10 Top New True Crime Podcasts
May has been a busy true crime Podcast month so let’s get straight into this months recommendations as there is no time to waste.
1. Queen of the Con: The OC Saviour - Hosted By Johnathan Walton for AYR Media & iHeartRadio.
Fans of Queen of the Con: The Irish Heiress will be happy to hear that Johnathan Walton is back with series two, Queen of the Con: The O.C. Saviour and this time we are headed to sunny Orange County, California.
Lizzie Mulder presented herself as a respectable, trustworthy CPA with a beautiful home, nice car and friendly husband - she had it all. Her clients were notably wealthy and well known and her office wall was adorned with her college degree certificates. Surprise surprise, Mulder is not what she appears to be and is, as you will have already guessed, a con-queen. Mulder embezzled hundreds of thousands from multiple victims, running an elaborate and cunning Ponzi scheme. I think the craziest element of her scheme is her use of a voice changing app on her Smartphone to thoroughly fool her victims into believing in the fictional characters she created, pretending to be potential investors, bank staff, tax authority representatives and so on.
While the subject matter of this Podcast is serious, the victims were scammed out of a lot of money, there is humour threaded throughout this Podcast. The victims themselves often see the funny side of what happened to them and there really are some laugh out loud moments. There are five episodes available so far - I am hooked.
2. Deliver Us From Ervil - Hosted By Jesse Hyde - NOVEL for iHeartPodcasts.
In the 1940s, a group of hope-filled Mormons build a small town in the Mexican desert. The town is intended to encapsulate all their beliefs and hopes and of course those who live there are expected to follow and obey the same. However, when the son of the founding family Ervil LeBaron is approaching his time to “rule” even the best made plans cannot help. The community are not fans of Ervil, preferring his brother Joel, and he fails to get their respect and support. Ervil embarks on his own crusade and what follows is a trail of death and destruction. There are six episodes of Deliver Us From Ervil available now.
3. Liar, Liar: Melissa Caddick and the Missing Millions - Hosted By Kate McClymont & Tom Steinfort - The Age & Sydney Morning Herald.
Wow - I stumbled upon this Podcast only a few days ago although the first episodes aired in April 2022 and I am so glad I did! Of course being a little late to the game means past episodes to binge on and new episodes are released weekly.
Liar, Liar: Melissa Caddick and the Missing Millions has a con-queen at its centre by the name of Melissa Caddick. One of the biggest con artists ever to strike Australia, Caddick ran a massive Ponzi scheme, had over thirty bank accounts and stole more than $20 million from her 72 victims, many of whom were close friends and family, including her own parents!
Melissa’s CV was so impressive and also almost completely fabricated; a work of fiction! Portraying herself as an accredited financial advisor Melissa lived a lavish lifestyle spending the money she stole from her victims. Her vast array of designer clothing meant she hardly ever wore the same outfit twice, her hands dripped with diamonds and luxury cars filled her multi car garage.
I don’t want to give away the full story so I will leave it there but clear your diary and queue up these episodes as once you start you won’t be able to stop!
4. Should Be Alive - Hosted By Ashley Korslien - Vault Studios.
In this new true crime podcast from Vault Studios, host Ashley Korslien investigates the 2019 murder of transgender teenager Nikki Kuhnhausen in Vancouver, Washington and explores the issues that face transgender people in today’s world. Nikki was only 17 years old when she disappeared after a night out in the Vancouver area. We hear from family and friends of Nikki as well as key figures in the transgender community who got behind this case and helped to find out what happened to Nikki. The rise in acts of violent crime towards the trans community is highlighted and many questions arise. There are two episodes available so far.
5. Kuper Island - Hosted By Duncan McCue - CBC Podcasts.
Kuper Island is an eight part true crime series that:
“… tells the stories of four students: three who survived and one who didn’t. They attended one of Canada’s most notorious residential schools – where unsolved deaths, abuse, and lies haunt the community and the survivors to this day.” (Source here).
The Kuper Island Residential School was located on a island off the coast of B.C called Penelakut. While the school has been demolished, the memories of what took place at the school live on. We hear first hand accounts of the abuse suffered at this school from some of those who attended:
“Their stories speak to how abuse rotted all facets of school life — and how at Kuper Island, no child was spared.” (Source here).
Host Duncan McCue:
“… exposes buried police investigations, confronts perpetrators of abuse and witnesses a community trying to rebuild — literally on top of the old school’s ruins and the unmarked graves of Indigenous children.” (Source here).
There are three episodes available so far.
Canada’s residential schools for its indigenous people were an extremely dark time in Canadian history, the repercussion of which are still felt to this day. If you would like to read more about them, click here.
