People are obsessed with true crime these days. From documentaries to books to podcasts, people just can’t seem to get enough. It’s no wonder that true crime has become one of the most popular genres among podcast listeners.
Among the dozens of thought-provoking podcasts listeners are tuning into, Serial is by far one of the most popular. Serial is an investigative journalism podcast hosted by Sarah Koenig, who shares the details of a crazy interesting true crime story over several episodes. This award-winning podcast is seriously so gripping, it’s almost impossible not to binge!
Given everyone’s infatuation with Serial, we want to give fans more great podcasts with the same vibe. Here are our fave podcasts that have us OBSESSED just like Serial:
Binge-Worthy Podcasts Like Serial
Crime Junkie I mean, it’s all in the name. This podcast was MADE for anyone who can’t get enough of murder and mayhem. Since 2017, besties (and hosts) Ashley Flowers and Brit Pawat have launched themselves to the top of the charts by making us all obsessed with every story they tell. ALL 600 OF THEM! Our fave part of Crime Junkie is the delivery style. It seriously feels like your crime-obsessed (and slightly unhinged) girlfriend is giving the DL on all of the BEST crime stories. You’ve just gotta listen to it.
Every Thursday on Small Town Murder two comedians, James Pietragallo and Jimmie Whisman, zero in on a small town, its weird *ss history, and a murder that happened there. We love a deep dive, and these guys do it so well! In addition, you can have a laugh. (Respectfully of course.) As they’ll tell you, they’re *assholes, but not scumbags.
My Favorite Murder is another top-rated true crime comedy podcast hosted by a hilarious female duo! Each week, comedians Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark share stories of true crimes they heard from listeners and friends. Since 2016, they’ve covered everything from serial killers and kidnappings to cults and also survivor stories.
They’ve got a little of everything, and end each episode with a cheeky reminder: stay sexy! We love that, because it reminds us of our girl Madi Murphy at The Bad Broadcast telling us to “Be safe, by kind, and be hot.” We all need encouragement like this.
The Root of Evil: The True Story of the Hodel Family and the Black Dahlia, or just Root of Evil for short, is an investigative crime podcast with a format really similar to Serial. The podcast covers the Black Dahlia murder and suspect George Hodel. It’s hosted by Yvette Gentile and Rasha Pecoraro, George Hodel’s great-granddaughters, which also makes this one a family affair! She’s also seriously supposing her great grandpa killed Elizabeth Short. WILD! (And, we have to say the evidence is pretty compelling.)
In the Dark is an investigative journalism podcast that released new episodes between 2016 and 2020. It was hosted by Madeleine Baran. Season one of the podcast focused on the absolutely tragic kidnapping and murder of Jacob Wetterling and the law enforcement responsible for solving the crime. And then the second season covered Curtis Flowers, a man who was tried six times for the same quadruple homicide case. (WOW! What a nightmare.)
They also dropped a special report on the COVID-19 pandemic in the Mississippi Delta, which offers a whole new perspective on “Corona.”. If you fall in love with this one and binge all those episodes in a week, you’ll be happy to know The New Yorker announced an upcoming third season. Get hyped, guys!!!
Like Serial and In the Dark, Up and Vanished centers on one crime per season. Host Payne Lindsey actually spends his time investigating cold case disappearances with the goal of not just telling you about them, but actually solving it. This formula means you can form your own opinions (we love having opinions) on every crime and then try to figure out whodunit.
Season one of Up and Vanished covers his investigation of the disappearance of Tara Grinstead, a missing teacher from South Georgia, in real-time. It’s so thrilling to experience it as it’s happening! In season two, listeners learn about Kristal Reisinger, a young mom who disappeared from a small mountain town in Colorado. Then the third season covers the disappearance of Ashley Loring HeavyRunner, an indigenous woman who went missing from the Blackfeet Nation Indian Reservation in North West Montana. Every season is so AMAZING!
Unsolved mystery fans frequently name Missing on 9/11 as one of their favorite true crime podcasts. In each episode of this podcast, host Jon Walczak shares details of the mysterious disappearance of a woman who was last seen the day before a dark moment in our country’s history. Of course, the investigation was totally overshadowed by the events of 9/11, leaving her family and friends with TONS of questions. The podcast helps make sense of all of it!
Alright, we’ll admit, this isn’t true crime. However, if you get really deep into the true crime world, it can get super depressing. You start thinking about society and humanity and blah blah blah. The point is, sometimes you need a little fiction and a little humor. SO, we totally recommend you dive into Bone Marry Bury, which is a modern whodunit with lots of twist and turns and all the crime flare you love! (Without the sleepless nights and existential crisis.)
