True Crime Shows, Books, & Podcasts

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True Crime Shows, Books, & Podcasts

Post by polykill_travis » Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:07 pm

True Crime junkie here. I find a way to shoehorn the topic into other people's forum posts so I figured I'd just make a new topic for it and spare everyone.

Netflix
Mindhunter on Netflix is great, as is the book. Based on John Douglas, the original FBI profiler and the people he had to interact with in forming the profile. The profile is a mainstay in FBI procedures now and for all the recent shortcomings of the FBI on the political stage - the profile for killers is deadly accurate most of the time and is leveraged around the world.

I Am A Killer: a dive into death row inmates, current and former, who do not dispute their guilt. They often dispute the details of their guilt but still - you get a look into the cases, the victims, and the system. It's fascinating.

Podcasts
Casefile. An Australian narrator who is very thorough. Some people think it is dull - but I appreciate his narration over interviews with people on true crime podcasts. People are emotional - but this guy gives the clean, hard facts. He does his research and is very respected in the podcast game. Check his East Area Rapist/Original Nighstalker episode or his Port Arthur episode. They're all good.

Sword and Scale. Always high on everyone's list - middle of the road for me most of the time but still good. He thinks pretty highly of himself which impacts his perceptions a bit - BUT he does get really good interviews and isn't afraid to ask the tough stuff which is still fascinating.

True Crime Garage. Imagine if Jake and I were giant douchebags who talked about True Crime. While I would never share a beer with these dudes, they do cover interesting cases and do so very well. They just have painful schtick.

The Vanished. Where do people go? WHERE DO PEOPLE GO? There are some missing people cases that have a "gone in thin air" type of feel that will keep you thinking on it for weeks. These are interview heavy - so you never know what you'll get - but the host does a great job of keeping everything in order. Check for missing people under your bed tonight though - seriously, these people have to be somewhere.

Books
In Cold Blood. Truman Capote. Hard for me to get into but definitely a great book. Lauded as one of the best though Truman was accused of putting his own flair over top of the facts.

Stranger Beside Me . Ann Rule. My favorite true crime book ever. Think about this coincidence - the woman who got the contract to write a book about the murderer only then known as "Ted" was also the real Ted's coworker. She was keeping notes on the case of her best friend - and he began his kill spree while they worked together at a suicide prevention hotline. Fascinating stuff that no one really knows about Ted Bundy.


If anyone else has the true crime bug - share it here. We can go down all the holes together.

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Re: True Crime Shows, Books, & Podcasts

Post by Pam » Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:58 pm

Thanks for listing these out, Travis.

My podcast feed was looking light this weekend so I've downloaded some of them to try out. So far I've listened to:
- Casefile (Ep. 29 The Burgate House Murders) - I wanted to try out a short episode to start and I enjoyed it. It was very to the point and I love accents.
- True Crime Garage (Bruce McArthur) - Decided to go with this episode since it happened in my backyard. After Casefile's format this show's 20 minutes of ads were a lot to handle, but I also went into this expecting more douchebaggery and so far I don't mind these guys.

I want to watch I Am A Killer soon.

I have a recommendation, but it is not true crime. It is fake crime, but it's probably the best podcast series I've ever listened to.
Limetown
Ten years ago, over three hundred men, women and children disappeared from a small town in Tennessee, never to be heard from again. American Public Radio reporter Lia Haddock asks the question once more, "What happened to the people of Limetown?"

The whole thing is only 2-3 hours long, but it's a fantastic radio drama/documentary.

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Re: True Crime Shows, Books, & Podcasts

Post by polykill_travis » Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:17 pm

Happy to hear from you on this, Pam!

Glad to hear you like Casefile - I sometimes wonder if I'm the only one. Some of the subject matter is rough, obviously. The Mr. Cruel episodes are really interesting too if you want other recommendations.

Yes - fair warning for True Crime Garage, immediately skip 3 minutes in to start. Always. They let some creepy music drone for almost a full minute between their opener and the "meat" so the true starting point can be found easily that way. The first of theirs I listened was also local to me - Brandon Billings. It's interesting as well - check that one out. Also check out Brandon Lawson. Fair warning #2: with their two-part episodes, the second episode is almost always their speculation - so the first episode is usually the best. Also listen to Lululemon Murders - it stuck with me after I heard it.

I finished I Am A Killer - loved it. Started Staircase - LOVE IT.

The defense attorney in Staircase, David Rudolf (whom I love in the doc) and one of the attorneys from Making A Murderer (Jerry Buting) are traveling and giving talks. I actually got tickets to one in September and I'm pretty stoked about it!

