Best True Crime Podcasts in 2020
Updated March 25, 2020 | Jon Street
A number of months we ago we rolled out our 20 Best True Crime Podcasts in preparation for Halloween. As seems to often be the case in podcasting, a lot has changed in just a short amount of time. Over the last several months we have seen several new true crime podcasts storm onto the (crime) scene and leave an impressive footprint. Here is an updated list to guide your listening as you peruse the top charts of podcasts looking for something to keep you up at night.
DC Sniper is a new true crime podcast from Tenderfoot TV that tells the story of the 2002 sniper attacks Montgomery County, Maryland. It was a beautiful day in Maryland when the unexpected happened. A gun shot rang out and a man collapsed. Why did this happen? Just one year after the horrible terrorist attacks of 9/11, Maryland was hit with these mysterious sniper attacks. Was this the next wave of terrorism that everyone was anxiously dreading? Find the answers on this season of Monster: DC Sniper. Now, in 2020, the killer might be set free as the Supreme court rules on the case. Make sure to listen and subscribe to this season of Monster to find the truth behind these tragic events.
Culpable is a new true crime podcast that debuted on Monday, June 17th with its first two episodes. The trailer and teaser are also out now in all major listening directories. The podcast dives into the shocking death of 21 year old Christian Andreacchio of Meridian, Mississippi who died on February 26, 2014. The case was originally declared a suicide by Meridian Police Department after a mere 45 minute investigation. As details of the case have emerged there is ample reason to question whether or not this was actually the cause of death, which the podcast explores in depth. The podcast hopes to bring more clarity to this seemingly open-and-shut case with interviews and investigative journalism aimed at getting the word out about the Christian’s death in hopes that someone who may know something would be willing to step out and help confirm what really may have happened and bring Christian’s family the closure they have been fighting for these last 5 years. Culpable is a production of Black Mountain Media in partnership with Tenderfoot TV, the fine folks that have brought us Up and Vanished, To Live and Die in L.A., Atlanta Monster and others. Culpable Season 1 is anticipated to have 15 episodes with weekly releases on Monday. Be sure to listen, rate, review and subscribe to Culpable wherever you listen to podcasts.
The first podcast worth checking out is hot off the press but is already climbing the charts within the listening directories. Whatever you’re doing right now, stop. And go listen to To Live and Die in L.A.. Here’s the overview. “The entertainment capital of the world: Hollywood, where dreams come true. But not all that glitters is gold, and sometimes those dreams are met with harsh, even tragic, realities. This was the case for 25 year old Adea Shabani, an aspiring actress and model who vanished without a trace from her apartment complex near Hollywood’s famous Walk of Fame. Follow along as award-winning journalist and best-selling author, Neil Strauss, investigates this mysterious disappearance as the police investigation unfolds. What really happened to Adea? The full story has never been told. From Tenderfoot TV, the creators of Up and Vanished and Atlanta Monster, this is To Live and Die in L.A.” To Live and Die in L.A. debuted its trailer at the end of February and has released 3 episodes to date with a highly anticipated full season to follow. Even in such a short time this podcast has gained a tremendous amount of traction. The Resonate Recordings team has been privileged to work with the LiveDie L.A. crew on this project and we highly recommend you check out this jaw-dropping podcast!
Another new podcast that is creating avid fans worldwide is the recently released podcast Over My Dead Body. It’s gripping. “We all have limits. And some people who are pushed beyond those limits will do unspeakable things. In “Tally,” the first season of OVER MY DEAD BODY, Dan and Wendi are two good-looking attorneys whose wedding is featured in the New York Times. But when this “perfect” couple falls apart, it leads to a bad breakup, a worse divorce, and a murder case involving a menagerie of high-priced lawyers and unexpected co-conspirators. From Wondery, the team that brought you “Dirty John” and “Dr. Death,” “Tally” is a story that says as much about love and marriage as it does about justice, revenge, and the lengths some people will go to get what they want. Hosted by Matthew Shaer.” Over My Dead Body is made in partnership with Wondery and released its trailer at the end of January and has given weekly episode releases. Buckle up!
Our next podcast is quickly becoming a fan-favorite. Root of Evil: The True Story of the Hodel Family and the Black Dahlia. There is no doubt that the story and circumstances surrounding the infamous Black Dahlia murder has been well publicized in many mediums. But this podcast offers a new and fresh perspective in to the events surrounding this infamous event. “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.” The podcast trailer was released at the end of January and new episodes release every Wednesday. Be sure to tune into both the series and podcast for some true crime goodness.
The next can’t miss podcast recommendation is another entry from the Tenderfoot TV crew called Monster: The Zodiac Killer. In Season 1 of the podcast the focus was on the infamous Atlanta Child Murders from the ‘70’s and ‘80’s. With this new season comes a new case which has likewise been previously well-publicized, but still holds its roots in Atlanta. “From Tenderfoot TV and HowStuffWorks, ‘Monster: The Zodiac Killer’ dives into one of the most notorious, unsolved serial killing sprees in history. Despite sketches, cyphers and taunting letters to the press, the question still remains: who is the Zodiac?” Created in conjunction with HowStuffWorks and Stuff Media the podcast continues to offer listeners gripping and engaging episodes in a bingeable format. Be sure to check out the Season 2 trailer and then delve right in.
