Abductions, unexplained murders, cold cases, and more: 9 gripping podcasts for ‘Serial’ fans

True Crime July 7, 2022

Serial” was a groundbreaking podcast, paving the way for various investigative series that followed. If you enjoy investigative journalism, true crime, and fascinating stories, we’ve curated a list of podcasts like “Serial.” From missing persons cases to unexplained murders and cold cases, these podcasts are compelling and informative listens for true crime fans and comparable to “Serial.”

In “Serial,” host Sarah Koenig followed one story each season, documenting the real-life characters and complex stories filled with shocking twists and turns. Listeners were hooked from Season 1 that explored the disappearance of high school senior Hae Min Lee in 1999. Season 2 covered Bowe Bergdahl’s story – a U.S. Army soldier who secretly packed up and left a remote U.S. Army outpost in eastern Afghanistan. Season 3 looked at the American criminal justice system and reported on Cleveland-centric cases. Check out our list of podcasts like “Serial.”

In the Dark podcast art

In the Dark

Listen to ‘In the Dark’

“In the Dark” is an investigative podcast with host Madeleine Baran and a team of reporters. Season 1 focused on Jacob Wetterling’s abduction in Minnesota and law enforcement’s accountability. Season 2 covered Curtis Flowers’ case, a person who was tried six times for a crime and maintains his innocence. This series is by APM Reports.

S-Town podcast art


Listen to ‘S-Town’

Serial presents “S-Town,” hosted by Brian Reed. This multi-layered story follows Alabama resident, John, who hates his town and is bound to shake things up. John asks Brian to examine a wealthy family’s son who brags he committed murder and got away scot-free. Someone else is found dead, and they search for the truth that spurs a feud, a treasure hunt, and mysteries are uncovered. Start this 7-part series from episode one to hear the fascinatingly tragic story.

To Live and Die in LA podcast art

To Live and Die in LA

Listen to ‘To Live and Die in LA’

Rolling Stone journalist and author Neil Strauss rounded up neighbors, family, and friends (like Incubus’ guitarist Mike Einziger) to explore a missing persons case in season 2 of “To Live and Die in LA.” Season 1 attempted to trace 25-year-old Adea Shabani, an aspiring actress and model last seen leaving her Hollywood apartment.

Season 3 looked at Elaine Park’s case, a 20-year-old who vanished in Neil’s neighborhood in Malibu, California. What happened to these women? This podcast tests just how far Neil will go to find answers. “To Live and Die in LA” is brought to you by Tenderfoot TV.

The Black Tapes podcast art

The Black Tapes

Listen to ‘The Black Tapes’

In the docudrama, “The Black Tapes,” a journalist scours for truth, learns her subject’s sketchy past, and gets haunted by ghosts. This series fuses elements of horror, the supernatural, and the occult. This Pacific Northwest Stories podcast is hosted by Alex Reagan.

Culpable podcast art


Listen to ‘Culpable’

“Culpable” examines unsolved cases where the perpetrators have seemingly slipped away from getting the justice they deserve. In 2014, Christian Andreacchio was shot dead inside his apartment. The police conducted a 45-minute investigation, and it was ruled a suicide. Evidence that indicated a homicide and premeditated murder were ignored. In this Tenderfoot TV series, host Dennis Cooper unpacked Christian’s story and the questions around his death.

Up and Vanished podcast art

Up and Vanished

Listen to ‘Up and Vanished’

“Up and Vanished” released 3 seasons investigating cold cases with host Payne Lindsey. Season 3 looked into Ashley Loring HeavyRunner’s disappearance, an indigenous woman from West Montana who disappeared from the Blackfeet Nation Indian Reservation in 2017.

Season 2 delved into Kristal Reisinger’s disappearance, a Colorado mom. Georgia high school teacher Tara Grinstead vanished, and her case resulted in 2 arrests, as covered in season 1. Start this series from episode one each season.

Criminal podcast art


Listen to ‘Criminal’

Phoebe Judge hosts “Criminal,” a true crime series focusing on a different case each episode. Since 2014, the series has released over 190 episodes. Hear about people who have “done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle.” “Criminal” is presented by Vox Media Podcast Network.

Generation Why podcast art

The Generation Why Podcast

Listen to ‘The Generation Why Podcast’

Wondery’s “The Generation Why Podcast” is an OG true crime series, hosted by friends Aaron Habel and Justin Evans since 2012. Episodes dig into cases, unsolved murders, theories, conspiracies, and more in weekly episodes. Peruse its episode archive of over 370 episodes for a variety of true crime stories.

Accused podcast art


Listen to ‘Accused’

“Accused” investigates a different crime each season. Season 4 reexamined Rhoda Nathan’s story after she appeared to die from a heart attack in her hotel room. The autopsy showed Rhoda was beaten to death, and a few days after the tragedy, a hotel employee sought treatment for a hand infection, loaded with bacteria found in human mouths. Elwood Jones was convicted and has been on Ohio’s death row for over 30 years, claiming he was framed. “Accused” explores if Elwood really committed the crime and if someone else was responsible.

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