There's something dangerously addictive about true crime podcasts and the latest crop of bone-chilling investigations are bloody good.
If you binge-listened to Serial and Dirty John, then you're going to be hooked on these chart-topping podcasts. We've even included a few O.G. crime stories that quite frankly, should be considered classics of the genre as well as some notable new releases currently making headlines.
Scroll for our roundup of the best true crime podcasts.
39 members of 'Heaven's Gate' were found dead after ingesting poison in a San Diego mansion. All were dressed identically and had the same haircuts. They all belonged to the same cult, and believed heir suicides were not a final death. They believed they were 'meeting' a UFO that would transport them to the kingdom of heaven. Twenty years on this podcast features those who still believe and those who loved them.
Narrated by Glen Washington over ten installments, prepare to be given the heeby jeebies by this bizarre and shocking crime.
Missing Maura Murray
College student Maura Murray, 21, was driving from her dorm in Massachusetts to the White Mountains of New Hampshire
Between 7:00-7:30pm her car was involved in a single car accident on Route 112. She was gone without a trace before the police showed up approximately ten minutes later. The few witnesses who spoke with law enforcement said she denied their assistance. She has never been seen or heard from since.
A box of wine—one of her last known purchases—had spilled in the car. Her textbooks were there, as was a map printout of directions to Burlington, Vermont. There was no wallet, keys or cell phone. Did Maura meet with foul play or was she running away? Is she still alive today?
This series has over seventy episodes with updates to the case made as recenlty as February 2018. You'll hear from Maura’s family, detectives on the case and even psychic medium, Alison Dubious as each new piece of this baffling puzzle comes together. There is also a six-part documentary, The Disappearance Of Maura Murray by the Oxygen network.
New Idea Investigates Podcast
In the early ‘70s two children went missing while watching a footy game at Adelaide Oval. The presumed abduction and murder of Joanne Ratcliffe, 11 and Kirste Gordon, 4, is the first subject of this gripping new podcast. Witnesses have alleged links between Joanne and Kirste’s unsolved case and the Beaumont children disappearance in 1966, which is currently making headlines.
Forthcoming episodes will shift focus to other notorious Australian true crimes. The team behind this investigation speak to victims’ families and detectives to uncover the facts that have never been released–until now.
Maria James was murdered in the back of her suburban Melbourne bookshop in June 1980. Separated from her husband, Maria's world revolved around her children Mark, 13, and Adam, 11. On the morning of her death, she made breakfast and told her sons if anything should ever happen to her, they should look after each other.
After the boys went to school, Maria called her ex husband at the Fitzroy Town Hall where he worked as a town clerk but he was not able to take the call. When he called back, Maria was not alone in the bookshop and told him to hold the line. Waiting on the other end of the phone, what he heard prompted him to make the 15 minute drive to the bookshop where he discovered Maria's body. For 37 years her killer has never been found.
Her two sons and one former police officer have never given up hope. The ABC's first true crime podcast, investigated by Rachel Brown, uncovers new evidence which means previously discounted suspects will be reinvestigated.
Revisiting Australia's most notorious crimes such as the murder of Anita Cobby and the disappearance of Peter Falconio, each very detailed and expertly researched episode presents the cold hard facts. The narrator's identity remains a mystery as to keep the focus on the victims.
Every one of the 96 episodes is different, so you can listen in any order. There is a very good reason this award-winning series has remained at number one on the iTunes chart for over two years.
The truth is rarely the best story. There's no such thing as a coincidence, right? From the death of Princess Diana to Area 51, while technically not in the true crime category, this podcast investigates the most popular conspiracy theories of our generation. The newest series in this roundup and definitely one for conspiracy nuts (you know who you are).
The podcast against which all others are measured. There's good reason Serial boasts 80 million downloads.
Sarah Koenig and co-producer Julie Snyder interweave a 'who done it?' mystery with the drama of highschool romance. Serial is "about the basics: love and death and justice and truth. All these big, big things," according to Koenig. Season 1 investigates the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, and the subsequent conviction of her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed.
In February 2015, three weeks after the end of Season 1, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals filed a decision allowing Syed to appeal his conviction, the case has undergone many twists since then but ultimately remains before the appeals court.
Possibly the most talked about true crime podcast of 2017. In 2014, Debra Newell met John Meehan on an over-50s dating website what follows is "a cautionary tale about the ways that a sociopath, like a predator, can find the victim and tell these victims exactly what they want to hear." According to investigator and host Jeffrey Goffard at the L.A. Times.
In the case of Dirty John, Goffard says, "this is a craft that he's been practising for decades, pretty much his entire adult life. He'd been honing this particular skill. He was a professional."
“When an antique clock breaks, a clock that’s been telling time for 200-300 years, fixing it can be a real puzzle …” begins S-Town, the most recent podcast from the folks behindSerial.
There's seven installments, all around an hour in length. The mystery tells of a man named John, who asked This American Life to investigate the son of a wealthy family for bragging about getting away with murder. It begins with a clock metaphor for the tortuous process of uncovering what happened. By the end of the first episode, the planned investigation diverts and the story becomes something else entirely.