True Crime, Comedy and More: Rest Your Eyes and Binge These Podcasts


Give your eyes a rest! These podcasts are entertainment for your ears, with good storytelling, fascinating subject matter and hours of interesting content. Quick note—most of these series are not appropriate for kids, so take care when listening. They’re also free and available on all podcast services.

Bananas is a hilarious new weekly podcast hosted by Kurt Braunohler and Scotty Landes about weird, quirky, strange news stories discovered on the internet. This show is new, so no Dan’s Papers stories have been selected yet, but here’s hoping the Hamptons make it onto the series at some point.

Bear Brook is an impeccably researched and thoughtful true crime saga. In 1985, the remains of two women were found in the woods of Allentown, New Hampshire. In 2000, two more were discovered mere yards away. Bear Brook explores the confounding questions surrounding the victims’ identities, as well as the remarkable internet sleuths who helped bring some semblance of closure to the mystery. This podcast tells a very dark story with compassion and elegance, never sensationalizing the terrible injustices done to these women.

I Said No Gifts is a delightful, irreverent weekly podcast hosted by writer Bridger Winegar. Each week, Winegar and a guest—typically one of Winegar’s friends or a celebrity—get together and talk about various light topics. Eventually, the guest gives Winegar a gift and after Winegar says the title of the show, discussion shifts to its contents. Winegar has gotten some truly wacky gifts, from possibly cursed tarot cards to Costco chocolate chip cookies and more.

Video Palace is a spooky scripted series about a mysterious, possibly cursed VHS tape. But don’t write Video Palace off as a ripoff of The Ring—this slow-burn, twisty thriller is unpredictable and unique and has a vibe all its own, with a very tantalizing ending that will make you hope for a sequel.

Uncover, Season 3: The Village tells the story of the Toronto gay neighborhood that was terrorized by serial killer Bruce McArthur and the tension it caused between the community and the police. Crucially, the podcast is not so concerned with profiling the despicable McArthur—rather, it’s the story of a community’s resilience. While their neighborhood was being terrorized, locals came together and looked out for one another, and when McArthur was finally caught, the LGBTQ+ people of Toronto finally began to heal.

The Shrink Next Door is an outrageous should-be-crime story of a manipulative therapist and the man he hoodwinked out of millions of dollars for years. In The Shrink Next Door, Dr. Isaac “Ike” Herschkopf convinces the wealthy but impressionable Martin “Marty” Markowitz to entrust his money and livelihood to him, including a luxe Southampton home. For decades, Herschkopf holds Markowitz as his emotional hostage, until Markowitz finally decides to reclaim his life. The podcast was hosted by journalist Joe Nocera, who discovered the story when he and his wife were invited to one of Herschkopf’s infamous Southampton parties. The outrageous story should resonate with fans of true crime, even if no murders were committed.

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