Are you a fan of all things mysterious and grusome? Do you find yourself constantly searching for the latest true crime stories to satiate your thirst for the unknown? If you’re looking for a chilling experience, there’s no better way to get it than by listening to a true crime podcast. From in-depth investigations to gripping storytelling, true crime podcasts will take you on a journey into the darkest corners of the human psyche. They delve into some of the most fascinating (and sometimes disturbing) real-life crimes, giving you an up-close and personal look at the world of crime.
In this post, we’ve rounded up the 15 best true crime podcasts that are guaranteed to give you a chilling experience. Whether you’re a true crime fan or just getting started in the genre, there’s a podcast on this list. From American Scandal to Welcome To Your Fantasy, these are the 15 best true crime podcasts for a chilling experience.
1. What Are True Crime Podcasts?
True crime podcasts are stories about real crimes, usually murders, that are audio-ed. They often include interviews with people involved in the case, as well as law enforcement officials and family members of the victim. Many true crime podcasts are serialized, telling one story over multiple episodes. While true crime has always been prevalent, the genre has exploded recently, particularly after the success of shows like Criminal, Casefile, and My Favorite Murder. People like these podcasts because they offer all the suspense and drama of a traditional crime show but with a more personal touch.
2. 15 Best True Crime Podcasts for a Chilling Experience
2.1 American Scandal
American Scandal is a popular true crime podcast that explores some of the most infamous and captivating events in American history. Each episode focuses on a different scandal, such as Watergate, Iran-Contra, and Enron, delving into the background, events, and aftermath.
The show is famous for its engaging storytelling and attention to detail. It provides a compelling look at some of modern history’s most significant political, corporate, and social scandals. If you like true crime and American history, American Scandal is a podcast worth checking out.
- Debuted – 2018
- Hosted By – Lindsay Graham
- Best Episodes – Big Tobacco, The Plame Affair, and Enron
Believed is a true crime podcast by Michigan Radio and NPR. It focuses on the Larry Nassar scandal, in which a former doctor at Michigan State University was found guilty of sexually abusing hundreds of young gymnasts and other athletes over decades. The podcast tells the story of how Nassar, a doctor who worked with the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team, was able to abuse hundreds of young girls and women for years.
The podcast has two seasons. The first season focuses on Nassar’s crimes and how he was finally brought to justice. The second season focuses on the victims and survivors of his abuse and their brave fight for justice. Believed is an essential and harrowing listen, but it’s also compelling. It’s a must-listen for anyone interested in true crime or justice.
- Debuted – 2018
- Hosted By – Lindsey Smith and Kate Wells
- Best Episodes – The Good Guy, The Parents, and How He Got Caught
2.3 Crime Junkie
Crime Junkie is one of the best true crime podcasts New York Times that covers some of the most compelling and disturbing cases. The hosts, Ashley Flowers and Britt Prawitt have a knack for finding fascinating stories and engagingly presenting them. One of their most recent episodes, for example, covers the case of Tera Lynn Mays, a missing woman from Kentucky who was eventually found dead in a shallow grave. The episode goes into great detail about the investigation into her disappearance and eventual murder, and it’s genuinely chilling.
What makes Crime Junkie stand out from the best true crime podcasts is the hosts’ commitment to finding justice for the victims. They often interview law enforcement officials and family members of the victims to get the inside scoop on these cases. So if you’re looking for a true crime podcast to keep you on the edge of your seat, Crime Junkie is worth a listen.
- Debuted – 2017
- Hosted By – Ashley Flowers and Britt Prawitt
- Best Episodes – Wanted, Murdered, Missing, and Serial Killer
2.4 Dirty John
Dirty John is a true crime podcast that tells the story of a con artist named John Meehan and his manipulation and abuse of a wealthy Orange County interior designer named Debra Newell. The podcast, created by the Los Angeles Times and Wondery, investigates the twisted and dangerous relationship between John and Debra and its impact on her family.
The podcast is based on reporting by Christopher Goffard and features interviews with key players in the case, as well as reenactments and audio recordings. Dirty John is a suspenseful listen that provides a cautionary tale about the dangers of online dating and the manipulative tactics of sociopaths. People consider Dirty John as one of the best true crime podcasts.
- Debuted – 2017
- Hosted By – Christopher Goffard
- Best Episodes – The Real Thing, Forgiveness, and Newlyweds
2.5 Dr. Death
If you’re looking for a true crime podcast that is both fascinating and disturbing, Dr. Death is worth a listen. Dr. Death is a podcast about Dr. Christopher Duntsch, a neurosurgeon convicted of gross malpractice after maiming and killing several of his patients. The podcast tells the story of his crimes and how he was eventually brought to justice.
