In the world of true crime, some pretty iconic catch phrases have come out of our favorite podcasts. There is none more recognizable than “I’m Phoebe Judge, and this is Criminal.” (Can’t you just hear her voice in your head?!)
When I first started listening to Criminal, I – like so many – was instantly hooked and it’s hard to find other podcasts like Criminal. The show is unlike any other, with a perfect blend of storytelling and interviewing. The unique lens of viewing crime in a variety of different ways also allows the listener to step away from the serial-killer-death-and-gore porn of some other true crime podcasts.
No judgment on those other podcasts – I love them too – but Criminal is something special.
For years, I didn’t think there was any other show like Criminal out there, but when I started building this database I discovered that 1. I could categorize Criminal as an “Interview Case Analysis” show (one of the main types of true crime podcasts) and 2. there were other shows out there in a similar style (especially new shows!).
To help you discover other podcasts like Criminal, I’ve pulled together a list of my favorite shows in the Interview Case Analysis style. Give these a listen, and you’ll have happy ears in between Friday episodes of Criminal.
1. Art Bust
Art Bust is a real gem (hah! get it?) in the podcast world – and it’s a fresh new take that combines the best elements of Criminal’s distinctive podcast format with a new topic: art.
Author, arts journalist, and host Ben Lewis examines famous art crimes through the centuries, often with a moral lens you might not expect – but which is refreshing in today’s social climate.
2. Best Case, Worst Case
Every member of law enforcement has them: best cases and worst cases. And sometimes those cases are the same.
In Best Case, Worst Case, former FBI profiler Jim Clemente and former federal prosecutor Francey Hakes sit down with colleagues across the law enforcement industry to dig deep into the memorable cases that shaped each guest’s career.
Cheat is another new podcast – like Art Bust – that caught my attention while searching for those few podcasts like Criminal.
In it, host Alzo Slade looks at the act of cheating through both a moral and legal lens. Each episode has a different story, and all weave a fascinating web that challenges your ideas about how bad cheating can be.
4. Convicted: Across Borders
Convicted: Across Borders is a new podcast – and I believe it was a limited run telling just five stories in as many episodes.
In fact, these five stories represent some 3,000 Americans who are imprisoned abroad each year, and is part of the inspiration for the recent movie Stillwater.
5. Small Town Dicks
Phoebe Judge has a distinctive voice, but I’ve found a podcast to rival her on the claim of most distinctive: Small Town Dicks.
Co-hosted by Yeardley Smith (yes, that’s Lisa Simpson! yes, it took me an entire episode to realize it!) and two detective friends, the trio interviews other law enforcement officials about their most seminal cases. The interview style and banter work well to tell the story, honor the victims, and respect the hard work of law enforcement.
Brand new from the team at audiochuck, Solvable is a 10-part single serial podcast that examines a cold case of a woman and her baby (both does).
The two hosts use genetic geneology – the cutting edge of forensic science when it comes to cold cases – to find the victims’ families and give them back their names.
While the single season alludes to future episodes, there’s no confirmation that this show will continue making it an easy binge.
Strangeville is another new show in 2021, giving credence to the idea that podcast networks finally realized the Criminal style was great and to give more hosts a chance at telling similar stories.
It dives into one-off stories in each episode, examining everything from art heists to the illegality (and inadvisability) of having wild animals as pets.
8. The Invisible Hand
Host Georgina Savage takes us on an audio journey into South Africa’s Kruger National Park to meet the men and women working the front lines and walking the fine line of conservation in an area divided by racism and poverty.
9. The Vanished
Missing persons cases are personally hard for me to listen to, but The Vanished is one of Wondery’s longest running shows – and that says a lot about the power it gives to victims’ families to share their stories.
It can be heartbreaking to hear some of the interviews, but that’s part of what makes this podcast such a long-standing audience favorite.
10. Wicked Words
Wicked Words is the next incarnation of Tenfold More Wicked. (As far as I can tell, it runs on the same podcast stream as the previous show did, if you’re looking for back-episodes.)
It gives the storytellers a chance to speak by allowing authors and journalists to share their own observations and memories about the true crime cases that shaped their careers and changed their lives.
Do you know of any other podcasts like Criminal? Share in the comments!