For the people who are curious about listening to a true crime podcast but are hesitant, My Favorite Murder is a good place to start. This popular podcast has been featured in many different magazines and is a recurring favorite on the iTunes top-10 comedy podcast chart. Beginning in 2016, the show is hosted by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, both comedians. Their fan base call themselves “murderinos” and the pair had an active Facebook group early on that has grown immensely. There are currently 196 episodes out.
Alternating weekly, one of the two picks a theme for that week’s episode. Then, they both do research and talk about a murder relating to the theme. For example, it could be a crime in a specific state, and then they tell each other what they’ve found. While it may seem morbid, it is considered a comedy show, and they do a good job of keeping it lighthearted while being sensitive to the impact on the families or loved ones of the deceased. They both have dark senses of humor, so it caters toward an audience with a similar sense, but also incorporates a fascination with understanding how people could commit these atrocities.
The episodes have a casual feel to them and usually begin with the two catching up from their past week and updating their audience of any merchandise, tours, or important dates. This includes personal anecdotes from their lives and careers, which they often incorporate into the episodes as well. It’s this that creates a more personal connection and makes the podcast more lighthearted, despite some of the darker content.
In addition to their regular episodes, they include “minisodes,” which they get from their listeners. These are usually listeners’ hometown crime stories that Kilgariff and Hardstark share. Now, they have a listener fanbase that spreads globally, so these can range from Australia to Indiana. Including a global perspective can be interesting, especially since the news we normally hear is from the United States and more specifically where we live. It’s important to consider similar crimes happening around the world.
My Favorite Murder had rapid success. Growing to 20 million listeners, it is one of the most popular true crime podcasts out there. Now, they have live tours and performances, as well as a loyal fanbase. The majority of listeners for this podcast and other true crime podcasts are women. In an article by the Washington Post, it is suggested this is because “they provide instruction on what not to do.” One of the major lessons reinforced by Kilgariff and Hardstark is you don’t need to be polite if you feel unsafe or threatened. Many times, we can get in troublesome situations because it is our instinct to be polite, in case they are harmless. However, they argue your individual safety is more important; you can always apologize later if it turns out to be nothing.
This genre is not for everyone; some people may not want to hear accounts of crimes. Others are fascinated by the subject and have a desire to understand the psychology behind these crimes. No matter the case, hearing these events can serve as cautionary tales to be learned from, even if it’s something as simple as don’t go into the woods alone at night. My Favorite Murder has such a large fanbase for a reason; the hosts are personable and create an inclusive space to share true crimes of the past and present.