Top 14 True Crime Podcasts of November & December 2023
So I am not going to sugar-coat it, I got lazy in November and didn’t release a true crime podcast blog but I am making up for it now with this bumper list of true crime podcasts! These are the best true crime podcasts of November AND December. Think of this as my end of year/Christmas gift to you and thanks for reading.
Believe it or not I listened to a few more true crime podcasts but they just didn’t quite hit the mark. As there are a lot of true crime podcasts to get through on this list I will try to keep my synopses shorter than my usual somewhat rambling descriptions and limit the amount of spoilers! As always I am listening to these podcasts on Spotify so when I refer to available episodes, it is Spotify I am referencing.
1. Very Scary People - Hosted By Donnie Wahlberg - ID.
This true crime podcast had me hooked from the trailer! Across seven episodes we hear the story of the “Ken & Barbie” killers, a young, wholesome “blond-haired blue-eyed duo” who are responsible for the rape and murder of a number of young women in the suburbs of Toronto, Canada. This podcast sure has some shocking revelations, notably the familial connection between the killers and one of their victims - unbelievable!
Lucky for you, all seven episodes are available now so queue them up and get listening!
2. Carrie Jade Does Not Exist - Hosted By Sue Perkins & Katherine Denkinson - Audio Always.
Fans of the true crime podcast Finding Samantha be sure to check out this new podcast Carrie Jones Does Not Exist which has another scammer named Samantha at its core. This Samantha also targets Ireland and for a moment this left me wondering was it in fact the same person.
Over six episodes, the hosts tell the story of how:
“… one woman, who took on over six different identities, infiltrated the lives of vulnerable people, and lied her way into gaining their trust.” (Source here).
Honestly, are there no limits to the ways in which people manipulate and prey on others for their own gain?! The appalling behaviour of the perpetrator of these crimes and the damage she did will fill you with rage, disgust and sadness. All six episodes are available now.
3. I’m Not Here To Hurt You - Hosted By Kevin Doyle - Irish Independent.
OK so I somehow missed this excellent Irish true crime podcast when it was released back in July 2023 so I am including it now as it is quite simply fantastic! In I’m Not Here To Hurt You we hear the story of John O’Hegarty (who acquired the nickname of Ireland’s ‘polite bank robber’). The story is told by John O’Hegarty himself with assistance and prompts from the host Kevin Doyle who asks the right questions and keeps the story on track.
“Kevin Doyle goes on a journey to find out how a man with qualifications from two of Europe’s prestigious universities becomes Ireland’s most prolific bank robber.” (Source here).
This podcast is captivating. The background story, the events that led John O’Hegarty to committing crime is really heartbreaking and poignant; a real butterfly effect. As I was late finding this podcast, all six episodes were ready and waiting and I just couldn’t stop listening and I binged the lot in one go.
4. The Bakersfield Three - Casefile Presents.
Another great true crime podcast from Casefile Presents has arrived and there are FIFTEEN episodes just waiting for you to devour. The Bakersfield Three investigates the disappearance of two young friends and the murder of a third friend in the city of Bakersfield, California. Unhappy with how the Police investigation is progressing and motivated by the belief that the three cases are connected, the mothers of the three young people get together and start their own investigation. What the mothers could not foresee was the massive challenges that lay ahead of them as they uncover just how intertwined the cases are and the shocking revelations that would truly test their new friendships. Lots of twists and turns in this true crime podcast and even after listening to all fifteen episodes I am still waiting for more and I think you will agree when you learn how this podcast ends!
5. Gay Girl Gone - Hosted By Samira Mohyeddin - CBC.
OK so technically this podcast falls under the “Society & Culture” genre but there are real true crime elements throughout (identify theft being the standout) and it is just SO GOOD that I had to include it. Over six episodes, Gay Girl Gone tells the story of a Amina Arraf:
“It’s the dawn of the Arab Spring and Amina is a revolutionary blogger in Syria, fighting not just for justice but for gay liberation.” (Source here).
Amina (living in a country where homosexuality is illegal) acquires a Canadian girlfriend online and describes herself as:
“… an out lesbian with a passion for human rights and her homeland.” (Source here).
