Throughout the world of podcasting one of the most popular topics among listeners is true crime. There are hundreds of true crime podcasts available on the Apple Podcast App, TuneIn Radio App, and all over the internet focusing on serial killers, bizarre cases, and unsolved mysteries. Over the next three weeks, I will review my three favorite true crime podcasts that I listen to each week.
The Trail Went Cold is a podcast produced and narrated by Robin Warder. Each Wednesday a new episode of the podcast is released on their website, iTunes, Spotify and other locations throughout social media. The first episode was released on February 11th, 2016, and January 30th of this year marks the 109th episode. The Trail Went Cold focuses each week on a different mystery, usually either an unsolved murder or missing persons case.
Each episode is usually under an hour long, typically ranging from 30-45 minutes in length. Warder will begin by giving background information on the person or people who are at the center of the mystery and then will tell the story of what we know happened. He gives facts and then tells you why the particular case is currently unsolved. After he says, “and then the trail went cold,” he gives his opinion and tries to dissect what most likely happened. The episodes conclude with Warder inviting listeners to reach out via email and give their opinion along with providing phone numbers for the appropriate law enforcement office if someone might have information that could help solve the case.
All good true crime podcasts do a nice job with storytelling as they need to capture the attention of the audience and immerse them in the case; Warder does a great job with this in The Trail Went Cold. Enough details are given to make the case interesting and the listener can picture what is happening in their mind, yet not too much background information is provided that would bog down the content of the episode. Some podcasters do not give their opinion on unsolved cases as they do not want to speculate on what might have happened or give out false information, and the fact that The Trail Went Cold provides listeners with a possible outcome is a real strength of the podcast.
With very few exceptions, I had never heard of the majority of the cases covered on The Trail Went Cold as they either happened many years ago, or were never highly covered by the mainstream media. This is good because it both brings light to forgotten cases which may still be able to be solved, and allows listeners to hear unique cases that may not have been covered by other true crime podcasts. In addition, The Trail Went Cold has an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, Patron, and their own website. Fans can interact with the producer and updates are posted both about the podcast and past cases which may have had a breakthrough and are nearing a resolution.
While The Trail Went Cold does many things well, it is not perfect. The length of some episodes, especially some of the earlier ones, are quite short with a few being only around 20 minutes. That is really not enough time to fully get invested in an episode; fortunately, recent episodes have been longer. Also, while it is good that less publicized cases are featured, there are not as many news stories for listeners who are still curious and wish to do further research after listening. Lastly, while unsolved mysteries make for some fun wondering as to what might have happened and you can come up with your own conclusion, it can be frustrating to be so invested in listening to an episode only to be left with more questions than answers at the end.
Overall The Trail Went Cold is a great podcast for anyone to listen to, especially those who are fans of true crime or mysteries. If you think to yourself that you might just listen to one or two episodes to see what it is like, you may very well find yourself anticipating the release of a new one each Wednesday.