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Best True Crime Podcast: ‘Crime Junkie’

Hosts Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat examine a new case every Monday

crime junkie podcast

This isn’t the first episodic true-crime podcast of its kind, but it’s earned five stars from almost 10,000 listeners for a reason. Every Monday, Indianapolis-based hosts Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat examine a new case, often one that’s unsolved or underreported. The women’s rapport — they’ve been close friends since childhood — helps make the show a reliably good listen, as does their refusal to waste time veering into distracting side conversations. They keep each episode tightly focused on the matter at hand: a compelling crime story.

Flowers, a member of the board of directors for Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana, is an engaging storyteller who shows empathy when dissecting heinous crimes; the show never moves into exploitative territory. Though it tends to look at crimes that have not been widely covered, many of which occurred in the women’s Midwestern homeland, Flowers is at her best when dissecting complicated cases that stink of larger cover-ups and corruption. For example, the “Dalkon Shield” episode is a must-listen for its terrifying recollections of a 1970s-era IUD that killed approximately twenty women and hurt at least 90,000 others.

And the “Women in the U.S. Military” episode brings an illuminating back-story to the heartbreaking case of LaVena Johnson, 19, a Private First Class in the U.S. Army. Originally from Missouri, Johnson died in Iraq in 2005. Her death was ruled a suicide, but many of the specifics appear questionable, leading many to believe that she was actually raped and murdered.

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