Truly a good true crime podcast

I really love the podcast. This is the best podcast for true crime. The host tells the story clearly and well. My one beef, is the ads. They come without warning in the middle of the narrative and it totally disrupts the flow. Anyway we can opt out of those?


I love your podcast! I I listen to lots of true crime podcasts and lots of hosts stay neutral. I love that you give your opinion on the cases.

I was not a fan.. at first.

I am a HUGE fan of the podcast “Generation Why” with Aaron and Justin. They were the first podcast I had ever listened to in my life and I just fell in love with them (just started this year.) I became accustomed to their style so when I tried two other podcasts (not OUAC) I just didn’t like them. It was more than just the story for me, it was how it was delivered. After deciding I would never listen to another true crime podcast outside of Gen Why, Aaron had mentioned Esther and OUAC. I decided to give her a shot because I had listened to all of Gen Why’s (I work from home so I listen to like 5-8 podcasts a day while working) and I needed more to listen to. When I first put on Esther’s podcast, I HATED IT. I absolutely hated it. Turned it off after 10 mins. I hated her delivery, I hated how she read from a script, I just hated it. After venting to my husband about it, he told me to at least listen to a whole episode before writing her off. Y’all, I am so glad I did. After listening to two entire episodes, I was hanging on her every word. You can tell how much work and research she puts into her episodes. The first two episodes I listened to, I made sure it was stories I was well versed in because I wanted to fact check her. I needed to know she knew her facts because I often share facts from the podcasts with like minded friends. Everything she said was right on the money plus, she taught me some new facts I didn’t know (which I fact checked and she was correct.) Her topics are interesting and I love when she goes off script a bit and makes a side comment. You see a little of her personality shine through. She’s funny and smart. I recommend 1000000000 times over. People comment about her “monotone” voice but I find it peaceful and not distracting. When I am working, driving, in the shower or falling asleep, I don’t want a lot of loud noises and animation. That’s just my two cents.

A wonderful storyteller!

This is a fantastic narrative podcast! Esther is a wonderful, thoughtful storyteller. The topics she covers in the form of mini-series are broad-ranging and interesting. There is something for everyone. I love the way Esther presents the stories, especially when she adds interesting extra detail, offers her take on circumstances, and my favorite is the occasional sarcastic remark. He voice is soothing and so even- like an audiobook. Simply the best!

One of my favorites.

I love this show. Esther delivers well-researched, clear and detailed stories. I enjoy her monthly themes. She delivers enough details to be interesting but nothing that irrelevant.

Good content, horrible storytelling voice

Narrator should get someone else to narrate her well written content. Her high pitched voice is not conducive to immediate word comprehension.

Too bad . . .

Re: Deathbed Confessions — Diane Crawford. Would I be wrong in assuming that you never spoke to a resident of the town in which this very interesting crime occurred? I say this because anyone who lived there would have, in a millisecond, corrected your pronunciation of that beautiful town. While it is indeed spelled “Staunton,” and the way you phonetically pronounced it a million times — everyone who knows better, and how it has been from its founding, pronounces it “Stanton.” So, your narrative of the case, to me, is a bit tainted — too bad!

One of the best

Been a listener since the beginning, and Esther consistently delivers an interesting, well researched story- and her own opinions and editorializing are never annoying or offensive (imho). Excellent podcast and an excellent host.


I’m so mad I’m late listening I was always subscribed to this podcast and just started binging and can’t stop listening now…Awesome podcast

Good Podcast!

I’ve listened to 6 or maybe 7 of these podcasts and have really enjoyed most of them. They seem to do pretty good research in my opinion. May give that 5th star if the next several are as good as the last 3. Kudos!

Favorite True Crime Podcast!

Esther, I love your show! I look forward to getting into my car so I can listen to your crime stories. So good!

My first!

I just started getting into podcasts (not murder😜) this year! This was the first podcast I fell in love with and binged! Thank you for your detailed episodes ! I love it!

Good, needs some fine tuning

I have listened to quite a few true crime podcasts such as Serial, Crime Junkie, Criminology and more. Esther’s voice is great and her sarcasm is funny. I do miss the banter of a co-host that this podcast does not have and the sounds (I am on episode 196) are a bit too long, unnecessary, and corny. Some of the editing is choppy and in one there was an entire section of a story cut off. She also does quite a few episodes about women who kill, such as betty broderick, however, the narrative she tells about these women make them sound crazy (which may be true) and one sided. Some of the comments Esther makes just sounds a bit insensitive and paints females in a bad light in my opinion. With that being said, the stories are captivating and I like her personality.

