When the world (or your office) feels chaotic, what better distraction than crime and murder podcasts describing all the bizarre, graphic ways one can meet their untimely demise?
When you can’t curl up on the couch and throw on your favorite serial killer TV show, Letterman’s My Next Guest, or in between series of Law & Order, these are some of the highest rated crime and murder podcasts of 2020, most expected to go strongly into 2021 and beyond. All offer chills and suspense, while a few throw in some humor and witty banter, too.
- And That’s Why We Drink (2017 – Present)
- Hillbilly Horror Stories (2017- Present)
- Cold (2019 – 2020)
- The Officer’s Wife (2020)
- Killafornia Dreaming (2017 – Present)
- Small Town Murder (2017 – Present)
- Red Collar (2020)
- Crime Junkie (2017 – Present)
- Chasing Cosby (2020)
- Killer Queens (2018- Present)
And That’s Why We Drink (2017 – Present)
Hosted by: Em Schulz & Christine Schiefer
Produced by: Kast Media
A mix of murder and paranormal, And That’s Why We Drink is a hilarious podcast that explores ghost stories and true crime…with a side of wine. Schulz and Schiefer take a dive into the spine-tingling paranormal accounts and true crime cases.
With a 5-star rating and over 80 million downloads, this podcast is a must-listen. After all, as the hosts say: “The world’s a scary place. And that’s why we drink!”
Hillbilly Horror Stories (2017- Present)
Hosted by: Tracy & Jerry Paully
Produced by: Tracy & Jerry Paully
In this series, comedian Jerry Paully and wife Tracy recount legends, paranormal accounts, the stories behind popular horror movies and shows, and creepy true crime stories.
The show can be serious and touch deep into some truly chilling things, but it’s also comical and light enough for the average listener. Jerry and Tracy make you feel like part of the family with their hilarious banter and quality content.
Cold (2019 – 2020)
Hosted by: Dave Cawley
Produced by: KSL Podcasts
Get ready for a deep dive into the case of missing Utah mom Susan Powell.
Over the course of 22 episodes, Dave Cawley (a reporter for a Salt Lake City news channel) takes you deep into the world of Susan and Josh Powell. Using extensive research, interviews with law enforcement, and insight from family and friends, Cawley paints a vivid picture Susan’s disappearance.
All signs point to Josh, but with little evidence—and Josh taking his and his son’s lives during the investigation—the case goes cold. You will not want to stop (or even pause) any of these episodes once you start!
The Officer’s Wife (2020)
Hosted by: Brendan Keefe
Produced by: VAULT & 11Alive
This mini-series focuses on the murder of Jessica’s Boynton, wife of a Georgia police officer. Keefe recounts the crime scene where Jessica was found locked in a closet, with her body on top of her husband’s service weapon.
Delving into the evidence in the closet will make your skin crawl as you uncover what really happened to Jessica.
Killafornia Dreaming (2017 – Present)
Hosted by: Rosanne Sinclair
Produced by: Orbital Jigsaw Network
When you picture California, you typically think beaches, mountains, big cities, and overall chill and happy people. That initial bubbly thought about the golden state doesn’t usually involve murder…until you listen to Killafornia Dreaming.
With almost 170 episodes and counting, Sinclair exposes the dark side of California you won’t find on a postcard.
Small Town Murder (2017 – Present)
Hosted by: James Pietragallo & Jimmie Whisman
Produced by: James Pietragallo & Jimmie Whisman
In this series, comedians James and Jimmie focus on murder and crime cases that happen in relatively small communities, with populations under 30,000. Something extremely odd always comes into play within each case, too. Add in the hosts’ comedic twists, and you’ve got a recipe for a show you don’t dare pause.
Fans of weird, small-town murder documentaries will devour this podcast, which was one of the highest rated of 2020.
Red Collar (2020)
Hosted by: Catherine Townsend
Produced by: audiochuck
With only a couple episodes so far, Red Collar has already strayed delightfully far from your typical crime and murder podcasts. Instead of the usual suspects of reclusive loners or longtime killers, Townsend’s focus hones in on white collar murderers: accountants, CEOs, stockbrokers, and other respected businessmen.
The subjects usually start out with embezzlement or similar financial crimes, but it quickly escalates. Soon they’ll do anything to protect their secrets.
Crime Junkie (2017 – Present)
Hosted by: Ashley Flowers & Britt Prawat
Produced by: audiochuck
With a 5-star rating and over half a million reviews on Apple, this podcast is wildly growing in popularity. Flowers and Prawat, childhood best friends, delve into disappearances, unsolved murders, solved cases, and everything in between. They also share photos of evidence on Instagram, so fans can truly sink their teeth into these cases.
A bit of “armchair detective” ensues, as well: Flowers and Prawat enjoy researching the crimes themselves, and sometimes put pieces together others have missed.
Finally, the girls are relatable and fun to listen to. Their addictive podcast is certainly titled well.
Chasing Cosby (2020)
Hosted by: Nicole Weisensee Egan
Produced by: Los Angeles Times
For years, Bill Cosby used his fame as America’s favorite TV father to prey on women. When one brave victim finally came forward about the assault, she paved the way for an additional 60+ victims to speak out regarding what Cosby did to them.
As the lead investigative journalist on the case since 2005, Egan offers a close and thorough perspective you can’t find anywhere else. Additionally, the show features interviews with the women who came forward.
Killer Queens (2018- Present)
Hosted by: Tyrella Slemp & Tori Tobi
Produced by: Killer Queens
Killer Queens covers everything from murders to missing persons and includes both solved and unsolved cases. Sisters Tryella and Tori provide an entertaining mix of fact, banter, and fun 90s references, peppered with plenty of hilarious one-liners and sailor talk.
Just after Joe Rogan’s podcast, true-crime and murder-mystery podcasts dominates the rankings. Some comedy podcasts may make it in those rankings as well, but by in large these crime and murder podcasts just can’t be beat. So, instead of rewatching the best episodes of Law & Order to get your true-crime fix, check out these podcasts. That way, the next time you’re at the office water cooler and everyone starts talking about their theories about what happened on the latest episode of Small Town Murder, you can share the true “what-about” clue they all missed.