Saturday, 8 April 2017

The best true crime podcasts: S-Town, Untold + They Walk Among Us


Stories; they bring everyone together. From a young age we're taught to read stories, write stories and tell stories. But there's something about listening to a story that can transport you to a whole new world. I don't think I ever grew out of having a story read to me and that's why I love podcasts, which is strange because audio books are so not my thing. 

It's all in the delivery. Sure, a funny story might make you cry with laughter and a tear-jerker might pull on your heart-strings, but there's something about a crime story that draws you in like no other. Give me a true crime story and I'm hooked. That's why S-Town has quickly become my favourite true crime podcast. Ever. That's a pretty bold statement, I know, and here's why...

S-Town

S-Town is from the producers of Serial and This American Life. The first podcast I ever listened to was Serial, which I found absolutely gripping, so is it any wonder I listened to all seven episodes of S-Town in 48 hours? And boy was it a good use of my time! I know I'm not alone on this one, all seven episodes were released in one go which led to S-Town being downloaded 10 million times in its first four days.

It's the way investigative journalist Brian Reed takes you on his journey like you're partners in crime, trying to get to the bottom of this alleged murder in Woodstock, Alabama. With the help of local John B McLemore, Reed discovers so much in such a short space, in fact life and time are central to his superb storytelling. 

Like a good book you can't put down, S-Town is the podcast you don't want to switch off. It really makes you think about the world and your place in it. Philosophical isn't the word. Without giving anything away, there's a reason it's currently sitting pretty at the top of the iTunes podcast chart and my all-time top true-crime podcasts list. Easily 10/10 and easy to see why it's the talk of the town.

UNTOLD: The Daniel Morgan Murder


Speaking of my all-time top true-crime podcasts, at number two is UNTOLD: The Daniel Morgan Murder. It's been dubbed Britain's most investigated murder. So that should give you an idea of just how many twists and turns storyteller Peter Jukes takes you on as he unravels a disturbing web of media deceit and police corruption. Daniel died 30 years ago, yet despite an overwhelming amount of evidence, those responsible for his death still haven't been convicted. If justice is worth fighting for, this podcast is worth listening to.

They Walk Among Us


Last but not least, number three is a bit of a bonus because it doesn't just cover one true story, there are 15 true crime stories each around 30 minutes long featured on They Walk Among UsWhat's unique about this podcast is that husband-and-wife narrators Benjamin and Rosie include a "so, where are they now?" segment which brings the stories as close to present day as possible. This is definitely another binge-worthy podcast, just don't listen to it before bedtime or you'll have nightmares. You've been warned!
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