UK crime podcasts you need to listen to
Often when we think of true crime podcasts we imagine an eerie American freeway with no people for miles around, or a sinister serial killer wandering the streets of suburbia in US some state or another, but what about the British stories? Many of the finest crime writers and stories come from the UK, and unfortunately, we’ve also had our fair share of extreme, terrible and unsolved crime. You’ll find a wide range of fantastic and fascinating British true crime podcasts ideal for the dedicated crime junkie.
Looking for your next true crime fix? We’ve put together a definitive list of the best UK crime podcasts you can listen to right now.
Why not check out Crime + Investigation's new podcast, #DEAD2ME: The Interviews in which criminologist Dr Honor Townsend, interviews some of the key contributors from the TV show in a longer form discussion on the key themes touched on.
Uncover a different perspective on the town where you live with the Murdertown podcast. Inspired by Crime + Investigation's hit series, each episode, hosted by Benjamin Fitton from They Walk Among Us, focuses on different murder cases from across the UK. Available on Apple and Spotify, full episodes are also available to watch on YouTube.
2. Bible John: Creation of a Serial Killer
Bible John is the British equivalent of America’s Zodiac Killer: a spectral figure who struck in the 1960s and then vanished into the shadows forever. Just who was the man who stalked Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom? Journalist Audrey Gillan, who personally reported on aspects of the case, delves into it in this haunting podcast.
3. Untold: The Daniel Morgan Murder
In March 1987, private detective Daniel Morgan was murdered with an axe outside a London pub. Why was such an outlandish hit carried out? Was there a link to systemic police corruption? And how did it tie into the News of the World phone hacking scandal that erupted decades later? This podcast tells a story that’s more intriguing than any fictitious thriller.
4. Seeing Red
Looking for a really long-running podcast to dive into? With well over 200 episodes and counting, Seeing Red offers lots to explore here, whether you want to get the full story of the Salisbury Poisonings, the brutal murder of model Sally-Anne Bowman, or the horrifying triple murder that unfolded one sunny day in a park in Reading.
Seeing Red has covered almost every crime topic you can imagine in its many series of fantastic exploration. Hosts Mark and Bethan have explored a surprising and wide array of different crimes from heists to murders and scams to fraud. They’ve explored many crimes from the unusual case of Heather Bell, killed when her horse was spooked for a military helicopter to the mysterious death of Gareth Williams, a UK spy whose body was discovered in a bag in the bath at his home.
In 2006, Russian defector and vocal Putin critic Alexander Litvinenko made international headlines when he was fatally poisoned with radioactive polonium in central London. This series examines the bombshell story from another point of view: that of an ordinary piano player who just happened to be there when the poisoning happened, and who became embroiled in a frightening world of espionage.
5. Polonium and the Piano Player
Polonium and the Piano Player is a Sky News podcast that takes place over four episodes. The four-part investigation looks at the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko that took place in London in November 2006. Litvinenko, a former KGB spy was in the piano bar of the Millennium Hotel in London when highly radioactive Polonium-210 was covertly placed in his green tea. Secret agents managed to sneak the poisonous substance into his tea. The podcast cleverly expands the podcast beyond Litvinenko and also explores the life of the piano player, Derek Conlon, who was at the piano on the day of the poisoning.
6. They Walk Among Us
The savage stabbing of a female passenger on a train heading into London’s Victoria station. The double murder of a Newcastle couple, which led investigators into a world of betting scams. A Welsh pensioner who was killed and feasted on by a real-life vampire. They Walk Among Us tells these chilling stories, and plenty more besides
Has your neighbour ever seemed a little less friendly or approachable than you hoped? They Walk Among Us is the podcast for you as it shines the spotlight on true crimes that are very close to home and far too close for comfort. With weekly episodes and hundreds of crimes to explore this is a podcast that will keep you interested for hours. Cases covered include the infamous Beast of Birkenshaw and the show has recently branched out into episodes of American crime too.
