We love true crime. Just ask any psychologist. There are a number of reasons why the human mind takes pleasure in murder and mystery; whether it’s an evolutionary instinct to protect ourselves, our fascination with good vs evil, because it helps women feel ‘prepared’, or simply because we enjoy the adrenaline rush of danger within the controlled environment of our homes. It has always been a popular genre in literature and media but with the advent of the internet, it has invaded all forms of entertainment; especially podcasts. True crime podcasts have become such a cultural phenomenon that they even turned into a central theme for the plot of the beloved thriller series ‘Only Murders in the Building’, which is about regular people solving murder cases by listening to a true crime podcast. Things have really come full circle.
There’s a wide variety of true crime content out there. But for those seeking stories closer to home, we have curated a list of the best South-Asian True Crime Podcasts currently streaming.
I. Heinous – An Asian True Crime Podcast
From Mediacorp and 1 Up Media, Heinous - An Asian True Crime Podcast takes a look at the most heinous crimes that have happened across Asia. Every Tuesday, tune in as they dig into the key events of the crime, the mindset of the criminals, and the human circumstances that led to their heinous actions. They have different episodes on captivating stories from Mongolia, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore and Japan. You can even interact with their team via their socials.
II. Crimes From the East
Crimes From the East is a South Asian True Crime Podcast about twisted crimes and strange phenomena from India and South Asia. It was created by cousins Pia and Alex who wanted to bring desi quirks and nuances to the true crime world. They have some of the most enthralling stories; a couple from Odisha, receiving a bomb in a courier package, wives murdering their husbands and cooking them into a curry, a 90-year-old case of bioterrorism, cyber criminals carting off $81 million USD from a bank in Dhaka, and much more.
III. The Desi Crime Podcast
Brought to you by Aryaan Misra and Aishwarya Singh, The Desi Crime Podcast is your one-stop shop for ‘all things desi, and all things crazy’. “Too much of true crime is centred around America - New York murder this and Chicago Killer that. What about the Delhi Dons and Karachi killers and Bangladeshi Burglars?” ask Aryaan and Aishwarya.
If you are tired of the same-old western crimes and criminals, The Desi Crime Podcast brings you desi crimes from India, Pakistan, Nepal and other brown communities. Crimes that take place in the Indian subcontinent aren’t remotely similar to Western crimes — desi crimes are gory, complicated, corrupt, and hardly documented. This podcast takes you on a bumpy, jaw-dropping ride across South Asia.
“Crime is a popular genre in India. CID was watched by boomers, John Grisham was read by millennials, and now, The Desi Crime Podcast is for Gen Z.”
IV. Khooni: The Crimes of India
Khooni is India’s first independent true crime podcast. It’s hosted by two corporate lawyers and fans of the genre, Aditi Sahay and G. Sneha Sindhu, who try to navigate the murky waters of true crime in their country. Join them as they narrate, bemoan and sometimes joke about the sordid but riveting details of each case. Their episodes feature stories about serial rapists, unbecoming doctors, insurance scams gone wrong, and even the Mumbai mafia.
“Whether you are a true crime aficionado, budding sleuth, secret deviant, or just looking for something interesting to jazz up your boring commute or jog, this podcast has a little something for all of you,” says the podcast’s Spotify page.
V. Death, Lies & Cyanide
Death, Lies & Cyanide centres on one of India’s most disturbing true crime stories. Written by Ramesh Ravindranath, this podcast covers the chronicles of Jolly Joseph from Kozhikode, Kerala who allegedly poisoned and killed six members of her own family over 14 years and how she managed to remain above suspicion until the police blew the lid off things in 2019.
The podcast is from the mind of journalist Sashi Kumar who is also a trustee of the Media Development Foundation, which runs the Asian College of Journalism in Chennai.
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