Love Island presenter Laura Whitmore and her husband, comedian Iain Stirling, are the hosts of a new true crime podcast series for BBC Radio 5 Live, the broadcasting corporation has announced.
The weekly podcast, titled Murder They Wrote, will focus on a different subject in each episode, unravelling the history behind some of the world’s “most atrocious criminals”. Each week, Whitmore and Stirling take turns, with one of them recounting the details of a crime while the other hears it for the first time.
“I’m so excited to bring our true crime obsession to BBC Sounds,” said Whitmore. “I love the psychology of it all, getting into people’s mindsets and finding out what makes them tick.”
“In our new podcast on BBC Sounds, Iain and I will take it in turns to surprise each other with tales of historical true crime cases that are sure to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.”
Murder They Wrote will be available on the platform from 6 November. The series is produced by Mags Creative, an award-winning podcast production and promotion agency which has worked on other projects for the BBC including the recently launched Amazing Sport Stories series for BBC World Service.
“If, like us, you’re curious about how a honeymoon turned into a horror story, or the curious case of the hitman dentist, then this is the podcast for you,” said Stirling. “Join us as we dive right into the past and encounter some of the darkest criminals in history.”
True crime continues to be one of the most popular genres in podcasting with shows like Crime Junkie, Dateline NBC, Morbid, and more topping the global podcast charts according to Chartable. However, the genre has been criticised in the past by a number of publications such as the NYT and The Guardian for being too sensationalised and exploiting the victims.
In a previous episode on PodPod, hosts of award-winning true crime podcast RedHanded - Suruthi Bala and Hannah Maguire - said that true crime can actually raise people’s empathy by providing more context and background information about the perpetrator, even if it doesn't excuse them for their crimes.
“We're all here for normalising and just being interested in true crime,” said Bala. “Some people are bad people and when they get convicted, they deserve to be convicted and yes, all the empathy in the world for the victims, but let's not pretend we're not fascinated by why these killers did what they did.”