Someone Knows Something is a podcast hosted by award-winning, Canadian filmmaker and writer David Ridgen. In each season of SKS, Ridgen uses investigative journalism to tell the true story of a criminal cold case. In addition, this one is super serious for when you’re really wanting something dark and heavy.
Dr. Death is a unique crime podcast hosted by Laura Beil that focuses on the shocking true cases of medical malpractice. (Yeah, be prepared to unlock new fears!) Season one focuses on Christopher Duntsch, a Texas neurosurgeon who was convicted of gross malpractice after 31 of his patients were critically injured and then two of his patients died while he operated on them. AH!
Other seasons cover doctors like a psychotic oncologist and a regenerative surgeon who was a straight up con man. We love to hear about the chaos, but we’ll def be more cautious of sketchy doctors. (Don’t worry, Dr. Will Cole and Dr. Deepika Chopra are legit. Like, the most legit.)
If you need a reminder about how the medical field isn’t all as sour as the doctors in Dr. Death, Good Morning, Monster is the perfect palette cleanser. Like Serial, it dives into one true story all season long. This one isn’t true crime, but goes into the complex psyche of a memorable patient of therapist Catherine Gildiner. It’s totally captivating in the same way true crime is captivating! Give it a try if you’re looking for something that’s your taste, but just a little different than what you’re used to.
Culpable is another thought provoking podcast that covers unsolved true crime cases.
In addition, Culpable covers cases like Christian Andreacchio, whose 2014 death was ruled a suicide after a mere 45 minute conversation, despite TONS of crucial evidence that screamed murder. We all love a cold case and Culpable presents them so perrrfectly.
Criminal was named a Best Podcast of 2023 by the New York Times, so we probably don’t need to tell you that it’s super fricken good. The concept is simple: every week covers a story of a crime and the person who committed them, suffered by them, or found them wound up in the middle. The perspective is super unique and fun, and we also think you’re going to love it!
If murder ever gets a little too heavy, we highly recommend Scamfluencers! It’s a podcast all about how certain influencers use their audience to commit totally despicable acts of fraud!
Each week hosts Scaachi Koul and Sarah Hagi uncover the truth behind the facade of influencers hoping to cash in on the popularity of social media, fashion, finance, health, and fitness. Scamfluencers will have you thinking twice about the people you follow online and also how our culture gives them the platform to thrive.
Okay, need an example of an influencer who fooled even us at Dear Media: Coco Berthmann is the name! Lauryn & Michael Bosstick interviewed her in the Dear Media podcast Him & Her back in 2021. And our hearts seriously broke for her and her tragic life. HOWEVER, shortly after, a lot of what Coco told us turned out to be a lie . . . but not everything?
So, we decided to dive in with our own “scamfluencer” podcast! Like Serial, we spend the whole season on just one big crime, which is Coco Berthmanns fraud. Berthmann gained online notoriety by sharing her story of surviving sex trafficking as a child in Germany. Families in Utah provided shelter and support as she found her way into the spotlight. But it all came crashing down in 2022 when Berthmann was arrested for raising money for a fake cancer diagnosis. Suddenly everyone began doubting her story, which is where the hosts of Believable come in. What’s the truth? Who is Coco Berthmann?
There is something super special about completing a story, and that’s what happens at the end of every season of Serial! There’s a feel of accomplishment and enlightenment that’s SO SATISFYING. If you want that same vibe, but with an inspiring story instead of a dreadful one, try Summer of Gold! It’s all about how women absolutely DOMINATED in the 1996 Olympic Games. It’s definitely a dose of positivity you might need after binging some of these other podcasts . . .
If it’s the eerie, unsettling, and adrenaline-pumping effect of Serial that you’re after, we have the perfect podcast for you. Full Body Chills isn’t a straightforward true crime podcast, but it’s a thought-provoking podcast with just as much impact as Serial. In fact, it’ll have you checking your locks and scrolling TikTok self-defense videos.
Full Body Chills focuses on the kind of stories that are best told late at night, allowing your imagination to run dangerously wild. From scary unsolved mysteries to creepy, unexplained mythical experiences, each episode is guaranteed to have you on the edge of your seat.
As a fan of Serial, which podcasts do you recommend listening to next?
We’re dying to know (pun intended) which true crime podcasts you can’t seem to get enough of. Give us all the deets in the comments! Then, head over to the Dear Media blog for more info on our favorite podcasts.