25 of the Best True Crime Podcasts, Rated From 'Cozy' to 'Disturbing'

25 of the Best True Crime Podcasts, Rated From ‘Cozy’ to ‘Disturbing’


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Illustration: Angelica Alzona

Podcasters didn’t invent the true crime genre (nor did Dateline, even though it’s been around much longer), but podcasts have made crime a wildly popular obsession, freeing us from the tether of the TV and allowing us to take murderers on the road with us. Some are focused on victims, others on the questionably accused, and others on the grisly details. They’ve become so popular that one of the most popular streaming shows (Only Murders in the Building) is about true crime podcast fans making their own true crime podcast.

The genre is often seen as exploitative—is true crime cathartic, helping us to examine and thus exorcise our own fears and demons? Or is it just a way to wallow in the suffering of others from a discreet distance? That’s a question to ask of any entertainment, really, but it’s also not entirely fair: the true crime genre is broader than it gets credit for, with one of the earliest popular shows (Serial) focusing on the potential failings of the judicial system. Or they can be an education in the worlds of crime, forensics, and society. Across these popular pods, you’ll find examples of all of that and more.



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