Feature

The 29 best true crime podcasts to kill your free time

The best true crime podcasts are the ones you binge during long-distance car journeys. They’re the ones that when you discover there are 300 previous episodes, you’re delighted instead of dropping your phone in abject terror.  Whether it’s a short limited series on a specific case or a long-running podcast, just like the best documentaries on Netflix you won’t be able to stop listening until it’s done.

The success of the true crime genre over the last five years or so means there’s no shortage of podcasts to mainline. But when it comes to choosing the best true crime podcasts, it can be tricky as the charts are fit to bursting with murder most foul and unbelievable scams. That’s why we’re here to hold an investigative magnifying glass over the cream of the justice-seeking crop. 

The pods below are a mix of long-running series and shorter investigations. The best investigative journalists are doing incredible work in the field and podcasts are a perfect medium for in-depth interviews and analysis that’s not limited by the demands of perfect 45-minute episodes on Netflix. True crime podcasts can be reactive too, with new developments on a weekly basis as more people learn about the case. Here we’ve collected a variety of different types of true crime podcast. There are seasonal focuses on individual cases, eight-part dives into mysterious crimes of the past, and even a couple of comedy options to add some much-needed levity. 

If you’re looking for new true crime podcasts for June 2022, don’t miss Wondery’s Scamfluencers which is a brilliant deep dive into the perils of modern cons. And, for a different perspective, have a listen to Smoking Gun with Romola Garai and forensic scientist Tracy Alexander as the pair talk about the everyday items that unlock the secrets of criminal cases.  

  • The best movie podcasts
  • The best documentaries on Netflix

The best true crime podcasts right now

29. Do You Know Mordechai? 

Do You Know Mordechai best true crime podcasts

(Image credit: USG Audio )

There’s a glut of brilliant true crime podcasts at the moment revealing the serial scams of some rather heinous con men. Do You Know Mordechai is a particularly exceptional highlight as, not only does Canadian journalist Kathleen Goldhar have a personal friendship with one of Mordechai Horowitz’s victims, she also gets to interview the man himself. 

This limited series is a devastating investigation into the victims of a serial conman who pathologically lied to an untold number of women after he met them on Tinder. Unlike someone like Netflix’s Tinder Swindler Simon Leviev, it wasn’t all about money here but as the podcast goes on, more and more women who had been conned came forward, painting a grim picture of Mordechai’s wake. Goldhar’s journey into the psyche of the man himself is particularly fascinating as she interviews his family members and, vitally, those no longer ashamed to speak out.   

28. Sweet Bobby

Sweet Bobby Best True Crime Podcasts

(Image credit: Tortoise Media)

None of us think we’d be catfished. It’s what makes the prospect so compelling when it comes to a true crime podcast because we like to think that we’d be immune, that we wouldn’t be taken in. But when you hear the story of Kirat, a woman in the UK who fell victim to one of the world’s potentially most sophisticated catfishing scams, you might think otherwise. Sweet Bobby is officially one of the strangest and most disturbing of scams because of its lack of a desire for money but control instead. And it comes with some of the most jaw-dropping true crime moments since The Jinx. 

Told deftly by Alexi Mostrous from Tortoise Media, Sweet Bobby is a six-part series but Mostrous will be continuing to cover the case. The problem with a crime like this one is that the UK police struggle to find exactly the crime that has been committed. A stolen identity is only the beginning here and technically the advanced use of social media isn’t against the law either – even if for nefarious means. Yes, we’re being teasery for a reason but just go and listen. Sweet Bobby is one of the best true crime podcasts of 2021. 

27. Bad Blood: The Final Chapter 

Bad Blood: The Final Chapter

(Image credit: Three Uncanny Four )

True crime podcasts are packed with scams and fraudsters but very few of these cases are as public and brazen as the one of Elizabeth Holmes. If you haven’t heard the name, this is the staggering story of billions of dollars of investment in a medical technology company called Theranos which Holmes founded. Holmes told the world that she had created machines that could perform blood tests on just one drop of blood taken from a finger. The only problem, even after endless money was poured into the company, was that she hadn’t. 