6. Betrayal - Hosted By Jenifer Faison - iHeartPodcasts & Glass Podcasts.
Twenty years after they first dated, Jenifer Faison reconnects with her high school sweetheart Spencer Herron and they waste no time, quickly getting married and settling into married life together. Spencer Herron is an “award winning” teacher and Jenifer is a successful television producer. Unfortunately for Jenifer, this love story is not going to have the happy ending that she thought “This is a story of a real-life fairytale gone horribly wrong. It’s a cautionary tale about a marriage so filled with betrayal and deceit, that many people are still recovering from its path of destruction.” (iheart).
Jenifer’s world is turned upside down on June 1st 2018:
“Jenifer came home to find Spencer holding a search warrant. He had sexually assaulted one of his students. In the days that followed Spencer’s arrest, Jenifer uncovered a dark, secret life her husband had been living during their entire marriage. His actions shook a community, devastated his wife, and sent Spencer Herron to prison.” (iheart).
This Podcast tells the story of Jenifer and Spencer before, during and after his lies and despicable actions are exposed. We hear from the victims of Herron as they recount their experiences with the predatory teacher. There are six episodes available now.
7. Still… - Hosted By Gary Anderson - The Reporter’s Notebook.
This is season two of this true crime Podcast and this season investigates the 1976 disappearance of Patricia (Patty) Lynn Otto from her home in Lewiston Idaho. At the time of her disappearance Patty was the mother of two young daughters and lived with her on/off husband Ralph Otto. We hear the background of Patty and Ralph, how they met and how their relationship developed over the years. Ralph’s accounts of the day/night Patty disappeared is also discussed and analysed in detail - picked apart would be a more accurate description. The story telling in this Podcast is really excellent and captivating. There are eight episodes available so far and once you start listening you will want to binge the lot!
8. Final Days on Earth: The Life and Death of Jennifer Harris (Season Two) - Hosted By Claire St. Amant - PodcastOne.
Final Days on Earth season one was a twelve part series that investigated the disappearance and death of Dammion Heard. In this the second season, host Claire St. Amant is investigating the disappearance and death of Jennifer Harris. Jennifer Harris was only 28 years old when she disappeared from Bonham, Texas in May 2002. On the night of her disappearance, Jennifer visited her friend and then left to drive home, this was the last time anyone saw Jennifer, she never made it home and her car was later found abandoned on the side of the road.
“The secrets in the Jennifer Harris case have been hidden for 20 years. It’s time to finally discover what happened to Jennifer Harris, and who is responsible for her death.” (Source here).
This is a ten part series and there are four episodes available now.
9. Stolen: Surviving St. Michael’s - Hosted By Connie Walker - Gimlet.
Award winning journalist Connie Walker is back with season two of her true crime podcast Stolen. In season one, Stolen: The Search for Jermain Connie investigated the 2018 disappearance of Jermain Charlo. In season two, Connie is investigating Canada’s former residential school system and in particular the role these schools played in the lives of her own family, her father in particular. The “he” in the following quote is referring to Connie’s now deceased father:
“One night back in the late 1970s while he was working as an officer in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, he pulled over a suspected drunk driver. He walked up to the vehicle and came face-to-face with a ghost from his past—a residential school priest. What happened on the road that night set in motion an investigation that would send Connie deep into her own past, trying to uncover the secrets of her family and the legacy of trauma passed down through the generations.” (Source here).
As Connie investigates what really happened to her father (and other family members) at the St. Michaels residential school she uncovers even more secrets. Connie is forced to question her own agenda and re-evaluate her intentions. While initially she wanted to discover and tell her father’s story and to confront some of those at fault (namely the predatory priests who sexually assaulted her father and many others who attended the school that they operated) she begins to question if this is the right approach and considers how she should proceed. Is this really her story to tell? - There are four episodes available now.
10. Someone Knows Something: The Abortion Wars - Hosted By David Ridgen & Amanda Robb - CBC Podcasts.
There are only three episodes available so far but this Podcast is really interesting and definitely a good one to binge. In Someone Knows Something: The Abortion Wars the hosts investigate the 1998 murder of host Amanda Robb’s uncle who was a New York based doctor that was murdered for performing abortions. The story they uncover is a lot more far reaching then they thought:
“Both discover that this murder may be the endgame of a series of doctor shootings that actually began in Canada.” (Source here).
Soon they realise that:
“In the 1990s, three Canadian abortion providers are shot and gravely injured — all about a year apart, all around Remembrance Day. David begins his examination of these attacks by speaking to Canadian family members. In so doing, David discovers connections between the Canadian shootings and the murder of Amanda Robb’s uncle, Dr. Barnett Slepian.” (Source here).
With the current state of abortion rights in the USA this Podcast could not be more relevant!