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Must Listen: The best true crime podcasts

True crime fan? Do you need some new podcast recommendations?

TV presenter and podcaster Chris Johnson has chosen five of his favourite true crime podcasts as part of 5 Live's Must Listen, every Monday at midnight on the Sarah Brett show.

He's picked: Casefile, S'Laughter, Paradise, They Walk Among Us and Bloody Murder.

Have you listened to any of these podcasts? Comment below to let us know what you think.


(Photo: Casefile)

Chris says: "A team of researchers put together this award-winning Australian podcast, led by an anonymous host, which is sure to send shivers down your spine - if not for the harrowing true crime stories, then because of the eerie pace and production.

"The descriptions are detailed and vivid, putting you in the mindset of the people within the story.

"Presented more like an audio book, Casefile really takes its time with lots of pull-quotes from articles and testimonies, backed up by an ambient score throughout each episode.

"An odd but funny bonus of the Casefile experience comes from the mid-episode ads, which are sometimes read by the host and similarly scored to the main story, so you may find yourself wondering why he suddenly shifts from describing a homicide to giving you a discount code!"


(Photo: S'Laughter)

Chris says: "Lucy and Emma are teachers who spend the occasional evening getting tipsy and swapping true crime stories that fascinate them.

"Super informal, it’s like having a chat with your mates and, despite the dark subject matter, can be hilarious on occasion. That casual approach can be really useful if the details of true crime stories are uncomfortable fodder for new ears.

"They’re charming, quirky and passionate about the true crime genre and have a mixture of standard episodes and short ‘slash and dash’ episodes too, which is great for a binge listen."


(Photo: Penny Farmer)

Chris says: "BBC Radio 5 Live’s Stephen Nolan and journalist Dan Maudsley chronicle the disappearance of British couple Peta Frampton and Chris Farmer in the late 70’s after they set off on a trip around the world.

"The series delves deeply into the lives of each individual involved, from the family and friends of the deceased, to the son of the murderer and beyond.

"Laced with interviews, Paradise is presented as a hybrid of audio-drama and documentary. The team working on it bring a ton of different insights, and the narrative flow is really quite unique.

"It differs from many true crime podcasts in that it presents the resolution of the events at the very beginning, but then rewinds back into the events to unearth much more than what was on the surface.

"Access to the BBC’s back catalogue help flesh out the history with clips and news reports, but it’s the extensive interviews that keep this series gripping throughout."

They Walk Among Us

(Photo: They Walk Among Us)

Chris says: "Benjamin Fitton [host] and Rosanna Fitton [co-writer] are the husband and wife team behind this cleverly crafted, UK-centric true crime podcast.

"One of the reasons I gravitated towards this podcast is the slow and precise style they deliver their cases in. You can tell they have a blast putting together each episode as there's so much passion behind the writing.

"They go into great detail and pull so many quotes and statements from around the time of each case which makes it feel like a mystery novel with an additional layer of music and detail."

Bloody Murder

(Photo: Bloody Murder)

Chris says: "Barney Black and Tara Sariban each pick a true crime story, write up a detailed essay all about the case and read it to the other host.

"The aim is to tell the more twisted or bizarre story. Comedy is the focus of the podcast, and the pair take great care to never mock the victims or the witnesses to the cases - instead, they see fit to take the p out of the oddball details of each incident.

"Dark humour is the order of the day, but that extra layer can take the edge off of the subject matter just enough to make bingeing possible.

"Most episodes end with a mix of outtakes from the recording and a ‘typically Aussie’ crime case - think a down-under Darwin Awards."

Listen to Chris' full reviews, featuring an interview with Dan Maudsley from Paradise, produced by BBC Radio 5 Live.

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