These reviews are the top choice from our Podfluencers each month. These posts feature primarily on our home page.
The focus of this episode is not only Jennifer’s family, but the challenges that they have faced over the course of the last three decades. Kirk shares stories of people who have claimed to know Jennifer, or seen Jennifer, even people who have claimed that they know who killed Jennifer. It’s a sad story of events. But not as sad as the investigation of Jennifer’s whereabouts by the Brockton Police.Just a few weeks before Jennifer went missing, the Chief of the Brockton Police Department was forced to resign after it was uncovered that he was stealing cocaine from the evidence room. There is no direct correlation that this event hampered Jennifer’s investigation, but this makes you wonder if this department had their priorities aligned to investigate effectively. Kirk lets his opinion be known in this episode. Law enforcement in Brockton had dropped the ball on this case.
The Case, Episode Six: The Widower
The Sixth Episode of The Case is 37 minutes long. As I worked my way through this intense episode, it became apparent at about the 15 minute mark that Kirk has made more headway on the disappearance of Jennifer Fay and Faith Roach than any of the previous investigations. After the bizarre interrogation of Kevin Maler, in which he states that he is a protector of women and those around him, Kirk explores how fraudulent these statements are.
Episode Six of The Case, titled “Widower” focuses on four different women that had relationships with Kevin Maler. This is easily one of the most stark episodes of the case so far. Kevin was involved in two relationships in the years surrounding the disappearance of Jennifer Fay, both of these women were underraged at the time. One of the women agreed to speak with Kirk and detailed that she had a relationship with Kevin at 15 years old. She fully admits that she was manipulated in this relationship and suffered physical and mental abuse during her time with Kevin, even after having two children with him.
Later on in the episode Kirk speaks with Kevin’s oldest son, who quickly dispels any notion that Kevin was a good father. He admitted that he had not seen him for decades and that life under Kevin after his mother passed was miserable. I will spare you the details. Ultimately, Episode Six is an exploration into Kevin’s character, or lack thereof. Kirk even captures stories from Kevin’s own cousins who have memories of the abuse that women suffered while in a relationship with Kevin.
As I mentioned earlier, within the first moments of this episode, Kirk was able to uncover real details of what it is like to be in a relationship with Kevin. Statutory rape, physical and mental abuse, and a complete lack of compassion are characteristics that Kirk has uncovered. It makes you wonder why local authorities didn’t ask more questions…
With two episodes left, we couldn’t be more interested to see how Season One of The Case wraps. Don’t forget to check out our other episode recaps of one of the best new podcasts of 2021.
Behind the Noise
Whether you love it or hate it, Crime Junkie is the largest true-crime podcast in the United States. The pod was launched in December 2017 out of a garage in Indiana by Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat. Each week the duo covers a new case. Love it or hate it, Crime Junkie represents any independent podcaster’s dream. Fast forward four years later, and their studio, Audio Chuck, is responsible for five of the top ten true crime podcasts.
What’s so great about them? They emulate the four key ways any podcaster should focus on growing their podcast.
Audience Engagement: In every episode, Ashley and Brit give a minor update on their lives, share personal experiences and stories about their following. By doing so, they create a community.
Consistency: A new episode drops every week. Sounds simple, but never missing a deadline is easier than it sounds.
Leverage Following: Brit and Ashley focused solely on Crime Junkie for a few years. They have since launched multiple other shows. Their following is the first to hear of the podcast and subscribe before the podcast officially launches. This is an example of Network Effect at its best.
Engaging Content: They are some of the best storytellers in the business.
What will happen next? I see two different paths for AudioChuck. The first would be to sell to a larger studio like Amazon or Spotify. I see any crime junkie fan paying a subscription fee to either of those platforms. The second would be to continue to produce content while vertically integrating. The great thing about podcasts is that you do not need a distribution channel to reach fans. Maybe we will see AudioChuck launch an ad service arm and move into other Mediums.
P.S. I also think RedHanded will follow a similar path in the year to come.
The Spring Collection: Best True Crime Comedy Podcasts
Each season we release our favorite comedy true crime podcasts. There are hundreds of different podcasts in this space. The five podcasts below are our picks for the Spring. Enjoy!
Host and producer Gordon Rochford has done a tremendous job carving out a special place in the podcast universe. Gordon and a guest(s) typically discuss a case with a conspiracy angle. Gordon is a natural interviewer, and draws comedy out of his guests. The first half hour or so is used by Gordon to catch up with his guests and introduce them, and then dive into the discussion. Some guests are better known comedians, tour guides etc. Once the stage is set, the conversation naturally flows into the actual case. This is one of our favorites.
Check out the podcast review and our favorite episode here.
Take everything that you thought you knew about a true-crime podcast, and throw that out the window. Even the Podcast is Afraid is a game-changer to the Comedy True Crime sub-genre. Some podcasts struggle to find their footing walking the balance beam of true crime and comedy, but Even the Podcast is Afraid has laid the groundwork on how to do this respectfully.
