Podcasts & Books

Keep Yourself Up At Night With 8 Of The Best Chilling True Crime Podcasts

By Morgan Reardon
23rd Jul 2020

a silhouette of a man amongst trees in a forest.

It’s official, we’re straight up obsessed with true crime. And for the real super sleuths among us, there never is enough true crime podcasts out there.

Which is why we're always on the hunt for the most shocking, keep-you-up-at-night series to plug into while you're on your morning walk, at the gym, cooking dinner, or going to sleep (you do you).

Need some newbies to download? We’ve got you sorted with the best true crime podcasts worth listening to today. 

Girl Taken

This 10-part podcast will have your head spinning as you think you’ve got your mind wrapped around the story, when really, you’re not even close. Girl Taken is narrated by BBC journalist Sue Mitchell and former soldier Rob Lawrie who tell, what at first, seems like a straight forward story. Back in 2015, Lawrie was working as a volunteer at the Calais refugee camps, where he was caught smuggling a four-year-old Afghan girl called Bru over the border to England in his van. Why? Because her widowed father Reza begged him to do it, to reunite Bru with relatives in Leeds. But when Lawrie was caught and faced criminal charges in a French court he soon learnt that what he believed to be the truth about Reza and Bru wasn’t even close. We don’t want to give anymore away, so go listen here.

Selena: A Star Dies In Texas

A murder is always shocking but when it happens in public, to one of America’s biggest rising stars—it makes headlines, and a gripping podcast. Twenty-five years ago, Selena Quintanilla-Perez was already a legend in the Tejano music world and on the verge of superstardom in the US. But in 1995, the singer's close friend Yolanda Saldívar pulled a gun from her purse and fired a single bullet at her. In the days, months and years that followed, one question lingers: why would someone who claimed to be the singer’s best friend, choose to end her life? This binge-worthy podcast features access to an extraordinary archive of rare and never-before-heard audio and tries to find the motive behind the shocking crime. FYI, J.LO also starred in a flick about the victim if you’re keen for even more background info. 

Chasing Charlie

If you were a fan of last year’s hit podcast Who The Hell Is Hamish?, then you’ll love Chasing Charlie. The seven-part podcast is narrated by all round bad boss private investigator Julia Robson who was approached with a seemingly routine case of a jilted lover. But the more Robson dug into the life of  a mysterious lothario called Charlie, the more she realised there was a seriously dark side to this man and that he was leaving a trail of broken hearts and shattered lives in his wake. From New Zealand and Australia to the UK and France, follow Robson on her relentless, seven-year mission for ​the redemption and justice of victims around the globe. Heads up—we devoured this series in a single sitting!

The Officer’s Wife

Go behind the police tape in this mysterious true crime case. It goes like this: in April 2016, hours after an argument with his wife Jessica, Griffin, Georgia police officer Matthew Boynton radios for assistance and reports hearing two gunshots coming from inside his home. Officers rush to the scene to find Jessica inside a locked closet, with an apparent gunshot wound to her head. Underneath her body, officers find her husband's service weapon. But this story of small-town romance gone wrong was far from over. The investigation into what really happened inside that closet and what happened next would captivate a small town and change the lives of one family forever. Catch all the drama here.

The Dating Game Killer

We cannot get enough of this new true crime podcast. The story goes like this: In 1987 Rodney Alcala won a date on a reality TV show, The Dating Game. While he charmed everyone, including his potential date, what no one knew was that he was a prolific serial killer in the middle of cross country murder spree. In this six-part series, co-hosts Tracy Pattin (Hollywood & Crime) and Stephen Lang (Avatar) take listeners on Alcala’s chilling journey, chronicling his crimes and how he managed to fool everyone around him—from his employers to prison psychiatrists and parole boards. Oh, and did we mention it’s from the creator of Dirty John, so you know it’s going to be epic. 

Jensen and Holes: The Murder Squad

It's important to note that not all trume crime podcasts are created equal, and this one has serious credentials that put it right at the top of our must binge list. Retired cold case investigator Paul Holes and investigative journalist Billy Jensen dig deep in unsolved murders, unidentified remains and missing persons cases. Each ep you’ll get a front row seat as the duo attempt to solve crimes using everything from old-fashioned detective work to modern tech like DNA and social media geotargeting. Season two dropped this week so get streaming. 

Murder In Oregon

This true crime podcast begs a serious question—who really killed Michael Francke? We say really, because a low-level drug dealer by the name of Franke Gable was actually charged and sentenced to 30 years imprisonment for the murder of Oregon Department of Corrections director Francke in January 1989. But Francke’s own brother Kevin, along with Oregon reporter Phil Stanford, believe the wrong man is behind bars. They believe Francke was slain because he uncovered a trail of corruption in the prison system and someone wanted to shut him up for good. More than two decades since the murder the duo are determined to finally uncover the truth. This story is so wild no one could make it up. 

Detective Trapp

When LA Times reporter Christopher Goffard released a little-known podcast by the name of Dirty John last year, true crime buffs lost their collective minds. Well praise the podcast gods because Goffard is back with his latest offering. Detective Trapp goes like this—when a young woman’s body is found at a trash-sorting plant, investigator Julissa Trapp learns the murder may be linked to the disappearance of three other women around California. She embarks on a dark journey that brings her face to face with a man who takes, as Goffard says, ‘a little piece of her soul’.
After more podcasts? Check out our round up of the best newbies dropping on airwaves this month.
Image credit: Johannes Plenio

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