Through The Cracks: A sad and preventable loss

This is a beautiful elegy to Relisha. A promise that the misdeeds that (we can only assume) befell her did not happen in vain. She is present in every episode, reminding us that not all kids get the best start, but all of them deserve the utmost protection that we, as a society, can afford them.

Suave: A tale of friendship and redemption

Suave is raw and true. It’s about human fallibility and how we process it as a society, and as individuals. About navigating forgiveness and guilt. It is about understanding predicament and fighting our human impulse to essentialize criminality, recognizing that a human being is so much more than a poor choice they once made.

Evil By Design: The seedy world of Peter Nygard

This isn’t light listening, but it is quality, meaningful journalism. In a world of Weinsteins and Epsteins and Cosbys and R Kellys, it’s easy for us to become numb to depressing tales of female oppression — but we absolutely mustn’t. Work like this reminds us why.

The Messenger: Fighting for democracy

Bas skillfully illustrates the role of music in resistance, reminding us that Wine follows onto the dangerous terrain where artists like Bob Marley and Nigeria’s Fela Kuti have led. And if we ever fall into thinking that this is a far-fetched story from a faraway land, he’s here to remind us of some of the anti-democratic rhetoric and action by authorities right here in the States.

Power: The Maxwells: An extraordinary tale of risk and excess

Like the Epstein death, we’re left wondering whether or not Maxwell’s end was of his own doing. Was this the cowardly escape of a conman that simply couldn’t stick their punishment? Or the sinister execution of someone who knew too much? Of course, the other commonality is the high-profile escapee; the purring, cat-like figure of Ghislaine Maxwell.

Norco 80: The robbery that changed US policing

The analysis is profound and Norco 80 is the kind of podcast that keeps the listener thinking long after the final episode concludes. It’s central topic deserves attention, and for the most part Cereijido is a solid, if low key, guide. Still, Norco 80 constantly risks losing its audience along the way.

The Apology Line: Familiar internet creepery with a vintage telephone feel

The real crux of the problem with The Apology Line is that the archives of oral testimony it relies upon just aren’t edgy enough for our 21st century sensibilities. The novelty of hearing someone confess to even the most heinous of crimes evaporated along with our innocence back in the late 1990s.

I’m Not A Monster: From Indiana to Isis, a mother’s betrayal

It’s hard to know whether some of this podcast’s most tense moments are designed or serendipitous — like prison phone calls that abruptly disconnect at tantalizingly key moments — but whatever its secret, listeners are bombarded with unexpected twists, turns and cliffhangers.