Bad Blood: The Final Chapter is presented by journalist John Carreyrou who broke the original story of everything not being as it seemed within Theranos.  Carreyrou went on to write a book about the case and is now back with this podcast as Holmes has her day in court. This is a story of corrupt Silicon Valley culture and of what happens when lives are suddenly on the line when someone tries to be medicine’s Steve Jobs. Now complete Elizabeth Holmes’ trial verdict, this is absolutely compelling listening. And the bonus is that you’ll also want to read the book straight after.   

26. Darknet Diaries 

Darknet Diaries

25. Conning the Con 

Conning the Con

24. Chasing Cosby

Chasing Cosby

23. Finding Q: My Journey Into Q Anon 

Finding Q

(Image credit: Audible )

Cults and conspiracy theories are true crime staples, making the rise of the right wing QAnon an irresistible hot topic for true crime podcasts. Yet few documentaries even get close to what journalist Nicky Woolf achieves in Finding Q. His relentless quest to uncover the true identity of Q sees him fall deep down the rabbit hole, sending journalists into media free QAnon conventions, and tracking the movements of those behind notorious Q posting sites. 

Woolf also speaks to the so-called ‘Q casualties,’ those who have lost family and friends to outlandish far right conspiracy theories, adding an essential humanity to this journey. From the outside it might seem ludicrous that anyone believes that Democrats engage regularly in satanic blood drinking rituals but these are the dangerous beliefs that stormed the Capitol on January 6th 2021. Woolf’s narration style is consistently wry and entertaining but never at the expense of his subjects. Finding Q is an Audible podcast, meaning you need a subscription to listen but this is the perfect excuse you’ve been looking for. Gripping stuff.  

22. The Missing Cryptoqueen

The Missing Cryptoqueen

21. No Strings Attached 

No Strings Attached

20. You Must Remember Manson

You Must Remember Manson

 19. Dirty John 

Dirty John

18. To Live and Die in LA

To Live and Die in LA

17. Who the Hell is Hamish?

Who the Hell is Hamish?

16. The Dream

The Dream

15. Cold

Cold

14. Somebody

Somebody

13. The Clearing 

The Clearing

12. Hunting Warhead 

Hunting Warhead

11. The Shrink Next Door

The Shrink Next Door

10. The Teacher’s Pet

The Teacher’s Pet

Are spoilers still spoilers if it’s real life? This is surely a 21st century existential dilemma. I’ll err on the fact that they are and merely point you in the direction of the this spectacular multi-part series from The Australian, The Teacher’s Pet. Investigative journalist Hedley Thomas presents this tour-de-force of a documentary series, uncovering the details around the disappearance of Lynette Dawson who went missing – *cough* – from her family home in Australia in 1982. 

If you’re already screaming ‘the husband did it’ then you’re not new to true crime, but the stories around Lynette’s famous rugby player husband Chris Dawson are devastating. The interviews and desperation of Lynette’s family and friends for justice after 37 years makes The Teacher’s Pet a raw and occasionally frustrating journey, but consider this your new Making a Murderer-style obsession.

9. My Favorite Murder

My Favorite Murder

If you’ve ever heard anyone wish friends farewell with the vaguely sinister-sounding “stay sexy and don’t get murdered,” don’t panic, you’ve just found yourself next to some Murderinos, the collective name for fans of My Favourite Murder. Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff started off recording their thoughts on their favourite crimes in an LA loft in 2016 and have since spawned a veritable true crime phenomenon. Now the pair have their own podcast network and still get together for two episodes a week to deliver their thoughts on all manner of crimes and reader supplied ‘Hometown’ murders. 

With their frank attitude towards mental health and hilarious rapport, the duo perfectly balance the darkness of the subject matter with a healthy dollop of humour. This isn’t where to go to find the forensically precise version of events – there’s a weekly ‘Corrections Corner’ slot – but if you want to feel like you’re listening to your friends chat murder in the pub, this is the best true crime podcast for you. It’s time to sit crooked and talk straight.

8. Criminal

Criminal

One of the most satisfying things about Criminal – other than host Phoebe Judge’s ultra-soothing tones – is its glorious conciseness. We all know life is short and if true crime is to be believed, much shorter for some than others. These 20 to 30-minute self-contained stories then are miniature pieces of sometimes disturbing art to fit perfectly into your commute. 

