True Crime Podcasts To Listen To On The Trip To Grandma’s House

Episodes include stories focused on creepy cults, loyal mobsters, and incompetent 911 dispatchers.

You’re about to go over the river and through the woods to go home for the holidays—a perfect time to sink your teeth into a juicy new true crime podcast. Here are some of the top crime podcast episodes from the past week for you to explore.

CRIMETOWN

“Chapter 6: Gerald and Harold” | Dec. 18

Crimetown’s first season has been exploring the culture of organized crime in Providence, Rhode Island, and this episode presents a story that seems straight out of The Godfather: the tale of a mob figure who was convicted of killing one of his closest friends, shooting him nine times. During the trial for his friend’s killing, Gerald Tillinghast also had to make another choice: whether or not to violate the mob’s code of silence. "The bad things is," Tillinghast, now 70, says in the episode, "when you grow up with a code, and you stick to it, then you see people that invented the code, go the other way, it pisses you off."

STRANGLERS

“Episode 6: Measuring Man” | Dec. 21

Earwolf’s show investigating the Boston Strangler takes a particularly creepy turn this week with the lead of the “Measuring Man,” a mysterious man who knocked on women’s doors under the pretense that he was looking for fashion models. He would enter homes, take women’s measurements, and then sexually assault them. Talking a victim of the Measuring Man is enough to convince one detective that the Measuring Man and the Strangler are one and the same.

MY FAVORITE MURDER

“48 - An Albert Fish Production” | Dec. 22

The investigation of the Starved Rock murders of 1960 was one of the more sensational crime stories in its day, featuring three female hikers beaten to death in a cave in Illinois’s Starved Rock State Park. It’s one of the stories made morbidly fun by hosts Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstack, who strike a smart but conversational tone even when dealing with frankly horrifying cases. Also this week: some great real talk about the kidnapping case of Sherri Papini, the missing California jogger.

SWORD AND SCALE

“Episode 82” | Dec. 17

With some stories that should freak out anyone this holiday season, Sword and Scale speaks to real-life 911 dispatcher Ricardo Martinez (host of his own crime-tangental podcast Within The Trenches) about what happens when the person you’re calling for help sucks. Real stories include the dispatcher who hangs up on a teenager calling to report that her friend had been shot (he ended up dying) and the 911 operator who hung up on one call by saying “Ain’t nobody got time for this.” Really.

LAST PODCAST ON THE LEFT

“Episode 251: Children of God Part IV - Ricky” | Dec. 16

In the finale of Last Podcast on the Left’s four-part look at the Children of God cult, hosts Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks and Henry Zebrowski look at Ricky Rodriguez, the adopted son of Children of God cult leader David Berg. Rodriguez was subject to horrific sexual abuse during his childhood in the cult, and eventually took revenge on one of his rapists, stabbing his molester Angela Smith to death before committing suicide. In a goodbye video that he sent to a friend before enacting his bloody plan, he said he was driven by “a need for justice.”

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