I will check out Limetown. Faux-crime is typically not my jam but it might be a good palette cleanser, so to speak. I'll be sure to check it out very soon, thanks for the recommendation.

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Re: True Crime Shows, Books, & Podcasts

Post by RyHoMagnifico » Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:21 pm

Although not presented as solely true crime, one of my favourites is The Nighttime Podcast. It has cases on the paranormal, as well, but its been heavily focused on true crime in the last while. Jordan, the host, does a whole series on the disappearance of Emma Fillipoff, which is a very interesting case.

Another one that I've been enjoying is The Trail Went Cold. It's all about missing persons cases and has a heavy "Unsolved Mysteries" slant, but I enjoy the way the host presents the cases.

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Re: True Crime Shows, Books, & Podcasts

Post by Pam » Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:02 pm

So I've been going down the rabbit hole a bit more.

I tried out Nighttime podcast, but I think I picked a poor episode to start with. I saw a short run-time and Tim Horton's in the title and couldn't resist though. I will try the Emma Fillipoff episode next.

I tried out Sword and Scale. Not for me. The guy seems like a douche, in fact I googled the podcast to find out the best episodes to listen to and was inundated with reddit threads about him being a douche. The first episode was alright, though he immediately turned me off with his fairly damaging portrayal and questions about mental health. I also have no idea why he related the Bruce Blackman case to the Aurora Movie Theatre shooting. They're both mass murders... but that's really the only thing they have in common. I guess the episode was before that case went to trial but it seems like a bit of a leap. He also makes things overly dramatic. "A serial killer could be your neighbour!" "There could be a psychopath beside you right now!" "Should we mandate genetic testing to save us from psychopaths?" (whut) -_- And speaking of psychopaths... episode 2 was an incoherent mess. The guest he had on seems like a total publicity-driven hack (which I guess makes sense since he himself is a self-proclaimed psychopath), and he was allowed to blather on with what seemed like no editing or context forever. One of my majors in school was psychology and most of my papers ended up being about psychopathy and anti-social personality disorder and this episode didn't seem to understand the meaning of the two or how being a 'psychopath' (which is not an actual diagnosis) doesn't mean you're a serial killer or rapist. I downloaded a couple more episodes, but I dunno if I'll listen to them.

In an attempt to not have my podcast true crime feed be a big ole sausage fest, I also started listening to My Favourite Murder. This has two comedians who talk about a couple different murders/cases each show. It's a much different format in that they're not full accounts of cases but rather highlights and things these women find particularly interesting or disturbing. They also react to these things and make coping jokes. I like it so far, though I'd suggest skipping the first half of the first episode... it takes them a while to get to the point.

I also just started reading I'll Be Gone in the Dark, Michelle's McNamara's book about the Golden State Killer. I'm not too far in yet, but it's very interesting and of course, timely as a suspect was charged with the murders shortly after the book came out.

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Re: True Crime Shows, Books, & Podcasts

Post by polykill_travis » Wed Aug 22, 2018 3:37 pm

RyHoMagnifico wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:21 pm
Although not presented as solely true crime, one of my favourites is The Nighttime Podcast. It has cases on the paranormal, as well, but its been heavily focused on true crime in the last while. Jordan, the host, does a whole series on the disappearance of Emma Fillipoff, which is a very interesting case.

Another one that I've been enjoying is The Trail Went Cold. It's all about missing persons cases and has a heavy "Unsolved Mysteries" slant, but I enjoy the way the host presents the cases.
RyHo, nice recomendations. I had not heard of Nighttime before. Looks like Pam already has it in her rotation - I'll do the same soon. I typically don't do paranormal unless Last Podcast on the Left covers it because they're comedians and they make it funny. I think paranormal stuff is more convincingly seen than heard BUT I digress - I'll give it a shot. I've also listened to Lore before which is similar in terms of covering cryptids, ghost stories, and that kind of thing. A little dramatic but for some reason it works well enough for a bite size filler cast. I've listened at night when I've had trouble sleeping and it's actually given me the willies and made the sleeping thing a bit worse. I'm not a smart person.

I love missing people dude. I mean - I hate that they're missing, but those mysteries are the most baffling to me. Even crazier - I like hearing about the ones that are solved, which happens occasionally via podcasts through updates. I have not heard of The Trail Went Cold but I'll be adding that to my list ASAP. Thank you!

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Re: True Crime Shows, Books, & Podcasts

Post by polykill_travis » Wed Aug 22, 2018 4:10 pm

Pam wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:02 pm
I tried out Sword and Scale. Not for me. The guy seems like a douche, in fact I googled the podcast to find out the best episodes to listen to and was inundated with reddit threads about him being a douche.

