I am a lot of things — mom to twins, wife, business owner — but now I can proudly add expert detective and lawyer to this list. Ok, not really, but after listening to the podcasts listed below, sometimes I joke to my husband that I would’ve been a great lawyer, which is absolutely not true at all; I’d be pretty terrible. But for some reason, I find these murder mysteries fascinating. Maybe it’s because they take me so far out of my daily mom regimen or because I like the sociological study. I remember watching an episode of The Good Wife and lawyer Alicia giving her client advice that you don’t want to go to trial because people — jurors, witnesses, other lawyers, etc. — are completely unpredictable. And it’s so true! But for all of these reasons and more, these podcasts have me hooked and I know that I’m not the only mom constantly searching for what to listen to next.
Here are some of my best recommendations (but maybe listen after the kiddos go to bed):
1. To Live & Die in L.A.
I just rolled through this podcast this week. It is so intense and it kept me gripped to the edge of my seat until the very end. Aspiring actors in Hollywood, love triangle, a girl missing, a family where you have no idea who is telling the truth — this podcast has it all, along with an ending that didn’t tie everything up in a neat bow, but one which gives you a pretty clear answer to what the real story is, which is not something every podcast gives you. (Maybe that’s the point too.) Also, you’ll probably be fighting the urge to throw away your phone after you listen because of how trackable you become! Don’t believe me? If you have a google account, click here.
2. Up & Vanished
Another beautiful girl who had everything going for her, is missing. This podcast is about an 11-year-old case and is Georgia’s largest case file to date. It’s somewhat still unfolding with the trial update just posted 26 days ago. This podcast took some very unexpected turns. Payne Lindsay hosts it and he also helps in the production of To Live & Die in L.A. The second season of this podcast is next on my list of things to listen to!
3. Dr. Death
While it is not reassuring that this podcast has some University of Tennessee roots, it does make this story more interesting (not that this podcast needs something else to hook you). I could not stop asking myself, “How could this happen?” in pretty much every episode. For someone who already has anxiety, especially when it comes to my health, I can’t believe I listened to its entirety. Maybe it will just make me more thankful for the good doctors in my life — just maybe. This podcast is not a murder mystery, but if you enjoy it, also check out The Dropout.
The first season of Serial started my love for podcasts. As a photographer, podcasts keep me interested while I edit photos and improve my production time immensely. So while everyone knows about Serial (unless you’ve been living under a rock), I’m encouraging you to listen to Undisclosed as the follow up to Adnan’s case. At the end of Serial, I wasn’t sure how I felt about his guilt or innocence, but at the end of Undisclosed, I had a very strong opinion. There’s also an HBO series about the creator of Undisclosed, Rabia Chaudry, and the ongoing case; it is so fascinating!
5. Over My Dead Body
It’s funny how you can make a career out of photographing weddings and then one day you start listening to something that makes you see a whole other side of them, even after 14 years. But it just goes to show that while the wedding can be beautiful and perfect, the marriage can be, well, messy. Especially once families start getting involved. And oh do families start getting involved.
This podcast grips my heart the most and I’m not sure I can explain why, other than to say there are so many senseless deaths. Chapter one starts with “If you keep your mouth shut, you’ll be surprised what you can learn.” I carried that statement with me the entire time I listened and if all I can gain from any of these podcasts is a willingness to listen, then I will take that because you never know what a listening ear can do for someone.
Years ago I was watching The Today Show and I remember Carson Daly closing his ears because he didn’t want the other members of the cast to ruin the end of the Serial podcast for him. All I could think was, “What the heck is a podcast?” Podcasts have become such an interesting part of my life since then. Knowing that I’m a very visual person I usually can’t stomach some of these stories on television, but listening instead somehow makes it ok.