So influential that we spent most of the intro talking about it already, this list wouldn't be complete without ‘Serial’ season one, which has a strong claim to the title of the most successful podcast series of all time. Dating all the way back to 2014, host Sarah Koenig took readers on a hyper in-depth exploration of the 1999 murder of Baltimore student Hae Min Lee and the conviction of her boyfriend Adnan Syed. It’s told grippingly, meticulously and has shed some major doubts on the conviction. The other two seasons of ‘Serial’ aren’t actually about murders, but this list would be a bit silly without including season one.
To be blunt, when people say they’re into true crime podcasts, they often mean they’re into murder podcasts. And that’s fine! The uber-influential ‘Serial’ pretty much set the template for the modern ‘murder’ cast: a long, meticulous journalistic investigation into a cold case that not only brought it to public knowledge but also shone new light on the case itself, sometimes having real-world impact.
It wasn’t ghoulish or exploitative – just great journalism and great storytelling. It also set down a formula that has been widely used elsewhere, which is also fine: it’s not so much that other podcasts about murders are ripping ‘Serial’ off, simply that the popularity of ‘Serial’ opened the doors to investment in other long-form investigations into murders.
So while we’ve tried to make this list reasonably diverse, we’ve also stuck to much tighter limits than our general true crime podcast recommendations. So please enjoy our all-murder podcast list.
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