Looking for a list of the best true crime podcasts of 2017? You’ve landed on the right blog post! Like many people, I became hooked on true crime podcasts after listening to the first season of Serial, but with so many similar podcasts to wade through, it can be tough to know which ones to check out next.
Best True Crime Podcasts of 2017
Below, you’ll find my favorite true crime podcasts for 2017. Just a word of warning, some of these podcasts are super creepy, so if you’re a big chicken like me, you may not want to listen to them alone!
Up And Vanished
I had to slap my favorite true crime podcast of 2017 at the top of the list. Up and Vanished, hosted by documentarian Payne Lindsey, is an investigative true crime podcast about the unsolved disappearance of school teacher and beauty queen Tara Grinstead. This is an 11-year old cold case that holds the largest case file in Georgia’s history.
What I love about Up and Vanished is that the investigation is happening (more or less) in real time. Instead of losing steam as the investigation moves forward, this podcast is actually gaining quite a bit of momentum. I have to admit that I’m fascinated by Tara Grinstead’s story, and some of the twists and turns in Payne Lindsey’s investigation have left me with goosebumps.
I am literally on edge to find out where the investigation will go next, and the truly thrilling component to Up and Vanished podcast is that it feels like this case might actually be solved before the season ends.
Someone Knows Something
Someone Knows Something from CBC Radio is definitely one of the best true crime podcasts of 2017. I became hooked on this podcast during season one last year when filmmaker and host David Ridgen investigated the 1972 disappearance of Adrien McNaughton, a five-year-old boy who vanished during a family fishing trip in Eastern Ontario, Canada.
I love listening to David Ridgen tell a story and I found myself immediately swept-up in the heartbreaking experience that the McNaughton family had to endure so many years ago. If you’re interested in this podcast, I recommend starting with season one.
Season two of Someone Knows Something focuses on another Canadian mystery, the disappearance of Sheryl Sheppard in Hamilton, Ontario.
I wouldn’t say I’m quite as captivated with season two of SKS because the answer to the mystery seems a bit more obvious (quite sad, but obvious). However, I still really love Ridgen’s storytelling and I’m definitely going to finish the season to find out what happens next. It’s interesting, when you listen to these investigative podcasts how much empathy you feel for the family members. It’s a fascinating look into the emotional rollercoaster that the families of victims go through over the years.
I was immediately drawn into the Accused podcast because the case hit so close to home. Accused investigates the murder of Elizabeth Andes who was found dead in her Oxford, Ohio apartment in 1978. Police and prosecutors at the time decided within hours it was an open-and-shut case, alleging that her boyfriend was to blame, but two juries disagreed.
So, who really killed Elizabeth Andes? Accused hosts look into other possible suspects on a search for the answer to that question. I was completely enthralled with each poke and prod into this case!
In The Dark
I can remember hearing about the abduction of Jacob Wetterling in rural Minnesota when I was a kid. In the Dark delves into this 27-year-old case to reveal how law enforcement mishandled one of the most notorious child abductions in the country and how those failures fueled national anxiety about stranger danger, leading to our nation’s sex-offender registries and raising serious questions about crime-solving effectiveness and accountability.
This is a truly chilling case and the in-depth storytelling here is fantastic. If you were riveted by the documentary Making A Murderer, you’ll find this podcast fascinating.
So, I typically prefer investigative podcasts, but I have to give credit where credit is due here. Criminal is such a slick and well-produced podcast. Host Phoebe Judge shares short stories about true crime. Each Criminal show is different from the last, but they all have one thing in common… they are addictive!
Whether the episodes are creepy or cooky, I always find myself thinking about these stories and eager to tell friends and family about them!
I’m sort of assuming that you’ve already experienced season one of Serial, but just in case you haven’t, don’t miss this incredible podcast!
A high-school senior named Hae Min Lee disappeared one day after school in 1999, in Baltimore County, Maryland. A month later, her body was found in a city park. She’d been strangled. Her 17-year-old ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was arrested for the crime, and within a year, he was sentenced to life in prison. Listen as host Sarah Koenig sorts through this case page by page in an effort to uncover the truth about who murdered this young girl. This is truly one of the best true crime podcasts ever, and the one that started it all!
Footnote, season two of Serial investigates the case of Bowe Bergdahl, the United States Army soldier who walked off his military base in Afghanistan and was held captive by the Taliban. It’s an interesting story to be sure, but didn’t captivate me like Serial season one.
Sword and Scale
If you love listening to scary stories, Sword and Scale is the podcast for you. Again, this is not an investigative podcast like the ones mentioned earlier in the post, but it’s definitely a well-respected true crime podcast that delivers an in-depth look at some of the world’s most notorious crimes and criminals.
I’m always impressed by Sword and Scale’s comprehensive look at the stories they feature. You’ll gain insight into some of the cases that you may have thought you knew everything about thanks to the extensive audio library they use to illustrate stories. It really draws you into the case.
There are some things about this podcast that I find a big hokey (the host, the music—haha!), but it’s still quite entertaining.
Were you completely terrified by Robert Stack’s voice and the theme music from Unsolved Mysteries when you were a kid? ME. TOO.
You may have a similar feeling of unease when you listen to the Casefile podcast.
Much like Sword and Scale, Casefile podcast’s weekly episodes offer blood-curdling stories of true crimes. The super-freaky part about this podcast is the narrator, who delivers the tales in his thick Australian accent over the most creeptastic, undulating music that sort of seeps into your unconscious mind while you’re listening.
It’s not the kind of thing you’d want to listen to alone, and I wouldn’t want to run into the narrator in a dark alley, either!
So, that’s my list of the best true crime podcasts of 2017. I’m always on the search for podcasts to check out. Are any of your favorites missing from my list?