Investigative True Crime

A curated podcast list by Ema
Creation Date September 11th, 2019
Updated Date Updated March 4th, 2020
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My favourite True Crime podcasts that focus on one case per season.

Listened

In Feb 2018, an aspiring actress vanished from her Hollywood apartment. Rolling Stone journalist Neil Strauss was asked to help the family get answers. Together, they found them...sometimes at great personal risk. For the first time in a serial podcast, go inside a gripping multi-state investigation as it unfolds from the moment of the disappearance to each twist and turn in the case. Stay not only more informed than the news, but listen as the official story is dismantled with in-the-moment first-hand reporting with the leading figures in the investigation. The new #1 podcast from the team behind Up & Vanished and Atlanta Monster.
How did Larry Nassar, an Olympic gymnastics doctor, get away with abusing hundreds of women and girls for two decades? Believed is an inside look at how a team of women won a conviction in one of the largest serial sexual abuse cases in U.S. history. It's a story of survivors finding their power in a cultural moment when people are coming to understand how important that is. It's also an unnerving exploration of how even well-meaning adults can fail to believe.
Where is Cleo? Taken by child welfare workers in the 1970’s and adopted in the U.S., the young Cree girl’s family believes she was raped and murdered while hitchhiking back home to Saskatchewan. CBC news investigative reporter Connie Walker joins the search to find out what really happened to Cleo.
How do you take down a criminal network that’s hidden in the shadows? How do you rescue child abuse victims who could be anywhere in the world? Hunting Warhead follows the journalists and police on a global mission to expose the darkest corners of the internet. What they discover shocks them. Host Daemon Fairless tracks down the investigators, survivors and criminals themselves. A co-production of CBC Podcasts and the Norwegian newspaper VG.
An unidentified body. Who was she? Why hasn’t she been missed? A BBC World Service and NRK original podcast, investigating a mystery unsolved for almost half a century.
Markis, Hannah, Devonte, Abigail, Jeremiah, and Sierra Hart—six beautiful black children, ranging in age from 12 to 19—were all adopted by Sarah and Jennifer Hart, both white. On Jen’s Facebook page, it looked as if they were the perfect blended family, even earning the nickname “Hart Tribe” from friends. Then, on March 26, 2018, the family’s GMC Yukon was found belly-up on the rocks below California’s Highway 1. The news of the murder-suicide shocked their friends and made national headlines, leaving many wondering what possibly led to the fatal crash. Could these lives have been saved? Broken Harts, a new podcast from Glamour and HowStuffWorks, investigates this question with more than 30 never-before-heard interviews. Cohosts and Glamour editors Justine Harman and Elisabeth Egan and reporter Lauren Smiley follow the family’s journey from South Dakota through Minnesota, Oregon, and Washington, and finally to that 100-foot cliff in California.
Two barrels, four bodies, and an enigmatic killer. The cold case that changed the way murders will be investigated forever.
A behind the scenes look at the investigation into the Alistair Wilson murder, one of Scotland’s most baffling unsolved cases. Presented by Fiona Walker.
Serial investigative journalism from APM Reports, with host Madeleine Baran and a team of reporters. In Season 1, we looked at the abduction of Jacob Wetterling in rural Minnesota and the accountability of sheriffs in solving crime. In Season 2, we examined the case of Curtis Flowers, who has been tried six times for the same crime. He's won appeal after appeal, but every time, prosecutor Doug Evans just tries the case again.
In 1997, thirty-nine people took their own lives in an apparent mass suicide. The events captivated the media and had people across the planet asking the same question...‘Why?’ 20 years later, those who lost loved ones and those who still believe - tell their story. Hosted by Glynn Washington of Snap Judgment.
Dr Ruja Ignatova persuaded millions to join her financial revolution. Then she disappeared. Why? Jamie Bartlett presents a story of greed, deceit and herd madness.
16
Lyn and Chris Dawson appear to have the perfect marriage. He's a star footballer and popular high school teacher. She's a devoted wife and mother. They share a beautiful home above Sydney's northern beaches. But when Lyn goes missing, dark secrets are buried. This is no fairytale, but a sordid story of strangely close twin brothers, teenage student lovers, and probable murder. The Australian's Hedley Thomas digs deep into a cold case which has been unsolved for 36 years, uncovering startling new evidence.
