The 30 best true crime podcasts to listen to now

By Clarissa Schmidt and Liam Hess

Photo: Arran & Jules

To accompany your summer reading list of the best Nordic noirs, here are the top true crime podcasts to be cueing up

In 2024, we really are getting some of the best true crime podcasts ever. Nearly a decade after millions of listeners waited, rapt, for the next instalment of Serial, true-crime continues to be perhaps the most addictive podcast genre, bringing all the mystery, drama and primal fear of a Law & Order episode directly into our ears.


Whether you’re already an obsessive or just wading into the world of cold cases and red herrings, here are Vogue’s picks for the best true-crime podcasts to try now.

Darkness: The Orange Door

Hosted by former University of Texas journalism students Tinu Thomas and Haley Butler, season one of Darkness tells the story of 21-year-old Jennifer Cave, who, in August 2005, was set to start a new job. But when Jennifer’s boss calls her mother, Sharon, to inquire about Jennifer’s whereabouts on her first day, Sharon knows something is wrong. Immediately, Jennifer’s parents begin calling friends. When they still can’t locate her, they take matters into their own hands and visit Jennifer’s friend Colton Pitonyak’s apartment within the Orange Tree Condominiums. They would find that Pitonyak wasn’t home – but on the other side of the door lay Jennifer’s brutally murdered body.

As two women who walked the same campus paths that Jennifer had 15 years earlier, Thomas and Butler felt compelled to share Jennifer’s tragic story through exclusive interviews and transcripts from family, friends and detectives – and their work is riveting.

Dark Downeast

Maine! Connecticut! Massachusetts! In Dark Downeast, investigative journalist Kylie Low sheds light on cases – from unsolved murders to missing persons and survivor stories – in settings that one might otherwise associate with quaint, seaside getaways. Listeners hear from loved ones and detectives in detailed accounts that put the victim and their legacy, at the heart of each story.

Bear Brook

It’s the summer of 1985, and we’re in the woods of New Hampshire – specifically, Bear Brook State Park. In the midst of an innocent game of hide and seek, three boys come across a barrel, which they decide to kick and knock over without looking inside.

Fifteen years later, a second barrel is found just 300 feet away from the first. The barrels’ contents lead to the discovery of four slain bodies: a woman and three young girls. Who are these victims? What happened, and why? New Hampshire Public Radio host Jason Moon delves into a decades-long cold case – ultimately uncovering a serial murderer.

In the Dark

In the Dark is back! The award-winning investigative journalism podcast first made waves with its 2016 debut, when journalist Madeleine Baran and a team of reporters revisited the 1989 abduction of 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling. For season two, Baran and team focused on the case of Curtis Flowers, a man who was tried six times for the same crime in Mississippi.

The Apology Line

A phone number gets posted across the streets of New York City in the early ’80s, into which strangers can spill their secrets via voicemail. Messages poured in, and for 15 years, what started as a social experiment, took on a life of its own. Known as Mr Apology, Allan Bridge found himself tapping into the dark side of the human psyche. The eerie recordings are uncovered by Bridge’s second wife, Marissa, who takes listeners on an unsettling journey of what it means to be the keeper of secrets and the toll it took.

Bone Valley

To be candid, I’ve only just begun listening to this podcast, but like everyone else who’s learned of Leo Schofield’s conviction, I’ve become immediately hooked. In 1987, 18-year-old Michelle Schofield was found dead in Florida, and two years later, her husband Leo was convicted for the murder. However, fingerprints were discovered at the scene that would eventually match with Jeremy Scott, a man whose violent history includes armed robbery and assault. In just nine episodes, Gilbert King and Kelsey Decker re-examine Leo’s fight for justice and uncover new evidence that links Scott to a string of murders.

West Cork

This podcast tells the story of French film producer Sophie Toscan du Plantier, who was found dead near her holiday home in 1996. First recorded by Jennifer Forde and Sam Bungey in 2021 but still every bit as spine-tinglingly chilling today, West Cork takes the listener inside a tight-knit community in which suspicion is slowly beginning to attach itself to everyone. Many of the podcast’s guests have never spoken publicly before, including members of Toscan du Plantier’s family and locals still shaken by the circumstances surrounding her death.

The Lady Vanishes

The 1997 disappearance of Marion Barter, the former wife of Australian soccer great Johnny Warren, is the subject of this podcast. The bizarre circumstances of Barter’s disappearance (she was last seen getting on a plane for an overseas holiday) are closely reviewed, but the human resonance of the still-unexplained loss of a mother, teacher and friend is deeply felt in every episode.

