Best True Crime Podcasts – Our Top 10 Picks for 2024

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Oh, the allure of true crime—nothing quite matches the thrill of solving a mystery from the comfort of your own couch, right? If you’re a fanatic of foul play and detective work, you’ve landed in the right spot.

I’ve scoured the depths of podcast platforms to bring you our top 10 true crime podcasts for 2024. Brace yourself for twists, turns, and tales that are too wild to be anything but true.

Best True Crime Podcasts in 2024

10. Dr. Death

  • Host: Laura Beil
  • Seasons: At least four seasons, with the latest focusing on a young doctor involved in questionable cancer and HIV treatments.
  • Theme: Investigates cases where doctors betray patients’ trust, leading to harmful or fatal outcomes.

The “Dr. Death” podcast, produced by Wondery, digs into the chilling true story of Dr. Christopher Duntsch, a Texas neurosurgeon whose career ended in infamy due to his outrageous medical malpractice.

Season one centers on Duntsch, who left a devastating trail of severely injured or deceased patients. Despite his confident claims of being a top spinal surgeon, Duntsch’s incompetence or malicious intent led to catastrophic consequences for 31 of his patients, ultimately resulting in his conviction.

The podcast looks at how he managed to keep practicing despite numerous red flags and the systemic failures that allowed his misconduct to persist. Subsequent seasons of the podcast examine other cases of medical malpractice, further highlighting the potential dangers within the healthcare system.

Season two, for instance, investigates Dr. Farid Fata, an oncologist who intentionally misdiagnosed patients to administer unnecessary and harmful treatments.  Through in-depth storytelling, interviews with victims, and expert analysis, “Dr. Death” exposes the dark side of medical practice and the impact of unchecked power and negligence in the medical profession.

9. Crimetown

Best true crime podcasts 2024

  • Producers: Marc Smerling and Zac Stuart-Pontier
  • Network: Partnership with Gimlet Media
  • Focus: Investigates the culture of crime in different cities each season.
  • Notable Coverage: Season 2 focused on Detroit, exploring issues like race, poverty, policing, and the war on drugs.

“Crimetown” is a true crime podcast produced by Gimlet Media, hosted by Marc Smerling and Zac Stuart-Pontier. It discuss the crime culture in various American cities, exploring how organized crime has shaped communities.

Each season zeroes in on a different city, starting with Providence, Rhode Island, in the first season. That season reveals the tangled relationships between the mafia, local law enforcement, and political figures, painting a vivid picture of corruption, alliances, and betrayals.

The storytelling highlights notable figures like the notorious mob boss Raymond Patriarca and the controversial Mayor Buddy Cianci. In the second season, “Crimetown” shifts focus to Detroit, Michigan, exploring the city’s criminal past and the broader socio-economic conditions that fostered its crime culture.

That season lays bare the gritty reality of Detroit’s decline from a bustling industrial hub to a struggling urban area, emphasizing the roles played by corrupt police officers, violent criminals, and systemic issues.

Through interviews, archival footage, and detailed narratives, “Crimetown” offers an in-depth look at how crime and corruption are woven into the fabric of these cities, giving listeners a compelling and often shocking peek at urban American history.

8. Up and Vanished

Top true crime podcasts

  • Host: Payne Lindsey
  • Focus: Investigates mysterious cold case disappearances. Each season focuses on a different case.
  • Notable Seasons: Season 1: Disappearance of Tara Grinstead in South Georgia, leading to two arrests, Season 2: Disappearance of Kristal Reisinger in a remote Colorado mountain town.

Up and Vanished” is a true crime podcast hosted by Payne Lindsey. It started by looking into the disappearance of Tara Grinstead, a beauty queen and high school teacher who went missing in 2005.

The series uses a documentary style, going over old leads, interviewing witnesses and locals, and doing on-site investigations to find new information on cold cases. Lindsey’s work in the first season brought fresh attention to Grinstead’s case, leading to new developments and arrests.

After the first season’s success, “Up and Vanished” kept digging into other disappearances, like cases in Nome, Alaska.  The podcast’s detailed storytelling and investigative work have gained a huge following and lots of praise, showing how dedicated efforts can bring focus to unsolved cases.

