We know what you’re thinking. How could we pick just six true crime podcasts to call our Most Valued Podcasts of 2021? It was not easy; it was not pleasant, yet, we persevered. Regardless, we crunched out numbers and picked our brains and came up with some podcasts that spooked us, intrigued us, and wouldn’t let us look away (listen away?).
From ongoing cases with new twists and turns in 2021, to old classics that we’ve stuck with for years, check out our list of the best true crime podcasts of the year:
My Favorite Murder
Raise your hand if you’re surprised that “My Favorite Murder” consistently ranks as one of the best true crime podcasts ever. No one? Okay, us neither. While “Serial” may have kicked off the true crime genre in podcast form, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark have perfected it. With a heavy splash of humor, the two have only been on the rise since 2016. They also recently started doing Celebrity Hometowns, where people like Nicole freakin’ Byer, Wanda Sykes, Margaret Cho, and many more celebs share their terrifying tales of crossing paths with murderers.
Considering we get new information every single day of Elizabeth Holmes’ trial, it’s no surprise that “The Dropout” has made our list. With a smashing first season covering the Theranos scandal, the second season of this podcast has been following the case in court. From jaw-dropping witness statements to even more shocking testimonies, we feel like “The Case of the Century” gets thrown around flippantly, but “The Dropout” is making a case for that title.
When the first “Dr. Death” series was released in 2018, we don’t think anyone was prepared for its overwhelming success and terrifying premise. The Wondery show’s third season dropped earlier this year, telling the story of the Miracle Man, a globe-trotting surgeon who captivates the medical world and sweeps one woman off her feet. But he will go to great lengths to keep his secrets, and by the time a prestigious medical institute discovers what’s going on, it’s too late.
We all can’t get enough of “Crime Junkie.” Every single episode that’s release hits the top of the podcast charts, hanging on up there until their next episode drops. Hosts Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat, with their just-the-facts, yet empathetic narration of the various murders, abductions, and cold cases they cover, have us always coming back for more. Since 2017, they’ve been uniting true crime junkies around the world, and in 2021 they’ve shown no signs of slowing down.
In a case that has captivated the nation in pure horror, “Mommy Doomsday” follows the murders Tylee Ryan and J.J. Vallow. When Lori Vallow’s two children went missing in September of 2019, nobody could have predicted the unsettling truths about their mother. The case led investigators through Vallow’s bizarre life, from the mysterious deaths that have surrounded her life, to the cold-blooded shooting of her estranged husband, to the murder of her own children. Events continue to unfold in this case, with Dateline’s “Mommy Doomsday” following this seemingly never ending trail of horrors.
A new podcast that swept us off our feet, “Gone South” wants to know what happened to Margaret Coon. The 41-year-old former Louisiana sex crimes prosecutor was murdered in 1987, her body found with $100,000 worth of jewelry on her corpse. Jed Lipinski, Emmy and Peabody Award-nominated producer and journalist, travels to St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, a small town just outside of New Orleans with dark secrets of its own that may have led to Coon’s demise.