True crime podcasts have been sweeping the nation, but we all know it’s the podcasts about serial killers that first drew us in. It’s tough to avoid the sensationalized monsters they became in the media back in the ’70s and ’80s, but what is the truth beyond their aggrandizement? Who were their victims, and how were they eventually caught (even if the case was cold for literal decades)?
We’ve put together a list of the best podcasts about serial killers: from well-known murderers like the Golden State Killer and the Dating Show Killer to lesser-known, but just as evil, criminals like the Doodler and the killer of the Allenstown Four. These podcasts about serial killers are either uncovering new evidence, bringing attention to their victims, or telling us the truth behind how they got away with it for so long.
While serial killers like Ted Bundy and the Golden State Killer ran rampant in the 1970s, another killer was going unnoticed on the national stage. Coined “The Doodler,” he may have been responsible for as many murders as the Zodiac Killer, but since he was terrorizing San Francisco’s gay community, there was little regard from law enforcement. Not shockingly, the case went cold, as many in the LGBTQ+ community were afraid to come forward, and “The Doodler” was lost to time. But this podcast is on a new hunt to change that.
One of Atlanta’s darkest eras, the Atlanta Child Murders occurred between 1979 and 1981, when at least 28 children and adults, most of them Black, were murdered in cold blood. Despite many decades passing since making an arrest for just two of the adults killed, many questions remain, especially since 2019 when the case was reopened. This iHeartRadio and Tenderfoot TV podcast was created two years before the reopening, and the questions it raises will let you know why some think the “Atlanta Monster” is still on the loose.
In 2009, April Balascio called a detective to tell him about her suspicions that her father, Edward Wayne Edwards, may have been a murderer. Sadly, her suspicions were even worse than she could have imagined. That call that led to her father’s arrest and eventual conviction on multiple murders. “The Clearing” follows the emotional journey as she and co-host Josh Dean go back through her childhood, unravel her father’s life, and overturn the narrative that turned Edwards into the caricature of a serial killer.
The Dating Game Killer
Rodney Alcala did pretty much the most unbelievable thing that not even Stephen King could think up. In 1978, he went on and won the popular TV show The Dating Game while being one of the most prolific serial killers in the middle of a cross-country killing spree. Hosts Tracy Pattin and Stephen Lang take us through this predators life, seeing how he fooled employers, psychiatrists, and parole-board officers, and how going on The Dating Game may have been the only thing that stopped him.
Man in the Window: The Golden State Killer
“Man in the Window: The Golden State Killer” is full of the unheard stories of the enigmatic man who terrorized California for years. Paige St. John, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter speaks with the loved ones and victims of the serial rapist and serial murderer. With a focus on those most effected, this Wondery and L.A. Times series traces the Golden State Killer’s path of devastation through the eyes of his victims’.
Over the course of five months, three Aboriginal children were murdered in Bowraville, New South Wales Australia. The same man was seen at the scene of each murder, but never convicted. In fact, he was acquitted twice. For three decades now, this case has gone unsolved. From The Australian, “Bowraville” is shedding more light on these heartbreaking murders and taking us through just what happened from the scene of the crime to the courthouse.
The Bear Brook murders, also known as the Allenstown Four, rocked the nation twice when the bodies were found nearly 15 years apart. Two victims were discovered in barrels in 1985, but no killer was ever found. Then, two more bodies were found disposed of in the same way. The mystery had now turned into a serial killing and forever changed the way murders were investigated. Hear the whole story in New Hampshire Public Radio’s “Bear Brook.”