The hosts did an excellent job of covering the case in great detail, and it’s genuinely chilling to hear about how Duntsch could get away with his crimes for so long. Also, it explores the events that led to Duntsch’s downfall, the investigation that uncovered his actions, and the broader implications for the medical industry and the individuals involved. Listening is undoubtedly eye-opening, especially for those interested in true crime, medical ethics, and the criminal justice system.
- Debuted – 2021
- Hosted By – Laura Beil
- Best Episodes – Chris and Jerry, Spineless, and Free Fall
The story of Firebug is one of the most chilling true crime stories in recent memory. For over a decade, this arsonist torched businesses and homes across Southern California, leaving a trail of death and destruction in their wake. Investigators were baffled as to who was responsible for the crimes until a chance discovery led them to the unlikeliest of suspects.
The firebug was finally captured and brought to justice in 2009, but their legacy continues to haunt those who were affected by their crimes. If you’re looking for a true crime podcast that will send chills down your spine, look no further than Firebug.
- Debuted – 2021
- Hosted By – Kary Antholis
- Best Episodes – Point of Origin, College Hills, and Catch Me If You Can
2.7 Hunting Ghislaine
The Hunting Ghislaine podcast aims to shed light on the crimes committed by Ghislaine Maxwell and her association with Jeffrey Epstein. The host, John Sweeney, takes an in-depth look at the background of both Ghislaine and Epstein, their relationship, and the events leading up to their arrests. He also delves into the larger issue of sex trafficking and the exploitation of underage girls, which has shocked the world.
Sweeney uses his investigative journalism skills to uncover the truth behind this dark and disturbing story and to provide answers to the questions that have been left unanswered. The podcast offers insights into the world of the ultra-rich and powerful and exposes the extent to which they exploit vulnerable individuals. It is a must-listen for those interested in true crime stories and investigative journalism who want to learn more about the Epstein case and Ghislaine Maxwell’s involvement in it.
- Debuted – 2020
- Hosted By – John Sweeney
- Best Episodes – Demons, The Lady Vanishes and Favours
2.8 Kuper Island
Kuper Island is a newer true crime series dedicated to sensationalized investigations and hosted by Duncan McCue. He investigates the mysterious disappearance of three students from a remote island off the coast of British Columbia. Start from the heartrending beginning to see if Nancy can unravel the island’s secrets.
The island of Kuper is a small, isolated community with only a few hundred people. Yet, it is a place of mystery and intrigue, with a long history of strange occurrences and mysteries. Duncan McCue is determined to uncover the truth behind the disappearance and the island’s secrets. Along the way, he will uncover a web of lies and deceit that will shock even the most hardened of true crime fans.
- Debuted – 2022
- Hosted By – Duncan McCue
- Best Episodes – Every Child Matters, Feeding the Dead, and Sink or Swim.
2.9 Last Seen
Last seen is amongst the best true crime podcasts. It focuses on the 1990 art heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, in which 13 artworks with a value of over $500 million, including pieces by Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Degas, were stolen and have not been recovered. Throughout six episodes, reporter Jack Rodolico uses his journalistic expertise to unearth clues and interview those closest to the case.
The podcast dives deep into the investigation, exploring the motivations of the thieves and the methods they used to carry out the crime. Listeners will be taken on a journey as they uncover the truth behind the heist and the fate of the stolen artworks. With each episode, the mystery deepens, and the stakes become higher. Join Jack and Julia as they uncover the secrets of the Last Seen heist.
- Debuted – 2022
- Hosted By – Shannon Dooling
- Best Episodes – A Family’s Peace, ’81 Minutes, and Two Bad Men
2.10 Morning Cup of Murder
Want to talk about murder in the morning? Morning Cup Murder podcast is a 10-part series that focuses on some of the most intriguing homicide cases in the last decade. An investigative team led by host Korina Biemesderfer explores gruesome cases that keep you guessing. Join them each week as they uncover mysteries and search for answers.
Each episode of Morning Cup of Murder features interviews with family members, friends, and law enforcement officials. The hosts also provide expert analysis and commentary on the cases. This gives viewers an in-depth look at the evidence and theories surrounding each case. With its engaging storytelling and captivating investigations, Morning Cup of Murder will keep you on the edge of your seat.
