Confession time…I’ve been binge listening to true crime podcasts. Like, I need a self-help group…
It’s totally against my better judgement to listen to these podcasts, and let me explain why. I am a COMPLETE WEENIE when it comes to anything horror/murder related. I can’t watch The Walking Dead. It gives me nightmares about zombies chasing me through the woods. I couldn’t watch but a couple of episodes of Making a Murder and The Jinx (both true crime television shows) because they make me feel so anxious…imagine me shiftily scanning the room at night for unwanted intruders. Not fun. Not happy. So I normally try to stick to happy-go-lucky or funny entertainment. Imagine care bears skipping through the clouds…That’s me…It’s lame, but true.
Soooo why the heck are you listening to true crime podcasts, Jamie?!
Well, it all started with Serial, which is still my favorite of all the true crime podcasts. It recounts the story of Adnan Syed and his conviction in the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee. Investigative journalist and podcaster Sarah Koenig reinvestigates the more than decade-old murder case by examining each element of the case in great detail. I felt like I was part of the investigative process, and it is gripping to see the way it unfolds. Side note: I didn’t like the second season of Serial about Bowe Bergdahl nearly as much.
Then, there was a gap when I didn’t listen to anything true crime related; but recently I heard about Atlanta Monster, the story of the Atlanta child murders and I was intrigued. I’d never heard of the Atlanta child murders?! (sounds truly awful, children?) More than 25 African-American children and young adults were murdered in the early 1980s, and Payne Lindsey, the creator of Atlanta Monster, investigates the questions behind these murders. The series is currently on Episode 5, and I’m really enjoying it. Truthfully, I find it very creepy and somewhat depressing, but I will continue to listen because I’m hooked and the victims’ families need answers.
In the intro to Atlanta Monster, Payne Lindsey mentions his first podcast Up and Vanished , so I decided to listen to that too. It’s the story of the unsolved murder of Tara Grinstead, a former beauty queen and teacher in small town Georgia. There’s an amazing resolution in this podcast (no spoilers) that you don’t get with Serial. It’s SO GOOD. I finished it in a matter of days.
So there it is…my list of binge listening. Here’s the thing: I’m able to listen to true crime podcasts without total fear or anxiety (I mean, there’s a little) because there are no visuals. It’s less scary than watching a true crime television show because there are no visual reminders of the gory details.
Oh, and while we’re on the subject of podcasts…I’ve been loving NPR’s Up First, a 10-minute news podcast that covers everything from politics to pop culture. I’m usually very apprehensive about listening to the news for the same reasons I don’t watch true crime TV. After watching or listening to the news, I always end up feeling like: Let’s all just end it. Humanity is going to shit. Doom and gloom. And, who wants to feel like that on a daily basis? Not me. So normally I avoid the news and bury my head in the sand. Until, Up First. It’s informative, less opinion-based, and a good cross-section of the news for the day. I listen to it in the car on the way to drop the kids off at school, and I feel like I know what’s going on in the world. Winning.
Have you listened to any true crime podcasts? I’d love to hear your recommendations for good ones to add to my binging list! True crime or otherwise…