My podcast obsession began during the last election, when I was spending hours upon hours collecting spending data, compiling spreadsheets, and creating reports. There was really only so long I could listen to music before feeling like a hammer was banging over my head. I needed stimulation of the mind! The numbers were killing me! After trying to listen to beat poetry and HP Lovecraft, I realized something in between music and literature would be best. That is when I remembered podcasts.
I listened to Mugglecast way, way, WAY back in the day – when we were still speculating what would happen in the last Harry Potter book, what the movies would include, and what would be next. It was like finding a talk show geared towards what you wanted to hear, rather than being told what was news. I tried branching into podcasts again the first year out of post grad with Freakonomics. I absolutely loved the book and the podcast was great too – a little too academic for what I was looking for though, a good tune out conversation.
So I did some research… and found out that as of the last two years or so, podcasts have absolutely blown up! There are so many out there for so many different topics, and some have serious production value behind them. Insanity!
In any case, the first podcast that really got me hooked was You Must Remember This, specifically, the season where they dive into the Manson family and Charles Manson’s ties to Hollywood. The narrator is amazing and it was this perfect storytelling experience. (I’ve linked to the first Manson episode.) But, I wasn’t as into the other old Hollywood stories – I liked the Manson angle. So, naturally, I went searching for more murder. Well, I wasn’t alone.
A coworker recommended My Favorite Murder to me, in which two comedians chat about murder and their mixture of anxiety/fascination with true crime. As it turns out, there is a huge population of people (anyone who will sit and watch 48 hours on a Sunday night) that also have this weird fascination – so the podcast absolutely exploded in popularity. My roommates and I even went to a live show in DC! However, they have started to buy into their own hype and talk more about themselves and less about murder (wow that sounds bad but whatever) with each episode. I’ve fallen off their episodes as of late, or listen just to the minisodes. But if you are starting from the beginning, you’re in for a treat!
Lately, I have started listening to All Killa No Filla more than My Favorite Murder. The concept is the same, except its two British comedian women, talking about mostly American crimes from a foreign perspective (which is fascinating in itself) and many British killers I had never heard of. And like the title says, there is no “filla” – so they don’t waste any time talking about themselves – they dive right in. Love an efficient group of women.
Another great one for the person interested in the general creepiness and weirdness of the world is Lore, a podcast that dives into a different legend or mystery each episode, linking the different stories around the world together into a cohesive narrative. These are short – the downside is the narrator gives a lot of ads, but as of late, is putting them all at the end.
If you don’t mind guy talk and complete irreverence for everything you may hold dear, Last Podcast on the Left is perfect for your sense of humor. Three guys go into some serious detail about everything from murderers, to cults, conspiracies, aliens, creepypasta, and more. If it falls on the fringes of society, they cover it. Be warned, they are not what you would consider “moral,” but that is partly why it is so funny – they hate on everything and make the kind of jokes that would be considered controversial and appeal to the black humorist. I absolutely LOVE this podcast.
To take a turn, my go-to podcast for news every morning is Up First. It is always less than 15 minutes, usually about 12, and covers the top headlines, without fluff or over-coverage. The episodes are released at 6AM every week day and the perfect start to your morning.
If you love movies and true crime, look no further than Inside Psycho – a behind the scenes narration of the making of Alfred Hitchcock’s opus. It dives into all angles, from the real life inspiration of Ed Gein, to the book, to the making of a horror film in a time when toilets weren’t allowed on screen, let alone a stabbing!
And, if you’re like me and can’t get enough true crime, check out these below:
In the Dark – a deep look into the case of Jacob Wetterling and missing children before proper protocols were put into place, and how, with better police work, there could have been a completely different ending.
Stranglers – a study of the Boston stranglings, especially from the perspective of young women in Boston at the time – and how there was likely more than one strangler.
S-Town – what starts out as true crime morphs into a beautiful and sad story about humanity and our search for significance.
Trace – the very current and ongoing new look into the murder of an Australian bookkeeper and mother, with serious overtones of conspiracy and cover-up.
Sworn – approaching true crime from the angle of the justice system – less of what the crimes are, but how they are prosecuted and whether they are done properly.
Hanging – the very. very tragic story of a ten year old boy who supposedly committed suicide by hanging himself in the barn – but things get more interesting when you find out who his father is and what went wrong.
Accused – when the police refuse to see a case but one way, and they turn out to be wrong, what next? This podcast goes into the murder of Elizabeth Andes and speculates about what really happened and what the next steps are in an unsolved cold case.
If you couldn’t tell by now, I am absolutely obsessed. Seriously. It’s like watching a documentary but your eyes get to take a rest. And boy does it make commuting more fun. I once got on the completely wrong train because I was so engrossed in Trace. Did the same thing listening to Hanging.
Do you know of any good podcasts I missed? I tell you, I am always scrolling through the top charts to find a new one, especially since the one-season pods end!
All the best,
xx raina xx