From stories about prized poodles being stolen to the origins of the term Stockholm Syndrome and a story from the police investigator who donned a suit and dived the La Brea Tarpits, every episode is a new journey into the truth being stranger than fiction. True crime podcasts can sometimes feel a little samey but Judge always finds fresh voices to bring new perspective to uniquely human stories. It doesn’t matter if you start at the beginning, end, or somewhere in the middle (you monster), Criminal is constantly a surprise and one that will stay with you longer than most. 

7. Real Crime Profile

Real Crime Profile

Ticking the trained professionals box nicely, Wondery’s Real Crime Profile is presented by retired FBI profiler Jim Clemente, ex-New Scotland Yard criminal behavioural analyst Laura Richards, and Criminal Minds casting director Lisa Zambetti. This is an ongoing weekly pod and perfect for fans of true crime TV as the trio delve deeper into the cases made popular by shows such as Making a Murderer, Evil Genius, The Staircase, and Tiger King. 

Not content with one episode per show though, the team focus on one element of each case for each episode, making sure that the story centres around the victim, and consistently deliver intelligent, knowledgeable conversation. If you want a gore-soaked gloves-and-mask-on dissection of your new crime obsession, this is essential post Netflix binge listening.

6. Uncover: Escaping NXIVM

Uncover: Escaping NXIVM

If I was describing these podcasts like Friends episodes, this would be ‘The One With the Allison Mack Sex Cult’. Yep, the Smallville actress. Now you’re interested. Uncover: Escaping NXIVM (pronounced Nexiom) is an eight part podcast series that tells the inside story of Sarah Edmondson, an actress who joined the multi-level-marketing scheme and self help organisation only to discover some seriously questionable activities at work. Can anyone else smell Kool-Aid? 

The especially interesting element here is that Edmondson is an old school friend of CBC journalist presenter Josh Bloch, making the tale all the more honest and unique. The story of NXIVM is an incredible one as Bloch investigates cult – wait, I mean multi-level-marketing company – leader Keith Raniere, whose power over women appears frankly super villainous. 

And Escaping NXIVM is only the beginning, Uncover has moved through a series of fascinating cases. The Village is a devastating investigation into a serial killer preying on men in Toronto’s gay neighbourhood, Sharmini looks into the tragic unsolved murder of a 15 year old, and the current season, Satanic Panic, is a fascinating dive into the headline grabbing story of daycare owners accused of Satan worship and extreme child abuse. 

5. The Last Podcast on the Left

The Last Podcast on the Left

If you want to be that person on the bus desperately trying to cram your fist in your mouth to stop yourself from laughing at absolute depravity, then The Last Podcast on the Left is for you. Host Ben Kissel, researcher Marcus Parks, and comedian Henry Zebrowski now have more than 350 episodes under their blood-spattered belts but don’t let that put you off. Wherever your interest in true crime lies, it’s here. 

Whether it’s serial killers, cults, or the paranormal, if it’s weird or disturbing, you can guarantee these three can educate you on the matter, and make you feel exceptionally guilty for wanting to laugh about it. It’s important to note that, while Zebrowski’s brand of humour is an infectious strain of madness, Parks’s meticulous research means you’re going to know far more about the horrors at work than your nightmares might like. The multi-part episodes on true crime’s grisly ‘Heavy Hitters’ such as H.H Holmes or Jeffrey Dahmer are unmissable journeys into the evil that men (and women) do.

4. Dr. Death

Dr. Death

Not one to listen to before you or any loved ones head into hospital, the first season of this podcast from Wondery looks into the horrific crimes of the titular Dr. Christopher Duntsch. Medical journalist Laura Beil dissects the actions of this neurosurgeon whom patients trusted to rid them of their back pain only to leave them maimed or even worse. The second season covers the no less deplorable Dr Farid Fata who was treating hundreds of patients for cancer that they didn’t actually have.  

Somehow the depravity here seems even worse than the other crimes on this list. This is butchery lurking in the assumed safety of the operating room. It’s also worth noting that Dr. Death is not for the squeamish. Surgical procedure descriptions come thick and fast, pouring into your ears with squirm-inducing physicality. These are situations we all understand and know, making every word and description a ghastly journey into murderous medical malpractice. 

And, once you’ve finished all three seasons that are now available, Laura Beil is a busy human and also presents Bad Batch, also from Wondery.  This is a disturbing look at the stem cell treatment industry in the USA and what happens when salesmen promise a miracle cure without the support of science. 