In an attempt to not have my podcast true crime feed be a big ole sausage fest, I also started listening to My Favourite Murder. This has two comedians who talk about a couple different murders/cases each show. It's a much different format in that they're not full accounts of cases but rather highlights and things these women find particularly interesting or disturbing. They also react to these things and make coping jokes. I like it so far, though I'd suggest skipping the first half of the first episode... it takes them a while to get to the point.

I also just started reading I'll Be Gone in the Dark, Michelle's McNamara's book about the Golden State Killer. I'm not too far in yet, but it's very interesting and of course, timely as a suspect was charged with the murders shortly after the book came out.
Pam - I wanted to wait 24 hours before responding to this so that it is not obvious that I'm hawking this thread because I love it so much but I cannot help myself. Forgive me.

Your take on Sword and Scale is 1 for 1 with mine. The host is just plain douche. I have the same academic background as you and felt the same way on a number of episodes - it's almost Nancy Grace level. But, every time I get ready to give up on this podcast, I find another episode that grips me. I haven't started on his stuff from the beginning - I just poked around his list without reading descriptions. Sword and Scale roulette, I call it. There are two here I'd recommend maybe before you completely give up on S&S.

I'm not sure what you can stomach - so I'm hesitant to make this recommendation to anyone. Fair warning - it's rough. It was probably the among the most vile things I've ever heard and I realize I'm not selling it well. I did not enjoy this episode because it was gross but because of the insight into one man's descent from being a lonely blogger into fantasizing about cannibalism, committing murder, and then admitting to everything in a taped confession played out on the podcast. If that doesn't sound like it's for you - I understand. If it makes me sound crazy for liking it - I understand. But it was simply fascinating to get that unfiltered account. I took 3 baths afterward. It's Episode 107.

The second one is much easier to digest but as all things in true crime go, still heartbreaking. Episodes 109 and 110 talk about how this girl went missing and was found murdered and all the drama around the facebook groups and internet affected the case until it was eventually solved. This was all very recent too - 2017. It's full of some wild twists and turns and turns out to be a very unique case.

I have heard of My Favorite Murder! They were guests once on Last Podcast on the Left, probably my favorite podcast. I don't recommend LPTOL for true crime enthusiasts because it's all filtered through comedy and I don't think it's great if you want to soak in an interesting story versus wanting to laugh at crude jokes. But, like I said, I have tried MFM before, and like you said, found it took them a really long time to get to the case. They are super funny and talented and I listened to one of their live shows and I'd totally go see that if that came anywhere near me. If you find one in particular that you'd recommend - I'd like to try them again. I could have picked the wrong few to start with - it happens.

I understand the sausage-fest issue. You did say you were more into murder/serial murder (that sounds bad) but I'm assuming you prefer things with a resolution based on that. There are few resolutions in missing persons cases but I'll once again recommend The Vanished which has a wonderful host, Marissa Jones. She adds a bit of her own personal flair and understanding to each case that helps it along. It's slowly becoming one of my favorites because of her and not the content. I think I had recommended Criminal with Phoebe Judge to you before - a very solid podcast that's all over the place in terms of topics and is not quite as dark/morbid as the others. And they're shorter. It's also a very professional podcast with high production value - in the ilk of Serial I guess.

I have not read Michelle McNamara's book but after hearing the extensive Casefile episodes on the case, I'm not sure I want to! What a frustrating case - but thankfully they got the guy responsible. Let me know what you think of it - I know it's a best seller and everyone adores it but the Casefile stuff might be too fresh on my mind right now to go through those details again.

I finished The Staircase yesterday! No twists and turns - just a great documentary about a famous case. I think The Jinx may be next - I hear it's a similar breed.

Aghhh anyway, thanks for the feedback and sorry for the diatribes! #RabbitHoles

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Re: True Crime Shows, Books, & Podcasts

Post by Pam » Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:19 pm

polykill_travis wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 4:10 pm
Your take on Sword and Scale is 1 for 1 with mine. The host is just plain douche. I have the same academic background as you and felt the same way on a number of episodes - it's almost Nancy Grace level. But, every time I get ready to give up on this podcast, I find another episode that grips me. I haven't started on his stuff from the beginning - I just poked around his list without reading descriptions. Sword and Scale roulette, I call it. There are two here I'd recommend maybe before you completely give up on S&S.

I'm not sure what you can stomach - so I'm hesitant to make this recommendation to anyone. Fair warning - it's rough. It was probably the among the most vile things I've ever heard and I realize I'm not selling it well. I did not enjoy this episode because it was gross but because of the insight into one man's descent from being a lonely blogger into fantasizing about cannibalism, committing murder, and then admitting to everything in a taped confession played out on the podcast. If that doesn't sound like it's for you - I understand. If it makes me sound crazy for liking it - I understand. But it was simply fascinating to get that unfiltered account. I took 3 baths afterward. It's Episode 107.

