Top 6 True Crime Podcasts Since ‘Serial’
I love losing myself in an audio book and have subscribed to Audible for some time to get a free book and discounted downloads each month (get a free Audible trial here – you’re welcome!). They’re the perfect way to entertain yourself on long car or train journeys, while out walking the dog, going for a run, or to loose yourself to when baking etc. However, following an in depth conversation with a friend about the Netflix documentary Making a Murderer (if you haven’t seen it, what have you been doing with your life??), she asked me if I’ve ever listened to podcasts. Obviously I said no because podcasts are boring and educational and just people talking about nothing right? Wrong!
What’s the deal with podcasts anyway?
Yes, podcasts are recordings of people talking, but there are so many types out there which are all completely free to download and listen to. Don’t adjust your set, I really did say free! There are so many to choose from – educational, business, meditation, health, talk shows, TED talks, news, comedy, hobbies and… true crime!
Just as I was mourning the end of Making a Murderer, my friend told me about a podcast she and her colleagues were all obsessed with called Serial. So naturally I had to download it. Immediately I was hooked on true crime podcasts.
There are 2 series of Serial but the first is a top class documentary which is presented and narrated by American Journalist Sarah Koenig. It tells the true story of is a documentary investigating the murder of an year old girl, Hae Min Lee in 1999 and includes interviews with her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Masud Syed who was arrested and given a life sentence for her murder. Syed maintains his innocence, and the podcast delves into his appeal and investigates those who knew the couple, following what happened the day Lee died. It’s utterly compelling and like any good true crime story, each episode uncovers more evidence and new developments like the layers of an onion. If you haven’t listened to it and you enjoy this type of thing, then you really must go and download it now!
The end of Serial season 1 left me ready for more podcasts, and although I’ve listened to many entertaining, funny and educational ones since, true crime are the ones that have me hooked. You can listen to Podcasts completely free on all sorts of apps, or download from each podcasts website. I personally use Pocket Casts (not an ad!), which I find really user friendly, and I listen through my phone whenever I can.
So here are my top 6 true crime podcasts since Serial, so be sure to check them out.
1. Someone Knows Something
Someone Knows Something is a podcast by award-winning Canadian filmmaker and writer David Ridgen, currently with 4 series.
The true story of 5 year old Adrien McNaughton who disappeared in 1972 in the woods during a family fishing trip and was never seen again. Was he murdered or did he get lost? David talks to the family who are struggling to mourn the loss of their child who may or may not still be alive, and details emerge as the investigation is reopened and witnesses are interviewed.
Michael Lavoie proposed to his girlfriend Sheryl Sheppard live on TV on New Years Eve 1998. Two days later she vanished. The family talk about what Sheryl was like and they try to keep their hopes alive as dark details of her lifestyle and relationship with Michael gradually come to light. David talks to the people who knew Sheryl and hunts down Michael to try and learn what’s happened to her because someone knows something.
In 1964 the remains of two black teenagers, Charles Moore and Henry Dee, were found following their brutal killing by the Ku Klux Klan in Mississipi. Two klansmen were arrested but the charges against them were later dropped, however one is still alive and the brother of Charles hunts him down to confront him head on.
Wayne Greavette was a local businessman in Ontario, Canada who had a strange package delivered to his home in 1996 which contained a flashlight and a cryptic note. Little did Wayne know that the flashlight was a bomb which immediately killed him in front of his family, leaving them in total devastation trying to pick up the pieces and understand who would do this and why.
Hosted by Brian Reed and created by the producers of Serial, S-Town tells the true story of John B. McLemore from Woodstock, Alabama, who was an antique collector who studied the measurement of time. John contacted the producers asking them to investigate an alleged murder, only for them to find out no such murder actually happened. However, the podcast uncovers more about the complex, dark and fascinating life of John B. McLemore and those who knew him. This podcast will have you hooked and wanting more after each episode.
3. Missing & Murdered
This CBC Radio original Podcast currently has just 2 series to keep you going but they are well worth a listen. Investigative reporter Connie Walker, tells the story of a young indigenous woman, Alberta Williams who was murdered in British Columbia in season 1. In season 2, Walker tries to find out the truth about what happened to 13 year old Cleo Nicotine Semaganis and reveals some shocking truths about how indigenous children were taken from their families against their will and adopted into white families across America as part of the ’60’s scoop’.
4. Little Girl Lost
In 1991, the beaten body of 12 Year old Leanne Holland was found in bushland at Ipswich, Queensland. Her sister’s boyfriend, Graham Stafford, was convicted of her murder but then set free in 2009 but was he really the killer? This podcast investigates what happened in the run up to the murder of Leanne, and the aftermath.
5. Up and Vanished
Payne Lindsey is an American director, documentary filmmaker and co-creator of the true crime podcast Up and Vanished. If you like a reeeeaaalllyyy long podcast which delves deep into a case and works super hard to resolve a case, this is the one for you.
High school teacher and beauty queen Tara Grinstead went missing in October 2005 and with no arrests for her murder, Payne Lindsey took the investigation into his own hands. In 2017, as a result of this very podcast, an arrest was made. Find out more about the surprising twists and turns in this podcast with episodes dedicated to listener questions and answers.
In series 2 of Up and Vanished, Payne Lindsey investigates the case of the Atlanta Child Murders. The serial killings that happened from 1979 and 1981 claimed 28 lives, mostly African American men and boys. Payne interviews Wayne Williams who was convicted of the murders in 1982 and those who know him… but was he the real killer?
6. Finding Tammy Jo
Finding Tammy Jo investigates the unsolved murder of a 16 year old girl living in New York who was found by a father and son in a cornfield 1979. The podcast includes interviews with some of the last people to have seen her and those who were critical in her case.
So there you have it, 6 true crime podcasts that I’ve listened to since Serial, that I would certainly recommend. If you love true crime and can recommend more, be sure to let me know!