I’ve covered quite a few shows in my series of podcast recommendations and I can honestly say that I have never fallen for a show as hard and as fast as I did for this show. Yup, I’m talking about My Favorite Murder.
This show is a strange but wonderful combination of true crime, comedy, and female friendship. Hosted by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, the podcast is all about true crime, murder in particular. The premise of the show is that two friends who love true crime tell each other a story every week. There are plenty of jokes thrown in, though they never override the sensitivity with which they talk about victims of violence, and they tell the stories with a distinctly feminist flair. Their oft repeated phrases like “Stay sexy, don’t get murdered” and “Fuck politeness” encourage women to be careful and stay mindful of their own safety without a victim-blaming tone.
Many of the shows start with banter and chit chat. They talk about what’s going on in their lives, what listeners have sent then, even what outfits they’re wearing. When they get down to business, they take turns telling each other about a crime, usually a murder, though they sometimes cover other crimes too. In their minisodes and live shows they sometimes include a “Hometown Murder” segment where listeners can tell a story about a murder from their town.
Listener interaction is one of the best parts of this show. Fans engage with Karen and Georgia online and at live shows and a real community has emerged around this show. Fans call themselves "Murderinos" and have been able to use the podcast as a shorthand for finding other people interest in things they like, namely true crime, comedy, and feminism.
I've sped through these episodes, listening to them one after another for the last couple weeks. Every episode I have listened to so far has been great, but a few of my favorites include Episode 76: My Own Sinkhole about the Central Park 5, Episode 73: Chill Satanist about the Berkeley hostage crisis, and Episode 64: Live at Revolution Hall about the Cline Falls Hatchet Attack. Not to mention, if you were following the news around Michelle McNamara's book I'll Be Gone in the Dark, then you will know that the Golden State Killer has been caught! Episode 118 covers the case and the historic arrest. For those who have loved the Netflix series Evil Genius, check out Episode 49: Sharpest Needle in the Tack. For another Netflix tie in, if you loved Wild Wild Country, check out Episode 50: The Golden Anniversary, which covers the bioattacks attempted by the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. While I particularly enjoyed these episodes, I can honestly say that I haven’t hit a bad episode yet (find the show on iTunes here).
I totally understand how this podcast recommendation can seem incredibly weird. Comedy and true crime? Gal pals talking about serial killers is an odd premise, but it is one that works because of Georgia and Karen’s friendship and humor. If you have even the slightest interest in true crime, give this podcast a try.