Whether I’m commuting, working out, walking the dog or travelling, podcasts have become a game changer for me. Predominately true crime podcasts where I get to live out my child-hood Harriet the Spy/Nancy Drew dreams and rack my brain trying to figure out, “who did it?”
And I’m not alone, according to the 2017 Canadian Podcast Listener Study, over 10 million Canadians listened to podcasts in 1 year. Given the trends of the past 3 years, this number is only set to increase significantly. Advertisers, take note.
Anyhoo – if you’re like me and couldn’t stop listening to season one of Serial, this list is for you. I’ve compiled my favourite true crime podcasts below.
Up and Vanished (Season 1)
In October of 2005, Tara Grinstead, a beloved teacher and beauty queen from Ocilia, Georgia, vanishes after a night out with friends. Although Tara’s disappearance is the largest case file in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s history no arrests were made in 11 years. Enter the Up and Vanished podcast. Not only did the podcast garner significant attention for Tara’s story, it actually caused a huge break in the case which led to arrests. Talk about a satisfying end to a very sad story.
Following the success of Season 1, Payne Lindsey is back at it with Season 2 of “Up and Vanished”. This season focuses on the July 2016 disappearances of Arizona native, Kristal Anne Reisinger who reportedly disappeared from a full moon drum circle in Crestone, Colorado.
Missing and Murdered: Finding Cleo
Season 2 of CBC Radio’s “Missing and Murdered” spotlights the heartbreaking story of 9-year-old Cleo Semaganis Nicotine who was last seen by her family in 1974 when she was adopted out of Saskatchewan. Cleo was just one of an estimated 20,000 Indigenous children caught up in what is now known as the Sixties Scoop. Although this podcast was hard to listen to (as it was a shameful time in Canadian history) the story was important to learn about. Plus, the delivery of this story and humanity of the narrator, Connie Walker, brought to the podcast was fantastic.
Dirty John is probably every single-online-dating gal’s nightmare. Debra Newell, a California-based interior designer meets John Meehan online, thinks he’s her dream man and their relationship escalates quickly. Despite many red flags and concerns voiced by her children, the relationship progresses and quickly turns into a horror story. This podcast is a 6 part series and days after I finished listening, the story and its characters really stuck with me. Lucky for me and fellow Dirty John fans, the story is now being made into a TV series on Bravo, with Connie Britton portraying Debra Newell.
I’ll be Gone in the Dark
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark is a 3-episode podcast that shares the story behind the publication of the book I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, a true crime account of the Golden State Killer, by Michelle McNamara. Spoiler alert! McNamara passed away before she was able to finish the book but it was completed by her team of researchers, author Gillian Flynn her husband, Patton Oswalt.
I’m always on the hunt for great new podcasts, so please share your favourites in the comments!