Top 8 New True Crime Podcasts of May 2023

I am a little late with this months recommendations but finally they are here. I hope you find these eight new true crime podcasts as enthralling as I did!

1. The Kinahans - Hosted By Damien Lane - The Irish Sun.

Described as “Ireland’s most feared crime family” the Kinahans are widely known, not only in Ireland, but across Europe and beyond (for all the wrong reasons). What started as a local criminal operation in Dublin, Ireland eventually evolved into one of Europe’s biggest drug cartels being formed. If you were/are a fan of the excellent The Making Of A Detective podcast that I featured on my Best New True Crime Podcasts of January 2022 then this is the follow on series and not to be missed!

This podcast asks “how a middle class man and his two sons from Dublin” came to form a criminal gang that has operated for over forty years. This podcast:

… “tells of gang patriarch Christy Kinahan’s rise from low-level fraudster to leader of one of Europe’s biggest organised crime gangs.” (Source here).

There are three episodes of this nine part series available so far and they are packed with information, interviews and previously unheard details. I am absolutely hooked.

2. Vishal - Hosted By Suchin Mehrotra - BBC Radio.

I wasn’t sure if I should include this podcast here on my true crime podcast blog or include it in my non-true crime blog, as while this podcast centres around the kidnap and murder of a young child, it is officially listed under the Society & Culture genre. But having listened to the four available episodes, I am including it on this list as I think it would appeal more to true crime podcast listeners.

Vishal is an excellent but heart breaking podcast from BBC Radio which tells the story of the abduction of eight year old Vishal from Putney, London on the 29th of July 1981, while the UK (and the world) was watching and celebrating the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. Vishal’s body was found months later and a murder investigation was launched. No one was ever charged for Vishal’s kidnap and murder. Forty years later, in 2020:

“… a BBC reporter gets a mysterious call that blows the case wide open.” (Source here).

Throughout this podcast we hear from Vishal’s immediate family, including his sister and his father and the podcast host himself has a very close connection to Vishal. Their recollections of the day of Vishal’s abduction and the months that followed make for compelling listening. I found myself thoroughly invested in their story and hoping for a positive outcome that of course, was not going to come. Clear your diary and get downloading so you are all caught up before episode five drops.

3. Finding Samantha - Hosted By Sharon Davis, Tim Desmond & Nicoline Greer - RTE Documentary on One.

From the team that brought us the excellent The Nobody Zone and the wonderful Tiger Roll: The People’s Horse podcasts comes a brand new true crime series entitled Finding Samantha.

This new seven-part series begins with the discovery of a seemingly distressed and disorientated teenage girl outside the GPO in Dublin, Ireland. The girl has no ID or belongings with her and would (or could) not speak. After some enquiries it is suspected that she might be a victim of human trafficking and thus she is treated with the utmost care, respect and sensitivity. However, one month passes and the Irish guards are no closer to identifying the girl. Because of this they decide to release a photo of the girl to the world press to try and identify her and reunite her with her family. Little did they know that this photo would in fact quickly lead to her identification but in doing so it would open a can of worms (i.e. secrets and lies) so big and tangled that not even “The Hulk” could put a lid back on the metaphorical “can”. As the saying goes “the sh*t hit the fan” and one hell of a story is revealed when the “girl” is identified as Australian woman Samantha Azzopardi (one of many of her aliases).

If you are not already downloading the first three available episodes then what are you waiting for! Get caught up and ready for episode four!

4. Death Island - Hosted By Conor Powell & Andrew Aronow - KT Studios & iHeartPodcasts.

This true crime podcast transports us to the normally tranquil location of Koh Tao, Thailand; an island once known for its white sand beaches, turtles, lush jungles and wonderful welcoming locals. Unfortunately, this image of Koh Tao has become marred by a series of “brutal murders and unexplained disappearances” and the hosts of this podcast are on a mission to shed let on these horrendous crimes and find those responsible. It is a story of:

“Government cover-ups, corrupt police, bungled investigations, silenced natives, cults.” (Source here).

All of this has led to this once paradisaical “Turtle Island” now being referred to as “Death Island”. This podcast is very interesting and I like how the hosts are deep diving into each individual murder or disappearance so you get a thorough overview of each one. There are six episodes of this podcast available already making it a great one to binge if you have some time to spare.

