If you're waiting for the next season of Serial to air and need something to fill that Sarah Koenig void in your iTunes library, listen up. Fortunately, there are lots of other compelling tue crime pods to choose from, too.
Ranging from a Los Angeles Times–produced podcast that's garnered a cult following to an addictive pod with over 42,000 positive ratings on iTunes, we're recommending true crime podcasts that are so compelling that you'll want to listen to them all in a single sitting. Do you have your headphones ready? Ahead are the 10 podcasts that will have you on the edge of your seat, including one beloved pod that reviewers have deemed the next Serial.
In the Dark
Drawing comparisons to Serial, the second season of In the Dark delves into the case of Curtis Flowers, a man who has been tried six times for the same crime and maintained his innocence for 21 years. The popular podcast has garnered more than 19,000 ratings on iTunes and a solid 4.5 stars.
Promising Review: "This podcast is expertly crafted. The last 10 minutes of episode two are enough to make me keep listening and needing more. Even though I already know the 'ending,' I find myself needing this story to unravel."
Caliphate follows Rukmini Callimachi, a reporter for The New York Times, as she investigates ISIS. After a chance meeting with a former member of the Islamic State, Callimachi exposes startling truths about the terrorist group and those who eventually choose to flee it.
Promising Review: "In a world where fake news is rampant, it seems quite timely to have an NYT podcast go behind the scenes, approaching news from the journalist's angle. No other podcast has sparked me to write a review—Caliphate is my first for a reason. 10/10 would recommend."
Up and Vanished
Amateur investigator Payne Lindsey takes an in-depth look into the unsolved disappearance of Georgia beauty queen and high school teacher Tara Grinstead in Up and Vanished. With over 45,000 ratings on iTunes, this podcast is a hit with the true-crime crowd.
Promising Review: "While my heart breaks for Tara's family, this podcast does a wonderful job of telling her story and keeping people interested in this terrifying incident. I had searched for podcasts similar to Someone Knows Something and Serial, and Up and Vanished did not disappoint!"
Another true-crime podcast that's garnered something of a cult following, this L.A. Times–produced favorite has over 35,000 ratings and 4.5 stars on iTunes. Host Christopher Goffard untangles a web of lies constructed by the titular Southern California con man John in Dirty John. You'll be gripped until the podcast's shocking conclusion. Plus, you can watch the whole thing play out in Bravo's show inspired by the podcast.
Promising Review: "Was hooked after the first episode and listened straight through to the end. It was both fascinating and disturbing how nice, normal people can be [taken] in so fully by those with evil intent."
Also from the producers of Up and Vanished, Atlanta Monster examines the infamous Atlanta child murders that occurred between 1979 and 1981 with over 25 victims. Host Payne Lindsey interviews detectives, family members, politicians, and scientists in order to determine whether the man accused was guilty of the crimes.
Promising Review: "My husband and I sat silently in our living room listening to the show on our Bluetooth speaker. We didn't check our phones, we didn't get out our tablets. We were transfixed. We shared the occasional comment but were otherwise enthralled! Like an old-fashioned radio drama but with real, captivating, well-thought-out content."
Gripping and addictive, Accused has over 5,000 ratings and 4.5 stars on iTunes. Season 2 of this true-crime podcast focuses on the murder of a kind-hearted prison minister in Kentucky. Host Amber Hunt poses the provocative question: "Was William Virgil wrongly convicted for murder?"
Promising Review: "Fans of the original Serial should check this one out. Amber Hunt and her team go digging into three decades of mystery with a thoroughness that makes yet another cold case compelling and relevant."
From the creators behind HBO's The Jinx, Crimetown investigates how organized crime shaped the city Providence, Rhode Island. This 4.5-star podcast has over 12,000 ratings.
Promising Review: "I was a bit on the fence with the premise, but 30 seconds in, I was hooked. The characters they interviewed are a quote gold mine."
My Favorite Murder
Arguably the most popular true-crime podcast on iTunes, My Favorite Murder has over 99,000 ratings and a glowing 4.5 stars. As the podcast's name suggests, macabre hosts Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark discuss their favorite murders. Due to its success, the duo host worldwide live shows, too.
Promising Review: "Do you love crime and morbidity but fancy yourself a nonetheless upbeat and amusing, well-adjusted human? You've come to the right place! Perfect hosts—engaging and charismatic—and interesting subject matter. Like high tea at a morgue."
Horologist John B. McLemore wants This American Life to investigate a murder in his hometown of Woodstock, Alabama, but when producer Brian Reed arrives, he finds McLemore the most fascinating of all in S-Town. It boasts more than 35,000 ratings and 4.6 stars.
Promising Review: "Loved it and became very emotionally invested in the story of JB and his view of the world and humanity. We can all learn a lot from him. I’m glad his story was told!"
The Teacher's Pet
When popular high school teacher and former star soccer player Chris Dawson's wife goes missing and he moves in and marries his teenage student, suspicions arise. Where is his wife Lyn Dawson? Is she even alive? The trial is still ongoing in Australia, so The Teacher's Pet is an extra timely listen. This podcast has more than 5,700 ratings and 4.5 stars.
Promising Review: "This story is heartbreaking but so important for us to learn from. My takeaways from this excellently produced podcast are that we all need to look out for each other and, more importantly, speak up if we see any signs of abuse."
Ed. note: Customer reviews have been edited and condensed for clarity.
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