I’m not sure how proud I am to say this, but I’m a massive fan of True Crime content on Youtube. Like a lot of people, I started really falling in love with this content during the height of quarantine. If you were to burst into my apartment in the middle of the day, there’s a high chance you’ll hear me blasting a video from one of the channels below. As dark and upsetting as this content may be, I appreciate it because it often sheds light on concerning patterns of behavior. It’s said that in order to avoid the mistakes in the future, we must learn from the past and True Crime content has a great way of capturing and often defining common patterns among some of the worst criminals in the world. I’m also a fan of a good story and as tragic as these stories often are, I appreciate how some creators have been able to masterfully present very true, but very upsetting stories in a way that is respectful to the victims of these crimes.
The following channels are my top 5 True Crime Youtube Channels, in my opinion. I tend to favor true crime content that isn’t overly produced or salacious so my picks are reflective of that.
- JCS Criminal Psychology
I feel like this list absolutely had to start with JCS, since his style has influenced quite a few True Crime creators. JCS Criminal Psychology comes in at just over 5 Million subscribers and in my view, he deserves it. His videos are primarily interrogation footage with snippets of news footage along with his occasional commentary. He is incredibly talented at framing the footage and including context without inserting himself too much. The footage is edited in a cohesive, clear manner and he clearly puts a lot of work towards audio mastering and restoring. In my view, JCS is the cream of the crop for True Crime content on YouTube, but he uploads very infrequently, which gave birth to a slew of “JCS Crime Inspired” content, which led me to some of the following channels. At the time of me writing this article, he hasn’t uploaded a new video for over a year.
- This is Monsters
This is Monsters was originally a podcast that later slowly transformed into a Youtube series. Because of its podcast history, there’s a large focus on presenting a clear and concise narrative and instead of letting the footage speak for itself, the narrator tells the entire, complete story often supplemented with interview clips. The videos aren’t necessarily visually striking, but in my view, they don’t need to be. There are 5 seasons of the show and previous seasons have focused on particular types of crimes, such as family annihilators, child killings, mass shootings and religious crimes. Of the Youtube channels on the list, this one uploads far more frequently and has a lenghty backlog of content. This channel often also focuses on less popular cases so you’re more likely to see a new or unknown case on their channel.
Dreading is another great True Crime page that more certainly has become fairly active. Like This is Monsters, they upload rather frequently; sometimes twice a week; but that may be temporarily where they are now because they do not have the most expansive catalogue. They often cover more well-known cases but try to talk about things that aren’t often discussed by other sources. The narrator remains mostly within character, but sometimes breaks it to express their frustration with the subject being covered. Their videos are more edited and visually appealing than This is Monsters, but I personally digest the channels in a very similar way.
- Coffee House Crime
Of all the channels on this list, Coffeehouse Crime is the only one with a talking head. Adrian plays an even mannered barista who calmly shares True Crime stories with an even tone. His videos are the shortest on this list, averaging at about 20 minutes. His videos are well produced and edited, but what shines is his ability to say so much in a much shorter time than these other channels.
- Red Tree Crime
Red Tree Crime is one of the many JCS Inspired channels I found when seeking for new content. Over the years, they’ve found their own niche and it’s been a joy to observe their growth. They are the smallest channel on this list and in my view, are criminally under viewed. Like JCS, they predominately edit interrogation footage and use narration to create a cohesive narrative.
Of course, there are many other channels out there that could have been on this list, but these are the top contenders for me. I’d love to hear which channels you’re following and appreciate so please feel free to share those with me below in the comments.