Check out the podcast review and our favorite episode here
NECRONOMiPOD podcast (try saying that five times fast) is a weekly true crime podcast with three friends, Ian, Mike, and Dave. The trio meet to crack some beers and talk about serial killers, Scientology, area 51, cults, UFOs, conspiracies, and domestic terrorists. Cases include famous serial killers Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, and the Golden State Killer and Order of the Temple, Chris Benoit, and the Bell Witch. My favorite episodes were about the Oklahoma City Bombing podcast. I found this to be particularly interesting because I was not familiar with the lead up of Timothy McVeigh.
Check out the podcast review and our favorite episode here
Morbid is an anthology-style true-crime podcast that blends case discussions with a hint of comedy. This is a podcast that is truly a labor of love by its hosts. Hosts Alaina Urquhart and Ashleigh “Ash” Kelley bring a ton of personality to their podcast. Morbid is basically made for true crime fans. Alaina and Ash have a “love” for true crime, horror, creepy history, and “anything spooky as hell.”
Check out the podcast review and our favorite episode here.
Small Town Murder is hosted by comedians James Pietragallo and Jimmie Whisman. The duo is upfront about the purpose of the show – it’s strictly comedy. Each week the pair focus on a crime that takes place in a small town—and pick on the people who live there, the crappy detective work, and the cultural nuances.
Check out the podcast review and our favorite episode here.
Do you have know a great comedy true crime? Do you have a podcast? Drop us a note to be considered for either True Crime Tuesday or our Summer picks! Check out our entire library of true crime comedy podcasts here.
Murder in the Rain
There are a few areas in the world where we just expect wild things to happen – the Bermuda Triangle, Everest, Florida, and other well known mysterious areas. An area we don’t often talk about as a focus of true crime is the Pacific Northwest in the United States. It’s named after the geographic region bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Rocky Mountains on the east. Oregon, Idaho, and Washington are the states you can think of in this area. This region has been occupied by a diverse array of cultures for thousands of years. With some much history, this region is the perfect setting for a true-crime podcast, and where Murder In the Rain focuses much of their efforts.
What listener’s will find so addicting about Murder in the Rain upon pushing play is an absolute passion and love for what they do. There is no denying that podcasters, by nature, are passionate people. However, true crime podcasts seem to always have that next level of passion for what they do, and the team at Murder in the Rain exemplifies this.
Hosts Emily and Alisha present their podcast in a fantastic narrative form and do a great job of incorporating authors, psychologists, detectives, and other special guests along the way. Admittedly, I was instantly drawn in from the sound quality and audio production done by show producer Josh. This trio clearly loves true crime and are highly interested in the topics discussed.
Since launching in April of 2019, Murder in the Rain has not been afraid of changing their format up either and a reason why they are a top podcast. The length of the episodes on average is 45 minutes, with many of them stretching beyond as they may need to serve the material. But what they have done successfully is not to commit to a certain style of the podcast. There are a variety of 2 parter episodes, case discussions with authors, victim advocate interviews, and other types of pods. Most recently, they shared a 90-minute episode that covered 3 different unsolved cases that all happened around bodies of water. Of course, that was to help kick off the summer and is one of the best true crime podcasts.
Give Murder in the Rain a listen and remember to subscribe, rate, and review. It’s important to support podcasts done by true-crime podcast fans, for true-crime fans. We’re eager to see big things from Murder in the Rain as it continues to climb the charts!
Going on it’s fourth year now, UK True Crime has established itself as a household name in the true crime community. If you are not familiar with the podcast, check out it’s latest episode. I look forward to checking out a new episode every Tuesday. The content, narration, case details and dry humour make it part of my 30 minute lunch break every week.
The cases and criminals examined are not your run of the mill serial killer montages, but more interesting, lesser-known cases that will likely be new to your true crime universe. One of my favorite aspects of this show is that I am learning about new cases each week. As someone who listens to a heavy dose of true crime podcasts, I have yet to find any overlap in topics. It’s one of the best true crime podcasts.
Each episode host Adam will bring you back to the exact point in history the crime took place in. References to #1 charted song in the US & UK at the time and news clippings help provide the listener with historical context (don’t be afraid to stream the song on YouTube either). As insinuated in the title, UK True Crime covers a variety of cases spread throughout the country. Cases topics range from homicides and murderers to domestic disputes and even a great episode about a bizarre case of a football club. It’s one of the top podcasts of 2020.
Adam is clearly passionate about each case and it shows in his research and his ability to deliver the information as a singular narrator. He is often joined by true crime authors or experts in their respective fields of expertise to aid with research and provide a broader context. At the conclusion of each episode, Adam tasks listeners to think about the actions and moral basis of each case.
UK True Crime offers everything you could ask for in a podcast. Listeners will find themselves binge listening to this podcast very quickly as each episode is around 25-30 minutes long and is well researched and entertaining. Adam has quickly become one of my favorite podcast hosts and UK True Crime has become a must-listen when a new episode drops.
