True crime shows to die (or kill) for

Annabelle Rosse, Staff Reporter

Murder mysteries have entranced the American public for decades, whether it be a chilling novel or a weekly CSI episode. Since the 1980s, true crime’s popularity in America has skyrocketed. We as humans are fascinated by the mystery of true crime, craving the closure of an answer. We want to know how and why these tragic occurrences happen and the aftermath, all without having to experience the trauma of it. With the emergence of podcasting and streaming services, true crime content has taken a steady rise. If you’re looking for something to pass the time on your way to school, work, or just when doing your homework, here are some of the hottest shows and podcasts out right now. Hopefully, you’ll find something new!

Podcasts:

  • Crime Junkie: This podcast, run by hosts Ashley Flowers and Brit, is based in Indianapolis, Indiana, and has been putting out episodes since December 2017. Their series mainly focuses on underreported and unsolved cases. Crime Junkie is known for its in-depth research and unique, respectful storytelling style. They also are praised for bringing awareness to injustices within the judicial system or suspicious disappearances. Episodes mainly consist of Ashley retelling a true crime story to Brit, who is always ready with an insightful quip. At the end of certain episodes, Ashley and Brit ask their listeners to go sign a petition or donate towards a Go-Fund-Me that pertains to a certain case. These donations could go towards funerals for crime victims, for victim medical expenses, or to just support a victim’s family in their time of need. Crime Junkie also donates proceeds from their merch towards important causes such as advancements in DNA technology or charities that advocate for cold case investigations. If you’re interested in exploring underreported crimes or just getting started in the true crime genre, this podcast is definitely for you! Check out one of their 180+ episodes today on all music streaming apps or visit their website at crimejunkiepodcast.com
  • Serial: Beginning in October 2014, Serial has been one of the most popular podcasts in the world. It is hosted by Sarah Koenig and owned by The New York Times. Today Serial is recognized with a Peabody Award (the first podcast to do so) and holds the world record for the highest number of downloads. Each season focuses on a long, twisting storyline that challenges the binary spectrum of “good” and “bad.” Listeners are shown the deeper motivations behind criminal acts and taught that not all cases are black and white. The episodes feature interviews, court records, and witness and suspect recordings. Serial’s style is very intriguing, with each new weekly episode drawing you deeper into the “whodunit” mystery. Follow Koenig as she takes you through one gripping story to the next. With 32 episodes, spanning over three seasons, there is sure to be something that catches your ear. Find their episodes on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or at serialpodcast.org
  • Red Collar: On the lesser-known side of the true crime world is Red Collar, which debuted in November 2020. This podcast focuses on one specific division: red collar criminals. Rarely discussed in the mainstream media, red collar criminals are some of the most dangerous civilians in America. These criminals start as basic white-collar defenders who cash bad checks or embezzle from their workplace, but that changes fast once they’re caught. Former P.I. Catherine Townsend sits down every Tuesday to explore the minds of these “real-life American Psychos” to find out what compelled these men and women to kill those closest to them. In their 16 episodes, you’ll explore the inner reasoning of the red-collar crime and just how much the power of money can warp the human’s mind. Visit their website or anywhere you stream music to dive into the vile minds of the seemingly nonviolent today. 

Shows:

  • I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: This limited docuseries chronicles the undaunted hunt for the Golden State Killer, who terrorized California between the 1970s through 80s. They committed 12 murders and over 50 home-invasion assaults. The series is based on the book of the same name, written by journalist Michelle McNamara and published posthumously after her passing. The show keeps her spirit alive in its style, including exclusive original recordings from McNamara herself and read aloud excerpts from her book. Along with police and victim interviews, “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” tells the story and capture of the Golden State Killer, and McNamamara’s determined search for answers. Today, she is credited by police for uncovering new leads to the case and is seen by many as the one to personally thank for the killer’s capture. To follow the challenging Golden State investigation and McNamara’s search for justice, you can watch the first episode for free at HBOMax’s website and the rest of the series on Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.
  • Unsolved Mysteries: This Netflix true-crime series is a reboot of its classic 1990s predecessor. It relies on in-person interviews with those affected and immersive visuals to tell its stories. Relating to the name, the docu-series investigates stories of puzzling disappearances and deaths. Each episode focuses on a separate cold case and all possible theories. There is one season on Netflix, with a total of 12 episodes. The tantalizing mysteries will make any viewer craving for answers. It is anyone’s guess when trying to pin down what truly happened. If you think you’re up for the challenge, check out Unsolved Mysteries on Netflix.

The true-crime genre is growing steadily, supported by the American need to understand one another’s thinking. Hopefully, something within this list sparked your interest. These podcasts can teach you new things and induce a little paranoia about those around you.