Last of the Summer Wine & Last of the Summer Crime!
I took an unplanned break in August and didn’t release a new true crime podcast blog but I did not take a break from listening to true crime podcasts! Here are the best true crime podcasts that have kept me entertained since my June and July true crime podcast article!
1. Believable: The Coco Berthmann Story - Hosted By Sara Ganim, Edward R. Murrow & Karen Given - Dear Media.
Believable: The Coco Berthmann Story podcast attempts to establish whether or not the “life stories” of internet-famous Coco Berthmann are true or completely fabricated and we the listener are there every step of the way. The Coco Berthmann story is completely outrageous and at times disturbing; mind blowing levels of manipulation, deceit and disregard for others.
“… in 2022, Coco was arrested for raising money for a fake cancer diagnosis, and people began to doubt everything that she had ever said. Is her life story truly one big elaborate lie?” (Source here).
After eight episodes I have already (perhaps wrongly) made up my mind about Coco and the type of person that she is, or at the very least, the person that she portrays herself to be. However, I also feel somewhat sympathetic towards her as she must have experienced some trauma somewhere in her life that caused her to behave the way she has and to do the things she has done.
So, if you are looking for a true crime podcast to binge, then this is the one for you! Be prepared to pick your jaw up off the floor multiple times throughout - the lies!!
2. Out of The Ordinary: The True Story of The Demise of Brandon Truaxe - Hosted By Joseph Brean - Podshape.
I must confess that while I have used (and love) some of The Ordinary products, I knew absolutely nothing about the company itself, its evolution and its founder Brandon Truaxe. This new true crime podcast tells the tragic story of the demise of Brandon Truaxe.
Brandon Truaxe was a highly respected skincare expert and entrepreneur in the world of beauty. As aforementioned, he is the person behind the international skin care brand The Ordinary. The Ordinary is part of the Deciem group of companies.
This is a podcast highlighting the fragility of one’s mental health. It is a terribly sad story of how a brilliant person can be completely transformed by mental illness, an illness which is unfortunately in this instance exacerbated by the use of illegal substances. The inability of family, friends and business associates to help the person, despite their best efforts. I know this all sounds a little confusing but once you start listening to this podcast, this will all click into place.
The podcast keeps Brandon Truaxe at its centre and explains how his mental illness, illicit drug use and his obsession with financial conspiracy theories led him to a very dark destructive place:
“Across 15 months from 2017, he went from skincare savant to taking over his companies Instagram account, with daily disturbing messages, he fired staff via social media, accused his fellow shareholders of financial impropriety, was arrested outside the British Pm’s house, and was sanctioned in the UK and then taken to court in a bitter court battle which saw him ousted from his own company.” (Source here).
There are three episodes of this podcast available so far. Each episode is less then thirty minutes so this is a great option for a short car commute, school run or a coffee break companion.
3. Three Doors Down - Tortoise Media.
We journey back to the 1990s for this next five-part true crime podcast series from Tortoise Media:
“In 1992 on a council estate in Sunderland, a seven-year-old girl was murdered.” (Source here).
Nikki Allan was the beloved 7 year old daughter of Sharon Henderson who was kidnapped and murdered, her body dumped in a derelict building close to her home in Sunderland. Nikki’s lifeless body was discovered the day after she went missing but it took the police THIRTY YEARS to find her killer and frankly, if it wasn’t for her mother Sharon Henderson fighting daily for her child’s murderer to be found and prosecuted it seems like he may never have been caught.
“It took the police 30 years to find the killer, a convicted child sex offender who lived three doors away from where Nikki Allan went missing. What happened on the night of her disappearance?” (Source here).
We hear directly from Sharon throughout this podcast as she tells her story, she is one strong woman.
“This is a story of a murder, a mother and a 30-year search for justice. It’s a personal tale of trauma and resilience in the face of systemic police injustice and failures, that couldn’t be more timely.” (Source here).
All five episodes of this podcast are available now. This is a podcast that will pull at your heart strings and stay with you long after you finish listening.