Great podcast👍

Awesome job ! Love your voice

Overall Love The Podcast

I think I like the scripted shows better. Unscripted works better when you have a partner to throw ideas/thoughts against. That is just my opinion. You have to listen and judge for yourself. But, overall, I like this podcast series very much and would recommend.

Episode 206 - The Trailside Killer - *****

Ester, you outdid yourself self on this 3 part series! Great research as usual & I really enjoyed how you gave us Part 3 more casually & with your personal thoughts. I love Once Upon a Crime true crime podcasts! She provides all the facts & her own opinion on rare occasions. Great podcasts!!! Thank you for saving my sanity during a pandemic & the election cycle 🥰

Great podcast

I’ve been listening for awhile but was prompted to review finally after listening to the Trailside Killer series. I’m a Bay Area native and remember these murders from when I was a child. Very scary, and there’s so much in the show that I never knew. Thank you so much for this, and I liked the more “casual” approach in the last episode.

Stick to the regular way you do your podcast

I like listening to your podcast. But the last trail side killer. Ugh. You talk around yourself. It is way to hard to follow. I couldn’t listen to more than 15 min. I can always listen to your normal podcast. But not this. I’m sorry. I’m not trying to be mean. This is IMO

Great podcast

I can’t understand why people leave such negative “picky” reviews?! Yes, she reads the episode instead of ad-libbing, because she’s doing it solo. Plus it’s her style, and many listeners like it. Plus I’ve always found her very thorough and her episodes interesting. For those who criticize her every word, I’d say...just don’t listen. You can leave a review saying it’s not for you, but don’t be so rude!

No script shows are my favorite

I love this show! Definitely, the no script episodes are my favorites. I just love your casual discussions on the murders more than scripted!!

Love this podcast

I started listening to true crime about a year and a half ago. This was the first podcast I tried. I listened from the first episode all the way through. When I went looking for a new one to listen too along with OUAC because I was caught up and had to wait for the next episode to drop I had a hard time finding one that I liked because this one had everything I wanted. The storyline is in an understandable order, the narrator’s voice comforting, and I love the physiological insights she gives to try to explain the perpetrator’s behavior.

Great podcast

Great narrator everything is greatly explained and intriguing.

Awesome podcast

I love this podcast, but the flute playing background music in the Gordon Ramsey episode is so distracting and annoying. Please discontinue.


Really like everything about this podcast. No unnecessary chatter or personal interpretations. Great topics, good research, and knowledge of subject. Binge time for sure. Also I just finished the Diane Downs episode. I have read the book by Ann Rule as well as the book by Diane, and have seen the movie. You asked the one question that none of the others did. How did the “stranger” even know there were kids in the car! Thank you!

Infinitely better than crime junkie

Infinitely better than crime junkie. Objective, thorough and interesting reporting (no political opinions), supplemented with empathic and reasonable commentary.

Please get a new sound guy

Original stories that you don’t hear on other true crime podcasts. I don’t mind the voice, I find it soothing and matter of fact. I appreciate there is no banter or third party audio. The only issue I have with the podcast are the stupid sound effects. They’re CONSTANT and so distracting. They don’t even match with the storylines, they’re weird and chime like. Please get a new sound guy and limit the amount of random sounds while you’re talking !!!!

Nicely done

No co-host banter to muster through. No political opinions inserted in. Just true crime stories. Esther enunciates well & is easy to understand. The clear delivery is appreciated as I can follow the story easily while multi-tasking on another project at home.

I love this!!!

I love the different series with focuses on different kinds of crimes. So well written!

Good podcast!

If you don’t like unnecessary chatter and getting off topic, this podcast is for you (and me). I love that this podcast is in series episodes! I do notice the reading instead of actually talking to us, but she’s a great speaker! Happy I found this one! -Kelli in IL

Very well researched

Awesome story telling. Love this no frills true crime.

Very fair explanation!

Late to this podcast, but just listened to both chapters of the Pacific Heights Dog Mauling case. I thought the host did a tremendous job explaining all the mis-steps that led to the tragedy. There were so SO many warnings & earlier occasions that authorities could’ve been involved & the dogs’ behavior should’ve been reported. The host also didn’t villainize the entire breed, but spoke to the importance of socializing & exercising & owner responsibility. I’m massively protective of dogs being set up to fail, and the loss of this woman’s life should be a massive lesson.

A new favorite!

Loving this podcast! She doesn’t do the same old stories repeated on all the other podcasts. Great story teller without all the extra unnecessary banter.

