The best 2021 true crime dog podcasts
A guest piece by Bichon-Poodle influencer Blanche DuBois Sharp, doggie daughter of Marlene Sharp
Hi, it’s your auld acquaintance me Blanche-cha, cha, cha. During the past year, between business video call cameos, I listened to podcasts like crazy with my crazy mom Marlene. Every day on Mama’s phone, I stalked and marked my territory: grisly real-life wrongdoing. It was a challenging year for the ears, though. There were plenty of from-now-on-our-troubles-will-be-outta sight true crime tropes on da pods! For example, it was impossible to count all of the incarceration clichés, but we tried. Ultimately, a good time — if not a hind-chasing one — was had by all, and by ‘all,’ I mean Mama and me. We love crime . . . as long as it keeps a safe distance from all.
Now, 2021 is in Mama’s rear window, but I still remember well the pawesomest, scaredy-cattiest audio stories of the past 12 months. Why? For starters, dogs like me ain’t afraid, so they can’t be scaredy cats! Mutts sniff out anyone who is chicken, and roast those shrimps to death! Ha! More important than poking fun at wusses, though, is praising our own. That’s why the best, most original, and ready-to-howl audio episodes go to the dawgs . . . In a word, dogs take the cake and sometimes get just desserts. Pawdcasts with canine stawrs rawk . . . That means, dawgs always catch my fancy, unlike unfunny comedians who interview boring, no-talent humans on alleged radio talk shows.
Also on my hit list and not in a good way: Ted Bundy. He rears his ugly head in far too much entertainment these days! Give someone else a chance to shine, killer. You’re executed. Please stay that way!
If I were a pointing dog, then this would be my point: It is no barking matter that the top ten installments of high quality, easy-listening, beefy non-fiction-ish drama of 2021 star my people! And by ‘people,’ I mean the toothsome tail-waggers of the world. Without further adoo-doo, here is the expression of the annals of my top dog-centric podcast choices, plus the crowd-pleasing woofers in each:
10) The Hound of the Baskervilles in THE SLEEPY BOOKSHELF: THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES. — Disclaimer: This program is fiction and aims to make one tired. It is guilty on both counts! It stars the O.G. kaiju Hound (named Hound, methinks), super sleuth Sherlock Holmes, and a British reading lady named Elizabeth (Mama’s middle name, as well! Brilliant!). Hound is so legendary that he is the only mythical creature on this fact-filled list. Mind the gap! Deal with it! Thanks.
9) Made-up pups in AARP’s THE PERFECT SCAM: KNOCK, KNOCK, WHERE’S MY PUPPY? — There are no actual dogs in this gripping, bone-a-fide cautionary cliffhanger. In short, wretched and ratchet con artists pretend to sell cute whelps who never existed. The baddies process people’s credit card info, give a fake address to these unsuspecting buyers, tell them to pick up their new pups at a certain time, and then stiff them. It’s a terrible racket for all involved, especially the canines who were never even born in the first place. Poor precious angels!
8) Roselle the Labrador Retriever in CRIMINAL: ROSELLE AND MICHAEL. — This is a 20-year-anniversary account of the dogged Roselle who saved her blind businessman Michael Hingson from the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers in New York City. A moment of silent respect, please. Thanks.
7) Trent’s dogs named Walter(s) and Caper, respectively, in FAMILY SECRETS: TAXIDERMIED DUCK. — When podcast guest/writer/vineyard CEO/canoe manufacturer Trent was a rural, ranch-handed kid, he had many consecutive, seemingly interchangeable pet dogs. All were named Walter. Trent grew up, moved to the big city, and figuratively buried the name Walter alongside his childhood companions who had died in freak farming accidents. As an adult, Trent adopted a healthy, furry cutie and called him Caper, which seemed to do the trick. Spoiler alert: Caper is not dead yet!
6) Those nameless Greyhounds in THE QUEEN OF THE CON. — Fraudster Mair Smyth was never more detestable than the day that she doomed heaps of innocent Greyhounds. In her effort to escape Irish justice, Mair ordered her ex to kill his own racing dogs. The hubs acquiesced, because he was under her spell, mentally ill, or . . . maybe he was just an ass.
5) Kato the Akita in BADLANDS Season 2: SPORTSLAND: O.J. SIMPSON: STOLEN MEMORABILIA, ARMED ROBBERY, FAKE GANGSTERS, AND BLOOD IN BRENTWOOD. — Note that Kato the Akita and Kato Kaelin are not the same person. The former heroically led Bundy Drive neighbors to Nicole Brown Simpson’s bloody body. The latter — star of the 1987 motion picture BEACH FEVER — did not.
4) Romeo, Golda, and Lulu the Wire Haired Terriers in JURY DUTY: THE TRIAL OF ROBERT DURST. — 20-something years ago, these three sweeties — housemates of murdered writer Susan Berman — snubbed their ample noses at death in the form of homicidal maniac Robert Durst. This year, the shaggy kiddos really had the last laugh, albeit from across the proverbial rainbow bridge. Finally, that turd Durst was convicted of their mama’s murder!
3) Lady the Beagle in LOST HILLS Season 2. — In the early eighties, erstwhile Malibu resident Fred Roehler blamed a deadly boating accident on this baby girl’s supposed seagull fixation. Said fascination was false, and karma is a bitch . . . possibly named Lady! Cut to present day: Fred continues to serve a life sentence for the maritime murders of his second wife and stepson.
2) German Shepherds Mayday and Tsunami in CRIME JUNKIE: MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF SHERESE WALKER BINGHAM, Parts 1 and 2. — Although they could not save their mistress Sherese from a fatal spouse-induced stabbing, these bravehearts guarded her fiercely until the bitter, tail end.
1) Charlene the Afghan Hound in GONE SOUTH. — Charlene’s saga is eerily almost identical to that of Shepherds Mayday and Tsunami (see above). However, this sleek ball buster flew solo and put up quite a fight! For that reason alone, Mama and I hereby exclaim, “Doggone, girl! You are top dog! Thank YOU!”
Honorable mentions: All Moselle property kennel dogs in THE MURDAUGH MURDERS and in IMPACT OF INFLUENCE: THE MURDAUGH FAMILY MURDERS. — These are wolves in sheep dogs’ clothing! They are steel mongrel magnolias! They are the pride of South Carolina, and they will avenge the June 2021 butchery of Paul Murdaugh and his mother Maggie! Look out, Big Daddy (you know who you are) . . . These eye witness fidos are coming for you . . . Baskervilles’ style!