4. Dying Rose - Hosted By Douglas Smith - True Crime Australia.
The Dying Rose true crime podcast is based on over two years of investigation and provides a deep dive into missing indigenous women in Australia. It highlights how these women, simply by being indigenous are treated as “less than”, their lives are not as important as others or more accurately, their lives are not as important non-indigenous women. And so it follows that a missing indigenous woman is not as important as a missing non-indigenous woman and the level of Police investigation into the missing indigenous women featured in this podcast reflects these sentiments completely.
The host is an indigenous person and I think this adds great value and insight to this podcast. The host even highlights some of his own experiences as an indigenous person which really sheds a light on the problems faced by these communities in Australia.
This investigation started with one missing indigenous woman but it quickly became apparent that there was something much bigger going on, that this was “not just about one woman, there were countless other voices needing to be heard.” (Direct quote Ep.1).
This is “a story about life and death” (Direct quote Ep.1). It is a story that clearly highlights that:
“Being indigenous in Australia, we know that our normals are not the same as those who are non-indigenous.” (Direct Quote Ep.1).
This is a story about how:
“… a small team of reporters from a small town, known for its churches and festival, ending up bringing to light a national shame.” (Direct Quote Ep.1).
Honestly, this podcast is captivating, I listened to all three of the available episodes in one go. We hear directly from the family and friends of the missing women in each episode and their stories are powerful, honest and raw.
I am eagerly awaiting more episodes as I just really want to know how this ends, is there any justice for the missing women and their families?
5. Over My Dead Body: Gone Hunting (Season 4) - Hosted By Matthew Shaer - Wondery.
The true crime podcast Over My Dead Body is back with season 4 and I am hooked! This season Over My Dead Body: Gone Hunting investigates the 2000 disappearance of Mike Williams while on a duck hunting trip in Lake Seminole, a large reservoir bordering the Georgia-Florida state line. When Mikes boat is found empty, it is presumed that he fell overboard and so a thorough search of the lake bed takes place. However, Mike’s body is not recovered in the Lake or from the surrounding area. This leads to an alternative theory, that Mike entered the lake and was tragically killed and his body consumed by alligators. Of course, as you will have guessed by now, all is not what is seems and a “sordid” tale of betrayal is uncovered. I do not want to give away any spoilers for this podcast so I will leave it there!
The first four episodes are available now so get listening and caught up before episode five drops!
6. Queen Of The Con: The Unreal Housewife (Season 4) - Hosted By Johnathan Walton - iHeartPodcasts & AYR Media.
Anyone that has followed my true crime podcast articles for a while will know that I am a big fan of the Queen Of The Con podcast and I was so happy to see they were back with a new season!
This season the focus is on The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jen Shah. While I have not watched this show, I instantly knew who Jen Shah was from reading about her in online gossip columns and so on.
In this podcast series you can expect to get an in-depth account of Jen’s life, from her early years to her recent court hearings - its all here and it makes for a great story too! So if you have never heard of Jen Shah, fear not, this podcast has you covered and you will soon be a Jen Shah expert!
I really enjoyed this podcast series and found it engaging and entertaining; the host is excellent (and hilarious) as always. All eight episodes are available now.
7. The Idaho Massacre - iHeartPodcasts.
OK so this podcast is dividing listeners when you look at the online reviews but I decided to give it a listen and overall I think its worthwhile. Yes, there are a few moments where there are questionable comments/discussions by the host and guests that I wasn’t mad about or were not really appropriate but overall I think this podcast gives a good insight into the Idaho murders, especially if like me you did not know a massive amount about this case besides what you read in mainstream media.
So, The Idaho Massacre (not massively into the title) is a true crime podcast investigating the murder of four students of the University of Idado. The four students were murdered in the early hours of November 13th 2022 in their off-campus home, in a seemingly unprovoked attack. As you would expect these murders shocked the world. A massive Police investigation and manhunt was subsequently launched:
“After a lengthy investigation and cross-country manhunt, a Ph.D. student from a neighboring university is charged with the crimes. As it turns out, the 28-year-old was majoring in criminology, studying the behavior of killers like the ones he would later be accused of becoming. Did he use his skills to become a real-life Dexter? Were the Idaho victims his first, or was a serial killer hiding in the midst?” (Source here).
