Podcasts are a brilliant way to make time move just a little faster during especially long work days, commutes, or workouts. I discovered them at my first desk job where I was an intern after my freshman year of college. Music had started to bore me, which was a dilemma in its own sense, but I wanted to try something new, something that would have a purpose but also be background noise as I worked on my projects.
I had first tried listening to Ted Talks but eventually ran out of interesting topics that both stimulated and entertained my brain. But after discussing my dilemma with fellow interns, they guided me to the world of podcasts.
One of the appealing characteristics of podcasts is the vast number of genres to choose from and with most channels launching new episodes each week.
One of the most extensive genres is that of true crime, which spans from exoneration cases to unsolved cold cases to recounting some gruesome crimes.
So, if this appeals to you, I suggest you check out these following 5 podcasts.
A true classic that tops most lists for both true crime and general podcasts.
The first season follows Sarah Koenig as she sorts through the murder of Hae Min Lee which, at the time, was considered a solved case that most forgot about. Lee's ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was arrested for the murder and has maintained his innocence since the day she died. Koenig does a fabulous job presenting the facts and leaves the audience questioning whether Syed committed the crime.
If you're looking for a story with many twists and turns as well as the possibility of re-opening the case by the police, this podcast will surely deliver.
2. Up and Vanished
At first, "Up and Vanished" was supposed to be a documentary covering the cold case of Tara Grimstead's murder. However, it soon became quite popular throughout Georgia, where the murder took place, as well as around the country, with people questioning the validity of many sources, alibis, and police proceedings.
Like "Serial," this podcast is also one that caused police to reopen the case which involved with actual arrests being made for her murder.
While the second season is on a completely different murder case, updates are made frequently once new information on Grimstead's murder surfaces to the public.
Atlanta native and podcast host Payne Lindsey delightfully recounts the murder, bringing in new information that allows the audience to make their own decisions about the case.
3. Actual Innocence
A podcast that often goes unnoticed, "Actual Innocence" tells the stories of convicted felons that were wrongfully accused and put in prison for life.
Each episode follows a new person and highlights the corruption in the judiciary system, but also serves as a feel-good podcast.
So, if you're looking for a roller coaster of emotions packed into a 60-minute package, this podcast will surely tickle your fancy.
4. Thin Air Podcast
I stumbled upon this podcast after finishing "Serial," where I wanted to try something new.
As the name suggests, the podcast primarily investigates unsolved missing person cases, most of which seem like they vanished into 'thin air.'
These hour-long episodes keep you guessing at every turn, questioning people's intentions, alibis, and even their mental health.
This podcast serves as the perfect bridge when you're in between podcasts and keeps you on edge at all times.
5. Small Town Murder
My final podcast is, personally, my favorite and definitely the most unique on the list.
The name accurately describes the podcast, where hosts James Pietragallo and Jimmie Whisman take listeners on a tour through the world's smallest towns and discuss the murders that have occurred there.
But I caution you, just like they do before they start every episode: If you don't believe that murder and comedy should be used together, DO NOT listen to this podcast.
The humor makes the podcast extremely enjoyable, but they never use it at the victim's expense. The most impressive part is the amount of research Pietragallo puts into each episode, with each town and murder described in a way that a local would.
"Small Town Murder" is the breath of fresh air that makes other podcasts seem drab and cynical.
Whether you're a crime novice or aficionado, each of these podcasts provides stellar entertainment that will capture an audience.
The next time you find yourself tired of music, on a lengthy road trip, or ready to start your five-mile-run on the treadmill, I suggest you check out one of these podcasts.
I can assure you that you will not regret it.