You've binged on West Cork, and the details of Serial are hazy amidst the tsunami of True Crime podcasts that have hit the App Store over the past few years – so where to next?
If you're a fan of the art of criminology and love to hear about crimes both solved and unsolved, mysterious and/or gruesome but all 100% based on fact, here are some of the best podcasts out there right now.
In 2005, former beauty queen and high school teacher Tara Grinstead vanished from the town of Ocilla, Georgia (pop. 3,414). Her disappearance became the biggest case file in the history of the state of Georgia and on Up and Vanished, filmmaker/documentarian Payne Lindsay travels to the town to interview friends of Grinstead, reporters and various other townsfolk about how and why they think the case went cold – including a private forensic detective who plays a key role in the podcast. We won't let you know how things panned out afterwards, but let's just say that it's truly fascinating to hear how this story unravels.
As the somewhat facetious title suggests, this podcast – hosted by actress/writer Karen Kilgarrif and TV host Georgia Hardstark – takes a lighthearted look at various high-profile murder cases in recent memory (or at least as lighthearted as the topic of murder will allow for.) From JonBenet Ramsay to Aileen Wuornos to Typhoid Mary, the duo's largely improvised and conversational style is super-engaging and appeals to the weird part of our brains that can't help but be fascinated by that most taboo of topics.
'Fact is scarier than fiction', declares the tagline – and when you're talking about the sort of stuff that Casefile is based on, it's not wrong. The award-winning Australian podcast, with its anonymous host 'Brad', covers some seriously disturbing cases from both Australia's criminal history as well as elsewhere around the globe - from the infamous Snowtown murders to the chilling case of missing 9-year-old Eric Coy to escape attempts from Alcatraz. It's a seriously engrossing listen with excellent storytelling.
If you're the kind of true crime nerd that prefers more in-depth storytelling spread across several episodes, you'll love In the Dark. The first 10-episode season features host Madeline Baran investigating the kidnapping and murder of 11-year-old Minnesota youngster Jacob Wetterling in 1989. The case remained unsolved until a breakthrough 27 years later. It's an often harrowing listen, but a well-told and respectful telling of a tragic story. And if you 'enjoyed' it, the good news is that Season Two is due in the coming months.
Like My Favourite Murder, the hugely successful LPOTL is more irreverent in tone than some of the more sombre true crime podcasts out there, but is no less listenable. Hosted by comedian Ben Kissel with help from producer Marcus Parks and researcher Henry Zebrowski, it covers everything from serial killers to UFO sightings – or as it puts it, "all the horrors our world has to offer, both imagined and real – from demons and slashers to cults and serial killers." The trio have a tendency to lose their way on occasion, but there are some really fascinating stories amidst the goofiness, too.