I first became interested in true crime podcasts in college and that led me to write about true crime and investigating crime cases. Throughout my time as a journalist, I have gained a lot of knowledge about how law enforcement handles criminal cases and about what details of a crime are most important to the cases.
I based the podcasts I chose to put on the top ten list on five different elements:
- Story depth
- Length of episode
- Smaller cases vs. Well-known cases
- Entertainment value
- Interviews with authorities
This list is solely based on my opinion and on what I know about crime working as an investigative journalist.
1. Crime Junkie
Ashley Flowers and Brit host this true crime podcast that comes out once a week. Almost all episodes are smaller, lesser-known cases that I have never heard of before. These podcasters use a narrative story-telling approach to reel listeners in. The two co-hosts also have good chemistry with one another. The average episode is around 45 minutes long and the hosts go as far as to talk to witnesses and authorities involved in each story so they can better tell listeners about the case.
2. Anatomy of Murder
Anatomy of Murder is, in my opinion, one of the best true crime podcasts on all platforms. Scott Weinberger and Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi are the hosts of this show. Scott is an investigative journalist and a former deputy sheriff, while Anna-Sigga is a former New York City homicide prosecutor and hosts a true crime tv show. Their backgrounds in homicide investigations allow them to better explain cases. They also almost always have interviews with detectives involved in the cases they cover.
3. Moms and Murder
The reason I put this podcast so high up on the list is mainly because of the entertainment value. Mandy and Melissa have such good on-air chemistry and are able to make the darker cases more light-hearted. The two moms do discuss smaller cases, however, a lot of the stories they discuss are more well-known like The Watcher and The Chippendale murder.
4. Murder with my Husband
Payton and Garrett Moreland host their podcast, Murder with my Husband, which has a twist that no other podcast has. Payton is a true crime connoisseur and every week she tells her husband, Garrett, a true crime story. All the stories are allegedly new to Garrett because he never paid attention to true crime stories until the two were married. The podcasters mostly discuss smaller cases, with more well-known cases being thrown in every once in a while. The podcasts usually last between 30 minutes to an hour.
If you’re looking for a light-hearted take on true crime, Morbid is your type of podcast. Hosted by Ash Kelley and Alaina Urquhart, their goofy personalities allow them to tell difficult stories in a naturalistic way. The average true crime episode and listener tales episode length are just over an hour long. Explicit language is used in this podcast, so listen with caution.
6. The Deck
Another podcast hosted by Ashley Flowers, The Deck discusses cold cases that are put onto playing cards and given to prisoners. Each case has interviews with officers and detectives on the case. Episodes of this podcast are normally shorter than Crime Junkie podcasts, averaging around 30 minutes.
Casefile is a podcast based out of Australia, which means most cases covered are international. The host of the show is anonymous, but he gives very in-depth descriptions of the crimes he talks about. There are never any interviews with law enforcement and the entertainment value is less than other podcasts, however, the story length and depth make up for it.
8. Big Mad True Crime
Heather Ashley, the host of Big Mad True Crime, knows no one is interested in the small talk before the story. We’re there for the true crime! The average episode length is around 30 minutes and most cases covered are not very well-known. The entertainment value is a little lower because it is just Heather talking the whole time.
9. Crime Salad
Married couple Ashley and Rich host this true-crime podcast. This podcast has new episodes every week and most episodes are stories that aren’t overly talked about. The content and storytelling are split up with Ashley telling half and Rich telling half. The podcast seems very rehearsed and I wish we could see more normal interaction between the two. That is why they are no. 9 on this list.
10. Southern Fried True Crime
Southern Fried True Crime discusses cases of murder from down South. Erica Kelley, a native of Tennessee, hosts the podcast. Erica’s sassiness brings an entertaining aspect to the podcast. She does talk about controversial topics sometimes, however, her storytelling ability is good. There are not many, if any, interviews or additional people involved in the podcast, which can sometimes make the episodes a little dull.
Honorable mentions include:
- Killer Instinct
- True Crime with Kendall Rae