Top Documentary Podcasts

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Documentary

American Scandal – Wondery

Every scandal begins with a lie. But the truth will come out. And then comes the fallout and the outrage. Scandals have shaped America since its founding. From business and politics to sports and society, we look on aghast as corruption, deceit and ambition bring down heroes and celebrities, politicians and moguls. And when the dust finally settles, we’re left to wonder: how did this happen? Where did they trip up, and who is to blame? From the creators of American History Tellers, Business Wars and Tides of History comes American Scandal, where we take you deep into the heart of America’s dark side to look at what drives someone to break the rules and what happens when they’re caught. Hosted by Lindsay Graham. New episodes come out every Tuesday for free, with 1-week early access for Wondery+ subscribers. Get all episodes - including exclusive seasons - ad-free on Wondery+ or on Amazon Music with a Prime membership or Amazon Music Unlimited subscription. Read More
Every scandal begins with a lie. But the truth will come out. And then comes the Read More
2
Documentary

Radiolab – WNYC Studios

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. Read More
Radiolab is on a curiosity bender. We ask deep questions and use investigative j Read More
3
Documentary

Freakonomics Radio – Freakonomics Radio + Stitcher

Freakonomics co-author Stephen J. Dubner uncovers the hidden side of everything. Why is it safer to fly in an airplane than drive a car? How do we decide whom to marry? Why is the media so full of bad news? Also: things you never knew you wanted to know about wolves, bananas, pollution, search engines, and the quirks of human behavior. Join the Freakonomics Radio Plus membership program for weekly member-only episodes of Freakonomics Radio. You’ll also get every show in our network without ads. To sign up, visit our show page on Apple Podcasts or go to freakonomics.com/plus. Read More
Freakonomics co-author Stephen J. Dubner uncovers the hidden side of everything. Read More
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Documentary

Something Was Wrong – Broken Cycle Media | Wondery

Something Was Wrong is an award-winning true crime docuseries about the discovery, trauma, and recovery from shocking life events and abusive relationships. Read More
Something Was Wrong is an award-winning true crime docuseries about the discover Read More
5
Documentary

Criminal – Vox Media Podcast Network

Criminal is the first of its kind. A show about people who’ve done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle. Hosted by Phoebe Judge. Part of the Vox Media Podcast Network. Read More
Criminal is the first of its kind. A show about people who’ve done wrong Read More
6
Documentary

Sword and Scale – Sword and Scale

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. This show is part of the Spreaker Prime Network, if you are interested in advertising on this podcast, contact us at https://www.spreaker.com/show/5895676/advertisement Read More
Sword and Scale is a true crime podcast covering the dark underworld of crime an Read More
7
Documentary

Throughline – NPR

The past is never past. Every headline has a history. Join us every week as we go back in time to understand the present. These are stories you can feel and sounds you can see from the moments that shaped our world.Subscribe to Throughline+. You'll be supporting the history-reframing, perspective-shifting, time-warping stories you can't get enough of - and you'll unlock access bonus episodes and sponsor-free listening. Learn more at plus.npr.org/throughline Read More
The past is never past. Every headline has a history. Join us every week as we g Read More
8
Documentary

Dear Alana, – Tenderfoot TV & iHeartPodcasts

Host Simon Kent Fung explores the life of Alana Chen, a 24-year-old woman who disappeared from Boulder, Colorado in 2019. Alana left behind two dozen journals chronicling a deep faith, love of fashion, and dream of becoming a nun. She also harbored a secret. At 14, she confessed to her priest that she was attracted to women and was instructed not to tell her parents. Over the next seven years, Alana covertly received conversion therapy which her family believes played a role in her fate. Simon, who sought to change his sexual orientation through conversion therapy for nearly a decade in his efforts to become a priest, is compelled to understand the truth of what happened to Alana—and finally face what happened to him. "Dear Alana," is an unraveling mystery and a poignant spiritual memoir about teenage rebellion and spiritual manipulation, the price we pay to belong and the systems that pay no price at all. Explore more at www.dearalana.com Read More
Host Simon Kent Fung explores the life of Alana Chen, a 24-year-old woman who di Read More
9
Documentary

Twenty Thousand Hertz – Dallas Taylor

A lovingly crafted podcast that reveals the stories behind the world's most recognizable and interesting sounds.
A lovingly crafted podcast that reveals the stories behind the world’s mos Read More
10
Documentary

A Matter of Degrees – Dr. Leah Stokes, Dr. Katharine Wilkinson

Give up your climate guilt. Sharpen your curiosity. Join Dr. Leah Stokes and Dr. Katharine Wilkinson as they tell stories about the powerful forces behind climate change — and the tools we have to fix it. This show makes sense of big climate questions and critical topics. Our episodes are filled with stories of bold climate leadership, groundbreaking campaigns, and people doing their best to be part of the solution. A Matter of Degrees is produced in partnership with FRQNCY Media, The 2035 Initiative at UC Santa Barbara, and The All We Can Save Project. Read More
Give up your climate guilt. Sharpen your curiosity. Join Dr. Leah Stokes and Dr. Read More
11
Documentary

