JC Chats: 10 True Crime Podcasts (Which Aren’t Serial!)
Edit: If you wanted even more podcast recommendations then check out my more recent list of true crime podcasts (that still aren’t Serial!) – 09/12/16
So, Serial season 1 came out, we all got ridiculously obsessed, it became quite the internet sensation. Then it ended, and it did come back for season 2 but on a different thread and now we all have a big of a True Crime hole in our lives! Well luckily, I’ve been searching the never ending podcast store to find 7 True Crime podcasts which will give you something juicy and entertaining to listen to.
Real Crime Profile
Real Crime Profile is a new podcast which features former FBI behavioural agents. So far, they have only tackled Making a Murderer and break down the whole series. They look at a variety of different angles, from how they act during the film clips, to possible other explanations for the way things are presented. I find the things they speak about fascinating as they do take a real spin on things. Plus, you can tell from all of that experience that they really know what they are talking about.
The episodes are about an hour long and not too regular which is one of the only downsides. They are taking on the OJ Simpson case next which I’m really interested to hear about after starting to watch American Crime Stories on TV!
Sword and Scale
Sword and Scale takes on lesser known cases but uses entirely real audio footage in its episodes. Essentially, the host takes one or two new cases each episode, then plays audio from things like 911 calls, youtube videos, court videos and transcripts. It intersperses it with commentary and explanation. Out of all these podcasts this is definitely the one which gives me chills and totally creeps me out. Especially ones which play really harrowing 911 material.
Their tag line is ‘showing that the worst monsters are real’ and it most definitely is shown in this podcast. I enjoy the host in the podcast but I can see how he could annoy others as can be a little judgmental at times. That said, definitely one you should give a go as there is a whole lot of good episodes.
One I’ve mentioned on here quite a few times, but Thinking Sideways is a podcast I love listening to every week! Each week Devin, Joe and Steve take a different mystery and dig through it, talking about theories and what is likely to have happened. Not all of the episodes are crime mysteries but there is a large proportion which are – especially if you are working your way through the archives.
I love the dynamic between the cast, they always give me a giggle and provide a huge range of opinions on the mystery which is useful for changing my preconceived notions. This podcast kept me busy for a good few months after season 1 Serial finished so I really recommend it. They also have an awesome facebook group which regularly discusses mysteries which I enjoy!
Casefile: A True Crime Podcast
Casefile is probably the one of the list which you’ll either love or hate. It’s a new podcast and involves one guy who talks about a variety of crimes. It can be a little dull, in the first couple it’s clear he is reading out from his notes but they do get more engaging as they go and I think it will grow into a good podcast. The crimes covered are all really interesting and he presents all the information you need. Plus, he is from Australia so it’s interesting to hear some lesser know crimes.
Thin Air Podcast
Thin Air is another newbie but one which I’ve been really impressed with in only 3 episodes! It has two hosts who look into missing persons cases and dig into a couple of cases which I’m not familiar with. They are really well produced and involve not only the hosts taking you into the stories, but full of audio from interviews with people who were involved in the cases. They have covered a basic missing persons and a two part case which goes into further detail of serial killers and the like – both really enthralling.
I think this is going to be a really good podcast and in style it does really remind me of serial – they have obviously taken their production influence and do a great job at mixing up the podcast and keeping it interesting. One to get involved with now!
Unsolved: A Murdered Teen, a 40 Year Mystery
Unsolved podcast is the one which is most similar in format to Serial, though shorter episodes. It involved the host digging into a 40 year old murder of a 14 year old boy in the middle of nowhere in Milwaukee. It is really interesting podcast which reveals more each episode, it covers a lot about the police investigation. As the investigation was in the 70s, it is really interesting to hear about how it was handled in the days before computers and any forensic testing.
It is one that sucks you in and you do want to learn more – plus as the episodes are shorter, it is easy to sit and listen to a whole lot in one sitting.
Mystery Show is a little different to the other shows in the list but still good. This is made by the guys over at Gimlet, so has a really high production quality and is immaculately thought out. It centres around Starly who solves mysteries, but rather then pure true crime mysteries, it’s more like little mysteries in their day to day life. There are a couple of really good episodes, especially one where she goes on a mission to find out Jake Gyllenhaals real height which I still chuckle about quite a few months later!
True Crime Garage
True Crime Garage is another pure true crime podcast involving one main host with another who pops in every now and again and does the music. They cover less known crimes, delving into all the (usually bloody) details. I found the first couple episodes a little frustrating with the really loud music but it definitely calms down as it goes on so do push through or start with the later episodes. These guys do bring a bit of humour into their podcast which does give it a different feel to the others in this list, but it is definitely worth a listen.
Do you know those really American new shows? Like 20/20 where they delve into a crime and cover all the angles. 48 Hours is like that, but in audio form! It is SO American, it reminds me so much of American TV and provides a lot of nostalgia. It, like American TV, is also full of ads though which is a little annoying – I end up fast forwarding through. They cover a different story each week, taking a very journalistic point of view but an interesting one nonetheless. This is a little less personal and I don’t really feel much of a bond with the host but it covers stories in depth and has a good few episodes to have a listen to!
My Favourite Murder
Last but not least, My Favourite Murder which is a little different. If you like those podcasts which involve a couple of gals sitting around and gossiping (ala Call your girlfriend or Guys we f*cked) then this is like those, buuuut, they talk about murder. It is a bit of a random combination but one that kind of works. They always have a laugh over what they are talking about which doesn’t always fit in with true crime and death but it’s nice to have something a bit light hearted to end this list!
So hopefully these will give you something to listen to and fill that real crime fix! If you have any suggestions for other good real crime / mystery podcasts then do leave them in the comments!