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Beyond ‘Serial’: 10 True Crime Podcasts You Need to Follow

From L.A. comedians riffing on murder to full-on 1940s-style radio dramas, there’s hours of earbud entertainment to keep you on edge

Serial Podcast, Adnan Syed

Adnan Syed was the subject of the hit 2014 podcast 'Serial.'

Sure, podcasts existed before Serial. But who cared? When Sarah Koening spun off from the OG podcast-chart-dominator This American Life, even podcast die-hards didn't know what they were in for. But Serial quickly changed the way we listened – and the way we felt about Thursday mornings – keeping us hooked every week, as we hoped for another clue into the saga of Adnan Syed. Was he innocent or wasn't he? Had Jay been lying the whole time? And most importantly, what's this thing called a "phone booth?" Syed's popularity on the podcast circuit eventually got him enough attention to have his conviction vacated, meaning he could soon get a new trial. But that wasn't the only thing Serial accomplished: in the year and a half since it first premiered, podcasts – and the true crime genre – have experienced a grand resurgence. Here, 10 of the best podcasts available on the internet for when you've re-listened to Serial and you still can't get your fix.

Casefile

‘Casefile’

As Casefile points out in their tagline, fact is scarier than fiction. But what the podcast might really prove is that fact is even scarier when told in a thick Australian accent – especially when accompanied by ambient, pulsing noise from a trio of professional sound designers and musicians. In each weekly episode, which can run anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour and a half, the narrator, known only as "Brad," calmly tells a story of a devastating Australian crime. The podcast expertly covers murder and abduction, sometimes walking the listener through the criminal's trial, and other times discussing potential theories for a crime whose perpetrator was never caught. 

Unsolved Podcast

‘Unsolved Murders: True Crime Stories’

One of the newest podcasts on this list, Unsolved Murders: True Crime Stories was launched just last June – but offers one of the most complete, well-realized products on the podcast market. Hosted by actor Carter Roy and voice artist and coach Wenndy Mackenzie, Unsolved Murders is more radio drama than straight storytelling, using an impressive set of voice actors and sound effects to illustrate each tale. They started their first season with a three-part look into the Axeman of New Orleans, an early 20th-century jazz-loving serial killer who terrorized the big easy for 18 months, before turning their attention to the first Hollywood murder during the silent era, and a real-life, mid-century madman who terrorized a Texas town and inspired the classic urban legend of the hook man. The only problem with this podcast is that it releases new episodes every other Tuesday – which is not nearly often enough. 

True Crime Garage

‘True Crime Garage’

Nic and the Captain host the weekly True Crime Garage, a kind of male answer to the absurdly popular My Favorite Murder – two friends with a deep love of true crime who also enjoy cracking each other up. Each episode starts with a spooky retelling of a particular crime – like the Slender Man stabbings in 2012; the Son of Sam murders in 1970s; or the 1990s West Memphis Three who were incarcerated for a brutal crime they didn't commit – before cracking a beer and kicking back to discuss for over an hour. You can hear the hosts loosen up as they imbibe, going through the details of a crime and offering their own insights – as off-base as they might be after a few drinks. 

Crime Writers On...

‘Crime Writers On…’

Perhaps the most meta show on the list, Crime Writers On… is a podcast about a podcast that often discusses and promotes other podcasts. Started in December 2014, Crime Writers was a place for, well, crime writers to discuss their latest obsession: Serial. (This was somewhat impromptu; they missed the first nine episodes and started making the podcast after Serial's 10th installment.) In the year-and-a-half since Serial wrapped its first season, Crime Writers has expanded to a place for the four hosts – married couple Rebecca Lavoie and Kevin Flynn; Lara Bricker and Toby Ball, all crime writers in some capacity – to discuss Adnan Syed, journalism, true crime and pop culture in all capacities, offering theories like Sarah Koenig cribbed her narration style from Angela in My So-Called Life

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