Legends of the Old West

Wyatt Earp, Jesse James, and Butch and Sundance. Lakota, Comanche and Apache. Wars, gunfights and robberies. This show covers the toughest lawmen, the wildest outlaws, and the deadliest towns — all the people and events that shaped the American West. Read More
Wyatt Earp, Jesse James, and Butch and Sundance. Lakota, Comanche and Apache. Wa Read More
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Documentary

Buried Bones – Exactly Right Media – the original true crime comedy network

Buried Bones dissects some of history’s most dramatic true crime cases from centuries ago. Together, journalist Kate Winkler Dawson and retired investigator Paul Holes explore these very old cases through a 21st century lens. Read More
Buried Bones dissects some of history’s most dramatic true crime cases from ce Read More
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Documentary

Tides of History – Wondery / Patrick Wyman

Everywhere around us are echoes of the past. Those echoes define the boundaries of states and countries, how we pray and how we fight. They determine what money we spend and how we earn it at work, what language we speak and how we raise our children. From Wondery, host Patrick Wyman, PhD (“Fall Of Rome”) helps us understand our world and how it got to be the way it is. New episodes come out Thursdays for free, with 1-week early access for Wondery+ subscribers. Listen ad-free on Wondery+ or on Amazon Music with a Prime membership or Amazon Music Unlimited subscription. Read More
Everywhere around us are echoes of the past. Those echoes define the boundaries Read More
14
Documentary

British Scandal – Wondery

In a country obsessed with gossip, the great and the good fear one thing more than any other - scandal. British scandals change the course of history. They bring down governments, overthrow the rich and cause the mighty to fall. Some are about sex, others about money. In the end, they’re all about power.  But often at the heart of a scandal, there are ordinary human stories, stories of those caught up in the swirl of outrage.  Who was really to blame for what happened? Why did they do it? And when all is said and done, did anything really change?    From the creators of Business Wars, American Scandal and Even The Rich, comes British Scandal. We tell the stories of the murkier side of the British elite, from Phone Hacking to Saville to Profumo who show us the reality of power, the price of pride and the failings of the great and good. Because sometimes the truth doesn’t set everyone free… New episodes come out every Wednesday for free, or 1-week early and ad-free for Wondery+ subscribers or on Amazon Music with a Prime membership or Amazon Music Unlimited subscription. Read More
In a country obsessed with gossip, the great and the good fear one thing more th Read More
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Documentary

The Generation Why Podcast – Wondery

The Generation Why Podcast released its first episode in 2012 and pioneered the true crime genre in the podcasting world. Two friends, Aaron & Justin, break down theories and give their opinions on unsolved murders, controversies, mysteries and conspiracies. All episodes are available for free, with ad-free episodes available for Wondery+ subscribers. Read More
The Generation Why Podcast released its first episode in 2012 and pioneered the Read More
16
Documentary

Ear Hustle – Ear Hustle & Radiotopia

Ear Hustle brings you the daily realities of life inside prison shared by those living it, and stories from the outside, post-incarceration. The podcast is a partnership between Nigel Poor, a Bay Area visual artist, and Earlonne Woods, formerly incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison, and was co-founded with former San Quentin resident Antwan Williams. The Ear Hustle team works in the San Francisco Bay Area, both in San Quentin State Prison’s media lab and from offices on the outside, to produce stories that are sometimes difficult, often funny and always honest. Episodes offer a nuanced view of people involved with the American prison system and those reintegrating into society after serving time. Read More
Ear Hustle brings you the daily realities of life inside prison shared by those Read More
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Documentary

Sold a Story – APM Reports

Millions of kids can't read well. Scientists have known for decades how children learn to read but many schools are ignoring the research. They buy teacher training and books that are rooted in a disproven idea. Emily Hanford investigates four authors and a publishing company that have made millions selling this idea. Read More
Millions of kids can’t read well. Scientists have known for decades how ch Read More
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Documentary

Unobscured

Each season of Unobscured digs deep into one of history's darkest and most misunderstood moments, and sheds light on the true story beneath the myth. 

Explore the Salem witch trials (S1), the Spiritualist Movement (S2), Jack the Ripper (S3), and Grigori Rasputin (S4) through the narrative storytelling of Aaron Mahnke, along with prominent historian interviews.

 

 

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Each season of Unobscured digs deep into one of history’s darkest and most Read More
19
Documentary

Hooked on Freddie – Wondery

Did one man’s friendship with a dolphin go way – way – too far? It’s 1987 and the British seaside town of Amble has seen much better days. So when a wild bottlenose dolphin nicknamed Freddie appears in the harbour, it feels like a miracle. Everyone wants to swim with him. But Freddie chooses one person above all others: Alan Cooper, a dedicated animal rights activist committed to freeing captive dolphins. Then Alan’s friendship with Freddie is turned against him and a devastating accusation spirals out of control. Read More
Did one man’s friendship with a dolphin go way – way – too far? It’s 198 Read More
20
Documentary