7. What the Hack with Adam Levin

Must-listen true crime podcasts

  • Host: Adam Levin
  • Focus: Weekly true cybercrime podcast featuring memorable stories and advice.

“What the Hack with Adam Levin” is a top-rated weekly true cybercrime podcast that digs into digital misdeeds. Hosted by Adam Levin, the show features lively interviews with a range of guests, including famous folks like Al Franken and Roy Wood Jr.

The podcast mixes serious cybercrime stories with humor, often called a “no-shame zone” for those scammed, hacked, or phished.  Each episode delves into different cybercrime incidents, providing memorable narratives and practical tips for staying safe online.

Episodes of “What the Hack with Adam Levin” cover various cybercrime scenarios. For example, some episodes spotlight personal stories of people dealing with significant online threats, like being hacked by an “evil clown” or facing cyber enemies with benefits.

The podcast entertains with intriguing and sometimes shocking tales while educating listeners on cybersecurity, offering insights and strategies to secure their digital lives effectively.

6. Moms and Mysteries: A True Crime Podcast

  • Hosts: Mandy and Melissa
  • Focus: Conversational tone podcast that dives into new cases each week, featuring both well-known and lesser-known true crime stories.

Moms and Mysteries: A True Crime Podcast” features Mandy and Melissa, two friends who chat about a different true crime case every week. Known for its chatty tone and humor, the podcast keeps listeners entertained and interested.

They explore a variety of cases, from famous ones to lesser-known mysteries, providing in-depth and thoughtful looks at each story. Their genuine friendship and lively interaction make the podcast stand out, quickly becoming a favorite for true crime fans. Each episode is thoroughly researched, giving listeners detailed insights into the crimes.

The hosts strike a perfect balance between humor and seriousness, making the podcast both educational and fun. Whether they’re discussing mysterious disappearances, chilling murders, or other fascinating true crime tales, Mandy and Melissa’s storytelling and sharp commentary keep listeners engaged and eager for more.

5. The Generation Why Podcast

Popular true crime podcasts

  • Start Date: 2012
  • Hosts: Two friends, Aaron & Justin
  • Focus: Discusses theories and opinions on unsolved murders, controversies, mysteries, and conspiracies.
  • Availability: Wondery App and ad-free on Wondery+.

The Generation Why Podcast,” hosted by Aaron and Justin, is a trailblazing true crime podcast discussing unsolved murders, mysteries, and conspiracies. The hosts break down tricky cases, offering theories and insights into various controversial and mysterious events.

Their episodes cover a wide range of topics, from historical cold cases to recent controversies, providing listeners with in-depth analysis and thought-provoking discussions. Each episode aims to shed light on these enigmas by exploring different perspectives and presenting well-researched information.

Since starting in 2012, “The Generation Why Podcast” has captivated audiences with engaging storytelling and thorough examination of true crime cases. Aaron and Justin’s approach combines factual accuracy with personal opinions, creating a balanced narrative that keeps listeners intrigued.

They present the details of each case and also go into the societal and psychological factors that may have contributed to these events.

4. My Favorite Murder

True crime podcast recommendations

  • Hosts: Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark
  • Start Date: January 2016
  • Focus: Comedy podcast sharing compelling true crimes, hometown stories, and major events from history.
  • Notable Coverage: Stories of infamous serial killers like the Night Stalker, captivating cults, survivor stories, and mysterious cold cases.

“My Favorite Murder” is a true crime comedy podcast run by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. Since its launch in January 2016, it’s quickly become a favorite among true crime fans. Every episode, the hosts talk about true crime tales, from infamous serial killers and cold cases to strange cults and amazing survival stories.

They even touch on major historical events like the Tulsa race massacre. Their blend of true crime obsession, humor, and casual conversation style has really hit home with listeners. The show’s unique mix of storytelling has built a loyal fan base, known as “Murderinos.”

