The podcast ‘Serial’ set the standard for long-form, true crime storytelling when it debuted in 2014. Hosted by masterful storyteller Sarah Koenig, the show has been downloaded more than 300 million times and won countless awards.
But now, there is a wave of listeners who’ve listened to the show and are hungry for more true crime gems! That’s why I’ve created a list of the best podcasts like Serial.
From the irreverent humor of ‘Morbid’, to the meticulous research of ‘Crime Junkie’, these shows will satisfy your hunger for more gripping real-life stories!
15 Podcasts Like Serial
- 15. Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo
- 14. Wrongful Conviction
- 13. 48 Hours
- 12. This is Actually Happening
- 11. True Crime with Kendall Rae
- 10. Someone Knows Something
- 9. Something Was Wrong
- 8. Anatomy of Murder
- 7. Rotten Mango
- 6. To Live and Die in LA
- 5. Dateline NBC
- 4. Casefile True Crime
- 3. Morbid
- 2. My Favorite Murder
- 1. Crime Junkie
15. Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo
The riveting ‘Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo’ is one of the first shows that came to mind when I started researching podcasts like Serial.
Spread over two series, it follows Canadian reporter Connie Walker as she investigates the mysterious disappearance of Cleo Semaganis Nicotine, a young Indigenous girl taken from her family in the 1970s. Cleo was adopted in the U.S. but vanished after leaving to hitchhike back home.
Walker pieces together Cleo’s tragic life story through interviews with those who knew her, historical records, and discussions with Cleo’s family, who believe she was raped and killed.
Walker’s diligent reporting sheds light on systemic issues in the child welfare system and gives a voice to Cleo’s loved ones still seeking answers. The emotional story underscores the urgent need to address injustices experienced by Indigenous women and girls.
14. Wrongful Conviction
The Wrongful Conviction podcast, hosted by Jason Flom and Maggie Freleng, gives an intimate look into the lives of those imprisoned for crimes they did not commit.
Each episode focuses on a different story of innocence gone wrong, from death row cases to overturned convictions.
Flom and Freleng conduct in-depth interviews with the wrongfully accused as well as the lawyers and advocates fighting for their exoneration. Expert analysis helps unpack where the justice system failed.
This eye-opening show highlights the flaws in the legal process that allow innocents to be criminalized. By putting faces and voices to wrongful convictions, the series ignites empathy and action for much-needed reform. Gripping storytelling makes this a must-listen!
13. 48 Hours
The acclaimed 48 Hours podcast draws listeners into intriguing true crime cases through rigorous investigative journalism.
Correspondents cover high-profile murders, disappearances, wrongful convictions, and more with thoughtful storytelling and exclusive interviews. Their diligent reporting has reopened cold cases and exonerated the wrongly accused. Weekly episodes analyze new cases, while “Post Mortem” episodes provide behind-the-scenes looks into how episodes were reported.
Veteran journalist Anne-Marie Green also hosts flashback episodes revisiting classic 48 Hours mysteries. With its sterling reputation built over decades of broadcast, 48 Hours offers an unparalleled look into the human stories behind unforgettable crimes.
If you love Serial, definitely add this one to your playlist.
12. This is Actually Happening
‘This is Actually Happening’ brings you extraordinary true stories of life-changing events told by the people who lived them.
What if you were trafficked into a cult…or were mauled by a grizzly bear…or were stabbed 27 times by a serial killer – what would you do?
This is Actually Happening’ brings you extraordinary true stories of life-changing events told by the people who lived them.
You’ll sense from that description, the podcast is quite a bit different from Serial, but I think you’ll love it all the same! New episodes come out every Tuesday for free.
11. True Crime with Kendall Rae
You’re looking for podcasts like Serial, so definitely tune into True Crime with Kendall Rae!
The true crime guru brings her popular YouTube series to podcast form with compassionate storytelling focused on the victims.
Each episode dives into a unsolved mystery, cold case, or wrongful conviction as Rae seeks justice and truth. Her thoughtful approach analyzes the crimes without sensationalism, retains humanity, and advocates for those harmed.
