The Best True Crime Podcasts Of 2022

Since the barnstorming entrance of "Serial" in 2014, the popularity of true crime podcasts has since grown unabated over the years, as reported by The Guardian. And as WRTV alludes, playing armchair detective from a safe distance, while your host of choice showers their audience with lurid details and speculations of guilt, can be somewhat therapeutic.

Consequently, there are now a bewildering array of true crime podcasts to choose from, with well over 200 listed at the end of 2022 by Apple alone, spanning over eight years and thousands of episodes. However, along with the increased appetite for this usurping medium of traditional TV crime shows such as "Dateline," and in addition to greater attention from critics, there are also a number of accolades for the best true crime podcasts — enabling the discerning listener to make educated choices. Not only do many major media outlets, such as Rolling Stone, compile regular lists of the top true crime podcasts, but there are serious awards given out to the best each year, such as The Webby Awards and People's Choice Podcast Awards. Failing that, several true crime podcasts have solved the crimes they featured, and even led to the overturning of wrongful convictions.

So whether they've won awards, solved crimes, been showered in praise by critics, or repeatedly been recommended by the media — or all of the above — there are plenty of good reasons to try out 2022's offerings of true crime podcasts. Here are some of the best that have met these standards.

The following article includes allegations of domestic abuse and sexual assault.


All good things begin somewhere, and for the true-crime podcast genre it was "Serial," as reported by The Guardian. With over 420 million downloads since its inception in 2014, according to The Podcast Academy, "Serial" has a loyal following — and it is still going strong in 2022, with over a dozen episodes released that year. Furthermore, in addition to winning a 2014 Peabody Award, in March 2022 the creators of "Serial" — Sarah Koenig and Julie Snyder — accepted the Governors Award from The Podcast Academy, which recognized the groundbreaking influence of "Serial" on the industry.

What made "Serial" so addictive in the first place was partly down to the humble honesty — and skillful composition — of the narrator Koenig: She admitted to being no expert from the very start and also changed her mind repeatedly as the season progressed and new information was introduced, as described by The Guardian.

Koenig brings the audience along with her as the investigation progresses, leaving nothing off the table — including errors made by the professionals. This approach not only earnt Koenig a place among Time's 2015 list of most influential people but may have contributed to the freeing of a man wrongfully convicted of murder at the turn of the 21st century. The first season focused on the murder of Hae Min Lee and the subsequent conviction of Adnan Syed, and the viral popularity of "Serial" drew enormous attention to Syed's case, which was found to be less than watertight. Eventually, Syed was freed in 2022 and his murder conviction vacated (via AP).

My Favorite Murder

As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, in February 2022, the true-crime podcast "My Favorite Murder" received the Audible Audio Pioneer Award at the annual iHeartRadio's Icon Awards. This honorary event, attended by such luminaries as Will Ferrell and Paris Hilton, was a capstone of the podcast's humble yet entertaining beginnings in 2016, after its creators Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark had earlier bonded — at a Halloween party no less — over a mutual interest in true crime.

The two hosts Klgariff and Hardstark's casual and comedic banter over their weekly crime story of choice has endeared them to millions: "My Favorite Murder" had reached 35 million downloads a month by 2020 (via Forbes) and ranked in the top 10 of global podcast downloads (via Chartable) as of the end of 2022,

So, where does this success come from? As described by The Guardian, the presentation is an eclectic mix of gruesome, salacious tales of criminal mischief, and life advice, all delivered with an upbeat honesty.

Real Life Real Crime

Winner of no less than four categories of Peoples Choice Podcast Awards in 2022, "Real Life Real Crime" has been attracting accolades since 2019 (via EIN Presswire), when host Woody Overton turned his attention to the unsolved murder of young Courtney Coco, who was killed in Louisiana, per NBC.

Overton's extensive law enforcement background and prior experience with cold cases combine with a natural gift for story-telling, as well as an intuitive ability to recruit his audience to help solve cold cases such as Coco's. Knowing the reluctance of the public to come forward with information, Overton turns to crowd-sourcing leads from his fans, described by some as cult-like, per EIN Presswire. Thanks to Overton and his fans, not only was Coco's murderer brought to justice in 2021, but another murder was subsequently cracked with leads from "Real Life Real Crime."

As reported by WBRZ, in January 2022, Gerald Pourciau Jr. was arrested for the brutal slaying of his wife, Mary Pourciau, and eventually pled guilty several months later. The arrest of the killer occurred barely a month after Overton brought it before his scrutiny on "Real Life Real Crime," which appeared to put pressure on the authorities to further pursue the case.

Big Mad True Crime

A fast-paced dive into true crime stories, "Big Mad True Crime" received considerable attention during the 2022 Peoples Choice Podcast Awards. The true-crime podcast was nominated in three separate categories: the Adam Curry People's Choice award, best female hosted podcast, and for true crime itself — and also won the 2022 listener influencer of the year award.

