Getting lost in the "Dark Side of YouTube" late at night has been a pastime of night owls for years now. A preferred genre for after-hours browsers? True crime YouTube channels. Much like true crime podcasts, true crime channels on YouTube have seen a growth in popularity, with everyone from investigative journalists to bestselling authors chronicling their investigations into cases and sharing their findings with the YouTube community.
As with all things online, however, it's easy to binge a YouTube channel's entire library without knowing how thoroughly researched the content actually is. With this in mind, we're shining a light on the best true crime YouTube channels produced by reputable sources and popular citizen sleuths with a passion for true crime reporting.
1. True Crime Daily
Crime Watch Daily was an investigative news series hosted by Australian journalist Matt Doran, and later investigative reporter Chris Hansen. In 2018, the show reformed under the name True Crime Daily, focusing on web-oriented content. Their YouTube videos range from clips of Hansen vs. Predator to stories of family drama turned fatal, publishing an abundance of quality reporting. In the clip above, the True Crime Daily team speaks to the mother of Ahmaud Arbery.
2. BuzzFeed Unsolved Network
Buzzfeed Unsolved is hosted by Ryan Bergara and Shane Madej, familiar names to any Buzzfeed fan. The duo combines investigative determination with a dash of tasteful humor to the cases they cover, plus the occasional on-location investigation offers a unique perspective not many other channels are able to provide. Learn about a daring escape from the island prison of Alcatraz in the above clip.
3. Ask a Mortician
With her signature dark aesthetic, mortician, author, and "funeral industry rabble-rouser" Caitlin Doughty runs the highly informative Ask a Mortician YouTube channel. Based in Los Angeles, Doughty seeks to answer questions about death and help alleviate fears about our own mortality. As there are several controversies to be had in the funeral business, she began to explore crime stories related to the industry, eventually branching out to true crime cases. In each video, Doughty combines her professionalism and enthusiasm to reconstruct each case, as displayed in her video on the death of Elisa Lam.
4. Vintage Files
Prefer to explore the perplexing mysteries of the past? Vintage Files is for you. This popular channel explores a wide array of baffling historical cases, from unsolved disappearances to art heists, ghosts ships, and feral children who emerged from the woods. In the clip above, the Vintage Files team breaks down the 1910 vanishing of Manhattan heiress Dorothy Arnold.
5. Bella Fiori
From fashion to travel vlogs, and unsolved true crime mysteries, the Australian YouTuber Bella Fiori covers shocking cases with a refreshing dose of impartiality. In the video above, Bella explores the case of June and Jennifer Gibbons, also known as the Silent Twins, delivering factual reporting while maintaining an entertaining style.
6. JCS - Criminal Psychology
Jim Can't Swim, or JCS, explores the psychological nature of the accused. Focusing heavily on interrogation techniques, he takes unedited footage of police questionings and analyzes the choices made by individuals on both sides of the interrogation table. In the clip above, JCS examines the interrogation video of a man charged with armed robbery, attempting to assess the situation objectively.
7. Stephanie Harlowe
Stephanie Harlowe combines true crime, mystery, and a dash of history on her popular YouTube channel, and her dedication to in-depth reporting is evident. Crafting videos for viewers who are "drawn to the darker side of things," Stephanie's channel is perfect for all those looking for honest opinions on haunting cases and difficult subjects. In the video above, she examines the case of Alissa Turney.
8. Rob Gavagan
You may know YouTuber Rob Gavagan as the mind behind the Why Would You Put That on the Internet? comedy video series. Yet he also examines true crime cases and real-life mysteries in his Seriously Strange YouTube video series, adding a dash of dark humor into each case he investigates. From an exploration of Samuel Little to the Circleville Letter Writer, you'll find plenty of perplexing mysteries to explore on his channel. In the video above, Rob presents the unsolved murder of Philadelphia's Boy in the Box.
9. Criminally Listed
Learning about a mystery only becomes more engaging when all the facts are clearly laid out, and Criminally Listed is dedicated to doing just that. Focusing on the bizarre and mysterious, the Criminally Listed team cultivates a community of theorists eager to connect the dots and potentially solve the case. Take a look at Criminally Listed's five real-life mysteries with video clues and take a crack at assessing the evidence yourself.
John Lordan hosts multiple video series on his channel, LordanARTS, including a true crime quiz game featuring other investigative YouTubers that doubles as a fundraiser. Often linking the relevant contact information for the unsolved cases he covers, Lordan's reporting goes over the facts, popular opinions, fringe theories, and possible explanations before weighing them against each other. Looking in the comment of his video on the disappearance of Ben Needham shows fans discussing the case in great detail, as well as presenting relevant updates that have come out since the video's posting.
11. Morbid Minds
As its name suggests, Morbid Minds focuses on true crime, horror, and morbid curiosities, delivering highly produced and thoroughly researched examinations on notorious cases throughout history. Viewers will find videos on everything from Albert Fish and creepy Ouija board facts to an assessment of how the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded. In the video above, Morbid Minds examines the case of Milwaukee Cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer.
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Featured photo via BuzzFeed Unsolved Network's YouTube channel