Of course Amina’s writings, protests and activism make her a target and she is inevitable “snatched” by the regime (the authoritarian regime of President Bashar al-Asad) and this opens a real big can of worms!
Honestly, I did not know what to expect when I started listening to this podcast but I am completely engrossed. There are four episodes available now so you have time to catch up before the final two episodes drop.
6. What Happened to Libby Caswell? - Hosted By Melissa Jeltsen - iHeart Originals.
Twenty-one year old Elizabeth “Libby” Caswell was found dead in a motel room in Independence, Missouri on December 11th 2017. Police quickly ruled her death a suicide however family and close friends of Libby were immediately suspicious when they learned that Libby was with her on again, off-again boyfriend (and father of her child) Devon, at the time of her death.
Devon and Libby’s relationship had been marred by drug use, domestic violence, stalking and controlling behaviour. So, was Libby’s death really a suicide? or did Devon murder Libby? In What Happened To Libby Caswell? host Melissa Jeltsen is on a mission to answer these questions and find out what really happened to Libby. There are five episodes available now and I am hooked!
Quick side-note, back in 2022 host Melissa Jeltsen investigated the murder of Sandy Beal which is another great true crime podcast if you haven’t already listened to it!
7. REAL Presents: What Happened to Charlene Downes? - By Naomi Channell.
Charlene Downes was only fourteen years old when she went missing from Blackpool, England on the 1st of November 2003. Charlene has never been found. In this true crime podcast we accompany host Naomi Downes as she goes through this case from start to finish, reviewing existing reports and records and speaking to lots of people who were involved in this case including private investigators, locals from Blackpool, family and friends of Charlene and members of the Justice For Charlene group. There is so much more to this story than an innocent child going missing; criminal activities that were rampant in Blackpool at the time are of extreme importance to this case as you will hear all about this as the podcast progresses.
What Happened to Charlene Downes? is a ten-part podcast series but the manner in which this podcast ends definitely leaves the door open for more episodes to come as new evidence and a new person of interest are uncovered. This is a very sad case that will have you hoping for answers.
Another side-note, if you like the host of this podcast Naomi Channel, be sure to check out another of her previously featured podcasts Through The Wall: The Case Against Luke Mitchell. This is a six-part true crime podcast series that I featured back in February 2023.
8. Witnessed: Fade to Black - Hosted By Josh Dean, Evan Wright & Megan Donis - Sony Music & Campside Media.
A famous LA screenwriter Gary Devore mysteriously disappears on his way home from a trip to New Mexico, USA, in the Summer of 1997. At the time of his disappearance Gary had just finished his latest script which he was very excited about and he was looking forward to transforming it into a movie in the future months. Gary’s script was:
“… allegedly going to be based in part on real events that occurred during the American invasion of Panama, and that script vanished along with him and his vehicle.” (Source here).
Could Gary’s script, which allegedly contained genuine CIA secrets be the reason for his mysterious disappearance? I am five episodes into this intriguing story and cannot wait to see where this story goes next!
9. Bad Bad Thing: The Blackstone Sisters - Hosted By Barbara Schroeder - PodcastOne.
Bad Bad Thing: The Blackstone Sisters is a true crime podcast investigating the death of Wendy Blackstone at the hands of her sister Jill Blackstone. Jill Blackstone, a fifty-nine year-old successful TV producer, is accused of killing her beloved forty-nine year-old disabled sister Wendy Blackstone along with her two rescue dogs, in March 2015 in Jill’s home in Studio City, Los Angeles. From the start, Jill denies murdering her sister and insists that accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, caused by a BBQ and fire that they had burning in her poorly ventilated garage, are to blame. The Police however have their own theory, that Jill simply staged the scene and in fact murdered her sister when she became frustrated and over whelmed with caring for her and the financial toll that this was having on her. So, who should we believe?
Over six episodes Emmy award winning journalist Barbara Schroeder breaks this case down and presents us with all the possible scenarios. It is a sombre story and I certainly empathised with the accused Jill Blackstone upon hearing the details of this true crime case. Now it is up to you to listen and decide is Jill telling the truth?
