Statistics have shown for some time that women are generally the largest fanbase for true crime (at least in the U.S.).
I have my own theories as to why I am obsessed with the genre myself (I grew up in a household of prosecutors, as a woman I am constantly worried about disappearing in the night, and yes, the stories are often just plain nuts), but regardless of the reasons, the passion is there, and it has hit the podcast world.
There are hundreds of true crime podcasts, TV shows, documentaries, and more these days, but some of the best ones are by women. We know the depth to statistics of crimes committed against women better than anybody, and are somehow able to discuss the genre with a mixture of sensitivity, humor, and empowering solidarity. Below is only a sampling of some of the best.
Hosts Em and Christine met in grad school and bonded over their mutual fascination for the paranormal and the gory. These two discuss both famous and obscure cases of creepy ghosts, psychopathic murderers, and more, and their chemistry is astoundingly great. If you are interested not only in the hows and whys of death but what happens to us afterwards (deep, I know, but captivating), definitely check out their backlog.
Missing and murdered tackles a heavy topic from a journalistic take: First Nations, Inuit, Métis and Native American communities, and other indigenous people, especially women, are amongst some of the most affected groups in North America when it comes to disappearances and murders. This podcast feels urgent, because it is. Host Connie Walker, an experienced journalist and herself a Cree resident of Canada, offers both researched and emotionally-laden stories to ground listeners in the real-life women amongst the anonymous statistics.
Wine & Crime
For a (sometimes) lighter take on true crime and murder, Wine & Crime is the best. Three childhood friends spend each episode trading stories on a particular theme (previous instalments have ranged from “Faked Abductions” to “Mid-Coitus Murders” to “Beyond Stupid”), and the history they have with each other makes it feel like you’re sitting in the room with them, drinking wine and laughing about exes in between cases. Don’t be fooled, though - Amanda, Kenyon, and Lucy make sure to address relevant, timely topics and aren’t afraid to tell it like it is when it comes to current events and politics. Definitely one of my favorites.
Not exactly a true crime podcast, but not not one, "I, Survivor" gets into what happens after someone experiences violence or crime, and how they come to terms with their trauma. Interviewees have told stories both heartbreaking and incredibly empowering, and the hosts come to the table with their own experiences and research to offer listeners a well-rounded perspective on how to minimize the possibilities of similar traumas affecting them or others. If thinking about crime and drama gets you down, and you’re not one to make light of it or embrace the juicy backstories, this podcast might be the one that’s most productive for you.
Celine Aenlle-Rocha is a writer from Miami and Los Angeles, residing in Harlem, New York City. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Fiction Writing at Columbia University. Her writing addresses the intersectionality of race, womanhood, and other identities, seeking to redefine our history and address the future with open minds. Follow her on Instagram.