7. Can I Tell You A Secret?
Can I Tell You A Secret comes from The Guardian and takes place across six episode. Each episode is as gripping as the last as journalist Sirin Kale follows the case of cyberstalker Matthew Hardy. Over an eleven-year period he stalked, harassed and ruined the lives of a huge number of women. The podcast covers more than just the court case, it also looks closely at Hardy’s life and how he managed to get away with his crimes for so long.
Matthew Hardy is one of the worst cyberstalkers in UK history. Not content with simply trolling his victims, he went to immense lengths to make their lives a misery, creating fake social media profiles and gaining information on their friends and family. Can I Tell You a Secret will make anyone paranoid about who they interact with online.
8. UK True Crime Podcast
The name of this podcast provides a fairly clear clue with what it deals with and the presentation style of Adam, the host, is concise, to the point and surprisingly gripping. There’s no gore or glamour in each weekly episode of this show, simply the opportunity to explore a vast array of crimes of all kinds from arson and assault to some of the most complex and unexplained murders. UK True Crime Podcast has hundreds of episodes to choose from, each as fascinating as the last.
9. What Happened to Annie?
How did Annie Börjesson die? The Swedish woman was found face down on a Scottish beach in December 2005, and the authorities ruled it a suicide. But, as this podcast reveals, many believe something far more sinister had taken place. Strange as it sounds, could the CIA have been involved in her killing?
10. The Missing
The Missing sells itself on the fact that someone is reported missing in the UK every 90 seconds. While most people are quickly found, this podcast focuses on the tiny minority of cases that remain unsolved. The podcast has covered many well known as high-profile missing persons including Andrew Gosden, Fatima Mohamed-Ali and Katrice Lee.
11. Sweet Bobby
There are catfishers, and then there’s the person at the heart of the Sweet Bobby podcast. They took catfishing to a whole new level of creepy, creating an entire make-believe community of people in order to manipulate a London radio presenter who genuinely believed she’d found the man of her dreams. Spoiler: she hadn’t.
12. The Shattered Window
The Shattered Window podcast hones in on a single case, where a 7-year old girl vanishes in the middle of the night and no one else wakes. The horrifying idea that your child could be stolen as you sleep is a nightmare no parent wants to imagine, and as Eileen and Emily work their way through the case it’s a horrifying tale to listen to. The podcast has an investigative feel and dissects the case closely, relying upon case files, trial transcripts and up to date interviews with those involved.
13. Girl Taken
Girl Taken begins with former soldier Rob Lawrie being begged by an Afghan man to help smuggle his motherless daughter into the UK. What follows is a both a riveting true crime story and an damning expose of the grim realities of the migrant crisis, where deceit and desperation are just a part of everyday life.
14. True Crime Investigators
The USP of True Crime Investigators is that it’s presented, not by journalists, amateur sleuths or true crime fanatics, but by two retired police officers (who also happen to be a married couple). They bring decades of expertise to the series, which delves not just into murders, but the remarkable story of how Britain was once home to one of the world’s biggest LSD manufacturing operations.
With a classic investigatory feel, True Crime Investigators positions husband and wife team, John and Sally, in the role of investigators. Both were former UK police detectives which gives an interesting angle to the podcast. Each case is assessed to forensic levels and the presenters discuss both the case in a review format and also in a procedural way as you’d expect from experienced police officers. They base their podcast around discussions and interviews with those involved with cases where possible.
15. Shreds: Murder in the Dock
The savage murder of Cardiff woman Lynette White in 1988 is the focus of this hard-hitting podcast. It’s not simply a story of a grisly killing, but of rampant police corruption and one of the most egregious miscarriages of justice in British history. It’s a story that’s fascinating and infuriating in equal measure.
16. Killer Book Club
Gaslighting has been one of the most talked about forms of psychological abuse in recent years. This podcast delves into perhaps the most extreme example in British criminal history – how a charming young man gradually gaslit his older lover to the point of making him believe he was mad… before finally murdering him.
