CULTURE

Happy International Podcast Day: What's Your Favorite Murder?

Vote for the best episode of a true crime podcast!

Back in the dark ages (before 2004), you had to go to a coffee shop or use public transportation in order to eavesdrop on strangers' conversations.

Luckily, Adam Curry and Dave Winer invented the podcast, and ever since then it's become much easier for us to pretend we have more friends than we actually do. Today, which is International Podcast Day, we can reflect on our favorite podcasts—which means talking about murder, The Office, Joe Rogan's interviews with garbage people like Ben Shapiro, and more murder (according to the iTunes Charts).

But let's be honest, so many of us tune into podcasts for the true crime. There are more of us than we'd like to admit who have learned to accept—nay, adore—Georgia Hardstark's vocal fry in My Favorite Murder; and as inflammatory as host Mike Boudet's real-life personality is, Sword & Scale is a seminal fix for true crime junkies.

Here are some of the best episodes from our favorite true crime podcasts, from the most disturbing to the unexpectedly uplifting. Be sure to vote for your favorite, so we can all remind each other that loving true crime isn't always a morbid fascination and can be unexpectedly inspiring about survival and the strength of the human spirit.

"My Favorite Murder" Episode 18: The Survival of Mary Vincent

MFM The Top 3: #1 - Episode 18 - Investigateighteen Discovery

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Mary Vincent was 15 years old in 1978 when she accepted a ride from Lawrence Singleton. He would later be sentenced to a mere 14 years in prison for kidnapping, mayhem, attempted murder, forcible rape, sodomy, and forced oral copulation for what he did to Vincent. As she told the sentencing judge, "I was raped. I had my arms cut off. He used a hatchet. He left me to die." Singleton was released after only 8 years, and he's became a symbol of the justice system's failings. But the story of Mary Vincent and the full life she went on to lead is as inspiring as her attack was heinous.

"Sword & Scale" Episode 55: Kermit Gosnell's Bloody Abortion Clinic

Episode 55

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As per this graphic episode's description, "This story about abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell illustrates the workings of a man who has lost his humanity and no longer cares who he hurts on his path to profit. The Women's Medical Society, the clinic with a grandiose name that Gosnell ran, was a pill mill by day and an illegal abortion clinic by night. It is estimated Gosnell earned well over a million dollars conducting illegal late-term abortions. Many of the women who came to the clinic were poor and easily fooled by Gosnell and his staff of unlicensed 'doctors' who administered dangerous drugs to the unsuspecting patients.

"Even after two patients died, the Philadelphia Department of Health did nothing, due to political pressure. Had it not been for a tip related to illegal prescription medications bearing Gosnell's name, the clinic may still be operating today."

"Crime Junkie" MURDERED: Robert Wone

MURDERED: Robert Wone

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If My Favorite Murder's conversational and off-the-cuff comedian isn't for you, Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat's research-based reporting is chilling in its accounts of murder, kidnapping, and unsolved disappearances. In telling the twisted mystery of Robert Wone, they describe, "This is probably the strangest case of murder we have ever covered here on Crime Junkie. It's the story of Robert Wone who, while staying in a friend's DC guest room, was brutally attacked. But with a staged crime scene, a timeline that doesn't add up, and three people keeping secrets we may never get to the bottom of what happened in the Swann Street house on August 2, 2006."

"Case File" Case 109: Belanglo (5 Parts)

Case 109: Belanglo (Part 1)

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People outside of Australia might be unfamiliar with the fact that an uncanny number of eerie murders have occurred in the country's isolated territories. For instance, western Australia is the home of the Claremont serial killer and the killer couple David and Catherine Birnie, British tourist Peter Falconio disappeared from a northern road and has never been found, and the "Backpacker murders" refers to the seven bodies found in the Belanglo State Forest. Ivan Milat was eventually identified as having murdered seven missing young people aged 19 to 22 betwen 1989 and 1993.

"Casefile's" anonymous host recounts many of Australia's most lurid crime stories with a thick Australian accent and calm, steady baritone mixed with real audio from victims and criminals.

"True Crime Guys" #22 The Murder of Mark Kilroy

#22 The Murder of Mark Kilroy

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Though not as popular as My Favorite Murder or Crime Junkies, True Crime Guys mixes fact-based reporting, real audio of news coverage and interviews, and light banter to cover odd murders all over the world. The story of Mark Kilroy is particularly compelling for its mix of gruesome cult violence with ultimate justice. As per the episode's description, "Many people were mysteriously going missing on the streets of Mexico City in the late 80's to early 90's. It wasn't until the disappearance of a young and promising pre-med student that people took notice. Mark Kilroy seemed to have all the characteristics of someone who could change the world, but who knew those very traits could make him a target for one of the most gruesome rituals known to man."

"Last Podcast on the Left" Episode 152: The Dylatov Pass Incident

Episode 152: The Dylatov Pass Incident

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This mystery is f*cking insane, and it's only appropriately covered by a chaotic comedy podcast co-hosted by Ben Kissel, podcast producer and researcher Marcus Parks, and comedian and actor Henry Zebrowski. In covering "one of the 20th century's most enduring mysteries," they ask, "What killed nine hikers in the Siberian mountains one fateful night in 1959? Was it an avalanche? The KGB? Aliens? Indigenous peoples? Yetis? TINY TORNADOS?"

"Sword & Scale" Episode 31: Vince Li

Episode 31

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Sometimes referred to as the Greyhound Bus Cannibal Killer, Vince Li was a Canadian man suffering from severe and untreated mental illness in 2008 when he experienced a psychotic episode that resulted in him attacking, decapitating, dismembering, and partially consuming the body of Tim McLean on a Greyhound Bus. But what happened to Li afterwards is probably the most shocking part and speaks volumes about how the mental health system and justice system work inconsistently with each other.

BONUS: Morgan Ingram

Episode 11

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Even if Mike Boudet is a misogynistic loud-mouth, the story of 20-year-old Morgan Ingram being found dead in her childhood bedroom is too odd to be true. Dr. Phil has weighed in. NBC has weighed in. Legions of internet sleuths have weighed in. As Sword & Scale asks, "What happens when a family's grief slips into malice and madness, when a mother is so hell-bent on being portrayed as a victim that she begins victimizing everyone who doesn't see her as one? Welcome to the sad story of Morgan Ingram's untimely death and the circus of insanity that followed and continues to this day."