10. Crime Waves: Cold Truth - David Kushner - Faceplant & QCODE.
In Crime Waves: Cold Truth host David Kushner investigates the murder of Dr. Eugene Mallove who was a:
“… renowned scientist and fierce advocate for a controversial form of alternative energy called cold fusion.” (Source here).
Fear not if you don’t know too much (or anything) about cold fusion, all will become clear as you listen to this podcast and by the time Dr. Eugene Mallove is murdered you will be fully invested! This eight-part podcast series is packed full of interviews with family, co-workers and even investigators which really contribute to the story and provide a fuller picture of Dr. Mallove’s strong belief in, and obsession with, cold fusion. There are five episodes available so far.
11. Unrestorable - Hosted By Sarah Treleaven & Beth Karas - iHeartPodcasts.
This true crime podcast will really pull on your heart strings so have the tissues ready! It is a normal September day in 2014 in Maryland (USA) when two children, three year-old Sarah and two year-old Jacob go missing while under the care of their mother Catherine Hoggle. No trace of either child has ever been found. It is believed that their mother Catherine Hoggle is responsible for their disappearance and she is charged with their murders. There is so much more but I do not want to give any spoilers!
This podcast is a raw and real account of the years and days leading up to their disappearance, a lot of which is told by their distraught father Troy.
This is one of the most unusual true crime cases I have listened to. Unrestorable is a eight-part series that is sure to catch your attention from the beginning and is almost guaranteed to have you metaphorically “banging your head off a wall” with frustration by the end! All eight episodes are available now.
12. Gone South: The Sign Cutter (Season 3) - Hosted By Jed Lipinski - Audacy Studios.
Gone South: The Sign Cutter follows host Jed Lipinski as he attempts to unravel:
“… the story behind the 2018 killings of four sex workers in the border-town of Laredo, Texas, triggering a manhunt for a serial killer that would lead to a shocking standoff with a man once tasked with protecting the town.” (Source here).
I really enjoyed this podcast, it is well put together, easy to follow and as you join the host uncovering the story you almost feel part of the case. It is a really great true crime mystery that will keep you listening, so much so that you might find it hard to stop once you start! There are six episodes available now.
13. Crooked City: Dixon, IL (Season 3) - Hosted By Alexa Burke - The Binge.
In this the third season of the Crooked City true crime podcast we are off to Dixon, Illinois and quickly introduced to the woman at the heart of this true crime podcast, Rita Crundwell. Rita Crundwell served as the treasurer of Dixon and through this role she had access to millions of dollars, but it seems it took people a long time to come to the conclusion that Rita’s lavish lifestyle could simply not be possible with her modest civil servant salary!
“For twenty years, Rita Crundwell worked hard to become the world’s largest and most successful quarter horse breeder… while also becoming America’s most prolific municipal embezzler.” (Source here).
I really enjoyed this podcast. I loved the people interviewed, many of whom spoke very highly of Rita Crundwell and told so many interesting stories which add considerable depth to the narrative. All eight episodes are available now so get downloading and discover how the woman known as “The Horse Queen” should really be known as the queen of deception and embezzlement!
14. What About Holly? - Hosted By Cristina Corbin - Fox Audio Network.
For this last true crime podcast What About Holly? we go way back to January 1981 when the bodies of a young male and female are discovered in a wooded area in Houston, Texas. It is obvious from their injuries that they were murdered. Unfortunately, for forty years these bodies remained unidentified until at last, in 2021, genetic genealogists identified the bodies as twenty-one year-old Harold Dean Clouse and seventeen year-old Tina Gail Clouse who were:
“… a married couple who had moved from Florida to Texas with their infant daughter.” (Source here).
Yes, you read that right, they had an infant daughter named Holly! So where is she? and why were they murdered in the first place?
This podcast tries to uncover the mystery surrounding the murders and what happened to Holly. We hear from the families of the deceased as well as some member of the police that were involved in this case and the possibility of a cult being involved is also examined. Host Cristina Corbin is:
“The first reporter to obtain the entire police case file, including autopsy reports and crime scene photos, Corbin exposes stunning details that move this decades-old case forward.” (Source here).
I really liked the host, she is a great story teller! This mysterious true crime tale will have you at the edge of your seat. All nine episodes are available now making it the perfect podcast to download and binge.