17. The Mysterious Case of Fred the Head
The title may sound a bit comical, but the story of ‘Fred the Head’ is deadly serious. Beginning in 1971, with the shock discovery of a buried corpse in Staffordshire, the podcast charts the attempts to identify the murdered man, and the epic saga of one amateur detective trying to get to the truth.
18. The Outlines
This sprawling podcast takes us on a kind of murder mystery tour of the UK, with each episode exploring a different regional case. From the killing of Michelle Bettles in Norwich in 2002, to the mysterious fate of Cheshire solicitor Herbert Wilkinson way back in 1967, it’s an eclectic, fascinating listen.
19. Catching Melanie’s Killer
The rape and murder of Melanie Road, a teenage schoolgirl who’d been walking home in Bath when she was suddenly attacked, was one of the most shocking unsolved crimes of the 1980s. By some miracle, her killer was eventually unmasked, and this moving podcast charts how detectives finally put the pieces together.
20. Murder Mile
The dark side of London is revealed in this epic podcast series, which takes you on a virtual walk of the streets where awful crimes took place. There are hundreds of cases to choose from here, including strangely forgotten serial killers like the Soho Strangler and the Blackout Ripper.
21. It’s Murder Up North
Absolutely living up to its name, this wide-ranging podcast examines the history of crimes in the north of England, from atrocities like the Manchester Arena bombing to more obscure cases. You’ll even learn about the dark urban legend of the ‘Manchester Pusher’, who may or may not be shoving people to their deaths by the city’s canals.
The Gangster series is split into three seasons, each focusing on a notorious member of the UK’s underworld. First up, Paul Massey, who went from teenage yob to the ‘Mr Big of Salford’. Then there’s Curtis Warren, the drugs baron who made it onto the Sunday Times Rich List. And finally, John Palmer, real-life ‘Goldfinger’ and scam artist extraordinaire.
23. Midweek Murders
Midweek Murders is a more lighthearted podcast, as much about ‘bants and beer’ as the details of the crimes. That’s not to say there’s not plenty to get your teeth into though, with hosts Sandra and Joe exploring everything from the disappearance of Lord Lucan to a brutal murder that happened during the first pandemic lockdown.
24. Sublime True Crime
Two mates in Dundee are inspired by the movie Dirty Harry to commit crimes. A wealthy businessman hires a hitman for a bargain price, and gets more than he bargained for. A Barbie doll becomes instrumental to convicting a killer couple. These are just some of the stories told in Sublime True Crime, some of which frankly defy belief.
25. The Doorstep Murder
Bank manager Alistair Wilson was shot dead on his doorstep in 2004, in what remains one of Scotland’s most perplexing unsolved crimes. Featuring insights from journalists and Alistair’s son, this addictive podcast considers the bloody puzzle of Alistair’s inexplicable killing, and the impact it had on his town.
26. The Murder and Wine Club
Who knew that Florence Nightingale’s goddaughter was the victim in a bizarre unsolved murder case of the 1920s? That’s one of the strange stories told in The Murder and Wine Club podcast, which also takes a deep dive into the grisly, horror movie-like killing of a farmhand in 1945. Was it carried out as part of an occult ritual?
27. Lady Justice
From the Green Bicycle Case of 1919, where a woman was shot dead for no clear reason while out riding a bicycle in rural Leicestershire, to the murder of a Harry Potter actor in 2008, Lady Justice is another epic anthology podcast which lays bare cases both mysterious and startling.
28. Bad People
Billed as a ‘podcast about people who do terrible things’, this series doesn’t just examine specific cases. It also poses questions relating to crime, such as whether translators can make suspects look guilty in foreign trials, whether our genes can cause criminal activity, and if sleepwalking can ever be a valid defence for someone accused of murder.
29. The Troubles
This year is the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, so there’s no better time to listen to this podcast which looks at terrorist attacks and assassinations during the Troubles. From the Brighton bombing which almost killed Margaret Thatcher, to the bloody reign of the Shankill Butchers, this is an in-depth voyage through this brutal era in the history of Northern Ireland.
