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Crime News Crime Podcasts

The Best True Crime Podcasts To Cozy Up With This Holiday Season

These jaw-dropping true crime podcasts are sure to spark conversation with your family this season.

By Becca van Sambeck

When you think holiday season, you probably picture snow genty falling, a fire crackling in the hearth, and presents galore. What you might not be thinking of is one of the most horrendous parts of the holidays: all the travel time.

Whether you’re heading there by plane, train, bus, or car, getting together with your loved ones almost always requires at least some length of commute. But don’t let a crowded train or a traffic jam ruin your mood before you even reach your family: Just turn on a true crime podcast and distract yourself from the holiday stress around you.

Below, we’ve rounded up the most intriguing, jaw-dropping true crime podcasts available this winter, so you can get an even deeper look at little known serial killers, audacious con-men, and sociopathic criminals.

If you're in the mood for scammers this season, take a listen to this Australian podcast that follows the exploits of con man Hamish Watson. The "surfie dude from Sydney" seemed affable, friendly, and loving to his marks, whether they were potential coworkers or lovely young women, but he ended up swindling innocent victims all over the world out of more than $7 million dollars. The question is how did he pull it off?

Both seasons of "Missing & Murdered" investigate cases involving indigenous women in British Columbia — and the prejudices keeping these women from getting justice. The first season follows the 1989 cold case murder of Alberta Williams, while the second season chronicles a family hunting for their sister, Cleo Semaganis, after all the siblings were adopted by white families across the continent.

This podcast, from NPR, follows one of the most horrifying American stories of the decade: the abuse U.S. Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar inflicted on hundreds of young women and girls. "Believed" doesn't just get into Nassar's numerous crimes, but the culture that allowed him to get away with it for so long — and how brave women finally took him down.

If you can't get enough of scammers, this podcast details the exploits of white collar criminals defrauding others, from a rock band faking a whole fanbase entirely to a New Jersey couple launching a GoFundMe for a homeless man with a questionable story to the head of a Washington D.C. escort business frequented by the rich and powerful.

Maybe you're looking to be immersed in a crime story you've never heard of before. In that case, you might want to try out "Red Ball," which investigates the unsolved mystery of the Burger Chef murders. In 1978 Indiana, four workers from a Burger Chef restaurant disappeared. Their bodies were found several days later in the middle of the woods. So what happened? That's what this four-part series aims to find out.

In 1985, a horrifying discovery was made in Bear Brook State Park in New Hampshire: Two female bodies were found discovered in a barrel. Police were unable to identify the girls — or their killer. But then 15 years later, another gruesome discovery: Two more bodies found stuffed in a barrel. The podcast looks into the search to find out who these people were and give them justice.

In Gloucester, England, there was once a house of horror. Nine women were murdered, their remains cut up and disposed somewhere in the home of Fred and Rose West, a serial killer couple who even murdered their own daughter — and potentially countless more. Journalist Howard Sounes, who wrote a classic crime book on the case, reveals his audio tapes of interviews with witnesses and others involved in the twisted case.

And of course, we'd be remiss not to bring up one of the finest true crime podcasts around (in our very unbiased, very humble opinion): Oxygen's very own "Martinis & Murder." Hosts John Thrasher and Daryn Carp chat about all kinds of creepy crimes while stirring up delicious drinks. Each episode, a new crime is discussed and guests like Terra Newell of the "Dirty John" case appear.

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