About a year and a half ago I began to really enjoy listening to podcasts. My hometown is roughly three hours away from the University of Oregon and I would frequently return home for the weekend. My best friend is from the same town so she would often go home with me, and while we drove back home and then back to school we would listen to podcasts. Eventually it just became tradition that a podcast would be playing while we drove. One time, my best friend, who was also my roommate, told me she couldn’t wait for the weekend because we’d get to listen to the podcast we were on at the time. The weekend brought excitement about going home, but also excitement about getting to continue to listen in on the story unfolding in the podcast.
The genre we pretty consistently stuck with was true crime; that means they cover topics including murder, sexual assault, child abuse, and other things in between. If you’re okay to listen to a podcast about those topics then carry on! If that’s not for you, I completely understand! Listed below are some true crime podcasts I’ve greatly enjoyed listening to:
The Crime Junkie podcast is a massive collection of episodes that cover a new story each week. Those stories are about missing persons, murders, mysterious deaths, serial killers, stalkings, conspiracies, and other infamous cases. Ashley Flowers and Britt Prawat host the show together. Ashley tells the story, while Britt essentially is her audience and reacts to it. This podcast is absolutely a highlight of my week. The storytelling is captivating and is kept laid-back enough that it is really easy to listen to and enjoy. This podcast is also consistently one of the most popular podcasts, generally the most popular, in the United States.
Death in Ice Valley
This podcast is about a mystery that is a mystery in every sense of the word, right down to the person it covers. It is about the mysterious death of a woman known to most now as “The Isdal Woman”. Her case has been unsolved for nearly half a century. Before listening to this podcast I had never heard of the Isdal Woman or anything to do with her death. Now, after having listened I can’t believe I had never heard of it. I spent many hours searching the internet for theories of who this woman may be, but reality is that no one knows. This podcast dives into many of those theories—that she was a spy, a prostitute, or in the witness protection program—and tells the chilling story of a death in ice valley.
Root of Evil
Talk about twisted. This one truly disturbed my best friend and I. The podcast tells the story of George Hodel, the prime suspect in the most famous unsolved murder in American History: The Black Dahlia murder. The story is told by Rasha Pecoraro and Yvette Gentile, both members of the Hodel family. The podcast reveals an extremely dark history surrounding the Hodel family, and when I say dark I mean truly, truly frightening. Everything in this podcast is shocking. There really was not a moment where my mouth wasn’t hanging open. If you’re not sure about true crime yet, maybe try one of the other recommendations before this one just to make sure it’s for you!
Dirty John – Los Angeles Times
Before I listened to this podcast from the Los Angeles Times I watched the Netflix show, also called “Dirty John”. I found the podcast a couple days later and I gave it a shot! The Netflix show is great because it tells the story visually, while the podcast lets your own imagination run free and definitely includes more details. This podcast made me realize that it is totally possible that someone can be absolutely not who they say they are. This podcast is the most psychologically twisting. I listened to this with my boyfriend and he was so disturbed by it that he actually had to stop listening. Content-wise it is mild compared to the other three podcasts listed because it covers a con-man and manipulation, but psychologically it is difficult to accept at certain points.
If you haven’t given podcasts a try but you enjoy movies and/or books I suggest trying them out! They’re great for driving and other times when you don’t want to listen to music, but want your brain to be somewhat occupied.