This article of mine was originally featured on the lifestyle blog, The Best Thing. The blog creator, Katie Tschopp, and I share a love of all things true crime (as well as travel) and decided to swap platforms. Being a native of Orlando, she authored the recent post on 36 hours in Orlando to help me with my upcoming trip to the popular Florida city. Check out her site to find inspo in the areas of healthy cooking hacks, travel, and ways to be grateful every single day.
*I made a slight change to include another podcast rather than my own in this version of the article.
I’m not usually one for crime fiction, although it’s hard to deny that a classic psychological thriller like Silence of the Lambs or Se7en shaped my interests early. But since I am a forensic psychologist by trade and have spent the last 12 years of my professional life working with real-life offenders, I have little tolerance for Hollywood’s version of such topics. I mean, truth is stranger than fiction anyway, right?
That being said, I love all things true crime and podcasts have been a wonderful way to fill my hour plus commute while getting my true crime fill.
There are so many true crime/ investigative podcasts these days and I think we all know the more popular ones. This list is to give you and idea of something different to try out. Some are well produced and shiny and others are simple, yet fill a gap in the true crime world. When you feel like you have learned how to stay sexy while avoiding getting murdered and still yearn for more, check these out.
I love the historical angle of true crime. Picturing the gritty crime-noir scenes of old Hollywood is fascinating. The folks at Wondery have multiple, beautifully produced series depicting various eras in L.A.’s most interesting past. As an Angeleno, there’s something eerie about hearing what bar the Black Dahlia was at just before her twisted murder and then driving by that historic building on the way to work. I bet you didn’t know that several women died under similar circumstances during the same time period under the dark of Los Angeles’ night. Other seasons cover the Manson Family murders and the Wonderland murders.
Alright Canada, you have something special when it comes to true crime and the criminal justice world as a whole; laws that do away with red tape for studying offenders and ground-breaking storytelling. Someone Knows Something has four seasons and each one pulls you in with the creator/ host’s down-to-Earth nature that gets even the most surly characters to open up to him. In each season, his investigative journalism leads him to revisit years old mysteries, pulling at your heart strings with each victim’s family members’ memories retold. Some leave you fully satisfied and some leave you unresolved.
I actually came across this first attempt at a podcast by filmmaker, Payne Lindsey (great name, right?) by listening to his podcast series on the Atlanta Child Murders (Atlanta Monster). I love that he started his quest by simply searching for cold cases near his hometown and coming across the missing person case of an educator and beauty queen with some interesting ties to her community. The case has lots of twists, plenty of suspects, and a nice linear story line to follow. It’s podcasts like this that force me to ponder, just how many stories are there out there like this?
I love all things Nordic or Scandinavian and they have a strong true crime/ crime drama game. Actually, the only fictional crime dramas I’m watching right now are out of Scandinavian (thank you, Netflix). Violent crime is very low in these countries, so that makes the cases so much more interesting. Plus, the Nordic regions have that perfect gloomy backdrop for a good crime story. Nordic True Crime is perfection. The female host’s melodic storytelling lets you feel like you are there as she takes you through some of the more disturbing and rare crimes in Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. I still think this podcast has the best true crime theme song ever- perfectly haunting.
I was totally late to the Maury Murray game. There were so many episodes when I started this podcast that it was a bit overwhelming, but SO interesting. Here’s a case of a missing college student, that by no means is at high risk for being a victim, yet displayed a ton of bizarre behaviors before her disappearance. This was eventually made into a docuseries on Oxygen, but if you have the time, listen to the way this unfolds in more detail than the series could ever get in to. The hosts even get wrapped up in some mysterious threatening communications and drama of their own!
My latest obsession is this fairly new Los Angeles based podcast. Each week, friends and co-workers, Tammie and Brice take you through a revered local true crime story and then weave in the paranormal aftermath linked to that story. If you are interested in the entertainment capitol’s darker side and the hauntings that still plague many of these accessible locations, then seriously, tune in now! I have a lot of love for this podcast, as I feel like it’s cut from the same cloth as mine with a wickedly unique spin. I mean, Tammie and Brice are basically the younger version of my co-host and me! If you are a fan of L.A. Not So Confidential this is a natural, next-step creepy indulgence.
I would love to know what true crime entertainment you guys are listening to, reading, or watching! Take a second and give me your recommendations.