Between the ongoing pandemic and the election, chances are you’ve missed out lately on some excellent offerings from podcast world. Luckily, it isn’t too late to binge some of the best new series and seasons of the fall, and even a few from the summer that might’ve slipped through the cracks. Whether you’re looking for narrative long-form or stand-alone episodic histories, fictional horror, or true crime, we’ve got something you’ll like. From a scientific discussion about the possibility of alien life to a journalistic investigation into a WWI-era murder, here are seven auditory treats to check out right now.
Two years after its first hit season, Laura Beil is back with season two of Dr. Death, this time highlighting Farid Fata, a Michigan doctor who spent almost a decade defrauding patients by prescribing them intense chemotherapy that they didn’t need — and recouping millions in fraudulent charges to Medicare and private insurance companies. He’s currently serving a 45-year sentence. The five-episode show premiered on October 27th and aims to capture fans of season one, which dealt with neurosurgeon Dr. Duntsch whose gross mispractice led to multiple cases of death and grave injury. – Brenna Ehrlich
Production GCode has made a name for its with its slate of fictional horror podcasts, like small-town teen thriller Borrasca, starring Riverdale‘s Cole Sprouse. Ghost Tape is next on the docket, an eight-episode show that premieresed October 26th and was produced by actress Kiersey Clemons (Antebellum, Zach Snyder’s Justice League, Dope). Clemons stars as Tessa Dixon, who, while stationed at a remote army base in Texas, finds a tape belonging to her grandfather labeled “Ghost Tape” outlining some dark family secrets. Things only get more harrowing from there. – BE
Activist Amanda Knox and her partner Christopher Robinson launched their new iHeartRadio podcast, Labyrinths, in early October. It’s a show that’s based around the idea of people both losing and finding their ways — whether it be missing a cruise ship (and derailing a vacation) or losing out on one’s chance at a presidential run, like former Democratic hopeful Andrew Yang. The 12 episodes in the season feature discussions with the likes of Dave Navarro, Malcolm Gladwell, and Tom Sykes, a friend who helped Knox when she was wrongly convicted of the 2007 murder of her roommate, Meredith Kercher. – BE
Co-hosted by three Montana journalists — and one based in Orgeon — this deeply researched, independently produced historical crime series investigates the gruesome 1917 lynching of union organizer Frank Little in Butte, Montana, a murder that became legendary in the big-sky town — and for which no one was ever charged. The reporters blend true crime and history, revisiting the crime scene and interviewing the people closest to the case. The team says the series, which premiered September 29th, is the first season of a podcast dedicated to investigating strange crimes in the American West. – Andrea Marks
Season Two of Wild Thing, which premiered September 17th, takes a science-driven look at extraterrestrial life. Following her Season One good-faith investigation into Bigfoot and its researchers, host and journalist Laura Krantz interviews experts on topics like the scientific formula for life (á la Frankenstein) and the mathematical possibility that we’re not alone in the universe, as well as major events in ufology from the 1947 Roswell incident to the first time an interstellar object passed through Earth’s solar system, in 2017. – AM
If you liked Nice White Parents, the thought-provoking podcast from Serial on modern-day segregation in New York City schools, don’t overlook the latest seven-episode season of Fiasco about the so-called Boston busing crisis. The term “bussing” is viewed by activists as a misnomer and a dog whistle, listeners learn, for implying there was no racist motivation for white parents who protested their children being bussed to black school districts. Drawing from archival materials as well as interviews with the black teachers and students who were there, journalist-host Leon Neyfakh dissects the fallout of the 1974 federal court mandate to integrate public schools in Boston, a city many white residents believed had already solved racism. – AM
Following the success of podcasts like the con-celebrating Scam Goddess and Maria Konnikova’s The Grift, the Last Podcast Network’s Fraudsters gives listeners more of what they want: tales of swindlers and charlatans. Comic hosts Justin Williams and Seena Ghaznavi follow the format of sister show Last Podcast on the Left, joking their way through detailed multi-episode arcs on characters like recent fake New York City socialite Anna “Delvey” Sorokin, televangelists Jim and Tammy Bakker, and conspiracy troll Jacob Wohl. – AM