Consuming true crime can be tricky. Am I being respectful? Am I being exploitative? In my opinion, as long as you’re not glorifying the crimes or saying serial killers are hot, then you’re good. You’ll never see me making lists of my favorite serial killers or wearing a shirt with the face of a serial killer on it. Ew. Don’t be gross. (Also, maybe we can petition to have serial killers' faces removed off the front of book covers so we don’t have to look at them.)
My fascination with serial killers is rooted in psychology. I want to know everything about how the brain works. Can we spot the signs of a serial killer early? Is it nature? Is it nurture? There are so many questions. With each podcast, book, or documentary I watch, I’m hoping to learn something new—and shine a spotlight on victims.
All that to say: Be mindful of what you consume and how you discuss it. In the end, these are real victims and families who have to deal with these horrific crimes. Today, I’m presenting seven of the best podcast episodes about serial killers (do not mistake that for a list of *best* serial killers).
Robert William Pickton on Morbid
My true crime book club is reading On the Farm by Stevie Cameron this month (you can join here!) which is all about Robert William Pickton—a pig farmer located in Canada who was also a serial killer. This is a highly disturbing case. After you listen to this three-part podcast series, you can join us for the readalong!
SERIAL KILLER: L.I.S.K on Crime Junkie
I will always recommend a podcast episode about L.I.S.K because it is unsolved and it seems solvable! I am hoping we see a solution in my lifetime. It’s so close, I can feel it. This case was so botched because of corruption and it was brushed under the rug because the victims were sex workers which is total bullsh*t, in my humble opinion.
Killer on the Highway: Does Michael Magliolo Have More Victims? on The Murder Squad
Oh, yes… the elusive truck driver. While it turns out Michael Magliolo wasn’t a truck driver, he used many of the same tactics to lure his victims. Often when we hear about multi-state murders or unsolved crimes, it’s because the killer was a truck driver. They’re always on the move, which makes it very difficult to track them down. Anyway, I always recommend The Murder Squad because I love that they’re always looking to solve cases that have gone cold.
The Times Square Killer on True Crime Obsessed
Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that True Crime Obsessed may not be for everyone because there is a lot of banter. If you’re unfamiliar with TCO, the hosts watch a documentary—in this case Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer—and then insert their commentary. It’s a fun podcast because they usually say the things you’re thinking when you’re watching a documentary like: “WTF!? HOW? WHY!? WHAT YEAR IS IT!!” It honestly surprises me what kind of things make it through to TV. *cringe*
The Predator on Park Predators
I’m sorry in advance if you’re a fan of camping, hiking, or exploring the great outdoors. Park Predators is all about crimes that take place in National Parks. The specific episode I’m referencing is on season one, episode four, and takes place in Yosemite National Park in 1999. This is a relatively unknown case, which makes you wonder how many serial killers there actually are/have been. There are so many odd twists in this case, it’s almost unbelievable.
Labor Day Murder (Joshua Duncan) on Anatomy of Murder
If you’re a fan of Crime Junkie (or Audiochuck), this is a great podcast to try. The show is well-researched, fact-based, and hosted by a former New York homicide prosecutor, an investigative journalist, and a former deputy. The Labor Day Murder episode covers the case of Joshua Duncan and it’s a very sad story. Joshua was a 23-year-old looking to build some work skills who put his trust in the wrong man. Ultimately, Joshua’s murder leads investigators to a serial killer who was hiding in plain sight.
The Atlanta Lover’s Lane Murders: The Park Killer on The Fall Line
This is a new-to-me podcast and these are the first episodes I’ve listened to. The Fall Line focuses on cold cases and disappearances. Most of these cases have received little to no public attention. I particularly love the fact that the cases covered are primarily from marginalized communities. The Park Killer is a three-part series and I’ve got to say, I’m impressed with the thorough research and how it sticks with the facts. No banter, no extra commentary. The case remains unsolved.