Each month, Podcast Review’s staff offers recommendations on the best new podcasts to listen to. Here are our favorites for March:
Season two of Bear Brook, produced by New Hampshire Public Radio and hosted by reporter Jason Moon, is an expertly written story about a convicted murderer (Jason Carroll) and the woman he claims he did not kill (Sharon Johnson). It’s a familiar podcast premise, but Moon’s approach makes it feel exciting again. Bear Brook: A True Crime Story begins from the perspective of Johnson’s friends, whose decades-long efforts to grieve and heal after their friend’s death have been disrupted by the doubt cast about Carroll’s guilt. There are those who vehemently uphold the official narrative that Carroll is a killer, those who challenge it, and those who are distraught with uncertainty. Bear Brook carefully considers each of these perspectives in an attempt to make sense of Carroll’s fraught conviction. It’s excellent writing, and even better listening.
The latest from the Serial Productions/NYT label finds reporter Kim Barker returning to her hometown of Laramie, Wyoming to investigate the cold case of Shelli Wiley. As Barker shares in the first episode, Laramie is perhaps best known as the site of Matthew Shepard’s torture in 1998, and was a generally hostile environment during her youth. It’s within this context that Barker tries to uncover why a former cop was arrested 31 years after the murder, only for the charges to be dropped shortly thereafter.
Kaitlin Prest returns with a new series all about her and her sister, Natalie. Produced by the CBC, the show is culled largely from the archival audio of two siblings who have been recording each other their entire lives. The first episode finds both Kaitlin and Natalie narrating their entirely different experiences of their shared childhood. Sisters immediately conveys the warm storytelling that has become expected of The Heart.
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