Best true crime podcasts for crime junkies and armchair sleuths

true crime podcasts featured image criminal

If there’s any genre that thrives on the podcast format, it’s true crime. The mega popular Serial podcast may have broken the doors wide open, but a number of other great true crime podcasts have been around for years.

Read also: Best podcasts to fill your feed in 2020

To help you get your fix, we’ve assembled a list of our favorite podcasts about criminals and crime, plus a few honorable mentions. There’s sure to be something to catch your morbid fancy.

Best true crime podcasts


Criminal

Criminal podcast true crime

Topic: True crime

Frequency: Bi-weekly

Length: 30-45 minutes

Criminal is a true crime podcast that truly has it all: great writing, fantastic narration by Phoebe Judge, and an extensive back catalog of over 130 episodes. Each episode is self-contained, and topics go well beyond the typical murder stories and missing person cases.

Listen on Pocket Casts, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts


Casefile

Casefile true crime podcast

Topic: True crime

Frequency: Weekly

Length: 60-90 minutes

For Australian listeners looking to hear true crime stories a little closer to home, the Casefile podcast is a must-listen. The grittiest crimes from down under and abroad are illuminated in one-off or occasionally weekly serialized episodes, each of which is meticulously researched and well-written. The show is narrated by an unnamed and anonymous host in order to let the original police files and recordings speak for themselves.

Listen on Pocket Casts, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts


Sword and Scale

Sword and scale podcast

Topic: True crime

Frequency: Irregular

Length: 60-90 minutes

Sword and Scale is another podcast about crime that’s been around for years, despite a brief controversy and temporary change of hosts. It explores the darker side of human nature, frequently playing gruesome audio clips of criminal testimonials, 911 calls, or even the crimes themselves. This one isn’t for the faint of heart.

Listen on Pocket Casts, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts


Up and Vanished

up and vanished podcast

Topic: True crime, mystery

Frequency: Finished

Length: Varies

Up and Vanished is a great true crime podcast for binge listening because each season is devoted to a single crime. This allows it to dig deep, chasing up old leads and interviewing first-hand witnesses. Currently there are two seasons available, one of which has been adapted for an upcoming TV show on the Oxygen network.

Listen on Pocket Casts, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts


Crimetown

Crimetown podcast

Topic: True crime, documentary

Frequency: Weekly (seasonal)

Length: 30-45 minutes

From the producers of the phenomenal documentary series The Jinx, Crimetown isn’t exactly a true crime podcast. However, its subject matter dips so heavily into criminal behavior that there’s no need to split hairs. Each season takes a flashy and entertaining look at crime in a specific city. There are currently two seasons, with the first looking at organized crime in Providence, Rhode Island, and the second at police corruption in 1970s Detroit, Michigan.

Listen on Pocket Casts, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts


My Favorite Murder

my favorite murder podcast

Topic: True crime, comedy

Frequency: Weekly

Length: 20-30 minutes

My Favorite Murder puts a completely different spin on the genre. Instead of lingering on the dark and scary parts of crime, hosts and comedians Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark take a more light-hearted approach to podcasts about murder. Conan O’Brien, Patton Oswalt, and other famous comedians have also been on as guests to discuss some of the world’s most interesting (and somehow, hilarious) crimes.

Listen on Pocket Casts, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts


They Walk Among Us

they walk among us podcast

Topic: True crime

Frequency: Weekly (seasonal)

Length: 30-70 minutes

For true crime stories based in the UK, there is no better podcast than They Walk Among Us. Each week host Benjamin Fitton runs through the facts of a single British crime, focusing on the facts instead of delving into armchair detective work. If you’re tired of hearing about the same few famous cases, this podcast is chock full of relatively unknown — but still fascinating — cases.

Listen on Pocket Casts, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts


Someone Knows Something

someone knows something podcast

Topic: True crime

Frequency: Weekly (seasonal)

Length: 30-60 minutes

Someone Knows Something is yet another investigative true crime podcast that dives deep into a single cold case for an entire season of podcasts. Most of these are cold cases that took place in host David Ridgen’s home country of Canada. After listening to interviews with eyewitnesses and family members, don’t be surprised if you find yourself deeply invested in each story.

Listen on Pocket Casts, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts


Disgraceland

Disgraceland podcast

Topic: True crime, music

Frequency: Weekly

Length: 30-45 minutes

Disgraceland is yet another unique take on true crime podcasts, this time focusing on the misdeeds of famous musicians. Everything from religious cults and drug trafficking to full-blown murder, this podcast doesn’t limit itself to any specific musical era. You’ll hear about Johnny Cash’s obsession with pills, Frank Sinatra’s mob connections, Eminem’s history of armed assault, and more.

Listen on Pocket Casts, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts


Criminal Perspective

Criminal Perspective podcast

Topic: True crime

Frequency: Weekly

Length: 30-60 minutes

Our final true crime podcast on the list flips the script, giving criminals themselves a chance to talk about their own crimes. Each episode is a first-hand interview with a convicted criminal, survivor, or occasionally other experts in criminology. If you’re a fan of the Netflix Original series Mindhunter, this will be right up your alley.

Listen on Pocket Casts, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts


True crime podcasts — Honorable mentions

  • Dirty John — This true crime podcast is focused on the life of John Michael Meehan, whose story of abuse and manipulation will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last minute.
  • Finding Tammy Jo — A young woman was found dead in 1979, and it wasn’t until 2015 that officials identified her as Tammy Jo Alexander. This podcast is dedicated solving the murder and finding her killer once and for all.
  • Swindled — Leaving gory murders behind, this podcast is all about white-collar crime. From petty con artists to ponzi schemes and corporate environmental disasters, the show’s anonymous host lays it all bare.
  • The Missing Cryptoqueen — This limited-run BBC podcast tells the story of Dr. Ruja Ignatova, who defrauded millions of people out of their money before disappearing without a trace.
  • Crime Junkies — This podcast is hosted by two besties with an unhealthy obsession with crime. It’s a more conversational approach to podcasting, with new episodes released every week.

That’s it for some of our favorite true crime podcasts you can download right now. Let us know if we missed any of your favorites in the comments below.

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