8 Essential Picks For True Crime Fans
Thanks to streaming docuseries and binge-worthy podcasts, true crime fandom is at an all-time high. Don't feel bad if you can't wait to hear another story about an unsolved murder and police working like mad to catch a killer, because you're not alone. If you can't get enough of terrifying cases and confounding evidence, here are eight ideas to help you fill your weekend. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.
8 Great Ways to Get Your True Crime Fix
|Trace Evidence||Well-researched podcast that dives deep into unsolved cases, shedding light on the repercussions of shocking incidents|
|The Crate: A Story of War, A Murder, and Justice||Book by Deborah Levison that tells the story of the author's search for the truth behind a corpse found in her family home|
|Casefile: True Crime Podcast||Australian show with an anonymous host that offers fact-based retellings of actual cases|
|Toronto True Crime Film Festival||Two-day event of documentary and narrative film screenings and discussions surrounding the genre|
|Hunt A Killer||Subscription box service where players piece together clues to solve a six-part mystery|
|Disgraceland||Podcast about criminal behavior by musicians that melds music history, true crime and transgressive fiction|
|Small Town Dicks||Podcast hosted by Yeardley Smith that features the real detectives who broke cases in their small towns, and includes assets like jailhouse phone calls, suspect interviews and 9-1-1 calls|
|The Vancouver Police Museum and Archives||Independent museum run by the Vancouver Police Historical Society that covers the history of local law enforcement, famous crimes, people who served, and exhibits about modern policing issues|
The Engrossing Stories of Casefile: True Crime Podcast
11 Riveting Books About Past and Present Crimes
Getting Started with Hunt A Killer
For fans of true crime, one story is simply not enough. When you feel you've devoured every book about serial killers or binged everything from podcasts to miniseries, don't dismay. Here, in no particular order, are eight experiences perfect for true crime lovers.
At #1, Trace Evidence is a true crime podcast that focuses on unsolved cases, from chilling murders to missing persons and the unexplained. Host Steven Pacheco examines each case, diving deep into the evidence and exploring different theories. Each episode focuses on the victims and their families, who want answers, as well as the criminals trying to hide the truth.
The show examines the details of these cases, ascertained through research and study. As much detail as can be dug up is shared and presented in a chronological format. Following discussion of the case, there is a second segment which focuses on the known theories and their likelihood. The host often interjects his own hypothesis, if he has one, or selects which theory he believes is most likely.
As much detail as can be dug up is shared and presented in a chronological format.
#2 on the list is "The Crate: A Story of War, A Murder, and Justice," a book by Deborah Levison. This work of nonfiction tells the story of a family of Hungarian Holocaust survivors who make a new life for themselves in Ontario, Canada. Their lakeside vacation cottage becomes a symbol of the family's newfound stability, until one day they discover beneath the floorboards a crate containing a decapitated woman's corpse.
For Levison, the story is personal. The family in question is her own, and she becomes consumed with solving the case, and learning more about its victim, Samantha Collins. The book has been widely praised, with endorsements from writers Lee Child and James Rollins, and enthusiastic reviews from outlets such as The Ottawa Jewish Bulletin and New York Journal of Books.
The #3 entry is Casefile, which was designated one of the best podcasts of the decade by Spotify. With a motto that proclaims fact is scarier than fiction, each episode of the show delves into a different crime, some of them resolved, some of them cold cases. Produced by a team based in Australia, Casefile's host is a man who remains anonymous.
Produced by a team based in Australia, Casefile's host is a man who remains anonymous.
Since 2016, the show has released more than 100 episodes. While the initial focus primarily concerned Australian cases, later seasons broaden the scope to address crimes committed in the U.S., Canada, and elsewhere in the world. Prolonged and complicated investigations are sometimes explored in multi-part episodes. A companion series, From The Files, revisits and provides updates on previously covered crimes.
Coming in at #4, the Toronto True Crime Film Festival is a two-day event dedicated to real life mysteries on the big screen and beyond. Based at the Revue Cinema in Roncesvalles Village, the festival includes both documentaries and fictionalized feature films chosen by a team of experienced programmers. The annual series has attracted a wide range of corporate sponsors and co-presenters.
Previous editions have spotlighted new films, such as Bei Bei, a feature that addresses a Chinese feticide controversy, and mounted revival presentations of classics, like The Hurricane. Symposia have explored the legacy of true crime figures, such as writer John Gilmore, and taken up questions like: Why do women love true crime? The event has drawn a wide range of press coverage.
The event has drawn a wide range of press coverage.
In the #5 spot, we've got Hunt a Killer, a subscription-based game service that offers members a monthly mystery in a box. Each mailing includes new clues in an ongoing investigation. Every piece of the puzzle is high quality and handcrafted. For example, one season includes a detailed map of a fictional town in Illinois called Chestnut Falls.
Each season is comprised of six episodes delivered in monthly mailings. In season one, the recipient is invited by a private investigator to assist in solving a murder at a small-town class reunion. The story is written and designed by a team of true-crime aficionados, writers, artists, and game designers.
#6: Disgraceland, a podcast about musicians getting away with murder and behaving very badly. In episodes that typically run about a half hour, the show traces improbable and outrageous criminal stories surrounding our most interesting and infamous pop stars. It blends music history, true crime, and transgressive fiction, and includes scenes, characters, and names that are sometimes fictionalized for dramatic purposes.
In episodes that typically run about a half hour, the show traces improbable and outrageous criminal stories surrounding our most interesting and infamous pop stars.
The highly-successful program has spawned a book, tours, and an array of merch. Working across genres, episodes have addressed artists including N.W.A., The Grateful Dead, Frank Sinatra, and Johnny Paycheck. The show has also explored music-related figures such as club kid and promoter Michael Alig. Writer, host, and producer Jake Brennan was inspired to create the podcast by Legs McNeil's punk oral history "Please Kill Me."
For #7, it's Small Town Dicks. This podcast is about the big-time crime that's happening in small towns. Each episode features the detectives who broke the case in their town, and includes media like jailhouse phone calls, suspect interviews, and 9-1-1 recordings. The show is anchored by veteran, identical-twin cops Dan and Dave, and hosted by actress Yeardley Smith.
The episodes deal with a wide range of incidents, including missing persons, hostage crises, child sexual abuse, and murder. The show has also considered issues such as police corruption and the subjective experience of victims. Small Town Dicks has received notices in outlets like The Guardian and the A.V. Club. Super fans can access additional material through a Patreon subscription and at live events.
Super fans can access additional material through a Patreon subscription and at live events.
Closing out the list at #8, The Vancouver Police Museum presents visitors with a flattering portrait of Vancouver policing, including exhibits about modern issues cops face. Learn about Vancouver's history and people through the lens of the law, while seeing rare artifacts, documents, and collections in the city's original Coroner's Court building.
The museum and archives are run by the Vancouver Police Historical Society, a registered charity. The Museum's origins sprang from the VPD's centennial anniversary in 1986 and have since expanded beyond the lens of local law enforcement to include the history of the Vancouver Coroner's Services and the historic City Analyst Laboratory that houses the Museum.