Kilgariff and Hardstark’s way of tackling serious, often dark topics with a mix of sensitivity and humor has set “My Favorite Murder” apart from other true crime podcasts. Their podcast has sparked discussions about the ethics of the true crime genre while keeping a respectful tone towards victims and their stories.

Over the years, “My Favorite Murder” has grown into a bigger media presence, including live shows, a book, and a fan community platform, cementing its impact and popularity.

3. In The Dark

2024 true crime podcast list

  • Host: Madeleine Baran
  • Start Date: 2016
  • Notable Investigations: Season 1: Abduction of Jacob Wetterling in rural Minnesota, Season 2: Case of Curtis Flowers, tried six times for the same crime.
  • Special Reports: Released a special report on the coronavirus pandemic in the Mississippi Delta in 2020.
  • Recognition: Award-winning investigative-journalism podcast.

“In The Dark” is an acclaimed podcast hosted by Madeleine Baran and produced by APM Reports. It’s about true crime cases and tackles issues within the criminal justice system. Season one, which kicked off in 2016, examined the long-unsolved disappearance of Jacob Wetterling.

The podcast’s dissection of law enforcement’s mishandling of the case brought it back into the spotlight, eventually leading to its resolution. This season stands out for its meticulous look at police procedures and their effects on the community and Wetterling’s family.

Season two centers on Curtis Flowers, a Black man from Winona, Mississippi, who faced trial six times for the same crime. His case shines a light on racial bias, prosecutorial misconduct, and the failings of the American justice system.  The podcast’s investigation uncovered crucial new evidence and sparked important questions about the fairness of Flowers’ trials.

This season has stirred up significant discussion about justice in the U.S. and played a part in the Supreme Court overturning Flowers’ conviction.

2. Sword and Scale

  • Start Date: January 1, 2014
  • Focus: Covers the dark underworld of crime and the criminal justice system’s response, featuring stories of murder, abduction, rape, and more.
  • Features: Includes raw uncensored audio like 911 calls, court testimony, and interviews with victims and perpetrators.

Sword and Scale” is a well-known true crime podcast that goes into the darkest parts of human nature and the criminal underworld. Hosted by Mike Boudet, it shares real-life crime stories, from gruesome murders to intricate investigations, and the justice system’s efforts to catch the bad guys.

The show is famous for its detailed storytelling, using real audio from 911 calls, police interrogations, and court trials, which makes listeners feel like they’re right there. It covers all kinds of crime stories, looking at the psychology behind criminal actions and the deep effects on victims and their families.

Since starting in 2014, “Sword and Scale” has gained a big following and sparked debates about evil and justice. The podcast is praised for its detailed and raw true crime depiction but has also faced backlash for its graphic content and the host’s way of handling sensitive issues. Despite the controversy, it continues to be a major player in the true crime podcast world.

1. Criminal

Engaging true crime podcasts

  • Host: Phoebe Judge
  • Focus: Stories about people who’ve done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle.
  • Recognition: Named a Best Podcast of 2023 by the New York Times.
  • Network: Part of the Vox Media Podcast Network.

“Criminal” is an award-winning true crime podcast that explores the many faces of crime. Hosted by Phoebe Judge, it features stories about people involved in crimes, whether as perpetrators, victims, or those caught in morally gray areas.

The podcast, produced at WUNC in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, is part of the Vox Media Podcast Network. It stands out by focusing on the human stories behind the crimes, highlighting lesser-known cases and providing deep, thoughtful insights into each one.

Each episode of “Criminal” offers a unique story, from historical crimes to modern-day mysteries. The podcast’s storytelling is known for its thorough research and engaging narrative style, often leaving listeners with a deeper view of crime and justice.

Whether detailing a notorious heist, a wrongful conviction, or a bizarre crime of passion, “Criminal” offers a nuanced look at the darker sides of human nature, making it a standout in the crowded field of true crime podcasts.

Final Thoughts

Well, there you have it—my top 10 true crime podcasts that will have you playing detective long into the night.

If you’re looking to second-guess seasoned investigators or just want some chilling background noise, these picks should keep your playlist packed, and your paranoia peaked.

Have fun, and try not to look over your shoulder too much!

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