Entertainment

9 Podcasts That Are Just As Gripping As 'The Immaculate Deception'

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As true crime podcasts go, The Immaculate Deception is a seriously slick production which has sparked hundreds of downloads since it was released in March this year. It details a shocking fertility scandal in which a renowned doctor, Jan Karbaat, secretly fathered at least 60 children from his Rotterdam clinic. None of the women who attended the clinic for fertility treatment were aware he was using his own semen during artificial insemination and IVF procedures — believing the sperm was either that of an anonymous donor, or their partners'. The show's host, journalist Jenny Kleeman, speaks to several of the "Kabaart Kids" about coming to terms with their true parentage. It's a gripping listen that you can devour quickly as the episodes are 30 minutes long. So you may be wondering what to listen to once you've finished The Immaculate Deception podcast. Naturally, true crime podcasts can be a little dark and the most popular feature some of the more horrifying cold cases recorded in the world. Regardless, investigative podcasts are one of most popular genres in the podcast world (even if they cause you to sleep with the light on). To tempt your ears, I've listed some recent podcast uploads to try.

'Joe Exotic: The Tiger King'
Netflix

When Netflix released its documentary Tiger King, Murder, Mayhem and Madness earlier this year, it became a defining piece of pop culture during the nation's lockdown. The truly unexpected story about Joe Exotic — a mulleted, gun-toting, polygamist, former magician, and zoo owner — has been revisited in a podcast of the same name. Hosted by Robert Moor, the podcast also details the fued between Joe Exotic and big cat sanctuary owner Carole Baskin, and the plot to murder her that eventually led to his imprisonment.

Listen to Joe Exotic: Tiger King

Dirty John by Wondery

Dirty John is now the widely documented true story that became a TV series and of course, a podcast — it's also possibly one of the scariest dating stories in the history of the internet. Reported and hosted by Christopher Goffard from the L.A. Times, the podcast focuses on Debra Newall, a successful interior designer who meets John Meehan, a handsome man who seems to tick all the boxes: attentive, available, just back from a year in Iraq with Doctors Without Borders. But, as you can imagine, he really is not what he seems.

Listen to Dirty John

'The Drop Out'
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The Dropout podcast asks "how did the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire lose it all in the blink of an eye?" And frankly, I really need to know. Created by ABC News, the podcast details the incredible story of Elizabeth Holmes, a technology whiz who was pitted to be the "next Steve Jobs" with her "revolutionary" healthcare business. Turns out, though, Holmes' company Theranos was a complete sham. Hosted by ABC News reporter Rebecca Jarvis, the podcast follows a three year investigation and includes interviews with Holmes former investors, patients, employees.

Listen to The Dropout

'Up and Vanished'

Hosted by Atlanta filmmaker Payne Lindsey, the Up and Vanished podcast investigates missing persons cold cases by reviewing old leads — and, the chilling stories are enough to make your hair stand on end. Now on Series 2, Payne first tackles the unsolved disappearance of Georgia high school teacher and former pageant queen, Tara Grinstead. The second season, focuses on the disappearance of young mother Kristal Reisinger from a remote mountain town in Colorado. As the cases remained unsolved for more than a decade, Up and Vanished Up aims give these cases the exposure they deserve.

Listen to Up And Vanished

'Catch & Kill'
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Following decades of rape and sexual abuse allegations, the eventual imprisonment of former American film producer Harvey Winston in 2019 is considered a pivotal, culture-shifting moment in recent history. The Catch and Kill podcast is a product of two years of investigation of Harvey Weinstein and "the systems that protect powerful men accused of terrible crimes in Hollywood, Washington, and beyond". Lead by Pulitzer winning journalist, Ronan Farrow, the podcast hears from "brave whistleblowers"to shadowy undercover operatives".

'Teacher’s Pet'

Australian podcast A Teacher's Pet, investigates the disappearance of devoted wife and mother Lynette Dawson, a cold case which has been unsolved for 36 years. Lead by an Australian newspaper, the podcast uncovered "startling new evidence" which led to Lyn's husband, Chris Dawson, facing a trial for her murder in 2020.

Listen to Teacher's Pet

'Chasing Cosby'
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For decades, Bill Cosby was considered "America's Dad" thanks to his role as Dr Cliff Huxtable in 1980s hit sitcom The Cosby Show, so it shocked the world when the comic and national treasure was accused by multiple women of being a sexual predator. After a long legal battle, he was sentenced to up to ten years in prison. Chasing Cosby meets the women who brought him to justice.

Listen to Chasing Cosby

'Hunting Warhead'

Described by the Guardian "as difficult to stomach yet compelling", The Hunting Warhead discovers happens when journalists unite forces to expose the darkest corners of the internet. The six-part podcast follows journalists, computer hackers and officers who worked to expose an international pedophile ring. Hosted by Daemon Fairless, the podcast tracks down the investigators, survivors, and even the criminals themselves.

Listen To Hunting Warhead

'Slow Burn'
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The new series of true crime podcast Slow Burn, re-examines the deaths of two hip-hop legends: Biggie and Tupac. Both were killed by gunshot during the '90s — a tragic product of East Coast/West Coast LA rivalries. Tupac was shot dead in September 1996 and Biggie was killed in a drive-by the following March. Both cases remained unsolved to this day.

Listen to Slow Burn

'The Last Days of August'

The Last Days of August podcast investigates the death of August Ames (real name, Mercedes Grabowski), a 23-year-old porn star who died by suicide in December 2017. Journalist Jon Ronson leads the series and his reputation on the topic of sex workers proceeds him. He previously hosted a podcast about the adult entertainment industry entitled The Butterfly Effect which has been widely praised for its compassionate insight into a much-maligned and misunderstood world.

Listen to The Last Days Of August

'The Missing Cryptoqueen'
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This BBC podcast investigates the explores the mysterious circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Dr Ruja Ignatova and the OneCoin scam she masterminded. After fooling thousands of people into investing into her cryptocurrency, Ignatova vanished in 2017 and hasn't been seen or heard from since. Host Jamie Bartlett tries to track her down, while hearing from those who bought into OneCoin and lost serious amounts of money as a result.

Listen to The Missing Crytoqueen