Pretty Good

I wish there were less music interruptions. There are several per episode and they seem pointless.

Great show.

I am glad I found this show. Every episode gets better and better.

I love you Ester!

I started listening because of your Bobby Kent episode and I was instantly hooked! Usually female podcasts aren't my thing but there's something soothing about your voice that I can't get enough. Thank you for all your hard work!💗

Highly recommended

This is by far one of my favorite true crime podcasts and I’ve listened to every episode so far. Highly recommend :)

Just what I was looking for

Love the organization of the show and the “series” Esther does. It’s a well-scripted true crime podcast without small talk, and without political snark.

Good but...

I love narrative-style true crime podcasts. I enjoy this narrator’s storytelling style. No fluff -n- stuff. My only complaint is it seems some episodes weren’t listened to and edited before posted. For example, the Susan Smith episode...she cuts to audio of the parents talking at a press conference, but the audio is almost silent and it sounds scrambled. There’s no way to hear what’s going on or what anyone is saying. Also, there’s other episodes where she makes a mistake, and redoes the sentence, but doesn’t edit out the mistake. If the editing gets better, and the sound gets uploaded correctly, this will be an amazing podcast!

I love this podcast!

I love this podcast! Esther’s been killing it since day one.

The Best Podcast

I’ve listened to Ester for over 2 years. I’ve even re-listened to my favorite episodes. She is very accurate and I’ve learned aspects I didn’t know on cases that I’ve had extended research on. Give her a try, she’s amazing!


Esther is the best.

Took a chance

I am a newbie to podcasts and true crime. My daughter got me hooked with the Golden State Killer case and I haven’t stop. This is by far one of the best I have heard. I started with the Kitty Genovese installment because I grew up hearing about it and I am a native NYer. Esther is amazing and held my interest. I can’t wait for the next walk to work so I can get another episode under my belt!

Well-researched, interesting, and reliable podcast

This is one of my favorite podcasts and has been for a while. Esther is well-researched, eloquent, pleasant, and unbiased in her presentation of cases. Give it a listen and recommend it to others this giving season.

Addicted to this show!!

This has quickly become my favorite podcast. Esther’s voice is like listening to an old friend. Love, love, love this podcast and am always looking for excuses to drive around and listen as I no longer have a long commute!! Can’t wait for the next series!!!!

A first-rate podcast!

I enjoy the serious and intelligent discussion of crimes and issues, with occasional humor to leaven the seriousness. I enjoy the different personalities of the hosts and their interaction. I look forward to the episodes each week.

Love it!

Great and interesting series! Author has a lovely voice as well lol.


The amount of research is amazing! I love when podcasts are mostly unbiased and altogether make sense

Best podcast

This is by far the best true crime podcast. Esther has exactly the right balance and presentation.

Nice work, Esther

I love this podcast yet I can understand why it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Personally, I like the storytelling, sticking to the facts and cutting out some of the gore. I don’t enjoy when she has a guest (even her sis, sorry ladies!), since I like straight storytelling. Honestly I don’t need all the opinions and side jokes. One criticism I have is please stop saying “unquote”. You’re not undoing the quote... It’s “end quote” as it’s obvi the end of the quote. However, I understand that’s not an Esther thing, that’s pretty common in America. Keep up the great work, Esther!!!


This is a great podcast for anyone interested in true crime stories. I listen nearly everyday!!!

Once Upon a Crime review

This is my new favorite podcast. I always love the subject of true crime but the way Esther brings it to you is just so excellent. And she has an easy voice to listen to as well. But I especially love the way she portrays each story so thoroughly and objectively. This is one of the best podcast I’ve ever listen to. I am now caught up and I am kind of bummed out because I wanna just keep listening nonstop. Great job Esther


I just recently discovered Once. I am addicted. I was trying to find something to listen to while I went for my morning walks. I just started trying to take better care of myself and be happier. I tried listening to music and it just was making it boring. I didn’t want to give up on walking. I downloaded an episode of Once and my walks are the thing I wake up for in the morning. It’s only been a few weeks but I have made my walks even longer so I can fit a full episode in. She tells the story beautifully and I am constantly intrigued. There isn’t banter back and forth with another person so it doesn’t loose sight of the actual story being told. I don’t even mind the occasional advertisement. I really enjoy this podcast and will be a faithful listener.

5 stars!

Just started listening after hearing about it on A Date With Dateline. Looking forward for this new podcast to fill up my hours in quarantine!