3. West Cork

West Cork

West Cork was previously only available on Audible as it’s an Audible Original but is now available on all podcast services meaning you have even less of an excuse not to listen. West Cork is an utterly compelling investigation into the mysterious murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier in Ireland in 1996. What’s astonishing here isn’t just the access to the inhabitants of West Cork and the twists and turns at work, but the many quotables from the man whom many believe to be the murderer. Much like Serial, your inner guilt-ometer will be a swinging metronome as this tangled web unravels. Prepare to lose eight hours in a very short space of time. As bonus Audible Original podcasts, check out Body of Proof, an investigation into the conviction of an Edinburgh man for the murder of Suzanne Pilley, and also 2019’s Murderabilia, a delve into the word of criminal paraphernalia that sells for ludicrous sums online. Serial killer hair anyone?

2. Someone Knows Something

Someone Knows Something

Cold cases are fascinating and it’s easy to see why. These are unfinished stories, jigsaws with only one vital piece still to slot into place. And yet they don’t often make for good watching or listening. We like endings where villains are brought to justice and everyone lives happily ever after. Thus it’s all the more surprising to listen to Someone Knows Something, where CBC’s David Ridgen spends a season at a time investigating a cold case, and realise that the story itself is what matters here. 

Ridgen’s gentle narration and interview technique is compelling. Each of the seasons now available is packed with an evocative sense of place, with true heartbreaking insight into those left behind after brutal crimes. The current sixth season investigates the case of Donald Izzett Jr who has been missing for 25 years. His mother suspects he was murdered, a fact seemingly corroborated by a man who claims he saw the body. Listening to Izzett’s mother Debra quest for justice is a difficult listen but the lengths to which the investigation goes is a hopeful reassurance of eventual closure.  

1. Serial

Serial

We can probably blame – or thank – Serial host Sarah Koenig for this entire list of the best true crime podcasts. If it wasn’t for the astonishing success of the first season of Serial, our thirst for piping devastatingly good documentaries into our heads might not be quite as strong. Koenig breaks down the still in contention case against Adnan Syed, the then-teenager convicted for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 1999. Koenig’s in-depth breakdown of the case, access to Syed himself, and investigations into the evidence and inconsistencies surrounding the investigation make for ludicrously compelling listening. 

The 12 episodes that make up season 1 are now true crime podcast royalty for very good reason. Season 2 of Serial departed murder investigations as it followed the story of Bowe Bergdahl, the US soldier captured by the Taliban, but has now returned to its roots for season 3 where each episode covers an individual criminal case.

Want more? Make sure to check out the best horror movies of all time.


See more

The 29 best true crime podcasts to kill your free time

The best true crime podcasts are the ones you binge during long-distance car journeys. They’re the ones that when you discover there are 300 previous episodes, you’re delighted instead of dropping your phone in abject terror.  Whether it’s a short limited series on a specific case or a long-running podcast, just like the best documentaries on Netflix you won’t be able to stop listening until it’s done.
The success of the true crime genre over the last five years or so means there’s no shortage of podcasts to mainline. But when it comes to choosing the best true crime podcasts, it can be tricky as the charts are fit to bursting with murder most foul and unbelievable scams. That’s why we’re here to hold an investigative magnifying glass over the cream of the justice-seeking crop. 
The pods below are a mix of long-running series and shorter investigations. The best investigative journalists are doing incredible work in the field and podcasts are a perfect medium for in-depth interviews and analysis that’s not limited by the demands of perfect 45-minute episodes on Netflix. True crime podcasts can be reactive too, with new developments on a weekly basis as more people learn about the case. Here we’ve collected a variety of different types of true crime podcast. There are seasonal focuses on individual cases, eight-part dives into mysterious crimes of the past, and even a couple of comedy options to add some much-needed levity. 
If you’re looking for new true crime podcasts for June 2022, don’t miss Wondery’s Scamfluencers which is a brilliant deep dive into the perils of modern cons. And, for a different perspective, have a listen to Smoking Gun with Romola Garai and forensic scientist Tracy Alexander as the pair talk about the everyday items that unlock the secrets of criminal cases.  
The best movie podcasts
The best documentaries on Netflix
The best true crime podcasts right now
29. Do You Know Mordechai? 

