From the remote shores of the Emerald Isle, a horrific murder took place in 1996 in the Irish town of Schull. West Cork is an investigative true crime podcast about the unsolved (ish) death of Sophie Toscan du Plantier. Sophie was the wife of a French film producer who was found murdered over Christmas break. A big shout out to Acast for retrieving this podcast and distributing it across all major podcast platforms (well almost every, wtf Spotify?). This was one of the best true crime podcasts in 2018 and sure to be a top podcast of 2021.
West Cork was initially released in 2018 as an original Audible podcast, meaning listeners could only find the podcast on audible. However, over the past month, this top true crime podcast was re-released. The podcast was created by investigative journalist Sam Bungey and documentarian Jennifer Forde if you have not heard it already. The duo looks to explore the unsolved crime, which is infamous across Cork and the entire island.
Schull is a remote community set in Cork. The seaside town is set at the southwest corner of Ireland in the shadows of Mount Gabriel. It’s a small-knit community where everyone knows everyone. Sophie and her husband bought a vacation home, and the town swirled with rumors about the two. The murder rocked the town, and the community began to point the finger at one suspect. The suspect (will not be named) continued to proclaim their innocence.
The podcast re-opens the cold case. It’s full of mystery, deception, law enforcement mistakes (Garda), and potential suspects. The duo interview residents, former police, and potential witnesses over thirteen 30 minutes episodes. As they dig more profound, more light is shed on the case from others. The difference between 1996 and 2018 (besides the President) is the power of the internet.
West Cork is an excellent binge for any true crime podcaster listener. The duo does an excellent job of painting the scene, including the Irish countryside. A suspect was recently arrested for the crime in part to the awareness the podcast brought. Check out other true crime podcasts to binge!
Down the Hill is a ten-episode podcast produced by HLN TV and hosted by Barbara Macdonald and Andrew Iden The podcast features The Delphi Murders– the story of Abigail Williams and Liberty German, two friends who went out for a hike on an unseasonably warm day on February 13th, 2017 in Delphi, Indiana. The case takes place in Delphi a small suburb of just under 3,000 people. Delphi is the quintessential reminder of the small-town USA, a place where many of us can call home. Delphi is also a disturbing reminder that there are real monsters among us.
The case remains unsolved, but the podcast is a platform for detectives and family to engage the public. Besides being one of the best podcasts, it’s also an opportunity to see if you can help. The beginning of each episode begins with a recording that one of the victims took—where the offender told them both—”To Go Down The Hill”. The website lays out the case file, along with information about who you can contact. Four years later and with 50,000 tips—they are asking for your help.
I do not want to discuss the case too much out of respect for the victims. It only happened four years ago and is an on-going investigation. Honestly, its fucked up. But, unlike other unsolved cases, the local police engaged the FBI almost immediately.
The podcast itself is an excellent piece of journalism. Barbara and Andrew are engaging hosts and push to understand what happened that day and a possible suspect. The episodes follow the case chronologically and include interviews with friends, family members, and law enforcement. The production and audio quality are both of high standard, thanks to Dan Szematowicz.
Down the Hill is a great podcast to binge on and one of the best true crime podcasts out there. Give it a download and see if you can help solve the case. There is a monster out there, and the more attention given to the case increases the chances the suspect will be apprehended. If you enjoyed the podcast, be sure to check out the special that just dropped on HLN This is a two-part special just aired on Sunday and Monday of this week.
We have our playlist below along with a link to Spotify podcast. Be sure to check out our other podcast pics for binges and for this month!
We review podcasts that span across the deepest and darkest parts of the web. But nothing prepared us for the journey Incel took us on. It’s difficult to know even where to begin when covering a topic like the deranged Incel community. Before we go any further, this is not a standard true podcast. Incel is a top podcast that focuses on the exploration of a self-identified community. An Incel is best described as a member of an online subculture that defines themselves as “involuntary celibate.” Involuntary celibate describes a person, typically a man, who identifies as being frustrated by a lack of opportunities to have sex. Incel is one of the best true crime podcasts.
As you can guess, this is an extremely complex and nuanced topic to cover, and Incel could not have a better host to bring you through this twisted journey. Producer and host, Naama Kates, sets the tone instantly by exploring the background and rise of this online subculture. Admittedly, I did not have much familiarity with this topic, which in many ways made me the perfect listener. That is where the strength of host Naama Kates comes into play. Naama is an extremely talented actress, musician, and filmmaker that has expanded her talents into podcasting. She met instant success. The background of this project is interestingly non-linear for her. Naama has always had an interest in the emergence of technology and online profiles. But it wasn’t until she received a DM from an incel that she brought this podcast to life.
The intimacy of the podcast format is the perfect medium to explore such a complex topic. Naama utilizes a variety of investigative formats – narrated online posts, personal interviews with doctors and nurses, and other members of this subculture to explore this web-based phenomenon. Not only is her narration and hosting style a perfect fit for the topic, but also Naama’s personality also brings a sense of calming for her guests so they can comfortably discuss such a twisted topic.
Since Incel’s launch in August of 2019, it has become increasingly a top podcast and a voice to better educate society on the important online subculture. There’s no question why Incel was featured in the New York Times as one of the best new podcasts in 2019. I went into my first listen of Incel with little to no knowledge of this topic, Incel educated me in an extraordinary eye-opening, and respectful manner. Check out incel on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Podchaser.