In the four available episodes we learn firstly about the time leading up to these murders. Next we learn all about the victims, the people they were and the people they hoped to be in the future. What happened on the day of the murders is chronologically laid out as is what happened in the aftermath and lots more. So, give it a listen and let me know what you think.
8. The Set - Hosted By Zak Levitt - Audacy Studios.
The Set is a ten-part series set in “the crack era” of New York City and specifically focused on the work of the NYPD’s 30th Precinct, the “Three O,” during this time.
The “crack era” is commonly regarded as “the most violent time in New York City history” and so this gives you an idea of how hard it must have been to be a Police officer during this time, especially when corruption within the Police force was almost normalised!
Through first hand accounts from some of the Police officers who worked in the 30th Precinct during this time we get an amazing insight into what New York City was really like, what working for the NYPD entailed at this time and all the drama that went with it! Hearing from some of the Police officers who themselves turned to crime during this time is so interesting; the slippery slope that led them from enforcing the law to breaking the law:
“The NYPD is fighting a losing battle and instead of protecting the city from drug dealers, some police officers have become them.” (Source here).
We get a detailed inside account of:
“… the biggest police corruption scandal in NYPD history and the investigation that uncovered it all.” (Source here).
All ten episodes are available now so if you have a long travel day coming up this could be the perfect podcast to keep you company!
9. GUILT: Finding Heidi (Season 3) - Hosted By Ryan Wolf - Brevity Studios.
In this true crime investigative podcast host Ryan Wolf is re-examining the case of Heidi Paakkonen and Sven Urban Hoglin who were kidnapped and murdered while backpacking around New Zealand in 1989. Both Heidi and Sven were from Sweden and prior to their disappearance had been thoroughly enjoying their time travelling around and exploring wonderful New Zealand, so much so that they were hoping to extend their time there. Keen hikers, Heidi and Sven had had many adventures on foot and were in regular contact with their families back in Sweden via mail/letters. The content of some of these letters are included in this podcast.
Heidi and Sven were last seen alive in the town of Thames on the 7th of April 1989. One year after their disappearance, Sven’s body was discovered and Police quickly surmised that he had been violently murdered. However, Heidi’s body has never been found and host Ryan Wolf is on a mission to find Heidi and finally reunite her with her family.
In the nine currently available episodes we have already heard from brand new witnesses, learned of new evidence and are perhaps getting closer to finding Heidi.
10. The Crystal Cave Murders - Hosted By Rudolph Isler - Playground Media Production.
The Crystal Cave Murders is a true crime investigative podcast series looking into the 1982 unsolved disappearance and murder of two teenage girls, Brigitte Meier and Karin Gattiker in Switzerland. Their bodies were later found hidden near The Crystal Cave Kobelwald, in canton St. Gallen, Switzerland. This crime absolutely shocked the nation of Switzerland, one of the safest countries in the world. This is a:
“… true crime podcast about one of the most mysterious, horrific and baffling unsolved murder cases that ever happened in Switzerland.” (Source here).
17 year old Brigitte Meier and 15 year old Karin Gattiker were school friends who together embarked on a cycling trip through the East of Switzerland. The trip had been approved by their parents with the stipulation that they checked in daily via phone (pay phones), something which the girls did religiously. In fact, it was a missed check-in phone call that led to their parents reporting them missing so quickly. However, despite a massive Police investigation and the evidence uncovered, this case remains unsolved. This is a cold case:
“… stirring and puzzling a nation even forty years later. A crime that shattered a peaceful quaint village and region over night putting it into a traumatic state that still reverberates today. Not least because the murderer may still be living there.” (Source here).
Host Rudolph Isler spent over a year researching and working on this cold case and true crime podcast. In this podcast series he takes us back to this time in Switzerland and goes through every piece of the story in a chronological manner, putting forward the different theories, ruling out potential suspects and trying to finally catch the killer.
All eight episodes of this podcast are available now.