(Image credit: USG Audio )
There’s a glut of brilliant true crime podcasts at the moment revealing the serial scams of some rather heinous con men. Do You Know Mordechai is a particularly exceptional highlight as, not only does Canadian journalist Kathleen Goldhar have a personal friendship with one of Mordechai Horowitz’s victims, she also gets to interview the man himself. 
This limited series is a devastating investigation into the victims of a serial conman who pathologically lied to an untold number of women after he met them on Tinder. Unlike someone like Netflix’s Tinder Swindler Simon Leviev, it wasn’t all about money here but as the podcast goes on, more and more women who had been conned came forward, painting a grim picture of Mordechai’s wake. Goldhar’s journey into the psyche of the man himself is particularly fascinating as she interviews his family members and, vitally, those no longer ashamed to speak out.   
28. Sweet Bobby

(Image credit: Tortoise Media)
None of us think we’d be catfished. It’s what makes the prospect so compelling when it comes to a true crime podcast because we like to think that we’d be immune, that we wouldn’t be taken in. But when you hear the story of Kirat, a woman in the UK who fell victim to one of the world’s potentially most sophisticated catfishing scams, you might think otherwise. Sweet Bobby is officially one of the strangest and most disturbing of scams because of its lack of a desire for money but control instead. And it comes with some of the most jaw-dropping true crime moments since The Jinx. 
Told deftly by Alexi Mostrous from Tortoise Media, Sweet Bobby is a six-part series but Mostrous will be continuing to cover the case. The problem with a crime like this one is that the UK police struggle to find exactly the crime that has been committed. A stolen identity is only the beginning here and technically the advanced use of social media isn’t against the law either – even if for nefarious means. Yes, we’re being teasery for a reason but just go and listen. Sweet Bobby is one of the best true crime podcasts of 2021. 
27. Bad Blood: The Final Chapter 

(Image credit: Three Uncanny Four )
True crime podcasts are packed with scams and fraudsters but very few of these cases are as public and brazen as the one of Elizabeth Holmes. If you haven’t heard the name, this is the staggering story of billions of dollars of investment in a medical technology company called Theranos which Holmes founded. Holmes told the world that she had created machines that could perform blood tests on just one drop of blood taken from a finger. The only problem, even after endless money was poured into the company, was that she hadn’t. 
Bad Blood: The Final Chapter is presented by journalist John Carreyrou who broke the original story of everything not being as it seemed within Theranos.  Carreyrou went on to write a book about the case and is now back with this podcast as Holmes has her day in court. This is a story of corrupt Silicon Valley culture and of what happens when lives are suddenly on the line when someone tries to be medicine’s Steve Jobs. Now complete Elizabeth Holmes’ trial verdict, this is absolutely compelling listening. And the bonus is that you’ll also want to read the book straight after.   
26. Darknet Diaries 

25. Conning the Con 

24. Chasing Cosby

23. Finding Q: My Journey Into Q Anon 

(Image credit: Audible )
Cults and conspiracy theories are true crime staples, making the rise of the right wing QAnon an irresistible hot topic for true crime podcasts. Yet few documentaries even get close to what journalist Nicky Woolf achieves in Finding Q. His relentless quest to uncover the true identity of Q sees him fall deep down the rabbit hole, sending journalists into media free QAnon conventions, and tracking the movements of those behind notorious Q posting sites. 
Woolf also speaks to the so-called ‘Q casualties,’ those who have lost family and friends to outlandish far right conspiracy theories, adding an essential humanity to this journey. From the outside it might seem ludicrous that anyone believes that Democrats engage regularly in satanic blood drinking rituals but these are the dangerous beliefs that stormed the Capitol on January 6th 2021. Woolf’s narration style is consistently wry and entertaining but never at the expense of his subjects. Finding Q is an Audible podcast, meaning you need a subscription to listen but this is the perfect excuse you’ve been looking for. Gripping stuff.  
22. The Missing Cryptoqueen

21. No Strings Attached 

20. You Must Remember Manson

 19. Dirty John 

18. To Live and Die in LA

17. Who the Hell is Hamish?

16. The Dream

15. Cold

14. Somebody

13. The Clearing 

12. Hunting Warhead 

11. The Shrink Next Door

10. The Teacher’s Pet

Are spoilers still spoilers if it’s real life? This is surely a 21st century existential dilemma. I’ll err on the fact that they are and merely point you in the direction of the this spectacular multi-part series from The Australian, The Teacher’s Pet. Investigative journalist Hedley Thomas presents this tour-de-force of a documentary series, uncovering the details around the disappearance of Lynette Dawson who went missing – *cough* – from her family home in Australia in 1982. 
If you’re already screaming ‘the husband did it’ then you’re not new to true crime, but the stories around Lynette’s famous rugby player husband Chris Dawson are devastating. The interviews and desperation of Lynette’s family and friends for justice after 37 years makes The Teacher’s Pet a raw and occasionally frustrating journey, but consider this your new Making a Murderer-style obsession.
9. My Favorite Murder

