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!
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.
News and media have become a modern-day war zone over the past few years. As media outlets compete for our clicks daily, it’s hard to know if we are ever getting the right story. What we tend to forget is that real journalists put their life on the line every day to bring us groundbreaking stories. We forget that there are people out there obsessed with searching for the truth, and the why behind things.
The Order of Death chronicles the tragic homicide of Denver talk show host Alan Berg, a crime that took place in his own driveway in June of 1984. A “shock-jock” at heart, Berg’s show was wildly entertaining because of his abrasive and energetic approach. But unfortunately, this story does not have a happy ending. The bright side of the Order of Death is that it does Berg’s story justice. This podcast is flush with first-hand accounts, audio snippets of Berg’s show, and a solid level of reporting and investigation from the hosts.
Unique to The Order of Death is its combination of podcast talent. Hosts Josh Mattison and Shannon Geis, are outstanding professionals. Josh is an award-winning podcast producer, engineer, and host. Shannon has quite the resume herself, with her background in Documentary Storytelling. The mix of their talents in undeniable as they set the stage for Alan Berg’s death.
Listeners will be drawn in by the high-level reporting and audio interviews with Denver locals and those who knew Berg himself, including his ex-wife. It’s important to understand that Berg was a man who in his search for the truth, wound up upsetting some extremist groups, one of which targeted him. A white supremacist movement named The Silent Brotherhood, or The Order, set of a massive domestic crime spree, which took the life of Berg. Keep in mind, this was no senseless act. Berg called out this anti-Semitic group for their beliefs.
The Order of Death is perfectly split up into a 4 part series that not only will keep you hanging on every word, but pay homage to a man who stood up for his beliefs and what was right in the world. Fans of true crime, investigative, and biographical podcasts will thoroughly enjoy the historical context Berg’s story is told in. Simply put, Josh and Shannon serve up an A+ podcast that deserves every listener’s attention.
Yeardley Smith and Zibby Allen host this frank, unfiltered true crime podcast with Small Town Detectives and identical twins, Dan and Dave. Dan investigates Violent Crimes. Dave investigates Sex Crimes and Child Abuse. Often peppered with primary resources such as 9-1-1 calls and suspect interrogation recordings, each episode introduces a new crime, and is told by the detectives who investigated it. But Yeardley and Zibby don’t just settle for the who, why, how and where of it all, they also seek to uncover the human side of their guests, offering a glimpse into the raw reality of true crime in Small Town, USA. Names, locations, and certain details have been altered to protect the privacy of the victims and their families.
As a New Englander, Murderific holds a special place in my RSS feed, as it hails from the great state of Maine (any lobster fans out there?). Even without the geographic connection, Murderific is one of my favorite podcasts. Since its inception in 2018, Murderific has been one of the fastest-growing independent podcasts in the true crime genre. If you ever request a podcast suggestion on social media, Murderific’s passionate fans will immediately recommend the show. With that kind of passion, it’s hard to say no. After pushing play on your first episode, you will likely become an avid fan yourself.
Bernadette hosts this weekly narrative podcast, and often joined by friends and co-hosts Casey and Rebekah. Murderific combines the structure of narrative storytelling with roundtable discussions. Emotions amongst the group range from comedic to serious conversations, and mirrors any conversation you have with friends.
Stories and cases range across the entire True Crime spectrum—including serial killers, child abductors, and even a guy that bulldozed some buildings in a violent rage (which is sometimes how I feel about my office building- kidding). Fresh variety each week keeps you intrigued over both national and local cases. I also love that the show is around 45 minutes, making for an extremely efficient listen.
From the great collection of cases, details, and conversation Murderific flows perfectly. There is a great balance between comedy and professionalism, something that is often missed by other true crime podcasts. Clearly, Bernadette and her team have passion for the cases they discuss. This is evident in their research. There’s no question as to why Murderific has grown so quickly in such a short time. It’s a “charming podcast” that will quickly find its way into your favorites.
