The 10 Best True Crime Podcasts of 2020
Podcasts are a great way to fill some time and take in some content all without staring at a screen.
Put one on when you’re cooking, cleaning, relaxing, commuting or any time really. Now taking the world by storm, true crime has always been a fascination for most of us and luckily there is a wealth of true crime podcasts available. So pop on our headphones and listen your way through the 10 best true crime podcasts of 2020:
Crimetown is one of the most engaging and entertaining podcasts we’ve ever listened to. Hosted by Marc Smerling and Zac Stuart-Pontier, each season of Crimetown focuses on a city and how corruption and organised crime have shaped it. The season weaves together a complete story with episodes often focusing on a single person or event, with eye-opening interviews with the people they are reporting on. Season 1 delves into Providence, Rhode Island, the immense political corruption and prominent mafia presence – so surreal and intense the audience are given the opportunity to listen to interviews held with gangsters who sound like they are from an 80’s crime drama. The second season, based in Detroit, is equally fascinating and expertly put together as the audience travels to a new city with a distinct type of crime being investigated.
The Teacher's Pet
Released in 2018, this podcast two years on is still considered one of the best podcasts of all time – and for good reason! Hosted by Hedley Thomas and published by The Australian Newspaper, The Teacher’s Pet follows the disappearance of a young mother, Lynette Dawson. Lyn disappeared in 1982 and has not been seen since. Thomas interviews neighbours and family, following the trail up to her disappearance and her relationship with her at the time husband now prime suspect and his relationship with one of his teenage high school students. Based in Sydney, The Teacher’s Pet guides the audience through many twists and turns which will keep you hooked and provide an unsettling feeling that’s oddly close to home.
Casefile True Crime Podcast
Casefile, another Aussie production, is run by an anonymous host who through each episode (or several instalments) explores a different true crime, solved or unsolved. Differentiating itself from other true crime podcasts, Casefile runs in a scripted, narrative style where the host explains the facts and theories of the case from eye witness accounts, interviews, police files and media documents. Despite the slow unfolding of each of the stories, each case is just as gripping as the last. With so many episodes available, listeners can easily pick and choose what they want to hear or avoid – especially if the more gory or unsettling themes don’t resonate well.
Possibly one of the most renowned podcasts of all time, Serial is any true crime lovers must. Hosted by Sarah Koenig and developed by This American Life, the first season focuses on the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, an 18-year-old high school student in Baltimore. Adnan Syed, Hae’s ex boyfriend, is accused and jailed for killing her and the podcast dives into his case as well as other suspects. Including interviews from Syed himself and others who lived in Baltimore at the time, the series is engaging and people still debate today if they think he is guilty or innocent. The second and third seasons are equally compelling.
Released in 2017, Dirty John was recently adapted into a 2018 television series of the same name (the kind where everyone is incredibly good looking and the houses are all mansions).As for the original podcast, it is produced by the LA Times and follows the true crime story of man who infiltrated a family’s life by marrying daughter Debra within months of knowing her, moving into her home and alienating her from her family. The podcast unravels the eponymous John, and his history of deceit and manipulation all by culminating in an attempted murder and a death.
Who the Hell is Hamish?
Who the Hell is Hamish? This is another home-grown true crime podcast about an Australian man who deceived people all over the world, swindling them out of over $7 million. The podcast follows the people he manipulated, how he did it and how he got away with it for so long. A man who seemingly could transform himself into anyone you wanted him to be, it will leave you questioning everything. How did he get away with it for so long? Would you be duped by him? Tune in for an interesting and twisting podcast.
My Favourite Murder
If you enjoy a combination of comedy and true crime, then this podcast is for you! My Favourite Murder is hosted by comedians and friends, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. The format is unusual and works perfectly for the pair. One tells the other about a murder, true crime story or event, and the other reacts as they discuss. This perfectly balances the true crime goriness with the lighter comedic moments. Featuring star guests throughout the series including Conan O’Brien, My Favourite Murder podcast is just as interesting as it is graceful – especially as they they deal with some of the more problematic aspects of true crime, such as mental health, sex work and victims rights.
Someone Knows Something
Someone Knows Something is a compelling Canadian true crime podcast where each season investigates a missing person, the circumstances surrounding the disappearances and theories as to why they vanished. The first season opens a cold case of a now missing five-year-old boy who vanished from a family trip in Ontario, where the host himself grew up. The second focuses on a young woman from the same area who vanishes two days after accepting a proposal from her boyfriend on a live television broadcast. The show is cleverly researched and unraveled in a fascinating way that is sure to keep you engaged throughout.
The Dating Game Killer
Released in 2020, The Dating Game Killer features two hosts telling the story of Rodney Alcala – contestant and winner of 1978 tv show The Dating Game who has since been diagnosed as a sociopath and sentenced as a killer. The hosts keep you engaged by telling the stories of the crimes as if they themselves were observing it, weaving a tale of a dangerous man who managed to fool almost everyone in his path including the harmless, employers, parole boards and psychiatrists.
Up and Vanished
Hosted by Payne Lindsey, Up and Vanished is a documentary style true crime podcast that investigates a range of missing people who have disappeared without a trace. The podcast follows cold case Tara Grinstead and her disappearance – one of the biggest case files in Georgia, USA. The podcast follows old leads and finds new ones, interviewing the people who were around during the disappearance. The podcast keeps you guessing and intrigued all the way through.
Do you love podcasts? Why not listen your way through the 10 Best Podcasts of 2020?