Wonderful TC podcast

I ALWAYS come back to this podcast. I can never stay away too long. Ester is amazing 😻 ... and like everyone else I love when she collaborates with her sister. Thank you Esther for all these amazing and well put together episodes. I am a grad student in counseling psych right now and I love hearing your (educated) analysis of the individuals involved with the cases. To all the true crime fans, I can’t recommend this podcast enough! ❤️

Good but....

I’m not a huge fan of her voice but I do think the research and work put into this podcast is top notch.

Favorite True Crime podcast

Esther is my favorite. I love the series style that she does. Every case seems well researched with lots of detail and back story. She tells the stories in a matter of fact and story like way. Always easy to follow the case being told.

One of my favorites!

I have listened to many true crime podcasts. Some are just so boring. This is such a great one and she keeps you wanting to listen. I started this one this year and I am almost done with the whole thing. Definitely a 5 star podcast!!

Great show!

Great podcast. I have been listening for a few years now and I love how I’m formative Esther is! Also idk why everyone was mad about her guest on the Anastasia episode but I really enjoyed it! It was nice to hear Esther be more relaxed and joke some! Keep up the good work 👍🏼


This has become my favorite true crime podcast. Well researched and in depth. Big fan!

Great crime show

I love the stories and how they are presented. Esther is a wonderful story teller and I like listening to her.

Thoroughly Enjoy

I really enjoy Esther’s show. I think she digs really deep into the cases and does great research. I love how she ties the ends together and talks about the sentencing. She makes it a point to not cover big cases and finds interesting cases most of the listeners haven’t heard. I’ve seen some reviews that criticize her jokes but I think she’s funny. The podcast definitely has its own feel and doesn’t sound like everything else out there. You’re doing great, Esther!

Really Great!

It’s great to find a podcast without cussing. I can relax and enjoy it on Saturday night and go to church guilt free on Sunday morning. I very much enjoy the way she tells all the facts in the stories.

Please no more surprise guests

This is usually a fantastic podcast, but this 2nd Romanov episode is so disappointing - it’s a semi-giggly conversational-type episode (with terrible sound quality, not normal for this show)...exactly what I come to this podcast to *not* hear. Bummer.


I have been following real life crimes the majority of my life and have heard these stories, but these podcasts give background and info I have never heard!!!! Thank you for a great Podcast!


Brilliant work, Esther. Hanging on every word!

I love her quips!

I found this podcast a few weeks ago and have been binge listening. I love Ester’s voice and I love her snide quips interjected often. Most of the time these quips are exactly what I’m thinking.


Sorry it took me so long to write a review, I’ve been listening for years! I like allll kinds of true crime podcasts, but when I’m looking for one that presents good information in a clear and undistracted way, this is my go-to! Love Esther’s style ☺️

Potential to be better

The earlier episodes have good research, but as the episodes creep into 2019, the host tries to be edgy by cussing and trying to sound cool with cliches. It doesn’t sound authentic and comes off a little desperate to sit with “the cool kids”. What the host may not realize is that they’re cool without the extra “extra”- the research and editing is perfect without the “mall speak” and cursing.

So good!

She’s an amazing host! Love it

I love it

I love the podcasts it just helps idk

New to podcasts

I’ve only recently started listening to podcasts. My library is full of true crime podcasts, and Once Upon A Crime is my favorite! Thanks to Esther for making my COVID-19 lockdown summer a little more enjoyable!

Love this podcast!

I love true crime and most particularly those that have a definitive ending. This is the perfect podcast for me! I really enjoy Esther’s presentation, she has a great voice and I especially appreciate that she does not partake in a lot of small talk. It’s down to business and I really like that. It’s difficult for me (impossible, actually) to listen to a podcast with multiple hosts making small talk with each other. Five stars from me! Thank you Esther!

New listener!

Just started listening to Once Upon a Crime and I’m hooked! I heard about it from True Crime Guys.

Once Upon a Crome

I just found this podcast this summer! I love it so much I’ve stated right from season 1! Ester presents each topic with mastery and is a wonderful story/fact teller! I can’t stop listening! I would give 10 stars if I could!

Long time listener-a few comments

I have enjoyed almost every episode of this well scripted and researched show. What has been bothering me are the esthetics of the show. There are about 4 sound effects/transition sounds that are used in every show. I would really like to see these improved sound quality wise AND more variety to the sounds. Personally I especially dislike the tinny old time piano effect used. As a classical musician I am especially sensitive to sound but I am close to be not being able to listen anymore...but I am drawn back by the presentation of the stories. Any hope for sound variety?

This is one of the best!!!

