True crime fans are some of the most voracious in media—always looking for the newest documentary, series, or podcast to devour on their commutes, during work, or while relaxing at home. While the North East and the West Coast have had the majority of media exposure as the setting for many horrific true crime cases in the United States, there are fascinating, less well-known cases that originated right here in the heartland! Here is an essential list of Indiana true crime podcast listening as spooky season draws near.
Infamous Indy is a podcast that claims to explore “the darker side of Hoosier Hospitality,” discussing and detailing some of the more violent associations with Indianapolis, Indiana—including the setting for some of cult leader, Jim Jones’ earliest sermons and the tragic story of the “Delphi murders,” when 13-year-old Abigail Williams and 14-year-old Libby German were found deceased in the area of the Delphi Historic Trails. On the podcast’s website, the creator says, “Indiana is full of true crime stores to make you cringe and your blood boil. There are also plenty of little known murders, rapes and crimes that have disrupted small towns all across the Hoosier State. I know what you’re thinking, I thought the same thing, “whatever happens in Indiana, it’s just a Midwest flyover state with people who are just too nice.” The truth is, there are stories here that will keep you up at night and make you question everything you thought you knew.
Likely the most well-known Indiana true crime podcast is Crime Junkie. Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat host this Indianapolis-based true crime podcast that has shed light on obscure cases, as well as the true-crime cases all fans are familiar with. Prawat is a former private investigator and brings a unique professional perspective to the cases. The show recently took a deep dive into the infamous Gabby Petito case, and the very first episode is about a Niqui, McCown, who disappeared from Richmond, Indiana only weeks before her impending nuptials. In 2018, they also covered the tragic story of April Tinsley, who was murdered in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
This true crime podcast covers crime with a special focus on how mental health and social service play a role in the machinations of the crime and everything that follows. The episode titled “Gertrude Baniszewski, Rent is Due,” the podcast tells the story of an Indianapolis woman who imprisoned, tortured, and murdered a teenaged girl named Sylvia Likens in her care—even going as far as forcing other children in her charge to participate in the torture. The podcast examines how mental health and systemic failings ultimately culminated in Sylvia’s murder.
The Cold Case Chronicles team consists of four Indiana women who discuss cases that have long been cold, including the infamous case of Linda Weldy in La Porte, Indiana back in 1987. With a touch of local Indiana color and delightful “Hoosier-isms,” Cold Case Chronicles is a one-stop shop for cases both notorious and obscure.
Perhaps one of the most famous true-crime podcasts that’s currently in circulation is My Favorite Murder—one of many in a new subgenre of true crime media that combines true crime with comedic elements. The hosts attempt to find scraps of humor in their cases, including those about Indiana true crime. During one of their live show tours, hosts Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark recorded an episode on the 2012 Richmond Hill explosion and the 1970 murder of heiress Marjorie Jackson.