【ネイティブの英語記事】Summer Listening: True Crime Podcasts

Happy August, FE Community!

This is Tara presenting more avenues of entertainment to keep you out of the heat, though so far the summer weather has been more than bearable, surprisingly.

Last month, I presented you with some TV shows that I enjoy in the true crime genre. So, I thought I would continue that thread of thought and share with you some podcasts. While TV is great for improving your listening and reading skills (if you use subtitles), podcasts are the next level up in building your vocabulary and challenging you to catch the language at native speed.

Staying with the true crime genre, I’d like to share some of my favorites:

*My Favorite Murder
The hosts, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, started this podcast in 2016 using their love of true crime and comedy to share some of the most horrendous stories of murder. Some people do not like their casual banter and use of humor to discuss these mind-boggling events, but I find their ability to bring some laughter into their retelling of events makes the reality of them easier to hear and understand. Since 2016, they have spread their activity from live-shows, to minisodes where people share their hometown stories, to creating their own podcast network and publishing a book. They are definitely my favorite people to listen to as they talk about the horrors that can happen.


*The Murder Squad
Billie Jensen is a true crime journalist who focuses on unsolved murders or missing persons. He initiated the use of social media to help him solve these crimes. He, then, teamed up with Paul Holes, a recently retired cold case investigator. Holes was also heavily involved in apprehending the infamous Golden State Killer. Together, these two hosts share unsolved or cold cases, often with a current interview of a family member or investigator who has been involved in the investigation. They share as much information as they can about the crime and suspect so that if listeners think they know something, they can contact local law enforcement with a tip to hopefully solve these cases.


This is probably the frontrunner in true crime podcasts with its release of Season One in 2014 focusing on the one case of Adnan Syed who was convicted of killing Hae Ming Lee, a fellow high school student. Syed has claimed to be innocent, so the host Sarah Koenig shares what she finds by going back through his case. Thanks to the podcast, Syed was initially granted a new trial in 2015, but later denied it in 2019. Season Two follows another case and Season Three takes a different turn with its theme and approach to storytelling style, but it is still fascinating.


*In the Dark
Hosted and narrated by Madeleine Baran, the two seasons are similar to Serial (above) in following one case, respectively. Also, thanks to Baran’s storytelling and attention drawn to the cases, especially regarding Season 2 on Curtis Flowers, more investigation was conducted to help justice be served rightly. Season 3 is more focused on COVID19 and its effects in the Mississippi Delta rather than a crime case as before, but still interesting as well.


*Someone Knows Something
David Ridgen is the host of this podcast and is an award-winning filmmaker and writer. He focuses on the disappearances of people and tells the story of who they are and what people think happened to them. There are already six seasons that really draw you in to what happened to these people.


*Up and Vanished
Host Payne Lindsey investigates the disappearance of two women in the two seasons that have led to arrests in the first season’s case. This has also turned into a TV series on Oxygen. Lindsey has also started another podcast called Atlanta Monster, which relooks at the disappearance and murder of more than 25 African-American youths for two years starting in 1979. These stories are very curious and though no final judgement is made through the podcast, the listeners do form opinions.


These are just a few that I recommend and follow regularly. Not only can you work on your listening skills, but through the websites, you can improve your reading skills which will give you grammar and vocabulary examples on different topics. I hope you enjoy these!:D



This adjective is used to describe something extremely unpleasant or terrible.

e.g. The damage done to the city after the explosion was horrendous.


This adjective describes something that is surprising, startling, or unclear.

e.g. How my phone ended up in the bathroom is mind-boggling.

cold case

This noun is used to refer to an unsolved criminal investigation which is still open with the hopes of finding new evidence.

e.g. One of the most famous cold cases in my lifetime is what happened to Jon Benet Ramsey.


This is an adjective to describe something that is well-known for being bad or wicked.

e.g. Some politicians become infamous for their behavior whilst in office.


This noun refers to someone or something that is leading.

e.g. When Star Wars was released it was a frontrunner in Sci-Fi films.


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アメリカ育ちで日本で9年間英語を教えた経験あり。日本以外にもAbu Dhabiでも英語を教えていたベテランの先生です。 ヨガを教える資格も持っていてとてもアクティブで、「諦めずに頑張って」とモチベーションをくれる指導スタイルで人気。 座右の銘は「We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit」。