This is one of the best True crime podcasts I’ve listened to. Easter really does her research and presents it in a very relatable manner. Her presentation is superb. I really enjoy the stories and learn the details the mainstream media doesn’t report on. I highly recommend it!

Very good

Love the information and commentary- Esther is great

Love the format

I personally don’t love overly chatty true crime podcasters or ones that make jokes or comedy out of crime. Esther is enjoyable to listen to while weaving great research and storytelling. She gives enough pertinent detail to draw you in, but stays on topic.

Thank you for the pod!

I started listening to this pod cast to learn about the Cecil Hotel, was pleasantly surprised to learn there were 3 parts to it. Since then I have binged more episodes. I love true crime and mystery. Esther Ludlow is an awesome researcher and storyteller. Her voice is very calming which is great for my quarantine anxiety. I usually listen with a hot cup of tea while I tend to my succulents. Great for background ambience when you’re working on projects like sketching or crocheting. Thank you for your dedication to podding and concise ability to do research and to tell and relay the story in a prolific way. -Prince

A quality podcast

Clear and concise, pleasant voice to listen to and NO off-topic ramblings irrelevant to the subject at hand.

Awesome Podcaster!!!!

I have just finished listen to all your podcast!! You do great and in-depth podcast. I listen for about 5 hours a day at work. It helps make it through the day !!!! Keep up the great work. Now I on to “Taco about True Crime “ Thanks Anna Bates

True crime podcasts keep me sane during pandemic

I love Once Upon a Crime true crime podcasts! She provides all the facts & her own opinion on rare occasions. Great podcasts!!! Thank you for saving my sanity during a pandemic & the election cycle 🥰

Well-told, unique stories full of detail!

I’m a true crime fanatic and am subscribed to nearly every major true crime podcast, never missing an episode and this is one of my favorites. Esther is a great storyteller who covers cases I haven’t heard before and includes a ton of interesting information.

One of the Best Out There

I've been listening for over two years, and heard many other true crime podcasts. Esther's is probably the most consistent, most sincere, and best researched. I rely on it most for my true crime fix. She strikes a good balance between friendly/interesting and factual. Also representing as a WOC in a pretty white dominated genre. Love your work Esther!! Big fan ❤️❤️

Great Podcast!

I just discovered this Podcast! I’m starting from the first episodes and working my way through! Great job! Love it!

Not Sissy Spacek!

In Tilll Death Do Is Part, you mentioned the movie Urban Cowboy. John Travolta was in the movie, but Debra Winger played his girlfriend/wife, whose nickname was Sissy.

Great Podasts

Hi. On today’s episode you mentioned Durban Cowboy. In error you stated Sissy Spacek costarred with John Travolta. Actually Debra Winger was the costar.

Been listening forever

Great podcasts. Well researched. Nice person too. One of my top three.

Well researched, unpretentious

I appreciate this podcast for its sincerity and unbiased presentation of cases. Many of the cases discussed are ones that I have never heard of before listening. The host is on point, and articulate. If you want a no-nonsense true crime podcast that does not bombard you with f-bombs or off-topic personal rants, you may like this one.

Love the show

Great podcast. I’m donating on patreon so I can get more!

Great research and storytelling!

Love that I haven’t heard of all of these cases and can’t wait to work my way through the back Eps!


Love this podcast and the fan page is so much fun

Would love it every day!

I love this podcast!!


Love the stories, but please modify the language to “has a disability” instead of using the “r word”

A wonderful storyteller!

This is a fantastic narrative podcast! Esther is a wonderful, thoughtful storyteller. The top shelf she covers in the form of mini-series are broad-ranging and interesting. There is something for everyone. I love the way Esther presents the stories, especially when she adds interesting extra detail, offers her take on circumstances, and my favorite is the occasional sarcastic remark. He voice is soothing and so even- like an audiobook. Simply the best!

Great pod!

Finally had a chance to listen to the Aileen Wournos deep dive from January. That was amazing!! I’ve heard that story many times but never with that much detail. This was already one of my favorite pods but now I like it even more.

A good listen

This podcast is a good podcast its more of a audio book type of podcast there one host and it’s just her talking about the topic there’s no banter or chemistry with a second host so it’s not what I look for in a podcast but very well researched and executed good topics it’s worth a listen

Great podcast

Few episodes in and I’m addicted. Quickly becoming one of my favorites

Research and quality

I don’t like podcasts that get “chit chatty”. I just want an amazing voice with well researched facts woven in to a story type monologue. Esther hits all those! Excellent podcast.