If you’ve ever heard anyone wish friends farewell with the vaguely sinister-sounding “stay sexy and don’t get murdered,” don’t panic, you’ve just found yourself next to some Murderinos, the collective name for fans of My Favourite Murder. Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff started off recording their thoughts on their favourite crimes in an LA loft in 2016 and have since spawned a veritable true crime phenomenon. Now the pair have their own podcast network and still get together for two episodes a week to deliver their thoughts on all manner of crimes and reader supplied ‘Hometown’ murders. 
With their frank attitude towards mental health and hilarious rapport, the duo perfectly balance the darkness of the subject matter with a healthy dollop of humour. This isn’t where to go to find the forensically precise version of events – there’s a weekly ‘Corrections Corner’ slot – but if you want to feel like you’re listening to your friends chat murder in the pub, this is the best true crime podcast for you. It’s time to sit crooked and talk straight.
8. Criminal

One of the most satisfying things about Criminal – other than host Phoebe Judge’s ultra-soothing tones – is its glorious conciseness. We all know life is short and if true crime is to be believed, much shorter for some than others. These 20 to 30-minute self-contained stories then are miniature pieces of sometimes disturbing art to fit perfectly into your commute. 
From stories about prized poodles being stolen to the origins of the term Stockholm Syndrome and a story from the police investigator who donned a suit and dived the La Brea Tarpits, every episode is a new journey into the truth being stranger than fiction. True crime podcasts can sometimes feel a little samey but Judge always finds fresh voices to bring new perspective to uniquely human stories. It doesn’t matter if you start at the beginning, end, or somewhere in the middle (you monster), Criminal is constantly a surprise and one that will stay with you longer than most. 
7. Real Crime Profile

Ticking the trained professionals box nicely, Wondery’s Real Crime Profile is presented by retired FBI profiler Jim Clemente, ex-New Scotland Yard criminal behavioural analyst Laura Richards, and Criminal Minds casting director Lisa Zambetti. This is an ongoing weekly pod and perfect for fans of true crime TV as the trio delve deeper into the cases made popular by shows such as Making a Murderer, Evil Genius, The Staircase, and Tiger King. 
Not content with one episode per show though, the team focus on one element of each case for each episode, making sure that the story centres around the victim, and consistently deliver intelligent, knowledgeable conversation. If you want a gore-soaked gloves-and-mask-on dissection of your new crime obsession, this is essential post Netflix binge listening.
6. Uncover: Escaping NXIVM

If I was describing these podcasts like Friends episodes, this would be ‘The One With the Allison Mack Sex Cult’. Yep, the Smallville actress. Now you’re interested. Uncover: Escaping NXIVM (pronounced Nexiom) is an eight part podcast series that tells the inside story of Sarah Edmondson, an actress who joined the multi-level-marketing scheme and self help organisation only to discover some seriously questionable activities at work. Can anyone else smell Kool-Aid? 
The especially interesting element here is that Edmondson is an old school friend of CBC journalist presenter Josh Bloch, making the tale all the more honest and unique. The story of NXIVM is an incredible one as Bloch investigates cult – wait, I mean multi-level-marketing company – leader Keith Raniere, whose power over women appears frankly super villainous. 
And Escaping NXIVM is only the beginning, Uncover has moved through a series of fascinating cases. The Village is a devastating investigation into a serial killer preying on men in Toronto’s gay neighbourhood, Sharmini looks into the tragic unsolved murder of a 15 year old, and the current season, Satanic Panic, is a fascinating dive into the headline grabbing story of daycare owners accused of Satan worship and extreme child abuse. 
5. The Last Podcast on the Left

