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Death Becomes Us – A True Crime Festival is right around the creepy corner and I am ECSTATIC. Whether you’re new to true crime (why?) or you’ve been on it since the 2 hour Stone Phillips/Jeffrey Dahmer interview, this guide will get you ready for the festival but more importantly…ready for life (death?). LET’S DIG IN!

My my my…Investigation Discovery is your source for true crime shows 24 hours/day, 7 days/week…especially at my mom’s house when I go over there for dinner! Their penchant for wordplay (Wives with Knives!?!) is what initially sucked me in but you know what they say: Come for the puns, stay for the MURDER. This is of course a real saying that actual people say. The best show on the channel by far is Homicide Hunter starring Lt. Joe Kenda. With over 30 years in the criminal catching business he is coming in STRONG with his true crime game at the festival Saturday November 3. The best episode to start with is literally any of them. He has sassy catchphrases and a passion for justice. What more do you need?

If you grew up watching Ghost Adventures, Ghost Hunters and (most importantly) Scariest Places on Earth, Ryan and Shane from Buzzfeed Unsolved are here to scratch your dumb ghost TV show itch. And by dumb I mean hilarious. And by hilarious I mean life affirming. They’ve dipped their toes into the true crime blood pool with their episodes about The Bizarre Road Trip of a Missing Family and The Chilling Mystery of the Black Dahlia, but my favorite episodes will always be their ghostly exploits. The Ghosts and Demons of Bobby Mackey’s is especially fun because it birthed one of the series most famous lines, “Hey there demons, it’s me, ya boy.” This show LITERALLY SOLD OUT TODAY but that shouldn’t stop you from getting weird with them.

I had a thrilling conversation with the gals from Wine & Crime that included but was not limited to obituary vision boards, rat tooth fairies, and a mutual admiration for How Did This Get Made’s Jason Mantzoukas. They’re coming to the festival Saturday November 3 and the wine will flow like blood. STAYING ON THEME HERE. Each episode is paired with a bottle of wine which let’s face it, DC will be MORE THAN FINE WITH. A great introductory episode is Ep. 76 Dismemberment Crimes in case you think a whole body is too much. We’ll ease you in one limb at a time.


How Did This Get Made? is not a true crime podcast but it should be a CRIME to make bad movies. BOOM. We had so much fun with them at Bentzen Ball last year, and deeply regretted not seeing June who couldn’t make it, that we invited them to Death Becomes Us for a special crime-filled crap movie show! And while this show is sold out you should still get your funky film listening groove on. I have returned to their episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze on NUMEROUS occasions. They invited Adam Pally on who freely admits to carnal knowledge of this movie because it’s his son’s favorite. Please enjoy the struggle of everyone trying to figure out if Splinter’s accent is racist (it is).

Perhaps we better start from the beginning with Mindhunter, the Bible of the criminal profiling world. Former FBI agent John Douglas had the brilliant idea of interviewing actual serial killers and mass murderers to figure out what makes them tick or tock. You guys ever stare into the abyss? John Douglas has and he is coming to the festival Sunday November 4 to tell us what that abyss looks like, or smells like if that’s what you’re into. I think we’re all dying to know what Charles Manson’s musk was like. You can snag his book or if you’re feeling extra bingey catch the dramatized version of it on Netflix.

Criminal podcast is incredibly good at really finding those small stories that virtually go unnoticed. They are always interesting, sometimes sad, and hey they’re even funny at times. Phoebe Judge, the host, has a background in journalism and public radio and she brings those investigative skills to the podcast. This is good if you want to feel a closer proximity to the subjects, whether it’s a woman escaping from her abusive boyfriend or a man sitting in prison for murder. It can’t be all Dahmers and Bundys. I’d actually start with Ep. 1: Animal Instincts. It’s all animal-related crime! And if you think the owl that DEFINITELY KILLED KATHLEEN PETERSON COME ON doesn’t show up then you aren’t trapped in a room with pieces of paper stuck to your wall like a proper conspiracy theorist. You can catch Criminal at the festival Sunday November 4. WATCH OUT FOR LOW FLYING OWLS.

Last Podcast on the Left is my GO TO true crime podcast though they also dip into the land of gnomes, sexy ghosts, and even ghost cats of the south. Sadly for you but great for them, this show is sold the f*ck out! However they’ve been doing this for 7 years. There are a shit ton of episodes to get through. For the super squeamish I’d go with the episode on Fairies. If you have a high tolerance for gore and weird shit let’s pop over to the Albert Fish episodes (It’s a 3 parter because some terrifying people can’t be contained in one episode). This is the most well-researched entertaining true crime podcast out there. Henry, Marcus and Ben are just like you and your weird friends who love this nonsense. In fact don’t be surprised if you catch them somewhere casually having a beer. Ben likes Bud Light Lime.

And finally….Paul Holes (the cold case investigator who helped catch the Golden State Killer) will be in conversation with Small Town Dicks (this podcast is cohosted by Yeardley Smith, the voice of Lisa Simpson. cue the saxaphone) and geneologist CeCe Moore. I burned through the first two seasons of Small Town Dicks in two days. I recommend every episode. I can’t pick a favorite. Yeardley and her cohosts Zibby Allen and identical twin detectives Dan and Dave (THEY ARE THE GOOD CHARLOTTE OF COPS) provide an insight into what it’s like to be a detective working on cases like these that I am fascinated by.

I had my own chat with Paul, for over an hour. He is fascinating. But more importantly, and this cannot be ignored…Paul agreed to play a game of Clue with me when he’s in town. AND I WILL WIN. You can also hang out with Paul Friday November 2 at the True Crime PUB  during a VERY EXCLUSIVE happy hour brought to you by the sweet angels from Audible. Maybe he’ll grab a bite to eat from Holes Foods. WHO KNOWS.