Starting in the 2010s, a wave of true crime fever swept through popular culture, bringing attention to some of history’s most diabolic crimes and nefarious killers. Coincidentally, this coincided with the popularity of the podcast storytelling format. Some feature tales of people who mysteriously vanished, while others shed light on evidence or circumstances that could’ve put serial killers such as the Zodiac killer away before evading the police. With the recent sentencing of the Golden State Killer, Joseph James DeAngelo, true crime podcasters have proven to be more important than ever in spreading awareness, information, and groundbreaking changes in some of the world’s oldest unsolved cases.
These stories aren’t for the faint of heart. Prepare to be astounded by centuries of unsolved cases, abductions, murders, and more delivered by some of the most dedicated podcasters. Whether you’re looking for the next big break in a monumental case or want to know more about your state’s history of true crime, these thirteen podcasts are sure to chill you to the bone with the knowledge that evil lurks around every corner Here are the best true crime podcasts of 2020
LISK: Long Island Serial Killer
LISK: Long Island Serial Killer is hosted by Chris Mass, who outlines all of the information available on the victims of the Long Island Serial Killer. Each episode of the podcast focuses on one of the victims or suspects in the case in hopes of shedding light on one of the most unsettling unsolved cases that has taken place in the twenty-first century. They begin with the investigation of Shannan Gilbert, who inexplicably disappeared, and advance into the darkness from there.
Officers officially started their investigation in May 2010. To this day, the Long Island Serial Killer has not been captured, but his killings have come to a suspicious end as of 2013. This podcast will make you double check your locks and never wander alone at night.
It Was Simple: The Betty Broderick Murders
Betty Broderick killed her ex-husband and his new wife on November 5, 1989. It Was Simple: The Betty Broderick Murders is a four-part series that details the woman’s story more than thirty years after the events took place. Patt Morrison, a columnist and reporter, hosts the podcast and uses it as a mode of uncovering why people continue to be fascinated by this case in particular. Women killers aren’t entirely rare, but in the 1980s they were. Morrison recounts one of history’s most notorious women with an incredible analysis on societal fascination with true crime.
My Favorite Murder
For several years, My Favorite Murder has been helmed as one of the most important podcasts to listen to if you enjoy true crime. Hosted by Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff, the dynamic duo recount some of the most popular true crime reports, as well as several lesser known cases. While its contents are often gut-wrenching and disturbing, the two add a comedic twist to their storytelling in order to alleviate the tension that these tales can cause in their listeners. If you’re looking for a serious investigation into unsolved cases such as JonBenét Ramsey and want a few laughs on the side, look no further—My Favorite Murder is the podcast for you.
Natasha Del Toro is an investigative reporter with years of experience analyzing true crime cases. On Verified, she investigates the case of Dino Maglio, who was once a policeman who went under the name Leonardo to avoid being captured for his crimes. Split into ten parts, Del Toro recounts the ways that he lured women into his home by using the website Couchsurfing.com in order to assault them. After years of torment, Maglio was brought to justice when a group of women banded together to confront this nefarious man. Verified highlights their strength and resilience in taking down Dino Maglio.
If you’ve ever felt as though someone were following you, it's possible that your intuition was correct. Strictly Stalking explores numerous cases where people were stalked, and compiles interviews with the actual perpetrators, victims, and witnesses. Hosted by Jaimie Beebe and Jake Deptula, the two podcasters highlight the importance of being vigilant of your surroundings, while also calling attention to the motives of stalkers.
Unfinished: Deep South
When Isadore Banks was lynched and burned on the Arkansas Delta, national attention was turned towards the gruesome case. The 59-year-old Black man was a World War I veteran and farmer. It has been nearly seventy years since his body was discovered, but it remains one of the oldest unsolved civil rights cases that highlights the brutality on the Jim Crow south.
Unfinished: Deep South is hosted by Taylor Hom and Neil Shea, two journalists who partnered up with Isadore Banks’s relatives in order to search for his killer(s). If you’re looking for a deeply historical and socially relevant true crime story, give this podcast a listen and lend your support in bringing justice to Isadore Banks.
And That’s Why We Drink
And That’s Why We Drink is the perfect podcast for fans of the paranormal and true crime. Hosted by Christine Schiefer and Em Schulz, the dynamic duo recount some of the world’s oldest stories about murder, myth, and more. Christine Schiefer is the resident true crime aficionado. Her research into an array of cases draws attention to key evidence, while offering compassion to anyone who may have been, or continues to be, affected by them. Em Schulz starts the podcast with paranormal horror stories, but Christine finishes each episode with some of the world’s most well-known and lesser-known true crimes.
Delia D’Ambra hosts Park Predators, an investigative series that delves into some of the most atrocious murders that were committed in unsuspecting locations. The podcast currently includes episodes that feature the murder of Frederick Pongrace, who was found dead in Glacier National Park, as well as Gary Michael Hilton’s murders. Every case has one thing in common: they all took place at national parks. Park Predators offers stories that will make you second guess going to any park unless you are well-equipped with self-defense gear.
Forgotten: Women of Juarez
Mónica Ortiz Uribe draws open the curtains on the overlooked case of the hundreds of women who went missing in the 1990s in Ciudad Juárez. Forgotten: Women of Juarez sheds light on the brutal slayings of innocent women. When their bodies were discovered, their skin was carved with symbols, which may have been left by a serial killer, or even a cult. To this day, no one knows who killed the hundreds of women at the border city, but Uribe hopes to change that by bringing attention to their cases.
Someone Knows Something
If you’ve ever listened to a true crime podcast with the hopes that family members may play a hand in helping podcasters investigate their cases, Someone Knows Something delivers exactly that. It focuses primarily on cold cases, with each season traditionally focusing on the disappearance of one individual in particular. Their sixth season investigates Donald Izzett Jr., who went missing twenty-five years ago. As Someone Knows Something draws connections between each story, you, the listener, have the opportunity to be a part of the investigation.
Morning Cup of Murder
Some podcast listeners don’t have time for lengthy stories that take an hour or more to get through. If you want to wake-up and get a quick fix of true crime, Morning Cup of Murder is the perfect companion to your daily routine. Each episode is under ten-minutes long, with new ones releasing every day. You’ll be able to enjoy tales of murder, abduction, and more based on that specific day in history, all while enjoying your first cup of coffee.
Sister duo Tori and Tyrella host Killer Queens, a podcast that reports on the latest cases in true crime. Despite its serious content, it's lighthearted in its delivery, with lots of 1990s references randomly thrown in the mix, which is fun. They release three episodes a week, so there’s always something new to pick from with this podcast.
Women and Crime
Throughout history, serial killers and criminals have been predominately men. In Women and Crime, Dr. Sack and Dr. Shlosberg highlight cases where women were wrongfully convicted for an array of crimes. They utilize their expertise in the field of criminology in order to investigate the criminal justice system and their wrongful accusations against these women. Whether or not these women are proven innocent or guilty is entirely up to the listener, as the hosts provide you with their insight, but allow for you to make your own conclusions.
Featured photo of "Unfinished: Deep South" via Witness Docs