For nearly every true crime fan, Up and Vanished is a household name. In many ways this podcast opened new avenues for storytelling and investigative-style documentary journalism which has solidified podcasting as a new platform for the world to tell stories. With over 250 million downloads (and growing), Season 1 focused on the notable Tara Grinstead case while the recently completed Season 2 focused on the disappearance of Kristal Anne Reisinger. I recommend you check out both. Like, right now. But with recent events unfolding related to the Grinstead case, the Tenderfoot TV crew is at work bringing the podcast world these compelling updates. Be sure to tune in for more anticipated releases and to see how things unfold!
If you’re reading this post than chances are you’re either a crime junkie…or you will be soon. Thankfully there’s a whole emerging genre dedicated to giving you what you need. Including a new podcast with you in mind (and title). “Crime Junkie is a weekly podcast dedicated to giving you a true crime fix. Every Monday, Ashley Flowers will tell you about whatever crime she’s been obsessing over that week in a way that sounds like you’re sitting around talking crime with your best friends. The storytelling is straightforward and free of rabbit holes so the cases stay suspenseful and are easy to follow. If you can never get enough true crime…Congratulations, you’re a Crime Junkie! You’ve found your people.” To be fair, Crime Junkie is not new to the scene as the show debuted in late 2017, but it has gained steady popularity ever since. In fact it was named one of Rolling Stone’s Top 20 True Crime Podcasts of 2018. With weekly releases, each bursting with true crime goodness, you’re sure to get hooked.
There you have it. A list of 6 fresh recommendations for you to lock yourself in your room and tune in to. But maybe you’re new to the true crime scene (see what I did there?) and you’re looking for more. Well, we’ve got you covered. Here’s our top picks of “classic” true crime inspired podcasts to round out your list.
Aside from a clever name, Sword and Scale offers some terrifying accounts of true crime. As the creators pose, the podcast, “is an immersive audio experience covering the dark side of humanity and human nature. Our stories delve into the worst of the worst and include murder, rape, dismemberment and cannibalism. No crime is too brutal and no victim is too pure. The worst monsters are real.” Hosted by Mike Boudet and a part of the Wondery family of podcasts, Sword and Scale offers an array of true crime tales which include murder, torture, heists and other bizarre stories of the terrifying and unthinkable (yet terrifyingly true). Looking for a place to dive in? Check out their 5 Episodes of Sword and Scale That Will Keep You Up at Night!
This next podcast is one of the most popular true crime podcasts to date. Recently kicking off its third season, it has won numerous awards and honors and has become a staple for the true crime community. In fact it has won every major award for broadcasting, including the duPont-Columbia, Scripps Howard, Edward R. Murrow, and the first-ever Peabody awarded to a podcast. I am of course talking about Serial, a podcast from the creators of This American Life, which is hosted by the infamous Sarah Koenig. The concept is simple. “Serial tells one story — a true story — over the course of a season.” Fair enough. But what has made it so ravingly popular is the content it brings and the format it packages it in. While it may not offer the listener guts and glamor, it brings an engaging storytelling format to shine the light on known cases which are clearly not all they seem to be at first glance. In Season 3, “Serial is heading back to court. This time, in Cleveland. A year inside a typical American courthouse. This season we tell you the extraordinary stories of ordinary cases. One courthouse, told week by week.” And with grippingly witty episode titles like A Bar Fight Walks into the Justice Center and A Bird in Jail Is Worth Two on the Street you’ll not want to miss a moment!
Stories and folklore about creepy creatures, unthinkable acts and downright frightening events have been part of history, it seems even since time began. We often write them off as nonsensical campfire tales designed just to give people a good scare. But what if they aren’t? Enter Lore. “Lore is an award-winning, critically-acclaimed podcast about true life scary stories. Lore exposes the darker side of history, exploring the creatures, people, and places of our wildest nightmares. Because sometimes the truth is more frightening than fiction.” Created, written and hosted by Aaron Mahnke, these bi-weekly episodes deep dive into some of the most bizarre and frightening legends ever heard (and attemptedly covered up), with the purpose of discovering the truth behind the folklore. With episodes like The Beast Within, The Castle, A Devil on the Roof and Broken Fingernails you’re sure to get your fill of chills. But heads up-you’ve been warned.
Another intriguing episodic true crime podcast is the infamously popular Criminal. Criminal is an award winning and highly publicized podcast about crime which is known for its captivating sound design and enthralling writing style which seem to bring it to life in a way many podcasts do not. It offers, “stories of people who’ve done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle. Not so much the “if it bleeds, it leads,” kind of crime. Something a little more complex.” Part of the Radiotopia family, Criminal covers bizarre and often misunderstood tales of crime and punishment. It has been noted as, “A true crime podcast that understands crime as something sociological, historical, even anthropological – that crime is a function of people, time, and place.” For newcomers the Criminal crew recommends starting with episodes like In Plain Sight, Money Tree, 695BGK and Animal Instincts.
As the Operations Manager at Resonate Recordings, Jon leads the production team and ensures that all our podcasters have everything needed to release consistent high-quality episodes. Jon and his family are from West Palm Beach, Florida and now live in Simpsonville, KY.