If you can’t get enough of the sinister and mysterious, from serial killers to high strangeness phenomena, then Last Podcast on the Left has to be on your podcast rotation.
Marcus Parks, Henry Zebrowski, and Ben Kissel have been exploring the darkness together since 2011. The show’s excellent research, as well as the hilarious characterizations provided by Zebrowski, make it unique even among the glut of true crime podcasts available today. So, where do new LPotL listeners begin with this decade-plus of content?
Below are 10 of the best Last Podcast on the Left episodes ever. Prepare the substance of your choice, lock your doors, and get to know one of the funniest and most frightening podcasts out there (*guitar noise*).
Episodes 147, 148, 149: Manson Family Series
In 2015, the boys released a three-episode series about Charles Manson and his followers. Although Zebrowski’s characterization of Manson might steal the show, the true star is the research put into this series, which brings insight into the Manson murders that even long-time true crime fans might not know.
In true LPotL style, the show uses humor to dispel the mythologies that can rise up around murderers and glorify them. The series posits that Manson wasn’t necessarily the diabolical mastermind Vincent Bugliosi described him as in Helter Skelter, but a pint-sized, pathetic pervert behind one of America’s most notorious tragedies.
Episodes 456, 457, 458: The Black Plague
This 2021 five-episode series explores the absurd terror and disgust of the Middle Ages. The history of the Black Plague is scarier than even the most repulsive serial killers explored in the LPotL bibliography, and the series offers an interesting perspective on our current public health emergency.
Episodes 189, 190, 191: 9/11
This three-episode arc from 2015 is undeniably one of the most upsetting series in LPotL history, and features some absolutely harrowing recordings. It’s incredibly compelling, but listen with caution.
Episodes 59, 61: BTK
In 2015, the boys broke down the crimes of Dennis Rader, also referred to as the Bind, Torture, and Kill murderer (a moniker he created). The episode lampoons the mythology Rader wanted to create for himself, and reveals him as one of the stupidest serial killers ever. Significantly, this episode was also the introduction of the "Hot Dog Squad", featuring one of Zebrowski’s most beloved Last Podcast Network characters, the oblivious Detective Popcorn.
Episode 451: Black Eyed Kids
This 2021 paranormal episode explores the truly terrifying accounts of sinister black-eyed children. If you need a break from murder, but still want to feel like you’re about to crawl out of your skin, this episode will change how you think about parking lots (and children!) forever.
Episodes 122, 123, 124: Dahmer
In this 2015 three-part series, the trio tackles one of the most notorious homicidal "heavy hitters": Jeffrey Dahmer.
Dahmer killed at least 17 men and boys in Milwaukee, and then ate many of their remains and engaged in horrific rituals with the corpses in his apartment ("and that’s when the cannibalism started," in other words).
Featuring Wisconsin insight from Kissel, the series explores the institutional racism and homophobia that allowed Dahmer’s violence to continue, and how the discovery of his "house of horrors" changed the way America thought about crime.
Episode 278: Creepypasta XII - U-Turn to Madness
Any of the creepypasta episodes—in which the boys read terrifying tales published on Reddit—are a great introduction to the tone of LPotL, but this 2017 installment is one of the funniest and most disgusting. Prepare yourself for far more smut featuring Slender Man and Sasquatch than you’d ever expect. This is not an episode to listen to among polite company, unless that company likes Bigfoot erotica.
Related: The Best Horror Podcasts of 2020
Episodes 323, 324, 325: Men in Black
This two-part 2018 series is a great sample of LPotL’s coverage of the extraterrestrial and unexplained. Full of high strangeness, the Men in Black series will open your mind and chill you to your bones.
Episodes 430, 431, 432: Adolfo Constanzo
This three-episode series explores the absolutely horrific crimes of Adolfo Constanzo, who led a cult—dubbed the "narcosatanists" by the media—that was connected to multiple ritualistic murders in Mexico. The research makes this episode a standout exploration of a case that even long-time true crime fans probably haven’t learned about in detail.
Episodes 245, 246: Richard Chase
In 2016, LPotL gave readers a compelling reason to lock their doors: Richard Chase. This improbably funny series explores the terrifying crimes of Chase, a cartoonishly scary California serial killer that the media called "the vampire of Sacramento".
Featured photo: Stevie Chris via Last Podcast on the Left