Many of the stories covered by "Big Mad True Crime" are not especially well-known (via Apple), and the show regularly posts appeals for information for missing people or unsolved crimes on social media (via Twitter). So while the host, Heather Ashley, may not be as well established as other podcasters, she approaches the topics with refreshing brevity, stating "Small talk sucks, so let's dive in" on the Twitter feed for "Big Mad True Crime." Ashley's choice to curate stories based on listener requests, as stated on her LinkedIn page, also helps connect the audience to the show.

The Dropout

Criminal activity takes many forms, and so-called white-collar crimes can be just as devastating to their victims as more traditionally bloody examples. But how about one that also involves blood — and lots of it? Enter the quixotic and master-manipulator Elizabeth Holmes, former chief and founder of Theranos, and her audacious billion-dollar fraud, covered skillfully by ABC's podcast series "The Dropout," as reported by The Verge.

Winner of the 2022 Webby Award for crime and justice podcasts, "The Dropout" began in 2019, after Holmes was indicted for a vast fraud centering around new blood testing technology — whose abilities were grossly overstated to investors. 

With access to deposition tapes previously unseen by the public, the host and reporter Rebecca Jarvis peels away the many layers of this extraordinary tale with journalistic rigor. And in 2022, the case reached its final chapter — the verdict, which was covered by "The Dropout" in early January 2022 (per Apple). The podcast is not all about the villain, though: As Jarvis explained to The Verge, there is a serious focus on how and why anyone went along with the deception in the first place.

Anatomy of Murder

Focusing on homicide cases, the true-crime podcast "Anatomy of Murder" has two hosts brimming with experience to bring listeners behind the scenes. As detailed on the podcast's website, the details of each case are examined and presented by Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi and Scott Weinberger, both of whom are highly qualified for the task. 

Nicolazzi worked for 16 years on prosecuting homicides in New York, whereas Weinberger brings a decade of law enforcement knowledge from sunny Florida. The hosts delve deep into the chosen cases each week, making sure to include testimony from those directly involved or impacted, such as victims, law enforcement, or those prosecuting the crime.

In 2022 "Anatomy of Murder" had two milestones to celebrate: It picked up a Webby Award for the People's Voice category in crime and justice (via The Webby Awards) and celebrated its 100th episode in early November, as reported by Broadway World.


When it won 2022's best true crime podcast in The Ambies, "Suspect" was barely done with its first season, per Apple. Hosted by Matthew Shaer and Eric Benson, "Suspect" first tackled the murder of Arpana Jinaga, which occurred in Redmond, Washington, in 2008, with no witnesses.

As described by Stylist, the story begins with a foreshadowing event — a Halloween party — followed by the discovery of the murdered 24-year-old Jinaga the morning after. With only forensic and circumstantial evidence to go by, "Suspect" follows the investigation and its many twists and turns, including the authorities' choice of prime suspect with no clear evidence: Emanuel Fair, who also happened to be the only Black man there, per Vulture (who also called it the best podcast of 2021).

The series swirls through an extensive list of gathered evidence that the case involved, including a psychic, and casts a critical eye over it all. Season 2 of "Suspect," which began in the latter half of 2022, examines the case of 12-year-old Jonelle Matthews, who disappeared in 1984 and whose remains were eventually found by accident in 2019, as reported by CBS.

Up and Vanished

With its first episode debuting in 2016, "Up and Vanished" has been around for some time, but in 2022 it won its first Webby Award for best crime and justice podcast — about time for a series that had by that time been downloaded over 400 million times, according to TenderFoot TV. Not that "Up and Vanished" hadn't been considered before — as in 2017, it was a finalist for the best podcast documentary that year, per The Webby Awards.

"Up and Vanished" was created and is hosted by Payne Lindsey, who was inspired by the Netflix documentary "Making a Murder," as reported by Atlanta Magazine. Lindsey began the broadcast as more of a hobby than a full-time job, airing its first episode with his wedding only weeks away, but soon found himself wholly dedicated to the project. Investing thousands of dollars of his own money and with his new wife on his side, Lindsey even got his hands dirty scraping out soil samples from locations of interest — narrating it all to his rapt audience.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes that Lindsey's podcast was a pioneer of true crime podcasts when it launched, contributing to the rise and popularity of the genre. 

Someone Knows Something

On its seventh season as of 2022 (per Apple), the man behind the true-crime podcast "Someone Knows Something," David Rigden, brings some serious production chops to the genre.

Prior to entering the podcast arena in 2016, he had been nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for best editorial research three years earlier, and in 2008 was nominated for an Emmy for outstanding investigative journalism. The latter was for his work on the documentary "Mississippi Cold Case," which brought attention to the 1964 murders of Charles Moore and Henry Dee — and the subsequent conviction of their killer in 2007, as reported by CBC.