For Melissa Moore, 1995 was a nightmare. That’s the year the teenager learned her father, Keith Hunter Jesperson, was a serial killer. It’s also the year Melissa Moore’s doubt spiral began: When you look like your father, and you share his intelligence and charisma, how do you know you’re not a psychopath, too? Happy Face is the story of Keith Hunter Jesperson, his brutal crimes, and the cat and mouse game he played with detectives and the media. But it’s also the story of the horrific legacy he gifted his children. Join Melissa Moore as she investigates her father’s crimes, reckons with the past, and wades through her darkest fears as she hunts for a better future.
Serial is a podcast from the creators of This American Life, hosted by Sarah Koenig. Serial unfolds one story - a true story - over the course of a whole season. The show follows the plot and characters wherever they lead, through many surprising twists and turns. Sarah won't know what happens at the end of the story until she gets there, not long before you get there with her. Each week she'll bring you the latest chapter, so it's important to listen in, starting with Episode 1. New episodes are released on Thursday mornings.
The highest homicide rate in the country. A mayor and his wife charged with extortion. A police chief put on trial for obstruction of justice. Nine tragic deaths of Indigenous teenagers. Why does it all happen here?
Debra Newell is a successful interior designer. She meets John Meehan, a handsome man who seems to check all the boxes: attentive, available, just back from a year in Iraq with Doctors Without Borders. But her family doesn’t like John, and they get entangled in an increasingly complex web of love, deception, forgiveness, denial, and ultimately, survival. Reported and hosted by Christopher Goffard from the L.A. Times.

Not Listened

Welcome to Crimetown, a series produced by Marc Smerling and Zac Stuart-Pontier in partnership with Gimlet Media. Each season, we investigate the culture of crime in a different city. In Season 2, Crimetown heads to the heart of the Rust Belt: Detroit, Michigan. From its heyday as Motor City to its rebirth as the Brooklyn of the Midwest, Detroit’s history reflects a series of issues that strike at the heart of American identity: race, poverty, policing, loss of industry, the war on drugs, and our universal desire for a savior. Detroit’s a tough town, and its residents are even tougher. They’ve weathered riots, a drug epidemic, political scandal, and innumerable other hardships, but they’re still here—and they have stories to tell.
From the producers of Up and Vanished, Tenderfoot TV and HowStuffWorks present, 'Atlanta Monster.' This true crime podcast tells the story of one of the city’s darkest secrets, The Atlanta Child Murders. Nearly 40 years after these horrific crimes, many questions still remain. Host Payne Lindsey aims to find truth and provide closure, reexamining the disappearance and murder of over 25 African American children and young adults.
This is the story of a mass-murder that divided a nation - a story that began in a rickety old home on a cold June morning in 1994, where five members of a seemingly ordinary New Zealand family were gunned down. There were two suspects. One lay dead from a single bullet to the head. The other was the only survivor: David Bain. Since then the country has asked: who killed the Bain family? David or his father Robin? In this podcast, Martin van Beynen explores the case from start to finish, picking through evidence, the mysteries and motives, and interviewing never-before-spoken-to witnesses. He seeks to finally answer the question: Who was the killer?
More often than we’d like to believe, people get away with murder. As cases grow cold, cops retire. Witnesses die. Evidence disappears. Unsolved, a true crime podcast series from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, guides listeners through these real-life mysteries, uncovering new clues along the way. Season three of Unsolved tells the story of Father Alfred Kunz, whose throat was slit inside St. Michael School in 1998. Some believe his death was linked to his battles against evil. Others believe his all-too-human flaws were to blame. Season two of Unsolved, released in 2017, examines the case of toddler Michelle Manders, who vanished from her bedroom in the middle of the night in 1981. Did she wander alone into the darkness? Or was she kidnapped? Season one of Unsolved, released in 2015, explores the circumstances surrounding the death of 14-year-old John Zera, who disappeared from Franklin High School in 1976. The seven episodes follow investigators through decades of dead ends as they hold on to hope of finding the killer. Subscribe to Unsolved on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio or wherever you get your podcasts. For more information on the series, visit jsonline.com/unsolved.
Up and Vanished is an investigative true crime podcast hosted by Atlanta filmmaker Payne Lindsey. In Season 1, Payne tackles his first cold case story, the unsolved disappearance of Georgia high school teacher and former pageant queen, Tara Grinstead. The 11-year-old case remains the largest case file in Georgia history and is still unfolding. Season 2 focuses on the disappearance of young mother Kristal Reisinger from a remote mountain town in Colorado. Up and Vanished aims to tell compelling, true stories and give these cases the exposure they deserve.
In 2001 two girls, on opposite sides of town, in the dead of night, stopped what they were doing and walked into the Daniel Boone National Forest. Now, a journalist who grew up with the girls is coming home to find out what happened that night in Olive Hill.