30. Mens Rea
Mens Rea is Latin for ‘guilty mind’, and is a key consideration when determining the culpability of a killer or other criminal. There’s certainly plenty of guilt in this podcast, which goes deep into numerous murders carried out in both the UK and Ireland. Hosted by a legal expert, it shines a light on cases you very likely have never heard of.
31. British Murders
Doing exactly what it says on the tin, British Murders analyses killers and their crimes throughout this country’s history. There are notorious ghouls like Fred and Rose West, as well as more obscure (but no less macabre) cases. The podcast also features interviews with those in the front lines, including one of Britain’s few undercover female cops.
32. Listening to the Dead
Famed crime author Lynda La Plante co-hosts this series which focuses on forensics. There are revelations galore – did you know forensic botany was a thing? – and incredible moments like a meeting between the son of Great Train Robber Bruce Reynolds and the forensics expert who worked on tracking his dad down.
In November 2018, the heavily-pregnant Sana Muhammad was shot with a crossbow by her ex-husband. She died, but – incredibly – the baby survived, and was delivered by caesarean section. It’s just one of the cases covered in this wide-ranging series, where almost every episode comes with truly jaw-dropping twists and turns.
34. Murder and More
Some of the most sinister figures in British criminal history are covered in this true crime podcast. Baby farmer and multiple murderer Amelia Dyer, hammer-wielding psychopath Levi Bellfield and the Moors Murderers are included in the rogues’ gallery, though there are also plenty of lesser-known cases to delve into.
35. Twisted Britain
Two friends natter about true crimes in a Scottish pub. That’s the premise of this podcast, which is every bit as diverse and surprising as it sounds. One minute you’ll hear them discuss the real-life inspiration behind Peaky Blinders, the next you’ll hear about the all-female criminal gang known as the 40 Elephants. Featuring cameos from the hosts of some of the other podcasts listed here, it’s always fascinating and fun.
36. The Missing Cryptoqueen
In 2016, cryptocurrency entrepreneur Ruja Ignatova gave a rousing speech at Wembley Arena, hyping up her alternative to Bitcoin. But, rather than being a tech superstar in the making, she was in fact a scam artist – and is now a fugitive from justice. This podcast tells the whole, unbelievable story.
37. Who Killed Emma?
A journalist plumbs the depths of a very dark case in this podcast. The ‘Emma’ of the title is Emma Caldwell, a young sex worker whose body was found in a South Lanarkshire forest in 2005. The investigation into her murder would be long and gruelling, and – as the podcast puts it – ‘prise open the secret sex lives of men across the country’.
38. Hunting Ghislaine
Renowned investigative journalist John Sweeney takes the helm of this up-close portrait of Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite whose conviction for sex offences has been one of the most talked-about scandals of modern times. Sweeney presents it as a ‘dark fairy tale’: the stunning and grotesque fall from grace of a media princess.
39. If It Bleeds It Leads
Hosted by the UK’s leading criminologist, Professor David Wilson, and star of Silent Witness, Emilia Fox. If It Bleeds It Leads explores the world of true crime, tackling the topical true crimes stories dominating headlines as well as diving into true crime focused entertainment.
40. The Unseen
A UK podcast that focuses on forgotten, unsolved cases and missing people, particularly those unsolved cases that get little or no attention from the media. The ethos of the podcast is every victim and family deserve someone to tell their stories.
The UK’s appetite for true crime is seemingly endless and there are always new, thrilling and engaging podcasts to enjoy. These are just some of the best for you to explore.
41. You didn’t let me finish!
Few people are quite as qualified as Ben Ando to be a true crime podcast creator. After all, he was a crime reporter for the BBC for many years, working at the coal face of some of the darkest stories ever to break. In You didn’t let me finish!, he and fellow BBC veteran, Victoria Mizzi, have deep, often darkly amusing chats about a huge variety of cases.
