Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Podcasts: Five to try if you love True Crime.

The pop culture phenomenon of 2014, the first season of Serial, which has since been downloaded a whopping 175 million times (and counting!) was the one the one that started it all: Serial brought podcasts to the masses and also unleashed the True Crime obsessive in us all (or is that just me?) In any case, if you were obsessed with Serial (and who wasn't?) then you've probably checked out a few dozen or so true crime podcasts in the time since Sarah Koenig detailed her investigation into the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee via weekly nail-biting instalments.

That's the thing about pop culture phenomenons - they tend to spawn a gazillion offshoots.

True crime podcasts are as popular as ever, but I think it's fair to say that not all true crime podcasts are made equally.  While it might be true that not every true crime podcast is the next Serial, it's also fair to say that a few have come pretty close.  Here are five to try before Serial Season Three launches on September 20th. (I wonder if Kim K. is all caught up yet?!)





The latest podcast phenomenon on the block, The Teacher's Pet is an Australian podcast investigating the disappearance and probable murder of mother-of-two Lyn Dawson back in 1982. 


What They Say: 

A star footballer. His school girl lover. 

A wife who vanishes.

Chris and Lyn appear to have the perfect marriage. But when Lyn goes missing, dark secrets are buried. This is no fairytale, but a sordid story of strangely close twin brothers, teenage student lovers, and probable murder.


Find Out More: 



*****




If you are planning on checking out Dirty John be prepared clear your schedule. This podcast, which details the relationship between Debra Newell, a successful interior designer, and John Meehan, a man who just doesn't check out, is what binge listening was made for.  A TV series based on the podcast, starring Connie Britton and Eric Bana, is currently in the works.


What They Say:

Debra Newell is a successful interior designer. She meets John Meehan, a handsome man who seems to check all the boxes: attentive, available, just back from a year in Iraq with Doctors Without Borders. But her family doesn’t like John, and they get entangled in an increasingly complex web of love, deception, forgiveness, denial, and ultimately, survival. 


Find Out More:


*****





One of the most affecting podcasts I have listened to, Trace is an Australian podcast detailing the murder of Maria James, a mother-of-two, who was stabbed to death in June 1980. 


What They Say:

On a winter morning in June 1980, Maria James turned to her son Mark and looked him in the eyes.

"She said to me, 'if anything happens to me, look after your brother.'"

Later that day she was found stabbed to death at the back of her suburban Melbourne bookshop, where she lived with her two boys.

Was it a scorned lover? A random stranger? Or was the murder tied up in the sins of the Catholic Church?


Find Out More:




*****




One of the podcast hits of 2018, West Cork investigates the 1996 murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier, and takes a deep dive into the dark side of rural Ireland.


What They Say:



This much we do know: Sophie Toscan du Plantier was murdered days before Christmas in 1996, her broken body discovered at the edge of her property near the town of Schull in West Cork, Ireland. The rest remains a mystery.


Gripping, yet ever elusive, join the real-life hunt for answers in the year’s first not-to-be-missed, true-crime series. Investigative journalist, Sam Bungey, and documentarian, Jennifer Forde, guide listeners through the brutal, unsolved murder and the tangled web of its investigation, while introducing an intricate cast of characters, a provocative prime suspect, and a recovering community whose story begs to be heard.



Find Out More:



*****




Season One of Up and Vanished investigated the 2005 disappearance of high school teacher Tara Grinstead - and got results. Season Two, which premiered August 20th, delves into the case of Kristal Anne Reisinger, a young mother who disappeared from the tiny town of Crestone, Colorado, in 2016.


What They Say: 


On July 13, 2016, Kristal reportedly disappeared from a full moon drum circle. She has not been seen since. After 2 years with no arrests, Saguache County Sheriff’s Office is no longer treating Kristal’s disappearance as a missing persons case, but rather suspected foul play.


Find Out More:



*****




So, there you have it: five podcasts to try if you love True Crime. I could easily have made this a Top Ten (so many great podcasts that haven't made the cut today - but maybe I'll do a Part 2?) If you're a fan of True Crime and have any podcast recommendations, I'd love to hear them!

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