Death of an Artist

Ever since Havana-born artist Ana Mendieta fell to her death from the window of her 34th-floor Greenwich Village apartment in 1985, activists and fans have insisted that her husband, Carl Andre, was to blame. This six-episode podcast from Pushkin Industries is hosted by art historian Helen Molesworth, who provides context not only for Mendieta’s death but for the extraordinary life she lived (and the body of artistic work she left behind).


This 2021 podcast follows the classic format of examining a specific cold case with painstaking detail. Here, it’s the unsolved murder of 24-year-old Arpana Jinaga, who was found strangled in her Washington State apartment in 2008 after a Halloween party in her building. Journalists Matthew Shaer and Eric Benson take listeners back to the night in question and through a trial, poring over the issues embedded in the case – from the misuse of DNA to the broken relationship between race and policing.

Crime Junkie

Just as the name suggests, hosts Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat are obsessed with anything and everything related to true crime. Each week, they look into some of the most compelling (and mysterious) cases ever, including stories from the 1940s and more recent convictions. Below, Flowers and Prawat discuss the murder of Loren Donn Leslie, whose remains were found along Canada’s Highway of Tears, a 450-mile stretch of road where dozens of women, most of whom were Indigenous, have been known to vanish or be found murdered.

The Deck

With The Deck, Crime Junkie’s Ashley Flowers deals you in on some of the coldest unsolved cases. Flowers explains that for years, some law enforcement agencies have replaced the faces of traditional playing card decks with images of missing and murdered people. By distributing these new cards throughout prisons, investigators hope inmates might come forward with helpful information. Every week, The Deck sheds new light on a cold case like Jenny Linn (Queen of Hearts in California) or Ivory Green (Jack of Spades in New York), sharing stories from their loved ones and detailed interviews with detectives. The goal? Maybe somehow, somewhere, these “cards” end up in the right hands, and justice will finally be served for these victims.

Down the Hill: The Delphi Murders

On Valentine’s Day in 2017, two teens, Liberty German, 14, and Abigail Williams, 13, were found murdered near a hiking trail in Delphi, Indiana, after going missing the day before. When police released a short audio clip believed to belong to the male suspect, it included only three words: “down the hill”. But the eerie voice, yet to be identified, was enough to make my hair stand on end. Here, the podcast breaks down the tragic story that continues to haunt Indiana today.

The Dropout

While the shocking story of Elizabeth Holmes’s rise and fall as the founder of disgraced medical tech company Theranos has been retold across a number of platforms, few have captured her toxic mix of ambition and hubris as powerfully as the ABC News podcast The Dropout. (It even served as the basis for the Emmy-nominated show starring Amanda Seyfried.) An added bonus? The podcast’s host, Rebecca Jarvis, released a follow-up miniseries charting the developments around Holmes’s trial last year in California, which proved to be just as riveting as any John Grisham courtroom drama.

The Clearing

The Clearing offers an unexpected spin on the conventional true crime podcast formula, with its central voice being not just an investigative reporter, Josh Dean, but also the daughter of the culprit, April Balascio, who tipped off police in 2009 after suspecting that her father was responsible for a spate of murders in the early 1980s. Charting both her father’s devastating crimes and the trauma he inflicted on his own family, besides the families of his victims, The Clearing is sensitive rather than sensationalist as it deals with this thorny subject, marking it out as a rarity in the world of true crime reporting.

Dr Death

Another podcast that proved so riveting it was quickly adapted into a TV series, Dr Death charts the horrifying career of Christopher Duntsch, the now-imprisoned neurosurgeon who performed a series of disastrous operations on patients around the Dallas-Fort Worth area over several years, leaving 33 injured and many others maimed or paralysed. Not only does the show offer insight into Duntsch’s sociopathy as he continued to cause harm, but it also highlights the dangers and dysfunctions within the American medical system. A warning: some of the details of Duntsch’s malpractice veer into grisly territory, so it’s not a podcast for the squeamish or faint of heart.

Killer Fun

Hosts Jackie, who holds a Master’s degree in Psychology from Harvard, and internet sleuth Christy, are the brains behind Killer Fun. We love a well-researched podcast with lighthearted dialogue on topics ranging from hit shows to true crime. More merry than morbid, the episodes make for easy listening if you’re looking for something on the lighter side.

LISK: Long Island Serial Killer

For two decades until 2010, an unidentified suspect murdered nearly a dozen people, mostly female sex workers, and left their bodies along a secluded stretch of Long Island’s Ocean Parkway. This podcast, inspired by the bestseller Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery, recalls the gruesome case with unheard interviews from family members, police and more.

