8 True Crime Podcasts to Listen to in 2024

Best True Crime Podcasts 2024

It is hard to avoid true crime podcasts. And yet, we’ve managed to evade compiling a list of our favorites for over five years. This was partly due to scope. As one of the most popular genres, attempting to reduce hundreds of shows to a single-digit list presented a challenge we were loathe to tackle. Compounded with the fanaticism many listeners feel for the genre, as well as the ethical questions surrounding true crime’s treatment of real victims and their families, you can hardly blame us for ducking. But considering half of our best podcasts of 2023 could be considered true crime, we thought it was about time we wrote up a proper list.

At the heart of the true crime boom is our perception of risk, which is arguably inflated beyond what is rational. But there are plenty of reasons to enjoy true crime: a love of mystery, catharsis, community. With many shows challenging the tropes that gave the genre a bad reputation, we might soon enter another golden age. No, Serial isn’t on this list. But its legacy is present. These shows reflect a new generation, one that is self-reflexive, sensitive, and endlessly creative.

Bone Valley

The host of Bone Valley, Gilbert King, wrote a book that overturned the convictions of four innocent men. His history sets a precedent for his next subject, Leo Schofield. Over forty years ago, Schofield’s wife was found dead in a phosphate pit in Florida. Leo was convicted of 18-year-old Michelle Schofield’s murder two years later. Many thought that would be the end of the story, until unidentified fingerprints were matched to another man fifteen years later. In Bone Valley, King tells this story in gripping detail, asking why Leo is still behind bars despite finding evidence that another culprit may have committed many murders — including Michelle’s. This compelling nine-part series sets out to prove that, in some stories, justice has lost its meaning.

You Didn’t See Nothin

We are always looking for podcasts that reach beyond the confines of their genre. You Didn’t See Nothin is a perfect example. Part memoir, part true crime investigation, the series investigates a moment of extreme violence in Chicago, twenty-five years ago. The true story is told by Yohance Lacour, who covered the assault of Lenard Clark, a thirteen-year-old Black child attacked by white teenagers in 1997. It goes deep into the political context of the attack, including the normalization of state and civilian violence; unsurprisingly, it also analyzes the media coverage, including Lacour’s own reporting. With a strong narrative and big ambition, You Didn’t See Nothin presents history as if it were still happening, giving Lenard Clark’s assault the attention and dignity it has always deserved.

The Girlfriends

The Girlfriends is a podcast about Bob Bierenbaum and the women who dated him. But despite opening like a romantic comedy, this isn’t a happy story. Bob Bierenbaum was every woman’s dream man, the sort of doctor Carole Fisher wanted to take home to her mother. He was handsome, stylish, and single. No wonder every woman in Vegas wanted to date him. But it wasn’t long before Carole realized that her dreamy doctor might be too good to be true. To uncover the truth, she formed a friendship with other women who dated Bob, and together they investigate his strange behavior. The Girlfriends stands out in a crowded genre for a few reasons. It has a perfectly curated soundtrack. It borrows tropes from Nora Ephron and Jane Eyre. It is also completely true. If crime can be cute, even kitsch, The Girlfriends makes the case.


The first season of Unraveled investigated a case that has recently returned to the public consciousness: the Long Island Serial Killer. Much to fans’ delight, the show came back last year to cover the arrest of prime suspect, Rex Heuermann. While shows like Serial bring attention to forgotten crimes, Unraveled takes a different storytelling approach. It blurs the line between investigation and news bulletin, making fans feel as close to the case as is comfortable — and ethical.

Alexis Linkletter makes good use of her journalistic credentials by being both analytical and responsive. Unraveled will appeal to listeners who want to peer behind the headlines; with new developments emerging all the time, there’s no lack of drama in this sad story.

Bear Brook

The premise behind the second season of Bear Brook is simple: Jason Carroll is serving life in prison for a murder he says he didn’t commit. Sadly, the case is anything but easy to unravel. Thirty-five years ago, Jason was accused of participating in a murder-for-hire that involved the victim’s own husband. The death of Sharon Johnson deeply affected her small town; those who knew her can’t understand why the only man convicted of her murder is protesting his innocence three decades later.

The only evidence against Jason is his taped confession, acquired under strange circumstances. Is it possible to discover the truth after all this time? Bear Brook quickly became a fan favorite after its strong first season. The most recent proves that this podcast is capable of sophisticated crime storytelling; plenty of true crime shows attempt self-reflexivity, but few execute it as well as Bear Brook.

The Retrievals

In her review of The Retrievals, Kat Rooney said the show “made her believe in true crime again”. No wonder we named it the best podcast of 2023. The genre is flooded with stories of terrible crimes, often with dead women becoming little more than props in the horror. But not The Retrievals.

The series, hosted by Susan Burton for Serial Productions, brings a different kind of ethical conundrum to the true crime category. It launched a year after Roe v. Wade was overturned, a period when reproductive rights and healthcare dominated the thoughts of many Americans. Through patient narratives, Burton investigates the distressing experiences of women resorting to I.V.F. for pregnancy. These are not cold cases or miscarriages of small-town justice. But they are worth hearing. The Retrievals is still a must, for true crime fans and casual listeners alike.

To Live and Die in LA

Los Angeles is the setting for many fictional crimes. But in February 2018, a real one took place. An aspiring actress vanished from her Hollywood apartment, her family left with nothing but unanswered questions. In season two of To Live and Die in LA, Rolling Stone journalist Neil Strauss turned his investigative skills to solve the disappearance of Elaine Park. After winning awards for its first season, To Live and Die in La remains a compelling, atmospheric — and at times provocative — podcast that captures the light and dark sides of this bifurcated city.

The Clearing

When you think of a true crime podcast, you probably imagine something like The Clearing. It’s a series that includes many classic tropes: multiple unsolved murders, a father with a secret, and an unlikely tip-off that cracks the case. But The Clearing isn’t cliché. It manages to be stylish and self-conscious while telling a story many people are familiar with. It begins when April Balascio, a grown woman who never knew a happy childhood, realizes something she has feared for decades. Her father, Edward Wayne Edwards, is a murderer.

The Clearing is about what happened next. As rumors of multiple murders circulate, the truth of Edwards’ crimes becomes obscure; with the help of host Josh Dean, April returns to her childhood to understand the real story of what happened. The Clearing is instantly gripping. By placing April at the center of the narrative, the show avoids the sensationalism that has overshadowed her father’s confirmed crimes.


Alice Florence Orr is a staff writer and assistant editor for Podcast Review. She is based in Edinburgh. You can connect with her on Twitter or read her work on aliceflorenceorr.com