The true crime podcast Serial is largely credited for popularizing podcasts to the general population. Whether or not you agree with this sentiment, it’s hard to argue the unwavering and historic success of the Serial podcast, follow up by S-Town. Together, both podcasts brought the medium to the masses and have further cemented true crime as a defacto genre of choice for podcasts. Serial infiltrated pop culture so much that Podcasts Like Serial should be an official podcast genre.
The success isn’t specifically tied the true crime genre, however. The narrative and serialized (unavoidable pun) nature of Serial, combined with the high production value we’ve grown to admire with the This American Life studio, made the success a no-brainer.
That’s great you liked Serial and S-Town, but now what? Which podcasts should you listen to satiate your true crime podcast thirst?
Ok if you loved Serial, but haven’t listened to S-Town yet, what are you waiting for? Stop reading this list and start binging. S-Town is the epitome of podcasts like Serial in that it analyzes and explores a single true crime story throughout the season. Each episode, or “chapter” as they’re called, goes further into an alleged murder case in Shit-Town, or S-Town for short.
Accused is the true crime podcast that tells that story of murder victim Elizabeth Andes. The case, from 1978, was conveniently deemed open-and-shut. However, there is substantial evidence (and speculation) there’s more to the story.
3. Beyond the Blood
Where Serial and S-town for narrative and told the respective stories through an entire season, Beyond the Blood is episodic, each episode explores a different true crime case. Cases vary from the horrifically disturbing, to the mysterious, to the wrongfully accused. If you’re looking for a quick binge on your commute or for a short run, listen to Beyond the Blood.
I covered Casefile in a true crime podcast round-up before, but it’s worth repeating. This podcast is really good. I wrote, “Casefile offers the perfect (though sometimes unsolved) resolution for Serial and S-Town fans. Since each episode is self-contained, fans can find their fix one bite at a time rather than feel compelled to binge through convenient cliff-hangers.”
Convicted is perfect for the podcasts like Serial genre that explores a resolved case that might have led to the conviction of an innocent man. In 1996, Richard Nicolas was accused and convicted of killing his daughter. He was punished with life in prison, however, there is some telling evidence that might suggest he’s wrongfully accused and the real killer is still out there.
6. Hollywood and Crime
Hollywood and Crime has a genius premise by combining two of the most intriguing topics, movie stars and murder. The podcast, produced by the quality studios of Wondery, tells the infamous story of Elizabeth Short, better known as the Black Dahlia. It’s one of the most famous Hollywood unsolved cases, but what might be surprising is that the crime might have been the act of a serial killer rather than a random act. New evidence has emerged that shows other women died in similar ways in the Los Angeles area during the same time.
7. Missing and Murdered: Who Killed Alberta Williams?
This podcast, like Serial and S-Town, started after a chilling tip from a cold case intrigued these podcast investigators. Their detective work and investigation is chronicled through an eight-part series that discovers new evidence and potential suspects.
8. Someone Knows Something
Someone Knows Something is a podcast like Serial, a narrative season-long investigation on a previous crime. The first season explores the missing child case of Adrien McNaughton who vanished without a trace in 1972. The second season delves into the missing person case of Sheryl Sheppard, who after being proposed to live on TV at a New Year’s Eve party, disappeared two days later. SKS hosts research clues, interview family and friends, and attempt to unearth exactly what happened to these missing people.