If you're a fan of true crime, crime fiction, or even the occasional mystery or thriller novel, you're going to love this: Bustle has compiled the 29 best podcasts for crime fiction readers below.
Crime stories are everywhere these days, thanks to a renewed interest in mystery and thriller stories — real and fictional alike. From Gone Girl to Serial to Making a Murderer, much of our favorite, contemporary media centers on crimes and criminal investigations. Although it's true that readers have enjoyed good whodunnits for decades, it's impossible to deny the popularity of these stories in the 21st century. Mystery TV shows Twin Peaks and The X-Files received reboots in recent years, and one classic show, Unsolved Mysteries, might be headed for a comeback as well.
Whether you're planning a trip or just looking for your next weekly obsession, the 29 crime-adjacent podcasts on the list below will fill any gap in your listening schedule and help you steal away a few moments from family this holiday season. Check out all my recommendations below:
'Alice Isn't Dead' by Night Vale Presents
In this podcast from the creators of Welcome to Night Vale, a truck driver learns that her wife may not be dead, and sets out on a cross-country trek to find her.
'American Hysteria' by Skylark Media
If you love stories about the United States's moral panics, check out American Hysteria, a podcast that examines public fears of the Illuminati, stranger danger, and other (probably imaginary) hazards.
'Atlanta Monster' by Tenderfoot TV and HowStuffWorks
Forty years ago, Atlanta became the hunting ground for a child killer. A 22-year-old man named Wayne Williams was convicted of killing two adults, and was believed to be responsible for the Atlanta Child Murders, as well. Williams was never brought to trial, however, and listening to Atlanta Monster will make you wonder whether the 40-year-old case was ever really solved.
'Bear Brook' by New Hampshire Public Radio
Centering on a cold case out of 1980s New Hampshire, in which bodies were found stuffed in barrels in Bear Brook State Park, New Hampshire Public Radio's Bear Brook examines the murder mystery whose forensic investigation techniques helped to catch the Golden State Killer.
'The Black Tapes' by Pacific Northwest Stories
Fans of Sarah Pinborough's Behind Her Eyes will love The Black Tapes, in which a fictional journalist investigates the dark secrets of her own past.
'Blackwood' by Skylark | Wondery
Three skeptical friends began a cryptid podcast about The Blackwood Bugman, but their investigation into the supposedly legendary creature turned up more real-world evidence than they expected. Five years later, their recordings are finally released...
'Casefile' by Casefile True Crime
Pretty much ever episode of this true-crime podcast examines a different, little-known case of creepy, real-life crimes. Some cases are split across multiple, hour-long installments, however.
'CBS Radio Mystery Theater' by Radio Mystery Theater
If early-20th-century murder mysteries are more your thing, consider listening to one of the 1,399 radio dramas available on CBS Radio Mystery Theater. Fans of The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents will love this podcast.
'Crime Friction' by TheDefectives
In this podcast, hosts Jay Stringer and Chantelle Aimée Osman interview novelists about, well, just about anything other than their books.
'Crime Time | A Crime Fiction Podcast' by Lee and Eddie
Mixing genre and literary fiction, Crime Time hosts Lee and Eddie talk about all their favorite mystery reads on this podcast.
'Crimetown' by Gimlet
Each season, Crimetown picks a different U.S. city with a hidden, seedy underbelly. Season One focuses on Providence, R.I., and Season Two dives deep into Detroit, Mich.
'Darknet Diaries' by Jack Rhysider
If you aren't scared of cybercrime, you will be after listening to Jack Rhysider's Darknet Diaries, which takes a look at all the ways hackers can circumvent the law.
'Euphomet' by Skylark Media
Skylark's Euphomet takes an unnervingly long look at our relaationship with the inexplicable, from ghosts to cryptids and everything in-between.
'The Grift' by Panoply
Another podcast about non-murderous crimes, The Grift focuses on con jobs: who commits them, how they pull them off, and why we fall for them every time.
'The Horror of Dolores Roach' by Gimlet
This scripted podcast stars Rent actress Daphne Rubin-Vega as the eponymous Dolores, newly released from a 16-year stint in prison, and pushed back into her old life in order to survive.
'I, Survivor' by Wondery
Speaking of surviving, I, Survivor allows people who have withstood a wide range of crimes to share their stories of survival with listeners.
'In the Dark' by APM Reports
Each season of In the Dark examines a different crime that remains unsolved — or contentiously solved — after decades. Season One focused on the disappearance of Jacob Wetterling, and Season Two centers on Curtis Flowers: a man tried six times for the same crime.
'The Last Podcast on the Left' by The Last Podcast Network
If you're a fan of both crime and horror fiction, The Last Podcast on the Left should be your next podcast to binge. Updated every few days, this series offers up stories of real and fictional horrors from around the world.
'Limetown' by Two-Up
Set in a Tennessee town that once played host to a mass disappearance, Limetown follows radio journalist Lia Haddock into the heart of the titular hamlet to learn what happened to those who vanished so many years ago.
'Lore' by Aaron Mahnke
Now a TV series and a trilogy of books, Lore is the perfect podcast for anyone who wants to learn about serial killers one episode and a local legend the next.
'My Favorite Murder' by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark
From national stories to smalltown mysteries, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark examine murders of all shapes and sizes on this hit podcast.
'Partners in Crime' by Adam Croft and Robert Daws
Crime fiction writers Adam Croft and Robert Daws talk about all corners of the genre in this weekly podcast. Tune in for interviews with your favorite authors and true stories of forensic investigation.
'Read or Dead' by Book Riot
With new episodes every two weeks, Book Riot's Read or Dead always has new reading recommendations for fans of crime fiction and true crime.
'Someone Knows Something' by CBC Podcasts
Each of the five seasons of this Canadian podcast focuses on a different, unsolved case, and includes interviews with the victims' families. Tune in if you're looking for your next cold-case fix.
'Spines' by ZoomDoom Stories
A narrative fiction podcast involving creepy cults and amnesia, Spines is just the kind of thriller you've been dying to listen to. The series centers on Wren, who also serves as the story's narrator, and who is trying to figure out how she came to take part in a strange ritual that seems to have left her with no memory of her recent past.
'A Stab in the Dark with Mark Billingham' by UKTV
Tom Thorne series author Mark Billingam hosts this podcast devoted to all things crime fiction, TV and books alike. If listening to your favorite authors and media creators dish about characters and the creative process sounds like a good time to you, be sure you check this one out.
'They Walk Among Us' by They Walk Among Us
It's a frightening reality that serial killers and spree murderers walk the same streets as you, often in search of their next victims. For cases in which a seemingly harmless person turned out deadly, tune in to They Walk Among Us.
'Uncover: Escaping NXIVM' by CBC Podcasts and CBC News
Keith Raniere is currently awaiting sentencing on seven charges — including sex trafficking and forced labor — related to NXIVM, the "humanitarian community" he founded. Uncovered: Escaping NXIVM follows one woman who joined Raniere's cult, left, and is now speaking out about her experiences.
'Wine & Crime' by Wine & Crime Podcast
Blending comedy with true crime, Wine & Crime looks into criminal incidents and investigations, pairing them with the best of sauvignon blancs and pinots.
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