Good storytelling is one main element that draws listeners to true crime podcasts. Shows like Serial exploded because of how Sarah Koenig told her investigation into Hae Min Lee’s murder, asking our questions out loud and doing what she could to answer them.
There’s a hangover that comes with finishing Serial, one that only finding a new true crime podcast to get hooked on can fix. But with the podcast charts full of amazing true crime stories with the same heavy-investigative focus, it can be hard to narrow down what podcast to binge-listen to next.
Your Own Backyard
When Kristin Smart disappeared from a party, Chris Lambert — the host of Your Own Backyard — was only eight-years-old. But today, he’s the man who helped get her murderer convicted. Episode one, A Face on a Billboard, starts with Lambert flying to Stockton to interview Smart’s parents. The rest of the podcast documents his investigation into Smart’s murder, including a profile of Smart’s now-convicted killer, Paul Flores, and trial recaps.
You can find episodes of Your Own Backyard on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
One Reddit user recommended Bear Brook, which another described as “one of the most influential cases that revolutionized how DNA is used for unsolved cases.” But where the story starts is the podcast’s biggest hook: bodies are found in a barrel in New Hampshire’s bear Brook state park, but with no evidence, the case went cold — until DNA testing evolved.
Listeners join NHPR’s Jason Moon as he follows the first cold case to be solved through genealogical DNA matching in real-time.
You can find Bear Brook on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Suspect Season 2: Vanished in The Snow
Previously unsolved cold cases make for great podcasts, and the second season of Suspect is no exception, according to Reddit users. As Wondery explains, Suspect Season 2: Vanished in the Snow follows the disappearance of Jonelle Matthews, a 12-year-old who vanished without a trace from Greeley, Colorado, in 1984. But when her remains are found in 2019, there are more questions investigators will have to answer, like whether or not the truth was in front of them the whole time.
You can find Suspect Season 2: Vanished in the Snow on the Wondery app, Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
If you’re looking for a well-researched, long-form podcast, you need to listen to Cold. As one Reddit user wrote, “Cold is absolutely bananas with the amount of detail they were able to gather!” If you’re not sure which season to start with, one Reddit user said they felt season 1, which focuses on the disappearance of Susan Powell, was the best. According to the podcast’s description, after Powell disappeared in December 2009, her body was never found, and the main suspect in her murder was “never arrested or charged.”
Host Dave Cawley takes listeners through the case files of the investigation into Powell’s disappearance to answer the question of what and where police went wrong.
You can find Cold on Amazon Podcasts and Audible.
After Your Own Backyard and Bear Brook, Bone Valley was the top podcast recommended by Reddit users for an investigation-heavy podcast.
Led by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Gilbert King, Bone Valley covers the case of 18-year-old Michelle Schofield, who was found dead in 1987 in a phosphate pit in Florida. The case is considered closed when her husband, Leo Schofield, is convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
But 15 years later, Jeremy Scott – a neighbor of the Schofields with a violent history — has not only confessed to the murder, but evidence proves Scott did it. Yet Leo still remains behind bars for his wife’s murder — a murder he didn’t commit.
You can listen to Bone Valley on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
This post was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.