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True Crime Podcasts To Kill Your Free Time This Holiday Season
These newly-released podcasts, covering long-unsolved murders and potentially wrongful convictions, will chill you to the bone and counteract your hot cocoa this season.
As you warm yourself by the fire, schlep out to visit relatives or shovel your driveway this holiday season, get your heart pumping and your blood running cold with one — or more — of this year's new, chilling true crime podcasts!
There has been no shortage of high-quality macabre pods this year — why not take some time to keep yourself from getting too relaxed over the holidays? From an in-depth look into the mysteries surrounding the assassination of the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. to the unraveling of complex intramarital murder-for-hire plots, our list of fresh and intriguing podcasts has something for every fan of the morbid genre — even those who think they're heard it all.
We've lined up ten riveting podcasts, all released this year, to pique your curiosity and while away your time. Keep scrolling to pick a podcast to add to your queue...
1. Le Monstre
The newest installment of Tenderfoot TV's award-winning "Monster" franchise takes listeners into the mind of real-life monster Marc Dutroux, who became known as "Le Monstre" after abducting several young Belgian girls in the 1980s-90s. Belgium local Matt Graves sheds light on new evidence from the cases and shares never-before-heard interviews with victims' families, former police officers, psychologists and more in this ten-part series.
2. The MLK Tapes
"The RFK Tapes" author and co-host Bill Klaber explores little-known facts surrounding Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination on April 4, 1968. Although James Earl Ray pled guilty to King's death, he recanted his confession three days later and was found not guilty by a jury in 1993. Later, King's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit, concluding that his assassination was actually the result of a conspiracy involving multiple groups, including government agencies. In "The MLK Tapes," rare eye-witness testimonials and new interviews with those surrounding the civil rights leader on his final day bring new questions to light about the 50-year-old murder.
After its first season was downloaded 25 million times, hosts Dennis Cooper and Jessica Noll reconvened to tape a second season of the wildly-popular podcast "Culpable" in October 2022. This season focused on the tragic story of 22-year-old Brittany Stykes, a pregnant mother who was shot and killed while driving with her 14-month-old daughter. Cooper and Noll interview a number of people, including the driver who first discovered Sykes' body on the side of U.S. Road 68, first responders and her now 10-year-old daughter to unravel how and why Sykes met her demise.
4. Facing Evil
Back in 2019, sisters Rasha Pecoraro and Yvette Gentile delved into their dark family history in their podcast "Root of Evil," tracing their family lineage to prime Black Dahlia murder case suspect George Hodel. Now, in their weekly 2022 podcast "Facing Evil," the pair discuss new cases, applying the lessons of healing they have learned recovering from their own generational trauma.
5. Murder & Magnolias
The sordid tale of a former Charleston banker's thwarted 2013 murder-for-hire plot against his estranged wife, Nancy Cannon, is the subject of this Dateline NBC podcast just released this November. In the seven-episode series, award-winning correspondent Keith Morrison details the elaborate conspiracy to take the South Carolina socialite's life, planned meticulously by her ex-husband Chris Latham and his assistant-turned-lover Wendy Moore. But a chance traffic stop, uncovering a weapon in Kentucky hitman Aaron Wilkinson's car and a "hit packet" containing photos and personal details about Cannon, brought the scheme to a halt. The podcast features exclusive interviews with law enforcement insiders to the case and an exclusive, sit-down interview with Cannon.
6. Kim Kardashian's The System
Billionaire reality star Kim Kardashian doesn't just sell body-sculpting garments and diet products on Instagram — the "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" reality figure has long advocated for criminal justice reform, convincing former President Donald Trump to implement the First Step Act in 2018 and hosting the Oxygen show "The Justice Project." In her 2022 podcast "The System," Kardashian looks at the potential wrongful conviction of Kevin Keith, an Ohio prisoner serving life after he was found guilty of a triple murder by an all-white jury in 1994. Speaking with family members and officials involved in the case, along with news briefings and interviews with Keith, Kardashian and her producer Lori Rothschild Ansaldi delve into the controversial case.
7. What About Holly?
The remains of a young couple were discovered in a wooded area of Houston by a college student's German Shepard in 1981 —the pair, Dean and Tina Clouse, went unidentified until 2021. Their 10-month-old baby, who would be 42 years old if they were alive today, was never found. In this multi-part series, host Cristina Corbin travels the country to interview law enforcement and family members, uncover new leads and speak with the Christ Family, a nomadic religious group at the center of this double murder mystery.
In December 2000, a killer now known as "The Faceless Man" slaughtered an entire family in their suburban Tokyo home. Instead of fleeing, the killer made himself at home — he changed into clothes owned by one of the victims, used the slain Miyazawa family's computer, took a nap and ate their food before he vanished, leaving a trove of DNA evidence and even the murder weapon behind at the scene. Regardless, the killer was never identified. In this seven-part series, never to be identified. In "Faceless," crime author Nicolas Obregon, who based his novel "Blue Light Yokohama" on the case, delves into multiple theories of what may have transpired, ultimately travelling to a small desert town in California to chase down a fresh lead.
9. The Seduction
In "The Seduction," Dateline's Keith Morrison delves into a botched murder-for hire plot, following the story of Patty Presba, who paid her then-lover to stage her husband's death in 2008. Presba appeared inconsolable when her husband, 54-year-old Rob Presba, was found dead in a charred vehicle at the bottom of a deep ravine, days after she had reported him missing. But blood spattered on the road near the vehicle in El Dorado County, California raised authorities' suspicions, launching the criminal investigation that would lead to her arrest.
10. Dateline NBC
NBC's long-running true crime franchise, Dateline, continues to captivate listeners with old and new episodes remastered into podcast form. Murder cases covered in this year's run include the 15-year-long investigation into the killing of Wisconsin pharmacist Ken Juedes and the case of Larry Rudolph, who was accused of shooting his wife dead at a Zambia hunting preserve in 2016.