As an avid consumer of true crime stories and shows, I'm slightly ashamed of myself for not delving into Crime Junkie sooner. Not only does it highlight some of the more obscure crimes that other podcasts have overlooked, but it also has a home state connection for me — creator and host Ashley Flowers is based in Indianapolis! Now that I've gotten on board, I'm hooked. Hosted by Ashley Flowers with co-host Brit Prawat, Crime Junkie is my new favorite binge-worthy crime podcast. And if you know me, you know I've listened to a LOT of crime pods. Here’s what I love about it.
It’s well-researched and easily digestible.
I'm a sucker for information-packed podcast episodes. Sometimes after listening to a story on My Favorite Murder, I check to see if Last Podcast on the Left also covered it because sometimes MFM leaves me wanting more of the scoop. Ashley and Brit squeeze tons of info into their episodes, and even though Crime Junkie episodes are sometimes quite short compared to other podcasts, it never feels like they are rushing through their stories. With plenty of episodes in the 30 - 45 minute range, they’re easy to binge and get your crime fix on your commute or while you work out.
The hosts are legit.
Ashley and Brit grew up together, so they know each other well, and it shows. They have a good rapport and are both really comfortable on the mic. Ashley used to host an Indianapolis radio show segment called "Murder Monday," and this podcast feels like a natural next step for her. While both women are fascinated with crime, it never feels like they're gawking at their stories just for the sake of it. They're empathetic, and they often try to imagine how they would feel if they were in a victim's (or a victim's family's) shoes. As a thirty-something woman also obsessed with crime (and also from Indiana), I find them really relatable, professional and fun to listen to.
The content is fresh.
Crime Junkie's episodes fall into a few categories: Missing, Murdered, Serial Killer, Conspiracy, and the occasional Mysterious Death. There are a ton of true crime podcasts out there, but finding "new" crime stories can be tough for listeners. We're all familiar with certain cases because of their ubiquity in the media, but there are so many missing and murdered people whose stories have gone largely unacknowledged. Crime Junkie covers both of these kinds of cases. For example, there's an episode on Maura Murray, whose disappearance was widely covered. But I've heard more stories on Crime Junkie of people and cases that are completely new to me than ones I've recognized. I mentioned the show's Indiana connection earlier, but even some of its Indiana-based cases are completely new to me. This isn't just good because they're offering fresh material; it also raises awareness of these more obscure cases, which could lead to new evidence being uncovered or even a cold case being solved.
They take listener suggestions.
We all know that feeling of wishing our favorite crime podcast would cover our "favorite" crime. I, for one, have been waiting for My Favorite Murder to cover Shanda Sharer's murder since day one. Well, Crime Junkie wants your suggestions. You can submit a case on their website. Sure, it's still kind of a long shot because they get a ton of these, but it's cool that they're crowd-sourcing for their subjects. Listener suggestions actually make it on the show, too. The story of Kiplyn Davis's disappearance came to Ashley and Brit because one of their listeners used to be Kiplyns’s pen pal! And the all-but-forgotten story of Michelle Schroader's murder was given to them by the victim's daughter herself. (Yes, of course I submitted Shanda's story -- another Indiana crime -- on their website.)
They’re good people doing good things.
I’m lumping two things I deem “good” in this category. 1) Ashley is on the board of Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana, and the show has helped raise awareness of what Crime Stoppers does and how we can help our local organizations. 2) Ashley and Brit are doggo lovers. Each month, they feature a "Pruppet," their term for the very good dog boys and girls of the world. Check out the current featured pruppets, Bob and Cerberus. Oh yeah, and you can nominate your own pruppet. (Roger, Mabel and Reznor would make great Pruppets of the Month, don't you think?!)
I highly recommend Crime Junkie to any true crime fans out there. Below are a few of my favorite episodes I've heard so far to get you going. I'm far from finished with all of Crime Junkie's episodes, and I've been skipping around.
Episode 1: MISSING: Nicqui McCown
MISSING: Kiplyn Davis
MISSING: Amy Lynn Bradley
SERIAL KILLER: Israel Keyes
Do you listen to Crime Junkie? What are your favorite episodes?! Tell me in the comments!