Top 8 True Crime Podcasts of November 2022
I am back with another great selection of top new true crime podcasts for this month! As always, I am listening to these via Spotify and relying on the episodes available there in my descriptions and analysis.
1. The Letter - By Amy Donaldson - Lemonada & KSL Podcasts.
The Letter is a heart breaking true crime podcast from Salt Lake City, Utah. On August 28th 1996 18 year old Zachary Snarr was shot and killed while innocently photographing a rising full moon in a park near his home. Zachary’s long term friend Yvette Rodier was with him at the time of the shooting and was also shot numerous times but miraculously survived. The shooter was quickly identified when Yvette disclosed her first hand account of the shooting; a 19 year old named Jorge Benvenuto.
In the three episodes available so far, this podcast tells the story of this crime from all perspectives. We hear directly from the person responsible and his motives are revealed. The most surprising element of this story so far is the revelation that Zachary’s mother has built a close friendship with the person who killed her son and we get an insight into this too. While this podcast is a sad story, it is also a lesson in strength, resilience and forgiveness.
2. Lost in Panama - Hosted By Mariana Atencio & Jermey Kryt - Kast Media.
There are only two episodes of this podcast available so far and I cannot wait for the next one to be released - I am absolutely hooked! Lost in Panama is a on the ground investigation into the 2015 disappearance of Dutch nationals Kris Kremer and Lisanne Froon from a hiking trail in a jungle in Panama.
Two months after their disappearance the remains of Kris and Lisanne were discovered. A Burton backpack which belonged to the women was also discovered. The backpack contained key evidence including a digital camera full of photographs that revealed Kris and Lisanne’s last movements and suggested that the women did not simply wander off the trail, get lost and perish but that their deaths were caused by something far more sinister. In this podcast the hosts:
“… retrace the last steps of the doomed women. Their search for the truth immerses them in eight years’ worth of conflicting evidence, testimonies, and rumors, as on-the-ground witnesses in Panama come forward for the first time. This explosive new evidence sets off a real-time race to reopen the case, and finally get justice for Kris and Lisanne.” (Source here).
So, what happened to Kris and Lisanne - was it a hiking accident? a double murder? or something else entirely? - I suggest binging the first two episodes so you are up to date when episode three drops.
3. Can I tell you a secret? - Hosted By Sirin Kale - The Guardian.
While this podcast is listed under the genre of “News”, true crime, specifically the crimes of cyberstalking and harassment are at the centre of this podcast and so I think it belongs here on this list. This six-part podcast series explores the effects that a cyberstalker can have on a victims life, how the crimes of stalking (specifically cyberstalking) and harassment are more prevalent then ever and how they are ruining many innocent lives.
I found this podcast completely enthralling. All the victims targeted had the same initial experience, they received:
“… a seemingly innocent message from someone who appears to be a young woman: ‘Can I tell you a secret?’” (Source here).
It isn’t long after the first contact is made that absolute havoc is wreaked in all aspects of the victims lives. The most shocking part of this story is that the person doing the cyberstalking was known to many of his victims and had been reported to the Police numerous times but for various reasons (outlined in the podcast) he continued to walk free and target new victims. A really interesting and captivating podcast series about “obsession, fear, and the lives we lead online”. All six episodes and a bonus seventh episode are available now.
4. Faceless - Hosted By Nic Obregon - USGAudio.
Faceless is a true crime investigation into the December 2000 murders of the Miyazawa family in Tokoyo. A mother, father and their two young children were brutally murdered in their Tokoyo home by an unknown “faceless” male.
Despite the perpetrator of this crime leaving a vast amount of evidence at the scene of the crime (inside the Miyazawa home) including the clothes he was wearing, the weapon he used to commit the murders, his DNA, his blood and his excrement - he has never been caught:
“There’s no clear motive. And no sign of the case being closed. The Miyazawa family murders are a paradox. They’re a case which has haunted Tokyo police for 22 years now. A case which should be solved. But one which has far more questions than answers.” (Source here).
This podcast is well produced and I really like the host. I was not familiar with this case and I think they have done a great job of relaying the story logically from start to finish and clearly conveying why DNA evidence has, so far, not been able to solve this case. It is a truly intriguing crime that everyone would absolutely love to see resolved and to achieve justice for the Miyazawa family.
5. Pig Iron - Hosted By Basia Cummings - Tortoise Media.
Freelance journalist Christopher Allen was killed on 26 August 2017 whilst reporting on the civil war in South Sudan:
“Chris traveled to South Sudan to cover the under-reported civil war there, embedding with the SPLA-IO, a rebel faction attempting to overthrow the government in Juba. He wanted to know who these rebels were, why they fought and who they left behind to live in this community of soldiers. These rebels, aged eight to 80, needed to accept and trust him. He lived as they did, slept alongside the rebels in mud huts, ate community meals and shared their water. Chris sacrificed comfort, suspended judgment, and simply observed. He immersed himself fully.” (Source here).
Years later many questions about Christopher’s death still remain unanswered and the truth has yet to be fully uncovered - this is what this podcast sets out to do:
“Was he a reckless freelancer? A mercenary? Or a young and ambitious reporter, caught in the crossfire?” (Source here).
There are three episodes available so far.
6. Devil Town - Hosted By Wes Ferguson - Imperative Entertainment.
Last month I brought you the true crime podcast Hoaxed which discusses criminal Satanic cults, Satanic ritual behaviours and killings… well you will find all of these elements and more once again in this new ten-part true crime series Devil Town from Imperative Entertainment.
On January 5th 1992, in the small town of Gilmer Texas, a 17 year old local girl by the name of Kelly Wilson vanishes shortly after finishing her evening work shift. What begins as a routine missing persons case quickly “takes a series of bizarre and shocking turns.”
This podcast investigation attempts to uncover what really happened to Kelly and finally provide everyone with definitive answers. There are only three episodes of this podcast available so far and already the story has taken some surprising twists!
7. Running Smoke - Hosted By Rajiv Golla - Campside Media.
Campside Media is back with another fascinating true crime story. The Running Smoke podcast is described as:
“… a white-knuckle true story about fast cars, organized crime and a NASCAR driver fighting for the future of his nation” (Source here).
The NASCAR driver at the centre of this podcast is Derek White. White made history when he became the first driver of indigenous descent to race in the NASCAR Cup series in 2015. However, less than a year after his 2015 NASCAR debut:
“White was arrested and charged for his involvement in one of the biggest tobacco smuggling busts in Canadian history, smuggling at least 158 transports containing 2,294 tons of tobacco – worth $530 million — to sell to First Nations people in Canada.” (Source here).
So far I am really loving this podcast - the story is really interesting and the story telling is great, I loved hearing from White directly. The first three episodes are available now.
8. Bone Valley - Hosted By Gilbert King - Lava for Good Podcasts.
Bone Valley is a nine-part true crime podcast series looking into the 1987 death of 18 year old Michelle Schofield in Florida. Michelle’s husband Leo Schofield was found guilty of her murder and sentenced to life in prison. Fast forward fifteen years and previously unidentified finger prints from the crime scene are finally matched to a local man named Jeremy Scott. Subsequently, Scott confessed to Michelle’s murder but her husband Leo remains imprisoned:
“In this groundbreaking podcast, Bone Valley host Gilbert King uncovers startling new evidence that Jeremy is responsible for a string of murders.” (Source here).
This podcast is compelling, you will not be able to stop listening once you start. It highlights flaws in the legal system that are really infuriating and there is no doubt about it, this is a really sad story whereby an innocent man has been wrongly convicted and lost many years of his life behind bars.
Seven of the nine episodes are available now.