So if you’re a regular reader you’ll know that I’m a BIG podcast fan. I’ve done plenty of round-ups of my favourites over the past couple of years but one genre I haven’t really touched on a great deal is true crime podcasts. Like most people my first ever foray into podcasts was with Serial, the investigative journalism series which tells the story of murdered teenager Hae Min Lee and the subsequent arrest of her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed. I haven’t included this one in my list as it seems like the whole world and their Mum have listened to it but if for some reason you’ve missed out then that is without a doubt the podcast to start with!
One of the things that struck me most when I first started listening to true crime podcasts is how addictive they are. You can’t simply listen to one episode, a binge is totally necessary. So these are just five of the podcast series that had me glued to my headphones and right on the edge of my seat…
Up and Vanished
Released last year, Up and Vanished had me hooked from the very start. The series explores the disappearance of Tara Grinstead, a beauty queen and 11th grade history teacher from Ocilla, Georgia. The podcast was created by filmmaker and amateur investigator Payne Lindsey who decided to pick out a missing-person case from his home state of Georgia and try his best to get to the bottom of it. Despite being a cold case for eleven years the series gained some serious traction and what set out to be a six-episode season turned into a staggering 24 episodes.
Now I don’t want to give away any spoilers but this series really is one of a kind with the new leads that emerge along the way. It even made me want to try my hand at investigative journalism!
Someone Knows Something (series 2)
Another missing person case, Someone Knows Something is based on the disappearance of Sheryl Sheppard from her hometown of Hamilton, Ontario back in 1997. The series delves into the details of the disappearance and interviews those closest to Sheryl including her boyfriend, Michael Lavoie. In a bizarre series of events he actually proposed to Sheryl on live TV only two days prior to her going missing.
Produced by award-winning filmmaker David Ridgen, this is an extremely intriguing story with many twists and turns. It’s truly heartbreaking to hear Sheryl’s mother, Odette’s anguish as she is still on a search for answers over her missing daughter twenty years later.
Beyond Reasonable Doubt
This podcast really sparked my interest as it is based on the story of Kathleen and Michael Peterson who you might have heard of if you’ve watched the true crime documentary The Staircase.
Beyond Reasonable Doubt is a 5 live podcast and explores the case surrounding Michael Peterson and the mysterious death of his wife Kathleen in December, 2001. In some ways the podcast simply relayed a lot of the information I’d already heard about in the documentary but it did show some of the evidence in a new light and from a somewhat different angle. The case came to a legal conclusion in 2017 which is why the podcast was created as it follows the very latest happenings from court.
Whether you’ve watched The Staircase or not I definitely recommend giving this one a listen as it’s a tragic yet intriguing story.
Introduced as ‘Australia’s first true crime podcast,’ Casefile follows a slightly different format to the rest of the podcasts in this list as each individual episode centres around a different case. The intriguing thing about this series is that the show’s host doesn’t disclose his identity and instead chooses to simply refer to himself as ‘anonymous’.
Unlike the other podcasts I’ve mentioned Casefile isn’t an investigative podcast, instead it simply lays out the facts of each crime and talks about the theories surrounding the case. With seventy five episodes uploaded there’s plenty to keep you going and I guarantee you might find yourself getting more than a little addicted. As the show is brought to you from Australia there are plenty of cases I wasn’t previously familiar with which is a positive as some cases tend to be replicated across various podcasts.
Accused (Series 1)
37 years ago Ohio college student Elizabeth Andes was found murdered in her apartment. Within hours police and prosecutors decided it was an open-and-shut case and charged her boyfriend Bob Young of her murder. Accused focuses on the investigation by The Cincinnati Enquirer as to whether the right person was charged or whether a killer managed to walk free.
Another truly gripping story which delves deep into the case and hooks you from the very beginning. I’m yet to listen to series 2 but I know it will be just as addictive!