Surviving El Chapo: The Twins Who Brought Down A Drug Lord – iHeartPodcasts

Identical twins Jay and Pete Flores, who were once North America’s biggest drug traffickers and El Chapo’s right hand men, turned themselves into the U.S. government with the hopes of starting a new, safer life for their family. But after years of cooperating to get the world's most powerful drug kingpin behind bars, and finally gaining their freedom with a chance to start again, everything for the Flores family began to unravel. In Season 2 of Surviving El Chapo, hosts Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson and Charlie Webster hear Jay and Pete reveal for the first time what really happened during their turbulent 14-year prison journey and what it was like to come face-to-face in court with El Chapo. Plus, find out the shocking backstory to the prison sentence that the Flores wives are currently facing. Hosted and executive produced by award-winning artist and producer Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson and critically acclaimed broadcast journalist and producer Charlie Webster. Brought to you by Lionsgate Sound as a world exclusive with iHeartPodcasts. Read More
Identical twins Jay and Pete Flores, who were once North America’s biggest dru Read More
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Documentary

True Crime All The Time – Emash Digital / Wondery

Hosts Mike Ferguson and Mike Gibson guide you through the most interesting true crime stories. This is a true crime podcast that spares none of the details and delves into what makes these killers tick. Join us for a good mix of lesser known cases as well as our take on what we call the "Big Timers". We don't take ourselves too seriously but we take true crime very seriously. Read More
Hosts Mike Ferguson and Mike Gibson guide you through the most interesting true Read More
22
Documentary

Cold – KSL Podcasts | Wondery

Cold is a narrative podcast series focused on missing persons cases. Investigative journalist and host Dave Cawley takes on a single story with each season. Season 3: The Search for Sheree follows two suspects in the 1985 disappearance of Sheree Warren while examining the dangerous escalation of domestic abuse and sexual violence. The Cold team seeks to answer the question: what really happened to Sheree Warren? Season 2: Justice for Joyce Yost delves into the details of a murder-for-hire plot and attempts to find justice for Joyce – a woman who bravely reported her kidnapping and rape only to vanish without a trace. In Season 1: Susan Powell Case Files, the Cold journey begins with Dave’s investigation into the unsolved disappearance of Susan Powell… and the man with the most to gain from her death. Follow Cold Season 3: The Search for Sheree wherever you get your podcasts. You can binge all 10 episodes ad-free only on Amazon Music. Or you can listen early and ad-free on Wondery+ in Apple Podcasts or the Wondery App. Read More
Cold is a narrative podcast series focused on missing persons cases. Investigati Read More
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Documentary

An Army of Normal Folks – iHeartPodcasts

Our country’s problems will never be solved by a bunch of fancy people in nice suits talking big words on CNN and Fox, but by An Army of Normal Folks just deciding “hey, I can help.” Hosted by Coach Bill Courtney from the Oscar-winning Undefeated, this podcast is building the Army and celebrating its extraordinary members. New episodes are released every Tuesday.  Read More
Our country’s problems will never be solved by a bunch of fancy people in nic Read More
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Documentary

Classy with Jonathan Menjivar – Pineapple Street Studios

“The show came about because I grew up working-class,” says Jonathan Menjivar, creator and host of Classy with Jonathan Menjivar, Apple Podcasts' Spotlight show for September 2023. "I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about that, and I wanted to talk to people about it.” Menjivar was a blue-collar Latino kid who started working in media and became someone who likes oysters, wears cashmere socks, and is very conflicted about all of it. A reporter and senior podcast producer for Audacy's Pineapple Street Studios, Menjivar came to podcasts through public radio where he worked at shows like This American Life and Fresh Air with Terry Gross. The collection of stories is an honest, inquisitive, and nuanced look into how class shapes our perspectives of the world and how we belong in it. The show leaves listeners deeply moved to reflect on their own experiences or reconsider how they interact with others in their day-to-day lives. “It’s super nice to know that our vulnerable, sometimes very silly approach, is meaningful to people,” says Menjivar. “I hope people are walking away with three-dimensional portrayals of people of different classes. No matter where you are class-wise, people have complicated relationships with their class status that they’re dealing with internally.” Read More
“The show came about because I grew up working-class,” says Jonathan Menjiva Read More
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Documentary

OUTLAWS: The Good Thief – iHeartPodcasts & Kaleidoscope

Vassilis Paleokostas, aka “Greece’s Robin Hood,” has been on the lam for 14 years. In his absence, legends of his generosity have grown. But no one knows where he is, or if the stories are even true.  Here’s what we do know: there’s a million Euro bounty out for Vassilis, and a 24-hour task force trying to track him down. When he robs banks, he shares the money with the poor. When he kidnaps industrialists -- and he only kidnaps those who are known for unfair labor practices -- they give baffling interviews showing how he opened their minds. And when he escapes heavily reinforced prisons, as he’s done ... by helicopter ... twice, he does it without harming a guard.  Join host Miles Gray and our team of Greek reporters as we follow Vassilis’ trail from Athens to tiny islands to remote mountain hideouts. Along the way, we’ll meet Vassilis’s inner circle, chat with police chiefs and prime ministers, and work to understand how this thief managed to steal the country’s heart.  Read More
Vassilis Paleokostas, aka “Greece’s Robin Hood,” has been on the lam for 1 Read More