First, there was Serial.

The original season of Sarah Koenig’s hit podcast about the murder of Hae Min Lee wasn’t technically the first true crime podcast, but, with more than 175 million listens to date, it was arguably the first to popularize the genre. Since Serial’s inaugural season was released in 2014, it’s estimated that about a bazillion true crime podcasts have been started in basements, closets, and studios around the world. And, though not all podcasts are created equal, there is a plethora of interesting episodes and series—certainly more than just the second season of Up and Vanished—for Coloradans who are fascinated by true crime tales.

We listened to dozens of podcasts and digested many, many hours of audio to bring readers the most worthwhile, Colorado-related true crime series and episodes. Here are our recommendations.

Warning: Due to crass language, violent descriptions, and overall potentially upsetting content, listener discretion is advised (read: not with your kids in the car, please). 

Colored Red
This podcast was started in October 2017 by Colorado native and host Laura Porritt. The zero-budget podcast covers lesser-known Colorado cases, many of which have been overlooked entirely by productions with a broader geographical scope. Porritt uses her deft research skills and local knowledge to shed light on historical, unsolved, and infamous Colorado murders, including the Sand Creek Massacre; the attic dweller/killer Theodore Edward Coneys (aka the Denver Spiderman); and the murder of Jessica Ridgeway. While discussing gruesome crimes with respect is a tricky business, Porritt tackles each case with the grace and gravity they deserve.
Listen Now: Spotify | Stitcher | Apple Podcasts

Dr. Death
The disturbing story of Christopher Duntsch is so compelling that it transcends any one genre. Without giving away too much of this hard-to-believe tale, Duntsch was a practicing neurosurgeon in the Dallas–Fort Worth area from 2011 to 2013 who would be sentenced to life in prison in 2017. Everything that happens in between is both frightening and illuminating, especially for anyone tied to the medical and healthcare industries (which is kind of all of us). Though much of the must-listen-to series takes place in Texas, Duntsch was a linebacker for Colorado State University in the 1990s, and would be arrested on a DUI charge in Denver in 2013—both of which are pivotal moments in his unraveling.
Listen Now: Spotify | Stitcher | Apple Podcasts

Blame by 9News

Each of the three seasons of this series by 9NEWS investigative reporters Kevin Vaughan and Jeremy Jojola covers a different complex Colorado case. The first, which launched in 2016, examines the mysterious death of Jill Wells in her Eastern Plains home; the second dives into the bizarre discovery of a deceased Denver man 383 days after he was first reported missing; and the third covers the now-solved horrific hammer murders that terrorized the Denver area in 1984. All are thorough and careful investigations that try to answer the confounding question: Who’s to blame?
Listen Now: Stitcher | Apple Podcasts | SoundCloud

Crime Junkie
If you like the flavor and approach of the now super-popular My Favorite Murder—a blend of banter and storytelling between two comedic women—then you’ll probably like Crime Junkie. Childhood friends Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat, two self-proclaimed true crime junkies, started the podcast in Indiana in 2012. Though the podcast isn’t specific to Colorado, it’s covered a number of local cases, including the Watts family murders of 2018 and the disappearance of 19-year-old Kenia Monge from a nightclub in 2011.
Listen Now: Spotify | Stitcher | Apple Podcasts

Hunted: Inside Ted Bundy’s Trail of Terror
This three-part series follows Erin Udell, a reporter for Fort Collins’ The Coloradoan, on her search for answers about Ted Bundy’s time in Colorado in the 1970s. The infamous serial killer escaped jail not once but twice in the Centennial State. Bundy was charged with the murder of 23-year-old nurse Caryn Campbell, who was found dead in Snowmass in 1975, and would go on to escape from the Pitkin County Courthouse in Aspen and the Garfield County Jail (through an air duct) in Glenwood Springs in 1977. It’s sad to think about how many deaths could’ve been prevented had he not escaped, but this inspection of Bundy’s time in Colorado is a worthwhile listen for anyone who wants to learn more about one of America’s deadliest killers.
Listen Now: Stitcher | Apple Podcasts | SoundCloud

