By now, if you’re a true crime fan you’d be across the cancellation if Sword & Scale by Wondery. The podcast will live on via Patreon, but many are abandoning it both for the content within the podcast, which has been accused of overusing 911 calls without blocking names of victims, as well as revealing victim’s names which have previously remained anonymous.
Fans have also been dropping off due to host Mike Boudet‘s social media behaviour, including allegedly soliciting nudes from female fans, body-shaming, and misogyny.
Whether you remain a fan of Sword & Scale or not, you’re likely a true crime nut who will never tire of adding new podcasts to your list of binge-worthy listens. We’ve rounded up a bunch of our favourites, from the more obvious to the potentially more obscure. Happy listening!
This Aussie podcast, produced by ABC Radio, chronicles the case of Maria James – a mother of two who was stabbed to death in the back of her Melbourne bookshop in 1980. Her killer was never found, but this podcast – and the expert level of investigative reporting – ended up raising some serious questions.
2. IN THE DARK
This lesser-known podcast is absolutely worth a listen if the investigation of a crime is your thing. It centres around the abduction of Jacob Wetterling in the 80’s – a kid from a small town in rural Minnesota. The investigation took 27 years, and this podcast looks at the reason why it took so damn long to track down the killer.
Call this the underdog of true crime podcasts – the minimally produced, all-Aussie team is led by an anonymous host with the most ocker Aussie accent ever. Each episode covers one true crime murder case extensively, from the crime through the investigation. On occasion, they’ll run a several-episode series if the case is super deep. First-time listeners – don’t be put off by the no-frills style. The research and attention to detail is phenomenal – there’s a reason it’s loved dearly by podcast listeners and consistently remains in the upper end of the iTunes Top Charts.
Sorry for the self-promotion but also NOT REALLY SORRY. We have a true crime podcast – it’s on the more conversational side so don’t expect anything too detailed, but if you love the vibe of sitting around with mates and one is telling you a spicy yarn, from murder mysteries to supernatural tales, you’ll love us. Says me.
SBS’ True Stories podcast in general is fantastic, but for true crime purposes it’s Season 3 to get onto immediately. Telling the story of Adelaide‘s gay-hate murders of the 70’s – 90’s, it’s a harrowing 5-part account of violence against the LGBTIQ community, and was listed as one of iTunes ‘Best Podcasts of 2015’ – which is huge considering it was up against podcasts from all around the globe.
Produced by The Australian, Bowraville is a gripping 5-part series focusing on the Bowraville serial killings. Three indigenous children were murdered within five months in the small town of Bowraville, QLD – and they all lived on the same street. Walkley award-winning investigative journalist Dan Box heads up the series (the podcast actually won 4 Walkleys), and the questions raised by the podcast led to someone (we won’t say who) being charged with the crimes.
Don’t write MFM (as Murderinos, their fanbase, coin it) off as a comedy show – hosts Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark looooove true crime, and once they met at a party and worked out they shared the same slightly-unhinged level of interest in it, decided to turn that into a casual chat style podcast. Initial episodes were simply based around each host bringing a true crime case for a chat – these days there’s everything from themed episodes to wrap-ups of ‘hometown murders’ their fans send in. Both ladies are wickedly funny, but never cross the disrespect line with victims or cases, and always come with a solid amount of research. It’s literally like listening to your most hilarious friends talk about your favourite topic at a house party.
8. BLACK HANDS
This NZ produced podcast centres on a grisly 1994 murder which saw five family members shot and killed in their home. The only survivor? David Bain, one of the sons. It’s a bizarre and mysterious crime case that’s spawned plenty of internet chat, and each episode reveals more background to the murders that makes you question your conviction over who committed them.
Another podcast that literally helped solve a cold case, this investigative series looks at the disappearance of Tara Grinstead, a high school teacher and former beauty queen from Georgia, USA. It was an 11 year cold case when Payne Lindsey started investigating, and within six months of the first episode going live, a tip was provided to police which led to an arrest and charge over the disappearance. Some of the promotion around the podcast – they do live tours and have merch – can feel a bit ick given it’s about a murder, but the actual content is excellent.
10. THUNDER BAY
This Canadian podcast chronicles the crimes and misdemeanours of Thunder Bay, a town with a history of violence and racism. You’ll gasp in shock over some of the horrific occurrences, and at other times over the simply wild tales of deceit and corruption.
11. CRIME JUNKIE
These ladies are irreverent – similar to MFM and AAMH. But they go a bit more in-depth on the crimes they cover, with the show beginning with a lengthy explanation of the crime itself, followed by a chat between the hosts.
On a bit of a different note, this podcast covers the manipulations and crimes of a mysterious man known as “Hamish”. It’s a wild ride through false identities and false promises.
With three seasons now under it’s belt, this ABC podcast is one of the best examples of in-depth investigative reporting. Each season focuses on a different unsolved case in Australia, and will have you on the edge of your seat until the last episode.
The disappearance of Madeleine McCann is one of the most talked-about mysteries of the last few decades. This podcast delves deep into that fateful Portugal night, to try and determine where this little girl went – and who was involved.