If you want to be that person on the bus desperately trying to cram your fist in your mouth to stop yourself from laughing at absolute depravity, then The Last Podcast on the Left is for you. Host Ben Kissel, researcher Marcus Parks, and comedian Henry Zebrowski now have more than 350 episodes under their blood-spattered belts but don’t let that put you off. Wherever your interest in true crime lies, it’s here. 
Whether it’s serial killers, cults, or the paranormal, if it’s weird or disturbing, you can guarantee these three can educate you on the matter, and make you feel exceptionally guilty for wanting to laugh about it. It’s important to note that, while Zebrowski’s brand of humour is an infectious strain of madness, Parks’s meticulous research means you’re going to know far more about the horrors at work than your nightmares might like. The multi-part episodes on true crime’s grisly ‘Heavy Hitters’ such as H.H Holmes or Jeffrey Dahmer are unmissable journeys into the evil that men (and women) do.
4. Dr. Death

Not one to listen to before you or any loved ones head into hospital, the first season of this podcast from Wondery looks into the horrific crimes of the titular Dr. Christopher Duntsch. Medical journalist Laura Beil dissects the actions of this neurosurgeon whom patients trusted to rid them of their back pain only to leave them maimed or even worse. The second season covers the no less deplorable Dr Farid Fata who was treating hundreds of patients for cancer that they didn’t actually have.  
Somehow the depravity here seems even worse than the other crimes on this list. This is butchery lurking in the assumed safety of the operating room. It’s also worth noting that Dr. Death is not for the squeamish. Surgical procedure descriptions come thick and fast, pouring into your ears with squirm-inducing physicality. These are situations we all understand and know, making every word and description a ghastly journey into murderous medical malpractice. 
And, once you’ve finished all three seasons that are now available, Laura Beil is a busy human and also presents Bad Batch, also from Wondery.  This is a disturbing look at the stem cell treatment industry in the USA and what happens when salesmen promise a miracle cure without the support of science. 
3. West Cork

West Cork was previously only available on Audible as it’s an Audible Original but is now available on all podcast services meaning you have even less of an excuse not to listen. West Cork is an utterly compelling investigation into the mysterious murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier in Ireland in 1996. What’s astonishing here isn’t just the access to the inhabitants of West Cork and the twists and turns at work, but the many quotables from the man whom many believe to be the murderer. Much like Serial, your inner guilt-ometer will be a swinging metronome as this tangled web unravels. Prepare to lose eight hours in a very short space of time. As bonus Audible Original podcasts, check out Body of Proof, an investigation into the conviction of an Edinburgh man for the murder of Suzanne Pilley, and also 2019’s Murderabilia, a delve into the word of criminal paraphernalia that sells for ludicrous sums online. Serial killer hair anyone?
2. Someone Knows Something

Cold cases are fascinating and it’s easy to see why. These are unfinished stories, jigsaws with only one vital piece still to slot into place. And yet they don’t often make for good watching or listening. We like endings where villains are brought to justice and everyone lives happily ever after. Thus it’s all the more surprising to listen to Someone Knows Something, where CBC’s David Ridgen spends a season at a time investigating a cold case, and realise that the story itself is what matters here. 
Ridgen’s gentle narration and interview technique is compelling. Each of the seasons now available is packed with an evocative sense of place, with true heartbreaking insight into those left behind after brutal crimes. The current sixth season investigates the case of Donald Izzett Jr who has been missing for 25 years. His mother suspects he was murdered, a fact seemingly corroborated by a man who claims he saw the body. Listening to Izzett’s mother Debra quest for justice is a difficult listen but the lengths to which the investigation goes is a hopeful reassurance of eventual closure.  
1. Serial

We can probably blame – or thank – Serial host Sarah Koenig for this entire list of the best true crime podcasts. If it wasn’t for the astonishing success of the first season of Serial, our thirst for piping devastatingly good documentaries into our heads might not be quite as strong. Koenig breaks down the still in contention case against Adnan Syed, the then-teenager convicted for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 1999. Koenig’s in-depth breakdown of the case, access to Syed himself, and investigations into the evidence and inconsistencies surrounding the investigation make for ludicrously compelling listening. 
The 12 episodes that make up season 1 are now true crime podcast royalty for very good reason. Season 2 of Serial departed murder investigations as it followed the story of Bowe Bergdahl, the US soldier captured by the Taliban, but has now returned to its roots for season 3 where each episode covers an individual criminal case.
Want more? Make sure to check out the best horror movies of all time.

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