays of murder cases. I once listened to it while driving alone at night and had to immediately call my mom and have her talk about cats just so I didn’t feel like I was going to get axed myself—that’s how scary it is.
This podcast comes from the creators of the addictive and jaw-dropping HBO docuseries The Jinx, but its first season has more in common with The Sopranos in that it’s all about the way organized crime has shaped the history and culture of different American cities. Season two narrows that concept down further, following the saga of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who may or may not have been involved in everything from wire fraud to murder-for-hire.
One of the lovelier podcasts in the true crime genre, Criminal takes an almost Radiolab approach to the cases it presents each episode, looking at not just the crimes themselves but the motivations, cultural workings, and almost poetic undercurrents present in each one. It’s a surprising and addictive listen, and with years of back catalog, there’s much to explore.
Major scandals are like a trainwreck: You can’t really look away. Whether it’s a celebrity, a politician, or an entire corporation brought down by errors, lies, crimes, and misbehavior, scandal is as American as apple pie. This podcast from Wondery goes deep on some of the biggest ones to ever make headlines—the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the Iran Contra Affair, steroid use among athletes—exploring why they happened and who took the fall.
Host Robin Warder picks a new missing person each episode and talks about their lives, their last known whereabouts, and where….the trail went cold. It’s basically that classic, long-running television show Unsolved Mysteries, but for your ears.
So this NPR show isn’t strictly true crime, though sometimes it veers in that direction. Rather, it takes something buzzy from today’s news—say, vaccinations—and contextualizes it in history. When did we start getting vaccinated? Why? Whose idea was it to attempt herd immunity, and keep those who didn’t agree away from some of the sections of society where they might pose a risk? This podcast will tell you.