Sleuth-y Podcasts for the True Crime Mama


I’ve had quite a few passions in my life that when spoken about spark a light in my eyes and a fire in my heart. My son is numero uno, Target (obviously), and my husband and dogs all make the list, in no particular order, as well. But I’m a woman with a life besides being a personal assistant to my toddler, and I enjoy a few things that might make me a dumpster-fire of a human being. Wine, pop culture, and trashy t.v. come to mind immediately and are, for the most part, universally accepted topics. Another topic that I can’t get enough of, but tread lightly about because I don’t want to be misunderstood as an undercover nut, is my love for true crime. It’s hard to bring up Jeffrey Dahmer over a light brunch conversation or during any circumstance where eating is involved, ya know? It’s distasteful, if you will (I might enjoy a pun or two, as well).  

But every now and then, I meet a fellow sleuth that shares an armchair detective badge just like me! I see that familiar spark in their eyes and I know it’s safe to bring up fascinating cases and discuss the psychology behind them. I’ve always been a fan of shows like 48 Hours or Dateline (Keith Morrison – SWOON), but thanks to modern technology, I’m no longer tied down to my couch when I need to get my fill of crime-solving. I can fully immerse myself while cooking dinner, during house-cleaning, or listening in my car while commuting to and from work. I’m going to share with you some must-listen podcasts that are somewhat cringe-but mostly binge-worthy.

There are very popular podcasts that if you haven’t listened to, you really, really should. S-Town (an extremely interesting story out of Woodstock, AL), Dr. Death, Dirty John, and Serial are great. These are a fantastic starting point for true crime enthusiasts who don’t know where to start. And if you already have these popular podcasts crossed off your list, well, keep reading, Mama! I’ve got a treasure trove for ya!

  • Small Town Dicks – This weekly podcast examines two small-town detectives’ point-of-view of the very cases they’ve solved. The detectives happen to be twin brothers who share a wealth of experience with the darker side of humans and delivering justice. You’ll hear 9-1-1 calls, suspect interviews, and jailhouse phone calls. A familiar name, Yeardley Smith, voice of Lisa Simpson on The Simpsons, and her co-host Zibby Allen walk the audience through the world of crime from an everyday listener’s perspective.  
  • Broken Harts – Glamour magazine takes us inside a story cloaked with the facade of social media and the real abuse that happened behind closed doors. The website describes it better than I ever could: “Two white moms. Six black kids. One unthinkable tragedy. A look inside the ‘Perfect’ Hart family.” 
  • Atlanta Monster – I had little knowledge about the disappearance and murders of over 25 African American children and adults that plagued Atlanta more than 40 years ago, but this podcast opened up a painful past that is still not solved, according to some. I highly recommend listening to determine your own theory about the man suspected of these crimes. 
  • Jensen & Holes: The Murder Squad – Calling all sleuths! You have the chance to help solve crimes with retired cold case investigator Paul Holes and investigative journalist Billy Jensen. This interactive podcast has evidence photos available on their website in the hopes that the public can close the book on unsolved mysteries and serve up justice where it’s much deserved.
  • My Favorite Murder  – Sometimes, you just need humor to get through the day, and if you’d rather laugh than cry, I recommend giving these two gals a listen. Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark take a different spin on true crime by cloaking it in tasteful comedy. It feels like a discussion between two refreshingly witty best friends with real-world banter.

I want to give a giant disclaimer to those who might be triggered or deeply affected by listening to such stories. True crime is not easy to listen to as it unveils the deeply disturbing side of some people. 


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Raised outside of Orlando, Florida, redheaded Melissa is an avid sunscreen and shade enthusiast. She left Florida in 2007 to serve in the United States Air Force as a radio and television broadcaster. After basic and technical training she was stationed in Illinois, South Korea, Italy, and Alabama with two deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan sprinkled in between. In 2013, she met her husband Gregg and in 2015, they were married. This gave Melissa the new title of Bonus Mom to Gregg's daughter, Isabella. That year also welcomed Melissa back into the civilian world as her eight years of service came to a close due to medical retirement. She has called Birmingham home for the past 3.5 years. Shortly after they were married, Melissa and Gregg found themselves wading through the confusing and emotional world of miscarriage and unexplained infertility. They excitedly welcomed a son in November of 2017 after two years of trying for a little miracle. Melissa dedicates her extra time to spoiling their three rescue dogs Ginger, Typsy, and Bruno. She also fosters dogs before they find their furever homes.


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