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From true crime to comedy, these are the best podcasts you can download now

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Stories

Crimetown

This podcast explores the corruptive history of the United States — one city at a time. From Gimlet Media and the creators of HBO’s award-winning documentary series, The Jinx, Crimetown works to decipher the mob ties, wise guys, institutional bias, and everything that came before in gripping detail.

Available via:

iTunes Stitcher

S-Town

S-Town is a podcast from the folks behind This American Life and Serial. Hosted by Brian Reed, a longtime TAL producer, the show follows the story of a man named John B., who asks Reed to investigate a murder in his hometown of Woodstock, Alabama. The premise may not seem all that enticing, but the deeper you get into the investigation, the stranger the whole ordeal becomes.

Available via:

iTunes Stitcher

Lore

Lore is a collection of real-life stories so scary, you probably wish they were fake. Each episode of the bi-weekly podcast — which is set to become a full-blown TV series in mid-2017, thanks to Amazon — tackles historical events that often venture into the supernatural. Wrapith the help of host Aaron Mahnke, you can ensure each segment carries a campfire-esque vibe.

Available via:

iTunes Stitcher

Casefile

This true-crime podcast details some of the more infamous criminal cases from around the world. With a brooding score for each episode, and the despondent yet engaging tone of the anonymous host, you get sucked into each harrowing tale with ease.

Available via:

iTunes RSS Stitcher

This American Life

this american life podcast

No podcast collection would be complete without This American Life. Host Ira Glass delves into first-person stories and short fiction pieces from around the world. It will make you laugh just as often as it will make you cry. TAL holds the torch by which others are judged.

Available via:

iTunes RSS

The Moth

moth podcast

A different breed of storytelling than This American Life and Radiolab comes from the Moth organization. Each storyteller stands under a bright spotlight, in a crowded room, sharing their true experiences with a live audience.

Available via:

iTunes RSS

Serial

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Serial, a spin-off of This American Life, is The Wire of podcasts, unfolding a single, nonfiction story over the course of an entire season. A project of ace reporter, Sarah Koenig, it quickly became one of the most popular podcast on the planet when it debuted in 2014. Season one followed the murder of Baltimore teen Hae Min Lee, while the second season examined the case of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, a soldier who was charged with desertion while serving in Afghanistan. Season three is still on the horizon.

Available via:

iTunes RSS

Here Be Monsters

HereBeMonsters

This podcast is like a cross between This American Life and The Twilight Zone. The (mostly) true stories are alternately spooky, humorous, intense, and fascinating, and the experimental and eerie sound design is spellbindingly fun.

Available via:

iTunes RSS

Welcome to Night Vale

WelcomeToNightVale

This series purports to be the local radio announcements of the titular weird desert town. Welcome to Night Vale is a bit like Twin Peaks if it were a podcast — with menacing glow clouds and monstrous mayors.

Available via:

iTunes RSS

Snap Judgement

npr snap judgement

This podcast is, as host and producer Glynn Washington puts it, “storytelling with a beat.” Snap Judgement is a profound, engaging, and humorous listen. It puts a new kind of spin on standard storytelling.

Available via:

iTunes RSS

Radio Diaries

Radio Diaries

These first-person stories often sound like confessions, whether they’re combining several voices or utilize just one. The podcast is the project of award-winning producer Joe Richman and brings together the voices of teenagers, prison guards, and everyday people to explore various topics and tell their own stories.

Available via:

iTunes RSS

Death, Sex, and Money

death-sex-money podcast

Polite conversation often omits some of the most important topics of our day — and that’s where Death, Sex, and Money steps in. Celebrities and everyday people use the podcast as a vessel to discuss some of the hardest choices they’ve had to make, the biggest questions they’ve had to ask, and the things that have affected their lives the most. Anna Sale hosts.

Available via:

iTunes RSS

Criminal

criminal podcast

Fans of Serial will enjoy this podcast about crime, which is a pet project of professional radio producers Phoebe Judge and Lauren Spohrer. Criminal incorporates reimagined versions of murder ballads, investigations into historical crimes, and stories on the wrongdoings of the criminal system. Whether moving or macabre, this podcast keeps its listeners interested.

Available via:

iTunes RSS

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