Who needs sleep when you got murder on the mind?
By Jessica Berget, Editor-in-Chief
There is nothing more terrifying than true crime. Scary movies are great, but nothing is more unsettling than the true accounts of the horrifying things real people have done. To make yourself thoroughly paranoid this Halloween season, check out these true crime podcasts. Editor’s note: Don’t listen to any of these while home alone.
My Favourite Murder
Probably the most popular podcast of this list, My Favourite Murder hosts Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark have been named the killer queens of true crime podcasting. I’ve listened to nearly every episode and though they always deliver great content, in my opinion the two hosts can get annoying. Don’t get me wrong, they are both great storytellers (especially Karen) and they always find a way to make each case horrifying and engaging even if I’ve heard it before. They also have an adorable ending for each episode when Georgia’s cat meows into the microphone (a sweet note to end on, considering you just listened to murder for an hour and a half). That said, they can get distracted and trail away from talking about the cases, which can be frustrating considering that’s the whole reason you’re listening to them. They may be comedians, but I also don’t find them particularly funny—they should just stick to talking about murder.
Favourite episodes: Any that Karen tells an “I Survived” story, Murderous TENdencies, Nice Office, Twenty Six Six Six.
Last Podcast on the Left
Comedy and murder always go well together. Three comedian hosts (Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks, and Henry Zebrowski) make true crime and horrible histories as funny as they do interesting. Not only do they focus on crime cases but they also present fascinating historical events. They cover everything from the trek that led to people cannibalizing each other, to historical figures like Rasputin and serial killers and their backgrounds. They really delve deep into their subjects—sometimes making five-part episodes—going into their personal and family lives. This podcast may cover some creepy stuff, but it’s fun to listen to. They’re all great friends so you get a good sense of their chemistry in each episode, and they’re hilarious. Zebrowski often does voice impressions of the subjects which gives some of the darkest stories some comedic relief.
Favourite episodes: The Donner Party, Charles Manson, Robert Pickton, L. Ron. Hubbard.
Serial (Season 1)
Sarah Koenig meticulously covers the case of Adnan Syed, a teenager who was convicted for the murder of his girlfriend, Hae Min Lee in 1999 but maintains his innocence. Koenig does a deep dive of the murder, getting interviews from key figures in the case (even Adnan himself) and his family, and going to key scenes of the crime. Koenig does a great job of presenting such a complicated case, but I find it drags on. It’s a long podcast series, and it feels like a long podcast series. It’s hard to focus sometimes because the way it is presented doesn’t hold the listeners’ attention, but it is a fascinating story.
This episodic series about a fraudulent spinal surgeon, Christopher Duntsch, is literally spine-tingling. Do not listen to this if you need surgery in the future or it will haunt you. The storytelling in this podcast is fantastic. It can get emotional from the first-hand experiences of people whose lives have been ruined because of Duntsch, and the doctors who have had to fix his mistakes. It’s incredibly uncomfortable to listen to at some points because of the botched surgery descriptions. It’s well-formatted, engaging, has a great pace, and is a truly terrifying story. True crime podcasting at its finest.