Rae draws from extensive research to spotlight little-known cases, voicing the stories of those made silent by violence and malice. Her perceptive commentary informs as much as it tugs at the heart.
For true crime fans seeking meaningful narratives, socially conscious analysis, and gripping investigations, Kendall Rae delivers with integrity. Her podcast spreads awareness and gives the dead a voice.
10. Someone Knows Something
Someone Knows Something investigates unsolved cold cases in Canada through host David Ridgen’s masterful investigative journalism.
Each season tackles a different mystery as Ridgen works closely with victims’ families to uncover the truth.
The latest season tries to find justice for Angel Carlick, an 18-year-old whose remains were found months after her 2007 disappearance.
Ridgen sensitively pieces together her story through interviews with loved ones still mourning her loss. Someone Knows Something stands out for its compassion, patience, and dogged fact-finding in cases where the trail has long gone cold.
Ridgen’s thoughtful narration transforms true crime into a powerful, humane listening experience. This is investigative storytelling at its very best and definitely worthy of comparisons to Serial!
9. Something Was Wrong
It may not be in quite the same category as most of those in our Podcasts like serial list, but ‘Something Was Wrong’ takes a look at a sadly very common type of crime – domestic violence.
Featuring first-hand accounts from survivors, the powerful show looks into abusive and manipulative relationships and their impacts on victims.
Host Tiffany Reese interviews both men and women who have emerged from terrifying situations of control. Their candid stories encompass harrowing psychological torment, shocking betrayals, and courageous escapes.
Reese’s gentle compassion creates a judgement-free space for narrators to process their trauma. Expert commentary adds insight into power dynamics and the cycles of abuse.
Through stark storytelling, Something Was Wrong raises awareness of hidden warning signs and the complexities of coercive control, while offering hope and solace for those still suffering domestic abuse.
8. Anatomy of Murder
Anatomy of Murder offers an immersive exploration of intriguing homicide cases through the distinct lenses of a prosecutor and defense attorney.
Hosts Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi and Scott Weinberger tap their legal expertise to dissect high-profile murders, analyzing evidence and weighing motive to get into the minds of killers and their victims.
Their back-and-forth debates bring unique drama and perspective to true crime analysis. Archival audio, vivid descriptions, and interviews with investigators enrich each story.
Offering an unfiltered courtroom view of forensics and criminal psychology, Anatomy of Murder is a great show for when you’re done with Serial!
7. Rotten Mango
For true crime fans with strong stomachs, Rotten Mango delivers stories of the world’s most chilling murders and mysteries.
Host Stephanie Soo pulls no punches, diving deep into the grisly details and deranged psychology behind infamous serial killers and brutal unsolved homicides. Her exceptional storytelling transports listeners directly into the action while examining the cultural context surrounding each case.
Soo’s irreverent humor and conversational tone ensures there is some light to go with the shade. From fascinating forensic analysis to shocking twists, Rotten Mango gives an unvarnished, intimate look at humanity’s most inhuman acts.
A great podcast for those who loved Serial, but definitely not for the faint of heart!
6. To Live and Die in LA
High on our list of podcasts like Serial is ‘To Live and Die in LA,’ which chronicles Rolling Stone journalist Neil Strauss’s gripping real-time investigation into the disappearance of aspiring actress Adea Shabani.
When Shabani vanishes, Strauss joins forces with her family to unravel the complex mystery. His relentless reporting uncovers a shocking Hollywood story of obsession and foul play. Backed by vivid music from Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger, Strauss takes listeners on a rollercoaster search for the truth.
With its propulsive storytelling and intimate access, To Live and Die in LA hooks like a page-turner while maintaining the sensitivity true crime often lacks. This Peabody Award-winning podcast highlights masterful investigative journalism with a bold, human touch.
5. Dateline NBC
Whilst not explicitly a true crime podcast, Dateline NBC features the kind of investigative storytelling that made Serial a hit.
With its polished production, Dateline transports the gripping narratives that have long captivated TV audiences into an addictive audio format.
