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7 podcasts for the private investigator in you

4th July 2016

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The genre of true crime and justice has never been more popular - people who should have gone to prison but haven’t, people wrongfully convicted, you name it; we want to know about it.

If you’re looking for the next Serial, Making a Murderer or the Jinx to keep you hooked, you’ll love these podcasts.

1. Actual Innocence

The Actual Innocence podcast logo (Fiverr/Actual Innocence)

What’s it all about?

Actual Innocence tells the stories of people who have been wrongfully convicted in the United States. Brooke Gittings, the host and creator, was inspired to make the series by the injustices uncovered in hit US TV series Making a Murderer.

Each episode features a different exoneree, who tells their story in their own words. Giddings interjects sparingly, allowing the listener to connect with the storyteller.

If you only listen to one episode: Julie Baumer

2. Untold: The Daniel Morgan Murder

Artwork for the Untold podcast
What’s it all about?

Daniel Morgan, a private investigator, was brutally murdered with an axe on the 10th of March 1987, in south-east London. The killer has never been brought to justice, despite five criminal investigations into the matter.

Peter Jules, with assistance from Daniel’s brother Alistair, looks into the case, which covers allegations of police corruption, newspaper cover-ups, phone hacking, burglary and bribery.

If you only listen to one episode: Start from the beginning - Luckiest mugging in the world

3. The Body on the Moor

Saddleworth Moor (Dave Thompson/PA)
Saddleworth Moor, where the body was found (Dave Thompson/PA)

What’s it all about?

This BBC series covers the case of the “man on the moor” who was found dead on December 12, 2015, next to a path on Saddleworth Moor in the Peak District National Park. He died of strychnine poisoning, a lethal poison banned in the UK and Europe.

Investigators, despite following up a number of leads including the man’s journey from Ealing Broadway to the moor and a titanium plate found in his leg, are still unable to identify the man.

If you only listen to one episode: The discovery

4. Sword and Scale

A statue showing justice with blindfold, scales and sword(Clara Molden/PA)
Sword and Scale covers cases from across the globe in fine detail (Clara Molden/PA)
What’s it all about?

With 65 episodes to get stuck into, this is the perfect podcast for your morning commute.

Sword and Scale arguably led the way for many other crime-related podcasts. Since it began in 2013 it has covered criminal activity on a case-by-base basis, often revealing gruesome details you won’t hear in other programmes.

If you only listen to one episode: Episode 49

5. Who killed Elsie Frost

A photograph of 14 year-old Elsie Frost, taken in 1965 (PA)
Elsie Frost was murdered in 1965. Her murder is still unsolved (PA)

What’s it all about?

This podcast was the product of iPM, a BBC Radio 4 programme in which listeners call in for advice. Brother and sister Colin Frost and Anne Cleave called the show to ask for help in investigating their sister’s murder almost 50 years ago. Elsie Frost was murdered at the age of 14 on her way home from a sailing club. Her murderer has never been found.

What followed was an investigation by BBC journalist Jon Manel and his production team and resulting public interest. All new developments were featured as bulletins on the iPM show and have now been collated into a podcast series.

If you only listen to one episode: Start from the beginning – Who killed Elsie Frost

6. Criminal

A woman holds handcuffs
Criminal explores the stories around crime(PA)

What’s it all about?

Criminal isn’t your average crime podcast. It doesn’t go after the most gruesome crime, but the most interesting and complex. This can range from crimes committed hundreds of years ago, to recent criminal activity.

Presenter Phoebe Judge covers one case an episode, interviewing witnesses from the case, or delving into archives to find evidence. Rather than focusing on the crime itself, Judge explores the story surrounding the incident and focuses on the people involved.

If you only listen to one episode: Jolly Jane

7. Undisclosed

the undisclosed logo, in black and white (Undisclosed)
The podcast has started to cover wider topics associated with crime and justice (Undisclosed)

What’s it all about?

Originally, this podcast picked up where Serial left off, covering developments in Adnan Syed’s case from the perspective of three lawyers. One of the hosts is Rabia Chaudry, a close friend of Adnan's family.

Since Syed’s case has reached appeal stage, Undisclosed has gone on to cover a variety of justice issues, including wrongful convictions and death row, speaking to an interesting line-up of experts.

If you only listen to one episode: Wrongful convictions

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