Mile Higher Podcast
Josh Thomas and Kendall Rae, a local married couple, cover true crime, as well as mysteries, unexplained phenomena, and conspiracy theories in the topical episodes of Mile Higher. Episodes run about an hour to two hours, and subject matter ranges from the Stanley Hotel hauntings and the Denver International Airport conspiracies to the JonBenét Ramsey case and cult leader Jim Jones. Expect a lot of chitchat and speculation; each episode starts with conversations about current headlines and updates to previously covered topics.
Listen Now: Spotify | Stitcher | Apple Podcasts

It’s no surprise that this polished North Carolina-based true crime podcast is frequently applauded as one of the genre’s best productions. Cofounders and former public radio hosts Lauren Spohrer and Phoebe Judge are exceptionally even-keeled and professional, stepping back to the sidelines to bring the heart and facts of each story to the auditory stage. We particularly like the “Deep Breath” episode about biathlete Kari Swenson who survived an attack near Big Sky, Montana in July 1984 for its hopeful terrain. Also, the 420 episode —which explains the meaning of 420 and why there are 419.99 mile markers around Colorado— is wonderfully clever and lighthearted
Listen Now: Spotify | Stitcher | Apple Podcasts

The Generation Why
Started in 2012, this Wondery production was an early arrival in the true crime podcast scene. The hosts, Aaron and Justin,  have a tendency to speculate and insert their take on events, but the longtime friends do have a knack for choosing super-interesting cases. The Kansas City-based podcast has covered enthralling cases like the 1997 attempted bank robbery in L.A. known as the “North Hollywood Shootout,” the disappearance of three-year-old Jaryd Atadero near Fort Collins in 1999, and the Dyatlov Pass incident, when nine experienced backcountry trekkers mysteriously died in the Ural Mountains of Russia in 1959.
Listen Now: Spotify | Stitcher | Apple Podcasts

(Read more: Cold-Case Playing Cards Are a Thing…And They Work)

Already Gone 
If you’re not one for frills (read: banter and opine), then this podcast is for you. Host Nina Innsted’s approach is fair, compassionate, and focused on fact; its sound is reminiscent of listening to a book read on tape. Though Already Gone covers cases of missing and murdered people all over, Innsted has covered Colorado cases, including the Hammer Murders of 1984, the killing of Oakey “Al” Kite, and talks about the JonBenét Ramsey case with the host of Twisted Philly Podcast in this episode from 2016.
Listen Now: Spotify | Stitcher | Apple Podcasts

True Crime Garage
Though not a local production, True Crime Garage hosts Nic and Patrick “The Captain” Edwards begin each episode the most Colorado way possible: with a beer. The Columbus, Ohio brothers have been recording their true crime discussions since 2016—the duo have a casual approach, often spiraling into theories and caveats—and have covered local cases like the murder of Candace Hiltz in Fremont County in 2006, the 1991 murder of 13-year-old Heather Dawn Church by serial killer Robert Charles Browne in Colorado Springs and, most recently, JonBenét Ramsey. A heads up: Listeners sensitive to realtime audio should be aware that many episodes include long recordings of 911 tapes.
Listen Now: Spotify | Stitcher | Apple Podcasts

Colorado Cold Case
This series by The Colorado Springs Gazette picks a different cold case—there are currently about 90 unsolved murder cases in the city—to look into each season. With so many podcast hosts editorializing, oversharing their opinion, or just plain getting facts wrong, we’re grateful for the journalistic integrity and rigorous fact-checking this production offers. The podcast was created with actually solving these cold cases in mind, and encourages listeners to get in touch if they can divulge any useful information. The most recent season delves into the tragic and troubling case of Tim Watkins, a 60-year-old Springs man who was shot to death while mountain-biking Limbaugh Canyon Trail in Palmer Lake. The case is still unsolved.
Listen Now: Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Google Play

Jerilyn Forsythe
Jerilyn Forsythe
Jerilyn Forsythe is a freelance writer and editor, and 5280's former digital associate editor. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter @jlforsyt.