5. GUILT: What Happened to Lachie? - Hosted By Ryan Wolf - Brevity Studios.

Lachlan Jones was only three years old when he disappeared from his mother’s home in Gore on the South island of New Zealand on the 29th of January 2019. Lachlan’s lifeless body was found hours later in the Gore District Council’s oxidation ponds. Investigating Police at the time concluded that he had simply wandered from his mother’s house and subsequently fallen into and drowned in the oxidation pond. However, Lachlan’s father, Paul Jones, never believed that his three year old son had walked barefoot, over a kilometre to the pond all by himself. Jones is convinced that something happened to Lachlan and his body was subsequently dumped in the oxidation pond to cover it up:

““They [police] still can’t tell me how my son walked 1.2km, in bare feet, down a gravel road, over a fence and through scrub and thistles and sheep poo without getting a mark on his feet or legs. Because that’s the conclusion they’ve come to,’’ Jones said. The funeral directors who took care of Lachie provided a letter to police saying they noticed he was in perfect condition, with no visible markings on his legs or feet that they could see, despite police concluding he had walked so far.” (Source here).

Lachlan’s father tells his version of the events leading up the disappearance of his son and what happened in the days and weeks following. As you would expect, his story is heart wrenching and the love he has for his son is unmistakeable. He will do anything to get to the truth and you will certainly find yourself hoping that he does just that.

The first three episodes are available now.

6. The Devil’s Apprentice - Hosted By Anthony Dowsley - True Crime Australia.

I was lucky that I was late discovering this podcast because when I did discover it, it was during a twelve hour travel day and so I had ample time to binge the whole true crime series in one go - all nine episodes!

In The Devil’s Apprentice we hear the true crime story of two young Australian Police officers, Gary Silk and Rodney Miller who were ambushed and killed in Victoria, Australia in 1998 and the subsequent search for their shooters. This search led to the arrest and charging of two men - but are they both guilty? This is the beginning of a twenty four year long battle for one of the accused, Jason Roberts and this podcast gives us a in-depth look into this battle.

I don’t want to give any spoilers so I will leave it there. An excellent podcast that is sure to bring a tear to your eye.

7. Smoke Screen: Just Say You’re Sorry (Season 6) - Hosted By Maurice Chammah - Neon Hum Media & Sony Music Entertainment.

Smoke Screen is an investigative true crime podcast that I have featured many times on the blog. Their latest season has just been released with the first two episodes available now.

In this new season, host Maurice Chammah explores how Air Force veteran Larry Driskill came to be accused of a cold case murder by a highly regarded Texas Ranger named James Holland who is known as the ‘serial killer whisperer’ due to his success in solving cold cases:

“Chammah traces Holland’s steps as he starts trying to close a cold case which has gone unsolved for more than a decade: the murder of a woman named Bobbie Sue Hill.” (Source here).

Holland’s interrogations of Driskill were all recorded and host Chammah has direct access to the interrogation room through these tapes. Chammah questions Hollands notoriety and asks:

“… how far does he go to get confessions? And has he put innocent people in prison along the way? Smoke Screen: Just Say You’re Sorry uses shocking police tapes to reveal the psychological drama behind one murder case, and uncovers something rotten at the heart of the justice system.” (Source here).

I have an inkling of where this story is headed but I am still eagerly waiting for the rest of the episodes to be released so I know for sure!

8. Unsealed: The Tylenol Murders - By Christy Gutowski & Stacy St. Clair - AT WILL MEDIA & The Chicago Tribune.

OK so this last one was actually released at the end of 2022 but I only discovered it this month! As the title suggests, this true crime podcast investigates the 1982 “mysterious” deaths of a number of residents of Chicago who had all recently consumed Tylenol pain relief products. Of course, the mystery surrounding these deaths doesn’t last long as the Police quickly discover that the Tylenol products had been tampered with and were in-fact laced with deadly cyanide:

“Law enforcement mobilized to answer the what, who and why. The what was Tylenol, laced with cyanide, placed randomly on store shelves to kill unsuspecting victims. But the who and the why? That would elude investigators for decades.” (Source here).

The hosts speak to some of the family members of those who died, as well as to the detectives who worked on this case, all with the aim/hope of finally solving “one of the nation’s most infamous unsolved cases”.

I found this podcast so interesting, the first hand accounts really pulled me in. This was another true crime podcast that I literally listened to from start to finish in one go! All eight episodes are ready and waiting for you now.

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