It’s been months since Serial season one ended, and I’m still not over it. I realize the world probably doesn’t need another post about this blockbuster podcast…but that’s never stopped me before, friends. So, let’s talk about some suggestions for how to fill the void it’s left behind.
I’ve been a fan of true crime for a long time. That sounds creepy, and I promise I’m a generally pleasant, very non-violent person. Basically, I’m not a fan of crime itself. That’d be (literally) insane. However, if crimes happen – which they have/do/will – I like reading the stories about the mysterious incidents, people gone bad and even the trials that follow. I don’t mean to trivialize it. For me, crime writing is like a glimpse into a world I hope I never visit and minds I cannot understand.
If you, like me, are still a little sad when another Thursday comes around without additional layers of case detail, then this post is for you. I’ve complied a list of a few podcasts, articles and books that might entertain and/or horrify you. Maybe you’ll be inspired to become a detective. Maybe you’ll want to hide in your house and never leave. I waffle between the two. Mmmmm…waffles.
“Dr. Gilmer and Mr. Hyde“ – This American Life
This is the particular podcast that made me a fan of both Sarah Koenig AND This American Life. It’s a heartbreaking and compelling story that includes a murder, a medical mystery, and overall great reporting. Start here.
“The Psychopath Test” – This American Life
I told you I was a fan of This American Life. This one is more light-hearted than it sounds, and it’s truly eye-opening, especially in regards to the prison system.
“Animal Instincts“ – Criminal
It’s been suggested that I should check out the movie The Staircase about Kathleen Peterson’s murder. Since it’s not streaming, I listened to this short, alternative theory about the Michael Peterson case.
Serial Killer Archive – Longform.org
I love longform journalism, so I love Longform.org. Browse through their archives, and you’ll never be bored.
Crime Archive – Longform.org
See above, please.
Zodiac – Director David Fincher
It’s David Fincher, so you know the movie looks good. It will also creep you out and make you want to read everything you can about the Zodiac murders. Bonus: Jake Gyllenhaal!
Devil in the White City – Erik Larson
Did you know the Chicago World’s Fair housed a serial killer? Well, it totally did, and here’s the story. Plus, it goes into great detail about all the effort it took to make the Chicago World’s Fair happen. Fascinating stuff all around.
The Psychopath Test – Jon Ronson
If the This American Life episode wasn’t enough, check out Jon Ronson’s book. He actually contributed one of the stories from his book to the podcast. I always find him funny in the typical dry, British way.
The Stranger Beside Me – Ann Rule
Ted Bundy, man. I don’t like to throw around the word psychopath/sociopath, but if anyone was – it’s him. Ann Rule tackled this story like a woman who knew him at his best, most charming self…because she did. Watch her ideas about him change over the course of the book.
Bonus NOT True Crime Shows: If you want the mystery without reality, stream one of these!
True Detective – HBO
True Detective is trippy, deep, and well-acted. Modeled like Serial‘s a-different-story-each-season, I can’t wait to see where they go with season two.
Luther – BBC America/Netflix
If you missed Luther on my former post about British mysteries, you may want to go check out that list, too. For now, I’ll just say two words: Idris Elba. Oh, and Alice Morgan (played amazingly smart/creepy by Ruth Wilson) is a great character to watch.
The Wire – HBO/Amazon Prime
I just finished season one, and I’m totally hooked. I’ve heard so many people say that this is their favorite show of all time that I had to give it a try. You should, too. (Also: Idris Elba.)
Pretty Little Liars – ABC Family/Netflix
Okay. Please stop laughing. My cousin and her husband were telling me over Christmas how much they loved this show, and I laughed. Honestly, I think it’s the name. Good show, dumb name. It’s the most brain-candy piece of media on this list, yes, but it is a show that will suck you in big time. Who is “A,” people?!
Anything you’d add to the list, readers?