So, you like mysteries and thrillers and are about to go on a road trip. How do you quickly put together a playlist and hit the open road to the spine-tingling soundtrack of a good story? Well, that is what we are here for. 

In this article, we have hand-selected some of the most lauded, followed, listened-to, and discourse-inducing podcasts to keep you entertained. 

Let’s get to it.


First off, great name! You can tell immediately that this is about murders that happen during vacations, at vacation spots, or that go on to be infamous and turn their locations into vacation spots for all sorts of quirky individuals.

The Slaycation true crime podcast delves into cases of everyday people getting into sticky situations that show just about anyone could end up dead in the strangest of circumstances.

What’s more, the podcast is hosted by an Emmy-Nominated edutainer, Jerry Kolber, social worker extraordinaire Kim Davis, and comedy writer and performer, Adam “Tex” Davis, ensuring there is plenty of professionalism and empathy to go with the levity.


In 2014, the podcasting world was introduced to Serial, a weekly podcast that ushered them into a world that redefined true crime audio. Each season, the host, Sarah Koenig, unravels a mystery. It could be anything from an unsolved murder to a wrongful conviction. 

The narratives unfolding here resonated with listeners and became a cultural touchstone, as seen in the story of Adnan Syed, who had his wrongful conviction overturned after the podcast brought attention to his case. While many have tried to replicate this formula, Koenig stands above them.

Unsolved Mysteries

The name of this podcast may be familiar with the TV show of the same name. As the name implies, the podcast investigates baffling cases from around the world. They span everything from paranormal phenomena to missing persons. 

Blending masterful and suspenseful storytelling with thought-provoking analysis, Unsolved Mysteries acts as a perfect companion for those who dare to dive into the world of the unexplained.

Bone Valley

This serialized podcast begins with the story of Leo Scholfield, who was convicted of the murder of Michelle Schofield in 1987. Later, fingerprints would be found that absolved Leo of the murder by pointing to a man named Jeremy Scott. 

Scott had a history of violence and assault, which Gilbert King and Kelsey Decker re-examine, possibly tying him to a string of murders while focusing on the story of Leo’s fight for justice. In 2024, he was denied parole, with prosecutors calling him an “unrepentant, cold-blooded murderer.”

S Town

S Town starts unassumingly like any true-crime podcast. A journalist named Brian Reed receives a letter from John B. McLemore, a clock enthusiast, who needs help solving a murder in Woodstock, Alabama. As it turns out, there is no murder, and the subject of the podcast turns out to be McLemore himself.

As the story about his life unfolds, we learn about some gold he hid on his property, as well as his friends. McLemore committed suicide while the podcast was still in production, drinking Cyanide in 2015. The show went on after his death, digging into why he took his life revealing some interesting things about the man.

Dirty John

After Serial’s successful run, media companies and podcasters spent years trying to replicate that formula, hoping to get a hit. Wondery managed to strike gold with Dirty John, an eight-part adaptation of a thrilling investigation by Christopher Goffard that ran in the L.A. Times in 2018.

The podcast focuses on the intriguing story of one John Meehan, a con artist who pretended to be a navy doctor, who met a woman named Debra Newell on a dating site and proceeded to be the chaos in her life. With every disturbing turn, the well-paced story offers a psychological insight into some of the man’s darker machinations.


If you are into thrillers of the fictional variety, Limetown has you more than covered. The concept is deceptively simple, following reporter Lia Haddock as she tries to solve the mystery of what happened when over 300 people vanished from Limetown, Tennessee, years ago.

She tries to find someone who can offer clues as to what happened in that place, but she can’t always trust what she finds. As the story steams along, you will be left wondering who to trust and sometimes forget that you are listening to a podcast and not a real-life work of journalism.

In Your Own Backyard

It is always shocking when podcasters manage to spark a conversation or see real-life impacts of their work, and that is exactly what you get from the Chris Lambert-hosted podcast. The host is haunted by the disappearance of a Cal Poly student named Kristin Smart from back in 1996. 

In the podcast, he hones in on the only person of interest in the case, Paul Flores, a Cal Poly student. Due to the podcast’s detective work, new information was presented that saw Flores and his father, Ruben, get arrested in 2021 for first-degree murder and accessory after the fact, respectively.

We’ll leave the rest for your listening pleasure.

Thrills & Chills Await on the Open Road

Whether you are a seasoned serial podcast listener or simply someone dipping their toes into this genre for the first time, our road trip list should have something for everyone. From true crime to fiction, unsolved mysteries to chilling tales of deception, these podcasts are guaranteed to make the miles fly by.

Travel safely!

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