When Elizabeth Short, also known as The Black Dahlia, was brutally killed in 1947, it gripped the entire country. More than 70 years later, it remains America's most infamous unsolved murder. Many believe Dr. George Hodel was the killer, thanks to an investigation by Hodel's own son. But murder is just part of the Hodel family story, one filled with horrifying secrets that ripple across generations. Now, through never-before-heard archival audio and first-time interviews, the Hodel family opens up to reveal their shocking story. In this eight-part documentary series, sisters Rasha Pecoraro and Yvette Gentile, the great grand daughters of George Hodel, take a deep dive into their family history to try to figure out what really happened, and where do they all go from here? Root of Evil is the companion podcast to TNTs limited series I Am the Night. Inspired by the true story of the Hodel family, the series stars Chris Pine and comes from acclaimed Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins.
At 11.52pm on August 10, 2002, unassuming rugby fan David Breckenridge called his best friend from a phone box and told him he was on his way over to watch an international match on TV. Eight minutes later he was dead. The person, or persons, who stabbed and bashed the Sydney man to death the night after his 28th birthday remain at large. Investigative reporter Nicole Hogan's five-part true crime podcast series on the perplexing and brutal, unsolved murder of an ordinary guy.
Season 3: In 1984, a father of three disappeared while working at a mysterious Cincinnati plant. It turned out he’d met a gruesome fate: Pieces of bone, his eyeglasses and walkie-talkie were uncovered inside a vat that reached 1350 degrees Fahrenheit. Two months later, the Fernald Feed Materials Production Center was revealed to have been processing uranium – and polluting the region. The dead man’s children believe their father was murdered because he intended to expose how the plant had been releasing millions of pounds of uranium dust into the atmosphere. We’re hoping to figure out: Did 39-year-old David Bocks kill himself, as Fernald officials alleged, or was he more likely killed?Season 2: A soft-hearted prison minister was found killed in her Kentucky apartment, and Newport police zeroed in on an ex-convict she’d counseled. Thirty years later, the conviction is overturned and the case is once again unsolved. The Cincinnati Enquirer investigates: Was William Virgil wrongly convicted for murder?Season 1: When Elizabeth Andes was found murdered in her Ohio apartment in 1978, police and prosecutors decided within hours it was an open-and-shut case. Two juries disagreed. The Cincinnati Enquirer investigates: Was the right guy charged, or did a killer walk free?
Uncover is an investigative series from CBC Podcasts. Season 6: Satanic Panic. Season 5: Sharmini. Season 4: The Cat Lady Case. Season 3: The Village. Season 2: Bomb on Board. Season 1: Escaping NXIVM.
Beyond the beaches, the theme parks, the palm trees and the warm breezes lies the dark side of the Sunshine State. Wondery and the South Florida Sun Sentinel present a true-crime podcast that bring you stories of some of Florida’s most notorious and stunning crimes. Hosted by EmmaKate Austin, Season 2 will take you through some of the darkest corners we’ve explored yet. New episodes are coming Oct. 2 and will be released every Tuesday. Visit FeloniousFlorida.com.
The What Happened to Holly Bartlett podcast is a 6-episode audio series that investigates the death of Holly Bartlett, a blind woman who was found clinging to life under Halifax’s MacKay Bridge in the early hours of March 27th, 2010. Police deemed her death an accident, but her family and friends have never accepted their theory. Investigative journalist Maggie Rahr hosts each 40-minute episode, determined to uncover what happened during Holly's final hours. Each segment, released concurrently with the television episode on AMI-TV, features in-depth interviews with Holly’s family, friends, and private investigators. The WHTHB podcast paints a full picture of Holly Bartlett’s life and – more importantly – the uncertainty surrounding her death.
Two days after Christmas, 2011, Russ Faria came home from game night to find his wife, Betsy, dead. He was soon charged and convicted of her murder. But Russ Faria insisted he did not kill his wife. Betsy’s brutal murder set off a chain of events that would leave one man dead, another man implicated, and expose a diabolical scheme. It would also see Dateline NBC—the true-crime original—become a part of the never-ending saga that proves the old adage: Truth is stranger than fiction. This original series from Keith Morrison and Dateline defies all expectations.
Veteran journalist Joe Nocera’s neighbor in the Hamptons was a therapist named Ike. Ike counted celebrities and Manhattan elites as his patients. He’d host star-studded parties at his eccentric vacation house. But one summer, Joe discovered that Ike was gone and everything he’d thought he’d known about his neighbor -- and the house next door -- was wrong. From Wondery, the company behind Dirty John and Dr. Death, and Bloomberg, “The Shrink Next Door” is a story about power, control and turning to the wrong person for help for three decades. Written and hosted by Joe Nocera, a columnist for Bloomberg , “The Shrink Next Door” premieres on May 21st.
