- Opposite to traditional radio, the listeners can play them at their convenience using any device that can play audio files.
- Podcasts have made its renaissance and true crime genre of podcasts is more alive than ever.
Podcasts, the short-form audio files similar to radio programs, have been around for more than a decade. The technology that entered the mainstream with the original Apple iPod have made a comeback and seems to be more alive than ever. Opposite to traditional radio, the listeners can play them at their convenience using any device that can play audio files.
46 million Americans listen to podcasts monthly, and the average listener listens to six a week. It’s all about cars. Americans spend more than three hours a day commuting, working out and doing household routines that are perfect to be accompanied by audio entertainment such as (true crime) podcasts.
The true crime genre of podcasts reached its peak when the cult podcast hosted by Sarah Koenig Serial ended, which made many people believe there is a “podcast renaissance.” Below is the hand-picked list of the best true crime podcasts in 2016 in no particular order.
Sword and Scale by Mike Boudet
Just like Bizarrepedia, Sword and Scale expose real-life events by members of mankind and their horrific actions that are fascinating to those of us who live healthy lives – stories of murder, rape, kidnapping, etc. and how the justice system deals with them.
The Night Time Podcast by Jordan Boneparty
The Night Time Podcast is the leading show covering mysteries, true crime, the paranormal and the many wonderful and weird things that happen in the great white north… Canada. Host Jordan Boneparty conducts extensive research on the topics covered and includes relevant guests to provide firsthand accounts and expert opinions to bring the stories to life. With top notch production and a catalog of stories you haven’t heard, The Night Time Podcast is a podcast you can’t miss.
The Generation Why by Aaron & Justin
The Generation Why Podcast is hosted by two friends who have been interested in true crime and real-life mysteries from a young age. Each episode is a discussion on a particular murder, mystery, disappearance, controversy, or conspiracy. The thing that set them apart is the way they get to the ‘why’ of these cases without getting too graphic with the details. They have been releasing episodes since June 2012.
Unsolved Podcast by Heidi Galore
Unsolved Podcast is a show about unsolved cases that may have been long forgotten. The host Heidi researches each case extensively using her background as a former police officer, former evidence collection agent and now current crime analyst to share the stories of the victims. Each episode is crafted in a unique way that brings the listener into the life of the victims, their families, their communities and the crime scenes themselves. The hope is, that someone will come forward and that these crimes will eventually be solved.
The Trail Went Cold by Robin Warder
The Trail Went Cold is a podcast about unsolved mysteries and true crime stories hosted by Robin Warder, who has published over 100 articles for Cracked and Listverse. The podcast analyzes a number of cases featured on the classic TV show, “Unsolved Mysteries”, along with lesser known cold cases which ordinarily do not get a lot of exposure.
Thinking Sideways by Joe, Devon and Steve
The cast of Thinking Sideways has always been curious about why things happen and what could have caused them. The team doesn’t have any formal education in researching or investigating topics. They just like to look at things and figure out what could be the answer. Despite having no way of knowing, that hasn’t stopped them from looking into a different mystery each week for the past three years.
True Crime Historian by Richard O Jones
True Crime Historian is one of the few true crime podcasts focused on storytelling, not about authors trying to sell books or a group of friends sitting around talking about murders. Author Richard O Jones, a former journalist, uses historical sources — mostly newspaper accounts but also trial transcripts, pulp magazine stories, and other documents — to relate the narrative of historical crimes, often unfolding them as they might have been revealed to the people of the day in which the crime occurred.
Thin Air by Jordan Sims and Daniel Calderon
Thin Air is unique because of its blend of narrative storytelling interwoven with interviews of people who are actually related to the missing person’s case they investigate.
Actual Innocence by Brooke Gittings
Actual Innocence tells the stories of people who have been wrongfully convicted in their own voices. The stories are sometimes hard to hear because no one wants to believe wrongful conviction can happen, but they are necessary to raise awareness of the issue.
Criminal by Phoebe Judge
Criminal introduces itself “Stories of people who’ve done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle.” With a similar presentation style to Serial’s Sarah Koenig, the episodes are a slightly shorter but perfect for quick commutes to and from work; it doesn’t require weeks of regular listening to get the whole story.
Detective by Garry McFadden
Detective is a hit podcast hosted by Detective Garry McFadden. Produced by Investigation Discovery, the 27-year veteran leads you through the real cases from his 23 years on the Colorado Springs Police Department’s Homicide Division.
Real Crime Profile by Jim Clemente & Laura Richards
Jim Clemente, a former criminal profiler for the FBI, and Laura Richards, formerly of New Scotland Yards – is focused on profiling the behavior of key people involved in notorious criminal cases.
Serial by Sarah Koenig
And last, but not least. From the creators of This American Life, hosted by Sarah Koenig, Serial tells one story—a true story—over the course of a season. Each season, they follow a plot and characters wherever they take them. Each week there is a next chapter in the story. Hence, it’s important to listen to the episodes in order.
Serial has won several awards, including the Peabody, Edward R. Murrow, duPont-Columbia, Scripps Howard, and Silver Gavel Award for Media and the Arts.
If you think your podcast, or a podcast worth of mentioning is missing here, please let me know.
If you’re on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple TV, the default Podcasts app a great place to find and subscribe your favorite podcasts and get episodes automatically downloaded as soon as they’re available.
If you’re on an Android-powered device, some of the most popular podcast apps are Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, and BeyondPod. Or just choose among the thousands of available podcast apps Google Play Store has to offer.