While Dateline covers a variety of human interest stories beyond just true crime, its dramatic murder investigations evoke the same addictive qualities that made Serial so groundbreaking.
Dateline’s commitment to unraveling the truth through bold reporting makes it essential listening for crime junkies. Storytelling simply doesn’t get much better.
4. Casefile True Crime
With clinical precision, the chilling Casefile True Crime podcast narrates the world’s most disturbing murders and unsolved mysteries.
The anonymous Australian host’s monotone storytelling adds an arresting, almost documentary-style tone to each episode’s dive into a different case’s bizarre details and dark psychology.
There are no interviews or music – just meticulously researched facts, news clips, and police tapes transported straight from the scene. The lack of embellishment allows listeners to draw their own conclusions.
For true crime fans seeking an unfiltered, in-depth look into both high-profile and little-known cases, Casefile delivers stark realism and addictive forensic drama.
With its captivating storytelling and irreverent humor, ‘Morbid’ has built a cult following and is high on my list of podcasts like Serial.
Hosted by Alaina Urquhart, an autopsy technician and author, and Ash Kelley, her hairdresser niece, Morbid dives deep into unsolved murders, serial killers, cults and the paranormal.
Urquhart and Kelley strike the perfect balance between respectfully honoring victims while also injecting their signature wit and banter. No case is too disturbing for their dissection.
Since its debut in 2018, the podcast has grown a dedicated fanbase drawn to the hosts’ raw, candid takes and their immersive research into each case’s most chilling details.
Covering both historic crimes and recent headlines, Morbid satisfies binge-listeners with its massive back-catalogue while also releasing new episodes twice weekly.
Urquhart and Kelley have turned their genuine passion for the macabre into a podcast that both educates and entertains.
2. My Favorite Murder
Okay. This is far from being exactly like Serial, as it’s actually a true crime ‘comedy’ podcast. But ‘My Favorite Murder’ still has that addictive quality that keeps you hitting play again and again.
Hosts Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark share their obsession with chilling crimes and hometown ghost stories while cracking wise with dark humor. Their infectious rapport energizes each grisly case through irreverent banter, listener hometown tales, and the occasional off-topic tangent. But they never lose sight of each victim.
For true crime fans looking for captivating storytelling served with a morbidly funny tone, a sense of community, and thoughtful commentary, My Favorite Murder hits all the right notes. Their motto says it all: Stay sexy, and don’t get murdered!
Even with the comedic spin, My Favorite Murder captures that same spirit of amateur sleuthing and armchair detective work that has made true crime podcasts so popular.
The hosts’ charming back-and-forth will make you feel like you’re hanging out with friends, if your friends happen to be obsessed with the macabre!
1. Crime Junkie
At number one on our list of podcasts like Serial is the incredibly popular ‘Crime Junkie’. Launched in 2017, the show has become one of the most googled podcasts in the world!
As the name suggests, Crime Junkie delivers a quick yet thorough fix for true crime addicts. Hosts Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat serve up cliffhanger storytelling and rapid-fire dialogue analyzing all angles of mysterious cases, from wrongful convictions to serial killer psychopathy. Their infectious chemistry fuels lively discussions of forensic evidence, criminal motives, and investigative missteps while retaining compassion for victims.
Balancing entertainment with thoughtful commentary, Crime Junkie provides a nuanced look into the human psyche’s darkest corners.
With Ashley’s personal connection to many cases and Brit’s background in law, their insight fascinates as much as the chilling crimes.
Ready to move on from Serial?
The runaway success of Serial sparked a true crime podcasting revolution. While no show has quite matched its phenomenal reach, there is a new wave of gripping investigative narratives to keep you entertained.
From the mischief and murder explored on Morbid to the unsolved mysteries uncovered by Crime Junkie, the options for your next true crime obsession are endless. Just like Sarah Koenig pulled back the curtain on a questionable conviction in Serial, today’s “podcatchers” are shining a spotlight on cases previously hidden in the shadows.
So if you’re up to date on Serial, don’t be sad – just queue up the next compulsive series to fill that true crime void. The golden age of investigative podcasts continues.