The second one is much easier to digest but as all things in true crime go, still heartbreaking. Episodes 109 and 110 talk about how this girl went missing and was found murdered and all the drama around the facebook groups and internet affected the case until it was eventually solved. This was all very recent too - 2017. It's full of some wild twists and turns and turns out to be a very unique case.
I listened to episode 107 of Sword and Scale while making dinner, because I make good life decisions. It was interesting because of all the audio/diary entries available, and particularly creepy because of all the incel stuff in the news lately, but again I felt like the host not only didn't add much to the show, but the few times he did talk (as himself) I completely disagreed with what he said. He talked about Underwood telling his story because he wanted to be known as some powerful monster, whereas it sounded to me like he was just happy to be talking, face-to-face, with people who were interested in what he had to say.
polykill_travis wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 4:10 pm
I have heard of My Favorite Murder! They were guests once on Last Podcast on the Left, probably my favorite podcast. I don't recommend LPTOL for true crime enthusiasts because it's all filtered through comedy and I don't think it's great if you want to soak in an interesting story versus wanting to laugh at crude jokes. But, like I said, I have tried MFM before, and like you said, found it took them a really long time to get to the case. They are super funny and talented and I listened to one of their live shows and I'd totally go see that if that came anywhere near me. If you find one in particular that you'd recommend - I'd like to try them again. I could have picked the wrong few to start with - it happens.
I've given up on My Favorite Murder. I really like some of it and it's often funny. When they get around to talking about murders the show is good, but there's so much time spent on other things. I ended up skipping forward to a recent episode and the off-topic stuff had gotten worse and the episode lengths had ballooned up to 2 hours.
polykill_travis wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 4:10 pm
I understand the sausage-fest issue. You did say you were more into murder/serial murder (that sounds bad) but I'm assuming you prefer things with a resolution based on that. There are few resolutions in missing persons cases but I'll once again recommend The Vanished which has a wonderful host, Marissa Jones. She adds a bit of her own personal flair and understanding to each case that helps it along. It's slowly becoming one of my favorites because of her and not the content. I think I had recommended Criminal with Phoebe Judge to you before - a very solid podcast that's all over the place in terms of topics and is not quite as dark/morbid as the others. And they're shorter. It's also a very professional podcast with high production value - in the ilk of Serial I guess.
Just tried the first couple episodes of Criminal. I like it so far - interesting that the first episode was about the case from The Staircase. It's nice and short and a bit of a different format.
polykill_travis wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 4:10 pm
I have not read Michelle McNamara's book but after hearing the extensive Casefile episodes on the case, I'm not sure I want to! What a frustrating case - but thankfully they got the guy responsible. Let me know what you think of it - I know it's a best seller and everyone adores it but the Casefile stuff might be too fresh on my mind right now to go through those details again.
I'm about 1/3 of the way through the book and am really liking it so far. It focuses a lot more on the investigation than details of every crime, which I kinda like. I'm clearly not opposed to the gory details, but I also don't need detailed accounts of 50 different rapes. It also spends some time on why the author was so interested in the case, which provides a nice break every once in a while.

I'm having a problem where I'm starting to mix up my serial killers though. I listened to the 3-part series on BTK from True Crime Garage and now while I'm reading I keep thinking about that case.

Also, I can't wait to see the BTK stuff play out on Mindhunter.

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Re: True Crime Shows, Books, & Podcasts

Post by polykill_travis » Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:30 pm

Pam wrote:
Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:19 pm
I listened to episode 107 of Sword and Scale while making dinner, because I make good life decisions. It was interesting because of all the audio/diary entries available, and particularly creepy because of all the incel stuff in the news lately, but again I felt like the host not only didn't add much to the show, but the few times he did talk (as himself) I completely disagreed with what he said. He talked about Underwood telling his story because he wanted to be known as some powerful monster, whereas it sounded to me like he was just happy to be talking, face-to-face, with people who were interested in what he had to say.


I've given up on My Favorite Murder. I really like some of it and it's often funny. When they get around to talking about murders the show is good, but there's so much time spent on other things. I ended up skipping forward to a recent episode and the off-topic stuff had gotten worse and the episode lengths had ballooned up to 2 hours.

Just tried the first couple episodes of Criminal. I like it so far - interesting that the first episode was about the case from The Staircase. It's nice and short and a bit of a different format.


