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The best podcasts for Chilling stories from true crime to business, and legends.

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Who am I?

I am a storyteller, author, and the host and creator of Within the Trenches - True Stories from the 9-1-1 Dispatchers Who Live Them, a podcast based on the experience of being a 9-1-1 dispatcher. I am a former 9-1-1 dispatcher and supervisor of 13 years and am now the head of Within the Trenches Media with 22 years of public safety experience. I chose this subject because I'm a storyteller who is fascinated with stories. From the age of 19 my life has revolved around true crime because of my background as a 911 dispatcher. I have taken pretty much every type of call you can think of. I also grew up in a house that was not only haunted but was once an old funeral home, so the horror genre, and shows like Lore, interest me greatly.

My Show

What is my podcast about and/or how does it relate to the playlist topic you chose?

My podcast, Within the Trenches - True Stories from the 911 Dispatchers Who Live Them, started from a college project in 2010. As a 911 dispatcher, I was struggling with some of the hard calls. No one was talking about it and in 2010 I created a short video that shared dispatch stories from two of my co-workers. My class loved it! I started writing about my calls and I found out that it was therapeutic. Later on, during my Masters in New Media Journalism program, we were introduced to podcasting and I turned my blog into the show it is today. I help 911 dispatchers share their stories so that those in the general public and those in public safety can learn more about what dispatch is like, why they do what they do, and how these calls impact them. The show is heard worldwide and has been downloaded a few million times. When I started this I had no idea where it would go, but it has been an amazing experience!

What is my podcast playlist about?

My podcast playlist follows my fascination for stories of all kinds. Sometimes you can't choose just one genre, a variety is needed to keep me going, and I know there are others out there like me. From stories that highlight behind-the-scenes of companies battling it out, to old legends from around the world, to the dark side of true crime, this playlist has something for anyone who loves a good story.

The podcasts I picked and why

1. Sword and Scale

Why this podcast?

I'll start by saying that I was a guest on episode 82, so I might be biased, but this is truly the best true crime podcast around. From the narration to the music, you can't go wrong with this show. If I had to describe it in short form I would say that it's Dateline with the volume turned up to blaring. It's pretty hardcore. If you love true crime, you need to subscribe to Sword and Scale.

Sword and Scale

Sword and Scale

Sword and Scale

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5.0

Sword and Scale is a true crime podcast covering the dark underworld of crime and the criminal justice system’s response to it. The first episode launched January 1st, 2014 and feature stories of murder, abduction, rape, and even more bizarre forms of crime. It’s the purest form of true-crime where the raw uncensored audio tells the story. Everything from 911 calls to court testimony, interviews with victims and sometimes with perpetrators give listeners a 360 degree look at the seedy underbelly of human nature and so-called civilized society. Told from an everyman's point of view, Sword and Scale goes beyond the news clips and the sensationalist headlines to hold up a mirror to the audience and ask, "Is it us versus them? Or are we just like 'them' too?" Sword and scale proves that the worst monsters are real.

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77 Listeners

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1 Comment

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2. Lore

Why this podcast?

I grew up in a haunted house that was once an old funeral home so creepy stories have always interested me. Lore highlights creepy, true legends, from around the world. The stories sound unbelievable at times but they are all true. I think what I love the most is that each story ends with a slight twist. I'm a big fan of the Twilight Zone and the twist is something I love. It is what makes Lore so much fun.

Lore

Lore

Aaron Mahnke

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4.7

The award-winning podcast (also a TV show & book series) about dark historical tales. Each episode explores the mysterious creatures, tragic events, and unusual places that fill the pages of history. Because sometimes the truth is more frightening than fiction.

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106 Listeners

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6 Comments

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3. Business Wars

Why this podcast?

Business Wars is my go-to for stories that revolve around brands, companies, and their struggle for supremacy. My favorite episode is on McDonald's vs. Burger King. Have you ever wondered how these chains started? Have you ever wondered what beef (no pun intended) they had with each other? In this series you learn about how each one started, the competition between them, the court case on advertising and talking crap about each other during commercials, and much more. This is what makes Business Wars the best podcast for stories like this. You get others from Blockbuster vs. Netflix, WWE vs. WCW, and so much more. These are the stories you have never heard. While you go about your day eating fast food, binge-watching movies, etc. there are fascinating stories behind it all, and some of them will shock you.

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4.8

Netflix vs. HBO. Nike vs. Adidas. Business is war. Sometimes the prize is your wallet or your attention. Sometimes, it’s just the fun of beating the other guy. The outcome of these battles shapes what we buy and how we live.

Business Wars gives you the unauthorized, real story of what drives these companies and their leaders, inventors, investors and executives to new heights -- or to ruin. Hosted by David Brown, former anchor of Marketplace. From Wondery, the network behind Dirty John and American History Tellers.

New episodes come out Wednesdays for free. Binge new full seasons early and ad-free, plus get exclusive past seasons, only with Wondery+.

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107 Listeners

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1 Comment

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4. S-Town

Why this podcast?

What starts as a true crime story turns out to be... Well, I don't want to ruin it. The person telling the story goes out to interview someone about a potential true crime incident, but as the person investigates, there is more that is revealed. What I love about this podcast is the way the story is put together. It leaves you wanting more. You feel for the people involved and at one point, you are left wondering; why?

S-Town

S-Town

Serial Productions

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4.9

S-Town is a podcast hosted by Brian Reed from Serial Productions, a New York Times company. The story follows a man named John who despises his Alabama town and decides to do something about it. He asks Brian to investigate the son of a wealthy family who's allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder. But when someone else ends up dead, the search for the truth leads to a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man's life.

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28 Listeners

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8 Comments

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5. Radiolab

Why this podcast?

Radiolab is one of my favorite podcasts that comes from NPR. One day I will be on an NPR show to share my dispatch story, but as for Radiolab, the podcast covers stories from all genres. You will not be disappointed when choosing this one. My all-time favorite episode is called "Smile My Ass." It follows the story of the creator of Candid Camera, his life, how popular the show became and how a plane he was on was hijacked and taken to Cuba. The problem is that everyone on the plane thought it was a prank. It is a must-listen episode!

Radiolab

Radiolab

WNYC Studios

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4.8

Radiolab is on a curiosity bender. We ask deep questions and use investigative journalism to get the answers. A given episode might whirl you through science, legal history, and into the home of someone halfway across the world. The show is known for innovative sound design, smashing information into music. It is hosted by Lulu Miller and Latif Nasser.

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170 Listeners

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8 Comments

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