MrBallen Podcast: Strange, Dark & Mysterious Stories

Navy SEAL, John Allen, better known as internet personality MrBallen, spills unsolved secrets on his weekly podcast. Following a near-death experience while serving in Afghanistan, MrBallen discovered a love for true crime, sharing podcasts on serial killers and strange disappearances. His no holds barred style is matter-of-fact, descriptive and will get you hooked 30 seconds in.

My Favourite Murder

True crime junkies who don’t take themselves too seriously should start here. MFM is a biweekly safe space for comedians/hosts Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark to break down the cases that keep them up at night, from the Golden State Killer to Black Dahlia and the Zodiac murders. The show’s devoted listeners, also known as “murderinos”, have made it one of the podcast world’s biggest hits, spawning a live show and a book: Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered.

Morbid: A True Crime Podcast

Best friends Alaina Urquhart and Ashleigh Kelley have range. In addition to serial killers and mysterious deaths, they tackle other true-crime subgenres such as spooky myths, creepy history and haunted places.

Photo: Arran & Jules

Root of Evil

Hosted by sisters Yvette Gentile and Rasha Pecoraro, Root of Evil takes a look back at one of the most infamous cases in the history of American crime: the Black Dahlia murder. But Gentile and Pecoraro’s interest in the case runs deeper than most. The great-granddaughters of one of the prime suspects, George Hodel, now believe that Hodel was indeed culpable, but alongside their investigations into the murder, they also look back at the effect the case had on their family, making this as much a tale of intergenerational trauma as it is a deep dive into the infamous murder of Elizabeth Short.

The Shrink Next Door

A bizarre tale led by the charismatic host Joe Nocera, a New York Times journalist who decided to dive into the case after his psychotherapist neighbour, Ike Herschkopf, mysteriously disappeared, The Shrink Next Door looks at how therapy can go very, very wrong. Talking to a number of Herschkopf’s previous patients – among them Marty Markowitz, who vividly describes the way his therapy sessions spun out of control as Herschkopf began inserting himself into Markowitz’s life – the podcast’s many twist and turns make it as compelling as it is horrifying.


Award-winning journalist Charlie Webster takes listeners on an emotional rollercoaster in this blockbuster podcast, following the bizarre but very real story of a woman named Amanda. After she was diagnosed with cancer, Amanda became an early “influencer”, documenting her illness through a popular blog. Her posts caught the eye of investigative producer Nancy, and things started to unravel very quickly. Let’s just say when a story seems too good to be true, it usually is.

Southern Fried True Crime

Native Tennessean Erica Kelley uncovers true crime stories of the Deep South in a series that almost feels like you’re sitting on a back porch somewhere, hearing the latest local gossip. Kelley’s southern twang adds to the ambiance, bringing small-town crimes to light while also laying bare “how southern fried the justice system can be”.

Tom Brown’s Body

The tiny city of Canadian, Texas, is the backdrop for this narrative podcast – hosted by Skip Hollandsworth of the award-winning Texas Monthly magazine – about the 2016 disappearance of a popular high-school senior. When Brown’s remains are found two years later, everyone in the Panhandle community is a suspect (as the true-crime cliché goes), including members of Brown’s own family.

True Crime Obsessed

Consuming too much true crime can leave you desperately in need of a comedic pick-me-up. That’s where the hilarious, theatre-loving duo Patrick Hinds and Gillian Pensavalle come in. Without ever making fun of the actual crime, the co-hosts recap popular true crime documentaries, from Tiger King to Making a Murderer, with a lighthearted, sassy twist.

White Lies

This devastating podcast from NPR, which looks back to the 1965 murder of Reverend James Reeb – a white pastor involved in the civil rights movement – in Selma, Alabama is a powerful window into the secrets and unspoken truths of race relations in the American South. A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in audio reporting, White Lies is a masterful work of audio journalism broaching subject matter that still feels depressingly relevant in the age of Black Lives Matter.

Welcome to Your Fantasy

Murder meets G-strings in historian Natalia Petrzela’s eight-episode dive into the sordid, largely unknown story “behind the powerful mullets, oiled pecs and non-stop parties” of the Chippendales dancers. The twisted tale tracks how mastermind Steve Banerjee built the male revue into a phenomenon – and how drugs, greed and crime tore it all down.

Your Own Backyard

Hosted by journalist Chris Lambert, Your Own Backyard is a compelling, multi-part documentary podcast that investigates the 1996 disappearance of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart. YOB debuted in 2019, and Lambert’s extensive yet respectful storytelling helped reignite interest in the case after more than 25 years, eventually aiding in the conviction of Paul Flores – the man found guilty of murdering Smart – just last March. The 10-episode series takes listeners back to where it all started (in San Luis Obispo, California), and later brings them to court, where Lambert thoroughly recaps trial events with the help of the prosecution team and the jury.

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