When do you normally admit you enjoy listening to True crime with strangers or even friends? Probably not over a conference call or during a family party (well maybe…but really?) Like myself, and probably many others, I tend to chat about my love of true crime after some liquid courage. Twisted Britain is a conversational true crime podcast between two friends at a bar, and where they discovered their love of true crime together. This is something I can certainly relate to.
Bob and Nadine meet fortnightly at The Settle Inn, in Stirling to talk True crime between themselves, and the listener. Nadine and Bob each pick a new case to discuss, and decide who goes first by flipping a coin. What I love about this show is the natural conversation between the two hosts. I tend to listen to the show on weekends while having a few and getting ready–and honestly I feel like I am sitting with them and even find myself talking back.
I am a big fan of the show. A new listener can jump in at any episode–all cases are fairly lesser known so each episode is an adventure. If you really begin to like the show, they started to invite patrons onto the show and participate in the show over a virtual beer.
Dumb and Busted– Absolute GOLD
I have found lately that my listening has been dedicated to true crime narration. With the volume of nonfiction narrative storytelling podcasts, it’s easy to miss out on the good conversations around true crime. So when we stumbled on Dumb and Busted, it was quite refreshing. It reminds me of the early days of MFM, except with a quite a bit more edge. They are real. Based out of Portland OR, they have me in tears during their show.
Hosts Allyson Koplin and Hanah Eather dropped their discussion-based podcast in 2018 and immediately established themselves as fixtures in the podcast community. Adding more fuel to the fire, they have recently added comedian Hunter Donaldson as a third host. This team of three does not hold back when it comes to their commentary on true crime cases and interesting topics and will quickly draw you into their conversation. Best part is they focus on lesser known crimes–so amongst the laughs you also hear about a new case.
Take a break your serial killer narrative podcasts, and spend some time with the crew at Dumb and Busted for a fun light-hearted discussion. You will quickly find out that true crime with a side of personality is a good recipe for a few laughs. We highly recommend giving this show a listen.
The Best True Crime Podcasts in 2019
As you know, we love True Crime podcasts at Podfluence. There no discrimination here – we love the popular (consistently ranking) podcasts, and the less familiar underground shows as well.
With the pumpkin spice latte and sweatshirt season approaching, we wanted to update you with our favorite picks in 2019, so far.
You will find a collection of single seasons (SSS) and killer new recurring shows. We understand way may be missing some podcasts on our list – don’t hesitate to let us know what we are missing.
(Some of these shows did not first appear in 2019…but there too good to exclude)
If there is an award for best slow burn podcast of 2019, Culpable is in the running. The team at Tenderfoot TV joined forces with Black Mountain Media for an in depth look at an unsettling case. Is it suicide or homicide? Your guess is as good as ours!
The Shrink Next Door (SSS)
2019 has been flush with some fascinating cases. Unfortunately for all other shows, The Shrink Next Door takes the cake for head scratching stories. The team as Wondry hits another home run with what I consider a must-listen for 2019 podcast listeners.
22 Hours (SSS)
Certified Fresh. This investigative journalism podcast covers a disturbing break-in and murder in the suburbs of DC. Daron Wint is currently on trial for murdering an entire family and then setting the house on fire. Check this show out as it follows the case through the legal process. WTOP includes court proceedings using transcripts, interviews, and recorded testimony:
Fairly horrifying, so I recommend listening in a happy place. Give it a listen:
Man in the Window (SSS)
It feels like every True Crime Podcast is reviewing the Goldest State Killer case, and I am feeling a bit of exhaustion on the topic – causing me to skip some of these episodes.
Not this one.
Wondry and the LA times covers the case differently than any other podcast. Included in the six episode are first hand accounts from detectives, family members and some creeped out neighbors. Primary resources and an inside look at the alleged monster separate this show from others.
Obscura is the perfect podcast as the weather changes and the wind blows on cold dark nights. Justin Drown’s raspy voice carries the listener to a crackling campfire, where he shares gruesome stories. Over the course of thirty minutes, Justin focuses on a new case each episode that is thoroughly researched and matter of fact.
