True crime podcasts are all the rage right now, and I am totally on board. I’ve always been interested in the genre, and have done some sleuthing in my own life in regards to area events. When I was in college, there was a 24-hour serial murder rampage in which an unstable man murdered his ex-wife, child, and various family members before taking a family hostage and ending his life. It’s one of the most major events to happen in Grand Rapids, and at one point, he was within a mile of our neighborhood, causing us to hole up, armed in our basement, as he had already carjacked and assaulted members of the public.
Anywho. Enter interest in true crime podcasts. I’ve curated my top five podcasts to listen to if you are a fellow weirdo.
My Favorite Murder
This is the ultimate gateway drug into the world of audible murder – I finished fifty episodes in a week of binging. The hosts Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark make digesting the horrors of humankind palatable. Karen is sarcastic and the aunt I never knew I wanted, while Georgia is the sweet baby angel of a person I want to hang out and make drinks with. They have covered major murderers like John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy, and Jeffrey Dahmer, and lesser known crimes like “Who Put Bella in the Wych Elm,” and they do so while telling the facts of the case laced with humor and levity. (x)
This podcast, produced by the Cincinnati Enquirer, chronicles the 1978 murder of Elizabeth Andes, its subsequent trial, and the aftermath in the lives of a small Ohio town and the individuals involved in the case. Amber Hunt, the journalist covering the case, doesn’t shy away from asking difficult questions from those she interviews and is someone I truly admired by the end of her investigation. (x)
In the Dark
If you grew up in the age of stranger danger, you need to listen to this podcast as it covers the case that sparked the movement in parenting and community safety. Jaco Wetterling was kidnapped in 1989 while walking home from a video store with his brothers. His unsolved kidnapping changed the way we deal with crimes against children, and Madeline Baran and her team do a fantastic job in their coverage of his story and the breaks in the case that occurred during their production. (x)
Somebody Knows Something
The first season of SKS covers the disappearence of five-year-old Adrien McNaughton and his family as they cope with the decades old case. The reporter is respectful of his now 80 year old parents and adult siblings, while still involving them in his own investigation. While this is a podcast I have not yet finished, I would highly suggest jumping in and listening. (x)
Up and Vanished
This podcast has brought renewed attention to the case of Tara Grinstead, a Georgia teacher who went missing twelve years ago. Payne digs up basements, engages with a mysterious facebook stalker, and consults with a detective to discover new leads and find answers. There have been recent breaks in the case and Payne has been doing a fantastic job at keeping us in the loop as arrests are made and press conferences are held. (x)
There you have it. All the podcasts you need to binge on to indulge your twisted fascination with crime and scare your family and friends.