- Debuted – 2019
- Hosted By – Korina Biemesderfer
- Best Episodes – The Unsolved Killings By Scotland’s Bible John, The DC Snipers, Murder In the Out Back
Persona: The French Deception is a true crime podcast that examines a recent high-profile case in France involving a young woman who claimed to be the victim of a brutal attack, only to be later revealed as a serial liar who fabricated the entire story. The podcast delves into the case, exploring the events that led to the young woman’s lies, the impact that her false claims had on the people around her, and the broader cultural and psychological implications of her actions.
Persona is a gripping and eye-opening podcast for anyone interested in true crime and human identity and behavior complexities. It has received generally positive reviews from listeners and critics, who praise the show’s well-researched and well-produced examination of a complex and fascinating case.
- Debuted – 2022
- Hosted By – Evan Ratliff
- Best Episodes – The Tiger Dossier, The Fat One, and Madame G
Hosted by the investigative duo Suruthi Bala and Hannah Magnet, Redhanded sets itself apart from other true crime shows by looking at crimes from different cultural perspectives. With 8-15 episodes every season, this podcast creates an engaging listening experience as it looks at subjects such as vampires, covert operations, and exorcisms.
Each episode is carefully researched and presented in an informative and entertaining way. The hosts also bring in experts to provide additional insight into the cases they discuss. Redhanded is a must-listen for anyone who likes true crime and the cultural implications of criminal activity.
- Debuted – 2017
- Hosted By – Suruthi Bala and Hannah Magnet
- Best Episodes – Jodi Jones: Murder in Midlothian, Who Killed JonBenét Ramsey? And Stephanie Lazarus
Suspect is a true crime podcast that explores a different case each season, delving deep into the investigation, the evidence, and the individuals involved to try and piece together what happened. The show takes an in-depth, investigative approach to its subject matter and aims to provide a fresh and nuanced perspective on some of the most intriguing and high-profile crimes of 2023.
It is hosted by Matthew Shaer and reporter Eric Benson who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the podcast. If you’re a fan of true crime and appreciate a well-researched and thought-provoking examination of criminal cases, “Suspect” is worth checking out.
- Debuted – 2021
- Hosted By – Matthew Shaer
- Best Episodes – The Girl Upstairs, Dead Time, and The Break
2.14 True Crime Obsessed
True Crime Obsessed is a true crime comedy podcast where hosts Gillian Pensavalle and Patrick Hinds re-tell true crime documentaries with humor and sass. The podcast covers a wide range of true crime cases. Starting from well-known serial killers to lesser-known crimes and everything in between. The hosts bring a fresh perspective to the genre and offer comedic relief to some severe and intense cases. With weekly recaps, analysis of evidence, and theories on who did it, True Crime Obsessed will make you laugh while keeping you on your toes.
This is amongst the best true crime podcasts with interviews of experts and people involved in the cases and special guests from the entertainment industry. Listeners can also join in on the conversation by submitting their theories and evidence to the hosts. True Crime Obsessed is the perfect podcast for anyone who loves true crime and wants a good laugh while learning more about the cases.
- Debuted – 2017
- Hosted By – Gillian Pensavalle and Patrick Hinds
- Best Episodes – The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story, Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine, Screwball
2.15 Welcome to Your Fantasy
Welcome to Your Fantasy is a podcast that explores the world of fandom and fan culture. Each episode features a guest who shares their passion for a particular fandom, be it a movie, book series, television show, or video game. In addition, this podcast creates an immersive experience by bringing you into a world of criminal confessions and police interrogations.
Through interactive soundscapes, this audio drama peeks into the darkest corners of some of America’s most insane criminal minds. Join host Natalia Petrzela as she reveals insights into each case in this suspense-filled series. With a mix of real-life interviews and dramatic reenactments, this podcast will keep you on the edge of your seat.
- Debuted – 2021
- Hosted By – Natalia Petrzela
- Best Episodes – The Perfect Man, Where The Butt Ends, and Sneak Peek: A Disneyland For Adults
- What Is The# 1 True Crime Podcast?
It’s difficult to determine the #1 true crime podcast. However, some top-rated and best true crime podcasts include – Serial, My Favourite Murder, Criminal, and Sword Scale.
- What Is the Most Highly Rated True Crime Podcast?
Casefile is one of the highly-rated and best crime podcasts and is lauded as a well-researched and engaging podcast.
- What’s the Best True Crime Podcast Right Now?
Some of the best true crime podcasts to listen to in 2023 are – Criminal, Scam Goddess, Morbid, American Radical, and The Murder in Family.