I am usually not one who focuses on this piece, but the unique sounds and distinct voice make the podcast stand out.
Small town dicks:
Each week Yeardley Smith (aka Lisa Simpson) and Zibby Allen are joined by twin brothers who are detectives, Detective Dan, and Detective Dave. What’s unique about this foursome is their industry expertise of the detectives, and the humanization of the victims from Yearly and Zibby.
Aided by primary resources and secondary hand accounts, the delivery is attractive. The four take a serious approach towards each case, discussing the victims, motives and ultimately the outcome.
Southern Nightmare (SSS)
One of the best investigative journalist podcasts in a hot minute. Richard Foster covers the terror of the South Side Strangler that crippled Richmond, VA in the 1980s. Not only is the show compiled by first hand accounts, but local alternative for news and happenings Style Weekly is a production partner. Why is this interesting? One of their employees was a victim.
Besides the creepy connection, the case is a landmark in forensic investigation. DNA evidence solved the mystery and set the standard for current forensic evidence.
Canadian True Crime
Calling all Canadians and CaseFile fans! (and anyone else that likes true crime).
Kristi Lee narrates this weekly podcast and focuses on crime in…you guessed it Canada. I love the fact that the crimes take place predominantly in one country, so there’s a good chance you are not familiar with them.
Unlike many other true crime podcasts, Kristi gives equal attention to all people victimized by the crime. A key focus is honoring the victims and survivors of the case, a factor we don’t often hear enough of.
CaseFile is why I started listening to True Crime podcasts. It’s well known in the podcast universe but I always want to take a moment to mention it.
Unlike many other hosts, CaseFile’s host is Anonymous—therefore preventing his personal brand from overshadowing the victims he covers. Every episode is thoroughly researched and attention is given to both the crimes and the victims.
One of the few independent podcasts that cracked the Top 10 in downloads, showing no sign of letting up. This Indiana duo find a great synergy between storytelling, investigation, and discussion.
Host Ashley Flowers and her sidekick Brit represent what many True Crime Fans are: armchair detectives. Their podcast emulates this style, and is what you could expect from an amateur detective.
Ever wonder what happens during the trial period for most of these true crime cases? Court Junkie is Law and Order in podcast form. Jill LP focuses on the court proceedings, court recordings, witness testimony, personal interviews and much more. Most of the cases are lesser known crimes, where a listener can immerse themselves in every detail.
As a listener, you feel like you are in the witness box and as the case unravels. The show is entirely different from other podcasts because of the emphasis of the court proceedings, so naturally, the show sticks out to me.
UK true crime
A perfect 30 minute fix for fans who like British crime or want to explore lesser known cases. Cases predominantly occurred during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, which are aided by historical references at the time of each case.
Although primary told in single narration backed by personal research, occasionally true crime authors or experts in the field will be on the show.
True Crime Couple
Based out of a Brooklyn basement couple delivers a new show on a bi-weekly basis. They discuss a variety of crimes that include some very well known cases and some lesser known.
I listened to an episode about a crime in Massachusetts where someone was living in a house without the occupants knowing. I got hooked and have been listening ever since.
Besides the actual cases, the couple let listeners into their lives, so it shares some similarities as MFM.
Elizbeth Holmes and Theranos, a truly fascinating story. It almost seems too perfect for a podcast. With all the weight of a great story on their shoulders ABC News and host Rebecca Jarvis knock this out of the park. Rebecca and her producers present a well formatted show with all the context you could need.
The Theranos story is that of greed and pride, and those themes ring true in this podcast. Rebecca and her producers set the tone by helping you understand who Elizabeth Holmes truly is. As fascinating as the Theranos story is, this podcast helps you understand the mind behind it. Through a series of direct audio from Holmes herself you will learn how “the Next Steve Jobs” became the world’s biggest con-woman.
The Dropout is a great pairing with the HBO documentary The Inventor – both having very appropriate titles to describe Holmes herself. The potential challenge with the Thernos story is how to properly present the material in a concise manner, and the execution to that point is flawless.