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Fresh starts and cold cases: True crime podcasts for the new year

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Image: Jukka Aalho | Unsplash

Diana Safieh co-hosts a true crime podcast with her sister Randa. Check out the Switchblade Sisters Social Club, a podcast where two sisters exploit their worst fears, for your entertainment. In this guest article, Diana talks us through the best true crime podcasts to start the new year.

For those keen on exploring cold cases, witnessing fresh starts, or reinvigorating hope with stories of rehabilitation, here are some must-listen podcasts for this new year:

Life After Prison Podcast

The Life After Prison Podcast offers a raw, unfiltered glimpse into the lives of those who have navigated the challenges of reintegration after incarceration and the societal, emotional, and personal hurdles that come with starting over. Each episode is a powerful reminder of the complexities of justice and rehabilitation.

Jules and Zak, the compassionate hosts, create a space of understanding and support, discussing vital topics like accommodation, employment, and health.

Buried Bones

Hosted by Kate Winkler Dawson, a seasoned true crime author, and Paul Holes, the legendary cold case investigator who helped catch the Golden State Killer, each episode of Buried Bones unravels historical crimes, bringing long-buried secrets to light. Whether you're a history buff or a true crime enthusiast, this podcast will surprise and delight you.

Second Chance with Raphael Rowe

Second Chance with Raphael Rowe brings you a powerful exploration of wrongful convictions and the resilience of the human spirit. Raphael Rowe, wrongfully imprisoned for 12 years, interviews individuals who have faced similar fates.

The show is not just a true crime podcast; it's a testament to hope and redemption in the face of adversity. He also referred to me and my sister as ‘those two podcast girls’ and had listened to our ‘Hybristophilia - Met While Incarcerated’ episode, so we can die happy now.

Whatever Remains

Whatever Remains is perfect for those who love peeling back the layers of mysteries, as it takes a look into some of the most perplexing unsolved cases, dissecting every clue and theory. With a keen eye for detail and a dedication to uncovering the truth, my favourite episodes are the ones on the Circleville Letters, a case that lives in my head, creeping me out late at night.

Ear Hustle

Co-hosted by Earlonne Woods, a former inmate at San Quentin State Prison, and Nigel Poor, a Bay Area artist, Ear Hustle explores the realities of prison life and the journeys of inmates working towards rehabilitation and reintegration into society. Together, they explore a range of topics, like daily life and personal stories, not just about the struggles but also about the triumphs and transformations of individuals.

Why So Cold?

Why So Cold? is dedicated to keeping the stories of the missing and murdered at the forefront of public consciousness. The podcast is a poignant reminder of the countless unsolved cases still seeking closure, and it represents a mission to ensure these stories are not forgotten. Its dedication to these stories underscores the importance of advocating for those who can no longer speak for themselves.

Life Jolt

Hosted by Rosemary Green, who spent years in prison, Life Jolt examines prison life and the criminal justice system from the perspective of women who have experienced it first-hand, a voice which often goes underrepresented.

The podcast addresses the stigmas, obstacles, and emotional journeys of women as they work to rebuild their lives post-incarceration, offering a blend of personal stories, expert insights, and a deeper understanding of the profound impacts of the criminal justice system on women.

Riverside Homicide

Fellow sibling sleuths Jeremy and Kelly bring a unique chemistry to the investigation of cold cases and sensational crimes. Riverside Homicide stands out for its focus on the lives and stories of the victims, often overshadowed in sensational crime narratives.

By giving a voice to these untold stories, the podcast not only seeks to solve mysteries but also to honour the memory of those lost, offering a more empathetic and human-centred approach to true crime storytelling.

The Innocence Files

The Innocence Files, which accompanies the Netflix documentary series and is hosted by journalist and true-crime author Rebecca Lavoie, dives into stories of wrongful convictions and the paths to exoneration. It showcases the struggles and triumphs of individuals who have been given a second chance after being cleared of their wrongful convictions.


When a coroner can’t determine the cause of death, this vague classification is printed on the death certificate. In Undetermined, investigative team Jessica Noll and former detective Todd McComas dig into the unsolved case of Jessica Easterly Durning, who went missing from her New Orleans home in 2019. Days later her body was found, but the cause of death was never determined.

The Redemption Project

Although primarily a television series, The Redemption Project’s accompanying podcast hosted by Val Jones offers deep dives into the stories of victims and offenders, exploring the possibilities of forgiveness, accountability, and rehabilitation in the criminal justice system.

Western Australia Police Force: Cold Case

This official podcast of the Western Australia Police Force delves into cold case murders. Featuring interviews with detectives and family members of victims, it's a rare and insightful look into the ongoing efforts to solve these enduring mysteries. Can I hear you say Wolf Creek?!