Something you probably don’t know about me is that my degree is in Criminology and Psychology. At one point I wanted to become a Forensic Psychologist but changed my mind as I didn’t think I could actually deal with real life crime and death. So it’s no wonder I love listening to true crime podcasts – where I can just listen to cases and get absorbed in the detail, but not actually have to physically see anything!
Of course true crime is not just about murder. It’s about deception, abuse, corruption, fraud and often power. If you fancy a good true crime podcast, here’s a whole bunch that I’ve really enjoyed listening to. They’re all available on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.
If you love podcasts as much as I do, here are 8 other podcasts that I recommend – not all about crime!
Here’s my favourite true crime podcasts
The Dating Game Killer
The Dating Game Killer is a six-part series by Wondery, which tells the story of serial killer and rapist Rodney Alcala. In 1978 Rodney was a contestant on The Dating Game, a TV show similar to the UK’s Blind Date. He won the date with the contestant but after meeting him backstage, Cheryl told the producers she didn’t want to go on the date with him as he was ‘creepy’. That decision may have saved her life as by that stage, Rodney had already murdered two women….
The Mysterious Mr Epstein
The Mysterious Mr Epstein is a six-episode series by Wondery on serial abuser Jeffrey Epstein – how he went from being a college dropout to a private school teacher in Manhattan to a wealthy money manager (and accumulating vast wealth) to a predatory sex offender.
This series delves into his history and asks, ‘who is Jeffrey Epstein?’. Whilst much has been documented about him after his alleged suicide in prison in 2019, not much is known about his past and how he was able to get away with his predatory behaviour for decades.
If you’re familiar with Jeffery Epstein, you’ll no doubt know who Ghislaine is. Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of ex-media mogul billionaire Robert Maxwell, was Jeffery’s girlfriend. She allegedly played a crucial role in finding underage girls to give him ‘massages’ in his mansion and is reported to have joined him in abusing some of these girls. After his arrest in 2019, Ghislaine went into hiding. For almost a year she escaped detection but was finally found and arrested under multiple charges for helping Epstein. This podcast explores who Ghislaine is and how she came to be involved in such monstrous crimes.
Your Own Backyard
This seven-episode series looks at the mystery around the disappearance of Kristin Smart, a college freshman who went missing in 1996 after an off-campus party. She has never been found and was legally presumed dead in 2002.
But what happened that night? Who holds the key to her disappearance? A fellow student at the time, Paul Flores was the key suspect but was never charged. As recently as 2020 his home was searched as authorities believe that he knows what happened to her that night (or knows more than he’s letting on) but the case remains unsolved and open to this day.
Kirat is a vibrant, outgoing, successful radio presenter and marketer who seems to have the world at her feet. She starts an online relationship with a man called Bobby, who she vaguely knows through friends. Soon she falls in love. But sweet Bobby is not who he seems to be. This is an unbelievable tale of deception and manipulation that spans ten years and has devastating consequences.
Hosted by Alice Levine and Matt Forde, British Scandal takes a look at some of the biggest scandals to rock Britain. Each season takes a deep dive into a notable British scandal, from the Profumo Affair to phone hacking at News of the World and the mysterious disappearance of Lord Lucan. My favourite seasons so far were the coughing major from Who want to be a Millionaire and John Darwin, the man who faked his own death in a canoe to try and claim insurance money.
Levine and Forde have an excellent rapport and this makes for easy – but interesting – listening.
Motive for Murder
Dateline NBC brings you the unbelievable story of two murders in Huston in 2012, just months apart, and how the young victims knew each other – but how are the murders connected? Or are they? This has a lots of twists and turns that will have you gripped.
Hosted by Mike Ferguson and Mike Moreford, Criminology is a true crime series which started with a new case each season, told over 8 to 10 episodes. The first season, back in 2017 looked into the infamous Zodiac killer who terrorized people in the Bay Area of California and is still an unsolved case to this day. The latest episodes are all individual cases, such as The Seven Bridges serial killer, Jeffery Dahmer, The DC Sniper and the Murder of Jessica Chambers.
The Immaculate Deception
Dr Jan Karbaat, a fertility doctor in Rotterdam, was renowned for helping women who were desperate to conceive to get pregnant – against all odds. However, rumours began to circulate when the clinic closed about just how he managed such amazing results. As adults, some of the children conceived at the clinic started to ask questions about where they came from and whether their mothers got more than they asked for under Dr Karbaat’s care.
Verified (Season 1)
Leonardo (Dino) Maglio seemed like the perfect Crowd Surfing host, with amazing online reviews from travellers who had stayed in his apartment near Venice and who he’d shown around the local sites, taking them for drinks etc. Plus he was a police officer. So the women who wanted to visit Venice on a budget felt they would be perfectly safe staying with him. But Leonardo what not what he seemed… after playing the perfect host, he drugged many of his female guests and then assaulted them. Verified tells the story of the fight for justice from the many women he assaulted from around the world, over many years, that he abused and how Italian journalists relentlessly fought alongside with them to finally put him behind bars.
It was Simple
Betty met her husband-to-be, Dan Broderick at university in 1965 in Indiana. They married four years later and Betty got pregnant on their honeymoon. They went on to have three more children and Dan decided after the birth of their first child that he wanted to combine his medical degree with a law degree. Betty then became the breadwinner, juggling looking after their children and taking care of the home, whilst Dan attended law school and studied all hours. What follows is a story of money, success, infidelity and murder. After the breakdown of their marriage, Dan weds his legal assistant Linda, and Betty spirals into a mental breakdown, culminating in the murder of Dan and Linda in their home in 1989. The story of Betty Broderick was made into a Netflix series in 2020.
Fake Heiress on BBC Radio 4 podcast is the unbelievable true story of twenty-something year old Anna Delvey (real name Anna Sorokin), who conned New York high society into believing she was a German heiress worth millions. For years she managed to life the high life without paying for anything. But then it all came crashing down… This is a gripping story, now on Netflix. This podcast is dramatised and I must say I found ‘Anna’ very annoying but the story is so addictive that I got past it!
Death of a Starlet
Dorothy Stratten, a Playboy Playmate, was found shot dead in August of 1980, aged just 20 years old. She was a ‘girl next door’ type – quiet, shy and apparently unaware of her beauty, working at a Dairy Queen when she was discovered and put on the cover of Playboy magazine. To Hugh Hefner she was going to be the next Marilyn Monroe. She was also a muse to film producer Peter Bogdonovich, starring in his film ‘They all laughed.’ To her boyfriend, Paul Snider, as a rising star she was his ticket to fame and fortune. She was adored by all three men but one killed her… What led to her untimely death?