The titles of the episodes – ‘Attention Whore’, ‘Sex Doll Jealousy’, ‘I Don’t Fancy Ted Bundy’ – give you a sense of the irreverent tone, while the eclectic nature of the podcast, which covers everything from shocking murders to bizarre political scandals, makes for intriguingly unexpected listening.
42. Fairy Meadow
Although the crime explored in Fairy Meadow took place in New South Wales, it’s a British podcast about a family who emigrated from Bristol to Australia in 1968. They were living in a migrant hostel when their toddler, Cheryl Grimmer, was snatched from the beach – triggering a massive police search and an unending nightmare for her parents and siblings. Nearly 50 years later, an arrest was made – but would the person in question prove to be the culprit?
43. Who Robs a Banksy?
Meet Andy Link, aka the ‘art terrorist’ who ‘kidnapped’ a statue by the ever-mysterious artist Banksy back in 2004. Over several gripping episodes, this podcast series tells what actually happened, and it’s a story as strange as it is hilarious. Who Robs a Banksy? reveals how Link decided to steal the artwork after being called a ‘cheap Northern b*****d’ by Banksy himself, and how the statue was then stolen from him.
44. The Trial of Lucy Letby
Convicted of fatally attacking baby after baby at the Countess of Chester Hospital, neonatal nurse Lucy Letby has become firmly enshrined as one of the most reviled murderers in British history. The Trial of Lucy Letby is arguably the most detailed account of the case available to the public, analysing the evidence for each attack, assessing the statements by the prosecution and defence barristers, speaking to medical and legal experts, and exploring the fallout of the crimes that horrified the world.
45. Murder in the Granite City
Even the most avid true crime buffs may not have heard of this enigmatic case which baffled detectives for more than four decades. It began in 1978 when Dr Brenda Page, a brilliant scientist who headed up the genetics department at the University of Aberdeen, was beaten to death in a frenzied attack. Murder in the Granite City unravels a case which has the kinds of twists and turns you’d expect from a crime thriller.
46. Seventeen Years – The Andrew Malkinson Story
Being banged up for a crime you didn’t commit is one of the most nightmarish scenarios imaginable, and it’s what befell Andrew Malkinson in 2003. Despite a complete lack of forensic evidence, he was found guilty of the beating and rape of a woman in Greater Manchester.
Seventeen Years examines this egregious miscarriage of justice, charting how he was the wrong man in the wrong place, and how DNA testing finally helped overturn the conviction in 2023.
47. Filthy Ritual
Filthy Ritual tells the jaw-dropping tale of Juliette D’Souza, a shameless conwoman who posed as a shaman, claimed to have cured John Cleese’s daughter of cancer, and persuaded her targets to pay her hundreds of thousands of pounds for miracle treatments.
48. Dad and Daughter Do Death
If there was an award for eye-catching titles of true crime podcasts, Dad and Daughter Do Death would have to be on the shortlist. The dad and daughter in question are Philip and Phoebe, whose interest in true crime led to them creating this very long-running series.
49. Hunting Mr X
It was in 1990 that an enterprising North Sea diver struck an unlikely deal with a brutal Colombian cartel. Known as Mr X, he and a bunch of his mates arranged for more than £100 million of uncut cocaine to be shipped to Scotland. The Hunting Mr X podcast reveals how this audacious criminal enterprise was put into operation and how the authorities snared the mastermind behind an unlikely drugs empire.
50. Blood Ties
Author and broadcaster Geoffrey Wansell is a familiar face to true crime fans. In Blood Ties, he brings his expertise to a huge variety of cases, ably assisted by his daughter Molly. The real-life equivalent of Hannibal Lecter, the ‘Green Chain Killer’, and the Crossbow Cannibal are among the monsters whose exploits are explored, so prepare to immerse yourself in a whole world of crime.
Check out our true crime podcast hub for podcast features and interviews, plus full episodes of the Murdertown podcast.