Sunday, 7 May 2017

6 Great Podcasts for True Crime Junkies

We all know that podcasts are A Thing. Some of us have even listened to a few over the years. I've previously dipped my toe into the Sea Of Podcasts, but always ended up disappointed and, well... a little empty inside, if I'm being honest. 

I always thought Podcasts were academic and boring, but no more, people: No. More.  As I've just discovered, there are actual people that make actual podcasts about actual murder.  Did you know this? If so, why didn't you tell me? What kind of monster *are* you? Anyway, I discovered them all by myself (with a bit of help from a Buzzfeed article...) and I'm completely hooked. There are the 'casts that I'm currently binge-listening to:


Podcasts for True Crime Junkies
Go to iTunes and click on True Crime.  These are the only podcasts you will ever need. 

Serial:
Presented by Sarah Keonig, the first season of Serial focuses on the case of Adnan Syed and the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Hae. From the start, you know that Adnan has been found guilty of the murder of Hae, so the cast then takes you back to everything that led up to his arrest and subsequent conviction.


This wasn't a high profile case like it is now, but the discrepancies in different recollections of the days leading up to, and the day of the murder, are gripping. I started out thinking Adnan was innocent and then changed my mind half way through. Then, I changed my mind again and, by the end, I literally had no idea what to think. This is the OG of true crime Podcasts and it's seriously good stuff. I ended up listening to episodes when I was working out in the gym and was unable to stop myself from gasping with surprise at some of the revelations. Safe to say that no one stands next to me on the treadmill anymore.

Sword and Scale:
I loved Serial and thought no other could take its place in my sick little heart. Oh, how naive I was... 
Sword and Scale covers a different story each episode (with the exception of a few two-parters) and introduced me to a world of crime I had absolutely no idea about. Most of the episodes are fabulous, but I have skipped a few when they've been about cases I'm already over familiar with, or child abduction, which I just can't listen to. 

I've gone through 50 in the past 3 weeks and have rarely been disappointed. In fact, there are times when I've actually be wide eyed and stunned by what I've heard.  And this can never be a bad thing, in my opinion. My husband is less pleased, as I listen to them on my Ipad in bed and I don't use headphones. There have been a few instances where he's woken up to someone screaming down a phone line to the 911 operator and he's genuinely wondered WTF was going on.  I'm confident that, if I keep it going, he'll eventually come to see the whole thing as 'normal'.

Small Town Murder:
This podcast goes hand in hand with Crime in Sports as they're both presented by the same guys. They're equally fantastic, although one covers all the mad crimes committed by sporting figures, while the other by 'regular' psychos.  The unique draw of this weekly series is that both male presenters are comics. This means that there's a lot of teasing and wicked observations made during the show that some people will definitely think is way too much. They don't so much mock the victims, and they are very respectful, but you do need a pretty dark sense of humour to get through the episodes.

Luckily, I have such a sense of humour and the funny duo of Jimmie Whisman and James Pietragallo keep me chuckling during my commutes from work on a Friday night. After all, what better way to kick start the weekend, making your way home to your own small town, by listening to all the grim tales from other people's small towns?  

The Minds of Madness:
This is a new podcast for 2017, introducing, as many of them do, some of the lesser known crimes that don't hit the headlines here in the UK. This has quickly become one of my favourites and it's suspenseful without being overly dramatic. One of the things I love about US crime is that they have access to 911 call recordings, and nothing freaks me out more in the wee hours of the morning than listening to some bloke call the police to very calmly report that his daughter's been kidnapped from her bedroom like it's the most normal thing in the world.  It gives so much more of an insight into the story when you can hear directly from the people involved. It will also make you judge people *instantly*.  

My Favourite Murder:
Following along the same lines as Small Town Crime, Karen Kilgarrif and Georgia Hardstack are two comedians from California, who have an unnatural obsession with true crime. Knowing they were almost certainly not alone in this, they started a podcast to report on some of their favourite homicide cases. The 'casts cover a mix of the cases that everyone's heard of, to the ones that no one outside the zip code that the crime took part in knows about.  As well as being funny as hell, it's pretty educational (if you can call amassing knowledge of heinous murders 'education'), and it will literally have you questioning everyone around you. 

Crime Stories with Nancy Grace:
I know who Nancy Grace is, despite not having the opportunity to watch her in the UK. When I spotted her face while I was scrolling through iTunes, my first thought was whether I'd be able to make it through her confrontational style without feeling anxious.  However, that Georgia accent more than makes up for all her fighting talk and you can't help but appreciate the fact that she's one of few true crime podcasters with extensive prosecutorial and legal experience. 

Most of the episodes are a bit shorter than I'm used to, but I won't hold that against her.  Mostly because she'll kick my ass. The podcast often uses 911 recordings and, given Grace's stature, lots of exclusive interviews with families of victims. 

Do you have any other true crime recommendations?


Suz x


8 comments:

  1. Ahh I totally didn't know this! Not sure if I could listen I feel I'd make me super suspicious of everything :P

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    1. Ha! It actually does. You just look at everyone like they might have an axe in their handbag! It's a fascinating insight into just how horrendous humans can be.

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  2. Serial was one of the first podcasts I listened to, and I was OBSESSED. I have Small Town Murder already on my list to check out next. :)

    www.wonderandsam.com

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    1. Small Town Murder is hysterical, but it took me a few episodes of giggling inappropriately and then feeling so guilty about it afterwards. I literally gasp in the gym at some of it and realise that other people can hear me and likely think I'm quite deranged.

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  3. Sword and Scale sounds mysterious and alluring. I want to check it out! Thank you for sharing.

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    1. It's so, so good and covers crimes that are, quite frankly, horrendous. I have to admit that I skip the child murder/sex ring episodes, because I just can't listen but, overall, it's a brilliant podcast and has something for all true crime fans!

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  4. I'm a huge fan of Serial, so it's great to have some other options in the same genre! I'm going to check out Sword and Scale next.

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    1. Just after I published this, I found another two; one UK and one Canadian (They Walk Among Us and Canadian True Crime) and I'm addicted to both! I love that people put so much effort into making them!

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