With these credentials, Ridgen can afford to carve out his own brand of true crime narratives — indeed, as he told NowToronto in a 2016 interview, he made it a point not to follow the example of other successful podcasts such as "Serial." Inspiration is drawn instead from his own experiences, including his small-town rural upbringing in the Ottawa Valley, Canada, where some of his early episodes were based.

Burn Wild

In 2005, the FBI added two individuals to their most wanted list of domestic terrorists, and there they stayed for over a decade, per the FBI, without ever having physically harmed anyone. Eco-terrorism, in the form of millions of dollars of damaged, vandalized, and burnt property, was their crime of choice, and the BBC podcast series "Burn Wild" follows the story of one of them.

After 12 years of life on the run, Joseph Mahmoud Dibee was caught in 2018 and brought from Cuba to trial in the United States. The podcast, hosted by a journalist and producer team, Leah Sottile and Georgia Catt, respectively, has access to exclusive material from the trial itself, including interviews with Dibee, per the BBC. Being able to access Dibee is what makes the podcast worth noting and listening too, reports Stuff, along with the great sound and production quality.

A decent amount of "Burning Wild" also explores the environmental groups that Dibee belonged to, as well as their justifications for high-profile arson attacks — such as the 1998 arson of a Colorado ski resort, as reported by The New York Times — and where the boundaries should be for raising awareness of environmental issues.

Crime Junkie

By the second quarter of 2022, according to Edison Research, "Crime Junkie" was the second most listened-to podcast in the U.S. over the preceding 12 months. This was a ranking of all podcasts, of all types: "Crime Junkie" was only beaten by "The Joe Rogan Experience." And in December 2022, Apple Podcasts placed the true-crime podcast at number one for those most listened to (via Variety). This popularity goes back to its debut in 2017 — created and hosted by Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat, the two decided to take a less-than-journalistic approach to true crime story-telling, as reported by Indianapolis Monthly.

Indeed, both Flowers and Prawat are open about their casual narrative. The podcast rarely involves the kind of material — such as interviews — found in other popular true crime podcasts, with Flowers once admitting that her research usually begins the same way many people find recipes: searching Google. However, this laissez-faire attitude has landed them in hot water with other true crime reporters, with multiple accusations of plagiarism leveled in their direction, as reported by The New York Times.

This negative publicity has not dented the success of "Crime Junkie," though, with 2022 bringing not only sky-high popularity, but multiple awards too. That year, the 2022 iHeartRadio Podcast awards judged "Crime Junkie" to be both the best crime podcast and overall best podcast of the year.

Dateline NBC

In 1992, per History, the modern internet was barely a year old, the first web browser — Mosaic — was still being developed, and podcasts were almost a decade away from even having a pod to be cast on (per Apple). It was in this year that "Dateline" debuted on TV, as reported by The New York Times, its true crime reports soon becoming popular and successful enough to be rolled out to plug NBC's scheduling gaps, on top of its regular weekly prime-time slot. So when true crime podcasts began their rise in the 2010s, the veteran staff of "Dateline" decided they could do better.

Whether "Dateline" does indeed produce a better true crime podcast than others may be subjective, but there's no doubt its producers have managed to convert their broadcast medium expertly, and with great success. According to Digiday, between its podcasted entrance in 2019 to mid-2022, "Dateline" has racked up 775 million downloads and regularly sits high in podcast charts. As described by The New Yorker, its appeal is centered around a simple core principle, that of good old-fashioned storytelling.


A new kid on the block for true crime podcasts, having debuted in 2022 (via Apple), but one that has quickly proven its worth: "Proof" made headlines just nine months after its first episode aired. 

Presented by journalists Jacinda Davis and Susan Simpson, the podcast picked up the 1996 death of Brian Bowling, a teenager who was fatally shot at his home in Floyd County, Georgia, as related by Z100 New York. Over the course of 13 episodes, "Proof" went to work excoriating a deeply flawed investigation, which lacked timely witness statements, saw witness coercion (per The Guardian), blamed a gang that may not have even existed, and involved one particular law enforcement officer who was later fired over allegations of sexual assault, as reported by the Rome News-Tribune.

As revealed by "Proof," the two men who were tried for the alleged murder, Darrell Lee Clark and Cain Joshua Storey, were tried and convicted for Bowling's death — partly on the prosecutor's plea to the jury to send a message to other gangs. Davis and Simpson found through their own detective work that two of the star witnesses in the trial were entirely discreditable: One had lied after being threatened by police, and the other had actually testified to a completely different crime. As a result of the revelations made in "Proof," the case was reopened, and as reported by The New York Times in December 2022, both Clark and Storey were freed after 25 years of incarceration.