The Graduate Guide to Podcasts: True Crime and All Things Spooky

October is peak spooky season, and our graduate students are feeling the spooky vibes. We asked our graduate student community on our Instagram (@cofcgradschool) and the GSA’s Facebook group ( to share their go-to podcasts, and boy did they deliver! This edition encompasses the best of true crime and spooky vibes, as recommended by our graduate students!


Crime Junkies:

True crime obsessed? Crime Junkies is the podcast for you! This weekly podcast dives into true cases of murder, disappearances, and other true crime stories, hosted by Ashley Flowers and former P.I. Brit Prawat. There are even special appearances from Ashley’s dog, Charlie!

Average Length: 40 minutes

Frequency: Weekly


Ever wonder what goes on inside the minds of cult members and leaders? Cults is the podcast for you! Hosts Greg and Vanessa, who also host the podcast Serial Killers, walk listeners through the history and psychology behind the some of the most notorious cults.

Average Length: 40 minutes

Frequency: Weekly

Dirty John:

Dirty John follows the life of John Michael Meehan and his relationship with Debra Newell, a successful interior designer whom he met online. The story, told by L.A. Times journalist Christopher Goffard, culminates in Meehan’s death at the hands of Newell’s daughter Terra, who acted in self-defense when Meehan tried to abduct her in 2016. This podcast attempts to untangle the web of lies, deceit, and abuse at the hands of Meehan during his relationship with Newell.

Average Length: 40 minutes

Frequency: This podcast is complete

Dr. Death:

Following the story of Christopher Duntsch, Dr. Death details the gross malpractice of a Texas surgeon responsible for seriously injuring 31 patients and killing two during his operations. Hosted by Laura Beil, a science and health journalist, this podcast was named the “scariest podcast of the year” by GQ Magazine in 2018.

Average Length: 40 minutes

Frequency: This podcast is complete

In the Dark:

In the Dark tackles serious cases of true crime in season-long deep dives. Season One covers the abduction of Jacob Wetterling and the ramifications of the case, while Season Two covers Curtis Flowers, a man tried six times over 20 years for the same crime. A production of APM, In the Dark strives to help realize APM’s mission to “raise awareness, trigger debate, and prompt positive change via non-partisan, investigative and documentary journalism”.

Average Length: 30 minutes

Frequency: Weekly when in Season

Last Podcast on the Left:

Just right for spooky season, Last Podcast on the Left dives headfirst into all things spooky, from true crime to the supernatural. Hosts Ben Kissel, the resident skeptic, Marcus Parks, the academic, and Henry Zebrowski, the conspiracy theorist, take listeners on a journey “into the abyss that is the dark side of humanity”.

Average Length: 60 minutes

Frequency: Twice Weekly

Man in the Window:

Man in the Window chronicles the Golden State Killer through the eyes of his victims. Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Paige St. John uncovers never before revealed details about the man who would become one of California’s most prolific and deadly serial killers.

Average Length: 40 minutes

Frequency: This podcast is complete.

My Favorite Murder:

A mix of true crime and comedy, My Favorite Murder is as much about the laughs as it is about the…uhm, murder. Hosted by Karen Kilgariff, a comedian and television writer, and Georgia Hardstark, a writer and host for the Cooking Channel, this podcast as broken download records and regularly charts in the top 10 for comedy.

Average Length: 90 minutes

Frequency: Weekly


Award-winning (and we mean every award) podcast Serial chronicles a true story of crime over the course of each season. Season One covers the murder Hae Min Lee, Season Two covers the story of Bowe Bergdahl, and Season Three explores the criminal justice system in Cleveland, Ohio. Hosted Sarah Koenig, who also hosts This American Life, a journalist, Serial has also made the jump to television with HBO’s The Case Against Adnan Syed in 2019.

Average Length: 50 minutes

Frequency: Weekly when in season

Sword and Scale:

Sword and Scale set out to become the most respected and well-known true crime broadcast in the world, and operates under the idea that “no crime is too brutal and no victim is too pure”. Hosted by Mike Boudet, Sword and Scale creates an immersive experience into the darkest parts of humanity and human nature, no holds barred.

Average Length: 60 minutes

Frequency: Bi-weekly

Wine & Crime:

Wine & Crime is a weekly podcast delving into various stories of true crime. The show is hosted by three friends: Kenyon, a gender-based violence researcher & consultant; Lucy, an english graduate with an interest in mortuary science; and Amanda, a veteran of the hospitality industry. For each show, the ladies discuss true crime stories while drinking wine and unleashing their “worst Minnesota accents”.

Average length: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Frequency: Weekly

True crime not your genre? Tune in to future posts that will cover graduate student recommendations for comedy, history, science, story-telling, and news and politics!


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