The Lone Star State is known for a lot of things – cowboys and The Cowboys, rattlesnakes, and The Alamo. However, what intrigues me the most about Texas is the vast size of the state. Maybe it’s because I’m from New England and drove across the state as part of a road trip. But fun fact: you could geographically fit 253 Rhode Islands in Texas. With all that land there is so much space for activities and… crimes. Gone Cold: Texas True Crime is one of my favorite podcasts and is based right out of the Lone Star State.
Gone Cold Dropped on the scene in 2018. In a short period of time, the show climbed the ranks and is now become one of the fastest-growing independent true crime podcasts in the last 2 years. Gone Cold is led by a team of three with undeniable chemistry behind the scenes Vince, Cristina, and Erica all support the show with research and production. Vince and Cristina typically lead the show, and Erica supports research and production.
The show focuses on the great state of Texas. Crimes range from unsolved homicides to missing persons, and other mysteries that have taken place in Texas. Vince’s southern drawl is a great match with his colorful story-telling capabilities. The small town southern feel draws listeners in each episode.
Vince sets the tone of each episode by giving the listener a sense of each of these Texas towns that a case will be set in, and often includes first hand accounts of the crimes. Some of my favorite aspects of the show are the narration style, case background provided by Vince, and the strong production value. Each episode sounds fantastic and clocks in at a very reasonable 35-45 minutes. It’s one of the best true crime podcasts.
By the end of each episode, you likely will be conflicted to decide if you want to go visit the Lone Star State or stay clear of it in your travels!
The end of 2019 closed one of the most impactful decades in podcast history. The issue is that listeners have been spoiled with amazing podcast content. Don’t fret though – 2020 is off to a hot start, with a slew of new podcasts already bringing the True Crime heat.
Check out Podfluence’s top 3 podcasts of 2020, so far…
The 27 Club
Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin have all been taken from the world too soon, and eerily enough all at the age of 27. If you are a fan of true crime and music and you aren’t familiar with Disgraceland, we may have just made your day. Host Jake Brennan, of Disgraceland fame, has teamed up with iHeartRadio to bring us on a tour of music’s most exclusive club. Brennan’s wit combined with the passion for the subject makes for an undeniably fascinating listen. Check out The 27 Club’s first season as they tackle the gruesome details of Jimi Hendrix’s past.
Mind Over Murder
Premiering in January, Mind Over Murder is a new true-crime podcast from victim advocates Bill Thomas and Kristin Dilley. Bill and Kristin are both victim’s advocates and have ties to the Colonial Parkway Murders that took place in Virginia Beach from 1986-1989. Mind Over Murder is designed to explore and investigate solved and unsolved murders. There will be a focus on the Colonial Parkway Murders, but the inaugural season kicks off with a 2 episode case discussion on the murder of college sweethearts from 2009.
If you are a true-crime fan and aren’t familiar with the L.A Times family of podcasts, then you have a lot of great listening in front of you. The L.A. Times has brought us Dirty John, Detective Trapp, and now Chasing Cosby. Only a few episodes in, Chasing Cosby is already setting the bar high for podcasts in 2020. Award-winning journalist Nicki Weisensee Egan has been covering or “chasing” Bill Cosby since 200, and provides a tremendous amount of context in this exploration of the rise and fall of this ill-fated former American idol.
Criminology combines the powers of Mike Ferguson (Mike), one of the more recognizable names in podcasting, and Mike Morford (Morford), to produce one of the most detailed oriented true crime podcasts available. This duo states early on in their podcast that the goal is to dive into cases much deeper than other podcasts who may keep things at a surface level. Their goal is to offer new insight into some of the more heavily focused and popular cases. Morford is based out of New Jersey while Mike is based out of Dayton, Ohio. Although they are distant in location, it doesn’t affect their rapport.
Mike is no stranger to True Crime, in fact, he hosts another top 50 podcast. He brings a seriously professional skill set to Criminology, which includes his ability to provide more details around a case than you are used to hearing. Want to give it a litmus test? Their coverage of the Zodiac Killer is the best of any true-crime podcast, and those are fighting words!
Morford and Mike are often joined by outside consultants and specialists to help tie pieces of information together, and as a byproduct, they provide a full 360 view of all parties involved in each case. The details of these crimes can often be unsettling, to the point where I recommend not eating prior to downloading the show (half-joking).
Mike and Morford stick to the facts, cover each case with grace and dignity, and ensure they offer respect to the victims. Unlike other shows, there is virtually no self-promotion and deep rabbit holes of personal theories, which can oftentimes be a turn-off. Even when they begin to offer a theory towards the end of the show, they alert the listener and point to previously stated facts to offer their conclusion. The research, chemistry, and timing of the show (drops Saturday night) make it my favorite Sunday morning podcast.
Once Upon a Crime is a true crime podcast that researches the crime, criminals and victims to discover the “why” behind some infamous crimes as well as fascinating lesser known cases. Host, Esther Ludlow presents “the story behind the story” you won’t hear anywhere else. Each month a new true crime topic is covered – kidnappings, mass murders, tragic deaths of musical icons, killer kids and deadly duos and more.