It was a crime that rocked an idyllic seaside town in Cape Cod -- the 2002 murder of Christa Worthington, found stabbed to death with her 2-year-old daughter, unharmed at her side. What came next was a three-year search for her killer that would involve unorthodox steps by police, a lengthy list of potential suspects, and an entire town under suspicion. Christa's trash collector, Christopher McCowen, would eventually be convicted of the crime, but his trial would raise questions about the evidence, investigative methods, and whether racial prejudice played a role. Now, ABC Radio and "20/20" take a look at all the evidence and for the first time ever, hear directly from Christopher McCowen, to examine whether the right man is behind bars.
Susan Powell vanished on Dec. 7, 2009. Her body has never been found. From the beginning, West Valley City, Utah police suspected Susan's husband, Josh Powell, had murdered her. They never arrested him. COLD dives deep into the case files, uncovering never-before-heard details. You'll learn why Susan stayed with an abusive husband, why Josh did what he did and how the justice system failed Susan and her two boys.
In Man in the Window, Paige St. John, a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter has uncovered never before revealed details about the man who would eventually become one of California's most deadly serial killers. From Wondery and the L.A. Times comes a new series that traces his path of devastation through his victims' eyes.
| Winner Best Podcast - NZ Radio Awards 2019 | | Winner Gold Medal - New York Festivals Radio Awards 2019 | | Winner Best Investigative Radio/Audio Series - The AIBs 2019 | Gail Maney was sent to prison on her son's birthday. The police said she'd put a hit on a man who stole drugs from her. She went to jail for 15 years. She's consistently denied having anything to do with the disappearance of Deane Fuller-Sandys. In fact, she says, she never even met him. She isn't sure he was murdered at all. She thinks he'd just ... gone fishing. In this eight-part series, Amy Maas and Adam Dudding investigate the case against Maney. They unravel the conflicting and shifting accounts of key witnesses. They expose major flaws in the police timeline. And they raise disturbing questions about police conduct in the case.
Unravel True Crime is a podcast where, each season, some of Australia's best journalists investigate unsolved crimes. Season 4: Snowball tells how an average family's encounter with a charismatic Californian con woman cost them everything.
Welcome signs proclaim it “America’s Most Beautiful Small Town.” It’s considered the Bourbon Capital of the World. And in many ways, Bardstown, Kentucky is just like a lot of small, tight-knit communities all across the country. But just under the surface, there’s something darker. Not everyone wants to talk about it. And a lot of people would rather forget. That’s because since 2013, Bardstown has also been the site of five unsolved murders. Now, the team behind “Bomber,” “True Crime Chronicles,” and “88 Days” is digging into these cases to find out what’s really happening in Bardstown, and whether these murders could be related. And along the way uncovering a history of violence and fear in this otherwise quintessential southern town. Bardstown launches August 28.
It was a case nightmares are made of. A D.C. power couple, their 10-year-old son and housekeeper held hostage for nearly 24 hours and murdered inside a burning D.C. mansion. WTOP examines the complicated trail of evidence that police say led to finding their killer and why they say he committed such a brutal crime.
William Tyrrell was a three year old boy who disappeared from the village of Kendall, on the mid-north-coast of New South Wales. Key facts were kept from the public, from day one. A lot of what was reported, especially early on, was false. In the new podcast, Nowhere Child, The Australian’s Caroline Overington delves into a case where notions of class and privilege; opportunity and poverty came crashing together, to create a nightmare for William Tyrrell. Music used in this podcast: Daniel Birch - Blue Lobster, Trees in the Wind, Marimba on the Loose Electric-tric - Sketch 9 Kai Engel - September, Smoldering Swelling - Night I
Tunnel 29: Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Helena Merriman tells the true story of a man who dug a tunnel into the East, right under the feet of border guards.
When a brutal murder rocks a small Southern town, residents and police are shocked. Could the new guy in town be the one who who did it? Yes, the cops say, he is. Case solved. But then another murder happens. And another. In the end: four bodies, two convictions, and one man in jail for a crime he likely did not commit. Welcome to Murderville, Georgia. Investigative reporters Liliana Segura and Jordan Smith uncover what happens when law enforcement locks up their first suspect, leaving another man free to kill. From The Intercept and Topic Studios.

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