There are 660,000 podcasts and 28 million podcast episodes. Here are 5 worth your time.
The Casefile True Crime podcast is different from its contemporaries. The host, who remains anonymous, is an Australian man, who speaks with a thick Aussie drawl. This adds an almost audiobook-like element to the narrations, which are done in a chronological-storybook manner, following the case in the way it revealed itself to investigators and to the public at large. Think of Capote’s seminal novel, In Cold Blood. Now imagine if that story was one of many, done through a series of podcast anthologies, narrated on a weekly basis, by a disembodied Australian voice.
Most of the cases, especially in the beginning, both cold and solved, are from Australia. Getting a glimpse into Australia’s policing, history, and social issues, becomes oddly fascinating. The ominous music, the thorough research, the case updates, and the expert narration, make it a podcast to die for! -Jamie Benedi
Parcast AKA the people behind Serial Killers, Cults, Conspiracy Theories and every other true crime podcast with fantastic SEO, have just debuted their newest show, Crimes of Passion. Exploring the world between true love and true crime, Crimes of Passion is a mix between NPR and Dateline (or 48 Hours). The stories of sex, murder and unconventional relationships are told in a measured and calm way. It’s schlocky without actually being schlocky. The first two episodes covers Harold Nokes, a man who killed his mistresses parents after she left the three-way relationship she had with him and his wife. It’s just as bonkers as it sounds. -Kaylee Dugan
Brittany Ashley’s Don’t Tell The Babysitter Mom’s Dead has been out a minute, but I only recently listened to the finale where she gets heavy into her own story. Refresher: the podcast features interviews with people who’ve lost a parent young (like Ashley) and the ways grief shaped them. It’s refreshing as hell to listen to people who “get it” talk these things out. My dad died in 2015, but he’d been in a mostly vegetative state since 2007, when he was in a motorcycle accident. (REAL FUN 8 YEARS!) It’s something I’ve gotten used to talking about, but it usually makes people who haven’t lost a parent REALLY UNCOMFORTABLE. (Like I’ll be at parties and someone’ll ask what my parents do, and I’m like, “Well, my mom is retired, and I don’t think my dad is doing much of anything because he’s dead…” which I think is really funny, but clearly it stresses people out.) Anyway, the finale of DTTBMD is the pièce de résistance. -Megan Burns
Technically, Ear Hustle is on a break right now as they prepare for their fourth season, but I’ve been binging all of the old episodes and you should too. The podcast centers around the men of San Quentin State Prison, specifically Earlonne Woods. They cover everything, from prison mail to prison food to prison relationships. It’s a fascinating (and happy and sad and angry) look into a very specific world. And it doesn’t hurt that most episodes hit the 30 minute mark. All podcasts should be shorter. -Kaylee Dugan
In a partnership with NPR, correspondent Laura Sullivan heads to Dallas to investigate the players, causes, and potential solutions to the nation’s rapidly accelerating housing crisis. FRONTLINE and NPR are excellent outlets, obviously, but this episode was especially illuminating; Sullivan delves deep into America’s housing issues, and lays bare our (often ineffective, sometimes deliberately so) policies in place for providing assistance to those less fortunate. Literally millions of Americans are unable to afford rent, and (incredibly) only one quarter of those who need government assistance receive it. In an era where the poor and non-white are more and more often being pushed to the margins of society, especially by an Administration that is actively hostile toward them, information like this is crucial to understanding that we still have so far to go in terms of providing an adequate social safety net. This episode specifically is also especially relevant for our DC region, as well as in light of last Congress’s GOP-passed tax scam designed to benefit only the wealthy. -Logan Hollers
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