I'm about 1/3 of the way through the book and am really liking it so far. It focuses a lot more on the investigation than details of every crime, which I kinda like. I'm clearly not opposed to the gory details, but I also don't need detailed accounts of 50 different rapes. It also spends some time on why the author was so interested in the case, which provides a nice break every once in a while.

I'm having a problem where I'm starting to mix up my serial killers though. I listened to the 3-part series on BTK from True Crime Garage and now while I'm reading I keep thinking about that case.

Also, I can't wait to see the BTK stuff play out on Mindhunter.
The more I listen to Sword & Scale, the more I just don't want him to talk. The interviews are okay but in general the audio clips he plays are usually fairly interesting. I'm still wishy-washy on it but sticking with it. For every douche-isode I come across, I find one that fascinates me to the core. Try Episode 89, very intriguing. Not too gross. Well - it's disgusting but the details are light. Thankfully.

Sad to hear about MFM. It's a show I really want to get into - they're so hot right now. I've seen YT interviews with them and they're so entertaining but get to the point!

What's the update on McNamara's book? I'm still pondering it but still months away from really going in. Also - since the crime is solved I just wonder how much of the book is wrong speculation that would waste my time....

Of all serial killers, BTK upsets me the most. Mainly because of how pathetic he is and how much attention he wanted. He just wanted to be infamous and seen as a criminal mastermind. Man - I really don't like that guy. I don't like any of them, but he pisses me off the most.

So - I bought tickets to a True Crime Festival in D.C. in November! John Douglas (Mindhunter) will be there! Criminal and Phoebe Judge will be there! Paul Holes (caught GSK) will be there and will be interviewed by Yeardly Smith (Lisa Simpson) who has her own true crime podcast I just discovered called Small Town Dicks that you may enjoy actually. It's Yeardly and another woman and they have two detectives on the show and they interview other detectives who have apprehended all sorts of criminals. They talk you through their investigation and the crimes are usually small town types of crime. Pretty interesting so far and not very dark, so a refreshing podcast. Not comedy either - very in the vein of Criminal. Try it out!

But anyway, I get to see all of them AND my favorite Last Podcast on the Left!! It was rather expensive but it's a month before the baby comes and my wife green lit it because she could see in my soul how bad I wanted to go. So yay! This is the lineup, I'm silly excited.

https://brightestyoungthings.com/death-becomes-us

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Re: True Crime Shows, Books, & Podcasts

Post by Pam » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:26 pm

polykill_travis wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:30 pm

What's the update on McNamara's book? I'm still pondering it but still months away from really going in. Also - since the crime is solved I just wonder how much of the book is wrong speculation that would waste my time....

Of all serial killers, BTK upsets me the most. Mainly because of how pathetic he is and how much attention he wanted. He just wanted to be infamous and seen as a criminal mastermind. Man - I really don't like that guy. I don't like any of them, but he pisses me off the most.

So - I bought tickets to a True Crime Festival in D.C. in November! John Douglas (Mindhunter) will be there! Criminal and Phoebe Judge will be there! Paul Holes (caught GSK) will be there and will be interviewed by Yeardly Smith (Lisa Simpson) who has her own true crime podcast I just discovered called Small Town Dicks that you may enjoy actually. It's Yeardly and another woman and they have two detectives on the show and they interview other detectives who have apprehended all sorts of criminals. They talk you through their investigation and the crimes are usually small town types of crime. Pretty interesting so far and not very dark, so a refreshing podcast. Not comedy either - very in the vein of Criminal. Try it out!

But anyway, I get to see all of them AND my favorite Last Podcast on the Left!! It was rather expensive but it's a month before the baby comes and my wife green lit it because she could see in my soul how bad I wanted to go. So yay! This is the lineup, I'm silly excited.

https://brightestyoungthings.com/death-becomes-us
I finished the book on the planeride from RetroWorld Expo. I really liked it. It's strange though, because there's a part midway through where the other authors are just like "Well, Michelle died. Here's what she didn't get to." It's really interesting since they just caught the guy. I kept wanting to go look up her theories as I read them (but I was on a plane with no wifi). The occupations and locations seems about right, but I feel like until the trial happens, we're not going to know how correct the speculation was.

I find BTK disturbing because he did all this while having a wife and family and active social ties. How did he pull that off? How did they never suspect? It's satisfying that he was brought down by his own hubris though.

The True Crime Festival sounds awesome! That'll be really interesting and fun.

I'll check out Small Town Dicks.

edit: Have any recommendations for best eps of Last Podcast on the Left? I listened to the first episode of the recent Lady Leatherface one, but the one guy doing the bad Australian accept for the entire thing kept me from listening to part 2.

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